While there are many individuals who seek how to lose weight, there are others who seek how to gain weight for various reasons. One may want to gain weight for health related purposes, or just out of personal preference. Nonetheless, just like with losing weight, gaining weight should be done healthily and at a steady pace. Here is what to know when trying to gain weight along with a few pointers and tips to help out along the way:
** Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, make sure to get into contact with your health practitioner to make sure you are in the right state of health.
1) It is going to take consistency and patience
In the effort to gain weight, it is going to require consistency to see results. You should be consistently consuming more calories than you burn off – otherwise known as maintaining a caloric surplus. You should also come up with a routine workout to help build muscle mass and further increase your overall body weight. Regular consistency can encourage faster results.
If you get into the habit of not completing your workouts or you do not maintain a regular caloric surplus in your diet, you aren’t going to get noticeable results as steadily. Weight gain is not going to happen overnight. Yet, with patience and consistency, results are a given.
2) You need to be at a caloric surplus in your diet
As previously stated, another essential tip to add to what to know when trying to gain weight, is that you should be maintaining a consistent caloric surplus in your diet. In other words, you should be regularly eating and retaining more calories than you burn off, even after exercise. A consistent surplus of calories in your diet is where weight gain can be seen. Generally, an extra 300-500 calories more than your recommended daily calorie consumption can equate to a caloric surplus.
You can find out what your recommended daily calorie consumption is by entering your height, age, and current weight into a calorie calculator available online. A calorie calculator can tell you the number of calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight, as well as lose or gain weight. Therefore, if you are not consuming a consistent surplus of calories in your diet, you will either maintain your current weight or lose weight.
3) Avoid gaining weight through high-calorie junk foods
Junk foods like fries, pizza, chips, etc. may be a tempting choice of foods to eat when trying to gain weight, as they are higher in calories. However, it is best to avoid trying to gain weight with these unhealthy foods. For one, a lot of junk foods fall into the category of empty calorie foods / beverages. Meaning, the calories from these junk foods provide little to no nutritional benefit.
Instead, many of these junk foods contain added sugars, high levels of sodium, and unhealthy fats. To add to this, junk foods can accelerate fat accumulation in undesired areas. It is okay to treat yourself every once in a while, but try to keep a balance in your diet. Instead, aim for calories sourced from nutrient-dense whole foods.
4) You still have to exercise
What to know when trying to gain weight – exercise is still important. Although you want to retain calories in the effort to gain weight, exercise can help to further increase your body weight by developing muscle mass in various areas. Strength-based exercises in particular, are highly advantageous for those who want to gain weight. This type of exercise engages a range of muscles through different targeted exercises and helps to efficiently build muscle mass.
Additionally, strength exercises will allow you to tone and shape muscle mass and thus shape your body for your desired look as you gain weight. Come up with a workout routine and set a couple of days out of the week to exercise, adding a few rest days in between. Rest days are essential as they give your muscles time to recover and grow. Another tip to add to what to know when trying to gain weight is to gradually increase your weight load and number of repetitions as you progress. This will help to further expand your results and overall body weight.
5) Weight gain supplements can be beneficial
If you have struggled to gain weight, you may find benefit in using weight gain supplements to supply you with an extra source of calories to help maintain a caloric surplus. There are different kinds of weight gain supplements to choose from including shakes, blendable powders, and more. These weight gain supplements contain a plentiful number of calories, as well as other key nutrients that can benefit you in trying to gain weight.
You can even try to make your own weight gain shakes and smoothies using ingredients found right at home and a blender. Add your choice of nutrient-dense edibles to your blender to create a tasty and healthy, yet high-calorie shake. Some good examples of foods to add to your smoothie include fruits and vegetables, nuts, avocados, and more.
6) Protein is key
To add to what to know when trying to gain weight, protein is a key nutrient. Protein contains amino acids that your body needs in the maintenance of various body functions. Amino acids also aid in muscle recovery and growth. Good sources of protein include meats, eggs, quinoa, plus more. From these foods, you can receive a decent number of calories as well as other key nutrients.
Protein-rich foods can benefit you in how to gain weight as the nutrients derived from them, particularly amino acids, help to set a healthy foundation for muscle growth and thus advance your overall body mass. Aside from protein, it is important that you maintain an overall healthy balance of nutrients in your diet.
7) Nutrient-dense foods are the way to go
Another important tip to know when trying to gain weight, is that you want to primarily aim for nutrient-dense foods instead of junk foods to gain weight. Nutrient-dense foods are comprised of various essential vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. They will help you to gain weight the healthy way. A bonus is that there are examples of healthy, nutrient-dense, yet high-calorie foods that can also encourage weight gain. Some examples include potatoes, avocados, rice, beans, and nuts. These foods will supply you with a generous number of calories all the while still providing different health benefits.