Great Tips for Gaining Weight
Americans are obsessed with losing weight. It’s impossible to browse through a magazine, or flip the channels on our big screens without seeing multiple ads for weight loss products. But what if your concerns are just the opposite? There are many of you out there but nine times out of ten if you ask someone, “What’s the best way to gain weight?” you’ll get looks like you just arrived with a Clone Army. Nevertheless, you need a plan. It should go without saying that you should consult with a doctor before starting any weight loss or weight gain and exercise regime. That said, you want to gain weight, healthy weight, not fat. Here’s how you do it.
- Eat More
- Drink Protein Shakes
- Keep a record
- Follow a Healthy Plan
Obviously you will need to increase your caloric intake in order to gain weight. But that certainly does not mean you should start grubbing on fast foods and high fat snacks and desserts. Your goal is to add healthy muscle. So, yes you need to eat more food, but be wise about what you stuff into your mouth. We will discuss how your nutritional decisions should be made. You will need to consume more calories than you use up.
I know, I know, the last thing you want to do is carry around a flowery journal to jot down the calorie count of every last thing that sashays over your tongue. So don’t. But, you do need to keep a record of all food you consume. Get yourself a little black book (no not that kind) or use your Blackberry or IPhone or whatever and tally up every calorie you put away for one week. Average out the total calories you consumed each day. (You calculate this by dividing 7 days into the total calories eaten). This will give you a base line of sorts. The following week you will need to add 300 to 500 calories to your daily diet. But not just any calories.
Now, we assume your quest for added weight does not include added body fat. You want to weigh more, not blubber more. To get the most from your plan, avoid fast food and go for the healthy, whole foods. In order to gain lean muscle, you need to take in more calories than you burn. The food you eat needs to be a good combination of protein, carbohydrates, and some fat. There is a small amount of guessing to this, but there is a formula to follow. Here’s how it works. You need to plan how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat you need to eat. If you are really active, plan on a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than in protein and fat. Say 30% of your diet in protein, 50% in carbs, and 20% in fat (stated 30-50-20). If you are really skinny and have difficulty gaining no matter what you eat, try a combination with more protein and fat, like 40-30-30. Don’t stress over these calculations, burning the midnight oil finding the right combination. You will probably need to adjust these ratios as you go along until you find the right numbers for you. If your goal is to really build muscle like in bodybuilding, this is a formula you should become well acquainted with. Coupled with a true bodybuilding workout plan, you’ll see impressive progress. However, if you are more interested in healthy gain and bigger muscle structure (not all-out bodybuilding), you may find it easier to follow this formula: (20)(Your bodyweight in pounds)=daily caloric intake. Here’s how it works. Generally we assume that in order to just maintain your current weight, you eat in calories 15 times your current bodyweight. But in order to gain, bump that number 15 to say 20 times your body weight. Here’s an example: If you weigh 150 lbs, your maintenance formula will be
(15)(150 lbs.)= 2,250. You eat 2,250 calories a day just to keep the weight you now are. Now, here’s a formula for the number of calories to eat in order to gain. (20)(150)=3,000 calories daily. As you gain and plateau, you change that first number (20) upwards.
Follow a Healthy Plan
You must implement a diet plan meant to promote muscle gain. That demands feeding your body the nutrients required. If your body does not have the materials to build muscle, no amount of weight training will get very far. You may not have planned on hitting the gym and bulking up with weights, and don’t have to. But if you don’t, you are running the risk of adding some weight then hitting a ceiling, or just adding fat. Find someone you trust at a gym you feel comfortable with. Talk to a trainer and find out what needs to be done to reach your personal goals. At the same time, concentrate on the protein-carbohydrates-fat balanced diet for ultimate affect.
Let’s spend a moment on some obvious facts. Stay away from processed foods. Choose whole foods, meaning fresh lean meat, vegetables (preferably fresh not frozen), fruits, and whole grains. Be aware of the ingredients in products like bread. Just because it says 100% whole wheat doesn’t mean the bread is the right choice. Look at the ingredients. You don’t want to see high fructose corn syrup in your bread. If it does show up, make certain it is low on the list. The higher on the ingredients list an ingredient shows up, the more of that product is in there. Choose lean red meat. Choose 100% juice. Again, if the ingredients say something like “from concentrate” that means there is more than likely high fructose corn syrup there. If the juice claims to be 100% but has, say added calcium, that’s acceptable. Don’t let this overwhelm you. If it all seems too much, just take it a few steps at a time. Soon you will be reaching for the right choices automatically.Content Created/Medically Reviewed by our Expert Doctors