Whenever weight is thrown into the conversation, it’s usually weight loss. Weight loss tips, how to lose weight, foods that help you lose weight, weight loss pills, and more. It’s almost as if weight loss has completely monopolized the weight conversation. And it seems fair enough in some respects, as obesity rates and lifestyle-related diseases seem to be on a steady ascent, with weight loss being one of the steps towards a healthier life. The only downside is, the other side of the spectrum seems to be neglected: gaining weight.
Due to genetics, some people may have trouble gaining weight and equally troublesome for them is gaining weight healthily. One is inclined to feel a tad envious of this trait since it automatically translates to many as ‘eat whatever I want’. However, healthy weight gain is more than just “eating whatever you want” since overconsumption of junk food in the quest to add pounds can and will still lead to lifestyle-related diseases.
That said, read below to orient yourself on how to gain weight the healthy way along with 5 simple steps on how to get started:
The Importance of Gaining Weight
Being overweight and obese is really a global problem and while the health effects of this we are all aware of, most haven’t really comprehended the importance of gaining weight for some. Most individuals who wish to gain weight are usually on the underweight side due to a fast metabolism, or those who are underweight due to underlying health conditions. Regardless of the reasons for weight gain, one must remember that the only way to do it safely is to do it healthily. Gaining weight doesn’t mean just mindlessly eating junk food and sweets.
Now that brings us to the follow up questions: what foods are good for weight gain?
As it is said time and again there are no magic or special foods that can help you lose or gain weight. It means consuming everything in moderation and taking note of your physical activity, sleep, hydration, and stress levels.
Five Tips on How to Healthily Gain Weight
Increase Caloric Intake
The most obvious way to healthily gain weight is to up your caloric intake. For a more steadfast weight gain journey, try adding 300-500 calories to your diet and go for the 700-1000 calorie mark. It’s important even when you’re attempting to gain weight to still keep your caloric intake in check since it provides you an idea of how much you stand to consume on a regular basis.
Don’t Forget Your Protein
Protein is essential when trying to gain weight. If you think about it, gym goers trying to increase their muscle mass always have a protein shake or protein bar ready (stereotypically speaking, but it can be the truth). Protein first and foremost is essential for growth, development and overall health. Many studies have already proven protein’s effectivity in helping build muscle mass, including one conducted involving 23 individuals .
Protein helps promote skeletal and muscle growth along with physical strength. Around 1.0-1.6 g of protein/kg body weight is needed daily and 2 g/kg body weight is safe for healthy adults with 3.5g/kg body weight being the upper limit.
In order to increase your protein intake, consume meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and legumes.
Opt for Energy Dense Food
Even as you’re trying to gain weight, the quality of the food you eat still matters. When on a weight gain journey, remember to eat mostly whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These not only help you increase your weight (with the proper caloric intake), but they also help you feel better as they promote satiety. If you find the food a bit bland for your liking, you can add spices, sauces, and condiments that can encourage you to eat more.
Among the energy dense and nutrient-filled foods that you can include in your weight gain diet are:
Fats and Oils
Opt for Strength Training Exercises
Weight training exercises also known as strength training are exercises that help build muscle mass. While strength training won’t guarantee that you’ll grow extremely muscular, these can help build muscles and give weight gain more definition. Regardless of your goal, strength training is incredibly important as you age since muscle mass starts to decline, leaving you depleted of your strength in simplest activities.
Photo by: @j.copiaco.fit on Instagram
On the weight gain side, the formula is simple: strength training causes an increase in muscle mass which can lead to weight gain eventually and at the same time, keep your body fat levels low. That way you are able to add more mass to your body and lose fat that an excess of can be a detriment to your health.
Other Quick Weight Gain Hacks:
Drink milk to quench thirst (though not all the time) and get more calories in
Eat more often by squeezing in a few snacks in between meals
Try eating from larger plates. It is shown that eating from larger plates can cause people to eat more compared to smaller plates.
Is gaining weight or weight management a challenge for you? Get in touch with a weight loss specialist and registered nutritionist dietitian who can help you kickstart your journey. Their expert advice coupled with a tailor-fit program can help you achieve your goals and maintain your results. Schedule an appointment with a weight loss doctor right now.