Approximately two-thirds of people in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, but for some people the problem they have is gaining weight or adding muscle, and it can be just as difficult for them to gain healthy weight as it is for others to lose weight. While being lean can often be healthy, being underweight can also be a problem particularly if it is the consequence of bad nutrition.
The primary principles are the same whether you are clinically underweight or just struggling to acquire weight for your own reasons. This guide describes a straightforward weight gain strategy to gain weight the healthy way.
HEALTH RISKS OF BEING UNDERWEIGHT
A person who is extremely underweight is at risk of a number of health issues, including:
- developmental delays
- a weakened immune system
- Irregular menstrual periods
- chronic fatigue
- an increased risk of complications during surgery
REASONS YOU MAY WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT
It’s true that most people today seek weight loss, but some also want weight gain. While the majority of those people would just like to add a few additional pounds to a slim frame, others would like to construct muscle and size. Some reasons people may want to put on more weight include:
- To perform better in sports
- Help build muscle-density
- For better metabolic health (muscles burn more fat)
- Combat aging (muscle-density loss is a natural side effect)
- Improve self-confidence
- To possibly improve overall health (in those who are too skinny)
But before you go hitting the local pizza place everyday and drinking excess beer for the calories, take a look at our tips on how to gain healthy weight below.
START BY SETTING A SPECIFIC GOAL
If you have in mind a particular objective and number, you will have to approach it with the same systematic method. For instance, if you are underweight ten pounds and need ______ number of calories per day to gain that weight, then you need to begin tracking your complete daily consumption of calories.
Have a notebook you personally fill out or use a calorie tracking app to assist you in maintaining track of your daily calories. This way you wont just be shooting in the dark hoping to reach a goal. Having a clear goal and step-by-step action plan of how to achieve that goal can help make even the most difficult things easier.
INCREASE YOUR CALORIE INTAKE
The most significant thing you can do to gain weight is to consume a calorie surplus, which means you’re eating more calories than your body needs to keep its present weight. If you want to gain weight slowly and steadily, try to get an extra 300-500 calories per day above what you normally get.
If you want to gain weight quickly, go above your maintenance rate by about 700–1,000 calories. Bear in mind that only estimates are provided by calorie calculators. Your demands may differ depending on lifestyle changes and your metabolism.
You can find a calorie calculator here.
One way to up your caloric intake without having to force yourself to eat is to:
DRINK YOUR EXTRA-CALORIES
High calorie drinks are sometimes easier to get down than solid food. When attempting to gain weight, they can be an significantly helpful tool. Nutritional shakes or meal substitute beverages between meals are fantastic. Along with vital vitamins and minerals, drinking 100% fruit juices and smoothies can provide extra calories. Sugary sodas may be more tempting as they are tasty and high in calories, but they are quite bad for you and filled with mostly empty calories unlike smoothies, meal replacement, and protein shakes which have additional nutritional value on-top of being high in calories.
Drinking homemade protein smoothies can be a very nutritious and fast weight gain method. It’s best way to make your own smoothies if possible as commercial variants are often full of sugar and lack nutrients. It also provides you complete control over the content of flavor of your smoothie
Try making a green smoothie:
1 cup (237 ml) of spinach
1 cup (237 ml) of pineapple
1 scoop of unflavored or vanilla whey protein
if making your own smoothie seems like too-much work, you can check out our pre-made meal replacement shake reviews to see which ones offer the best nutritional profiles and taste.
ADD THESE SUPER-FOODS TO YOUR DIET TO GAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT
Weight gain due to calories from large amounts of sugary, highly processed foods will cause future health problems. This could include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Rather than leaving you feeling energized and nourished, a junk food diet will often leave you feeling sluggish.
Instead try adding lots of highly nutritious foods to your diet:
Nuts are a fantastic snack on their own and can also be added to many meals, such as salads. The nuts that provide the most health benefits are of the raw or dry roasted variety.
Only one tiny amount of almonds includes more than 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fats. Because they are very calorie-dense getting even just a handful or two of almonds a day can mean getting lots of healthy calories.
Fish, particularly oily fish is very energy-dense because of the fat content they contain. Fish is also a wonderful source omega-3’s. The best fish to add to your diet are:
Salmon is an especially great option for gaining weight while staying healthy. Only six ounces of salmon has about 240 calories, and salmon is also rich in healthy fats, making it a useful option for those looking to gain weight. It also contains numerous nutrients, including protein and omega-3’s.
Any vegetable is a excellent addition to your diet when trying to gain weight. With starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, you are going to get a boost in weight in no time. Starchy foods will also lead to fat gain more-so than some other lower-starch vegetable options though so keep that in mind and don’t overdo it on the potatoes.
It has been shown that consuming red meat helps build muscle and gain weight. Steak includes both leucine and creatine, nutrients that play an important role in muscle mass enhancement. Steak and other red meats contain both protein and fat, boosting weight gain and encouraging healthy muscle development.
Replace lean meats with fatty meat cuts to boost the calories in each meat-based meal you have. Both lean and fatty meats are a excellent source of protein, although more calories are provided by fatty meat so the fattier cuts may be the best option for weight gain.
For millennia, cheese has been a staple food. It’s high in fat and calories. It is also a very useful source of protein if you consume it in large amounts. Because cheese is extremely delicious, it can be incorporated into most meals and add several hundred additional calories readily.
You can add cheese to salad, or onto a sandwich. It is a very versatile food and comes in many flavors.
START A WEIGHT-LIFTING ROUTINE
It’s not just what you’re putting in your body, but what you’re taking out. Recommending exercise for weight gain may seem insane but muscle weighs more than fat. For your workout routine focus more on resistance training rather than lots of cardio to enhance your shape and gain weight. It is much healthier to add muscle mass than just adding body fat. Muscle is a great way to increase mass and adds to men’s shape or women’s curves.
Go to a gym 2-5 times a week. Lift heavy and attempt to increase the amount of weight you lift each time you go to the gym to ensure that you are consistently making progress. Consider hiring a skilled personal trainer to assist you get started if you’re totally out of shape or new to training.
If you have any medical issues, you may also want to consult a doctor before any weight lifting.
Consistently eating more calories than you need is the secret behind gaining weight. The above-mentioned foods can assist an individual in getting a healthily boost to their calorie consumption. This will help you effectively gain healthy weight. It is also a good idea to start working out so that those extra calories can be used to construct muscle rather than just add fat.
The important thing is to stay with it, be patient, and give time for your body to change. The advice contained in this article may not suit everyone. If you are worried about a sudden weight loss that you’re experienced or if you have lost weight without wanting to, it is always advisable to talk to your doctor for individual dietary advice.