At a time, when losing weight is the fad, to think about gaining weight might appear irrational. However, in a country like ours, where malnourishment remains a major concern, gaining ‘healthy’ weight should be a key health goal.
Here we will share a few tips on gaining weight in a healthy manner. It will also be useful to those who keep complaining, “I simply can’t put on weight no matter what I eat”.
Eat healthy: Food, especially the right one, is the most important tool you need to put on weight. You should be careful about what you eat and when – for it to be effective on your body. One must increase the calorie intake to the tune of additional 500-1000 calories a day in order to be able to gain weight.
Choose the right food: You should choose high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like nuts, seeds, peanut butter or avocados to help boost your calories. Consume a variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods and healthy fats like nuts and oils. Eating at least half of your total calorie intake from carbohydrates and choosing a protein-rich food at each meal is an ideal solution. It is alright to gain some calories from protein intensive food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products.
Eating discipline: The quantity of calorie apart, eating discipline is also important. Consuming food every few hours is ideal when it comes to weight gain. Eating five or six small meals on a daily basis helps. If you workout regularly and wish to gain muscle instead of fat, your extra calories should come from carbohydrates such as whole grains. Have a healthy snack or late dinner. Our bodies are really active at night as our cells are regenerating, repairing and healing. By eating later or having a snack before bedtime, you’re allowing your body to draw from your day’s worth of calories.
Sleep tight: Only food is not going to help, if you don’t allow your body the much needed rest. It has to have time to rebuild muscle and store it in a healthy way versus just turning food into fat. Try to ensure that your body gets six-eight hours of proper rest. This will also elevate your energy and push you to work harder the next day.
Train your muscles: Muscle weighs more than fat, so you’ll gain weight if you buildup muscle mass. Practice some strength training exercise at least twice a week. You can also strength train easily at home by doing crunches, lunges, and squats. Lift weights, exercise with kettle bells and medicine balls, or use bars. If you are not into the strength training, you can always try jogging, biking, swimming or hiking. Also, make it a point to eat before and after your workout. Carbohydrates will help your stamina before you work out, while carbohydrates and protein together will help your muscles heal after you work out.
Always get a small meal or a snack in at least an hour before exercising. However, if you have eaten a large meal, wait three to four hours before you hit the gym.
Gain weight slowly: Gaining weight rapidly is neither healthy nor efficient. Avoid going on a binge. Avoid fast food. Pack some healthy snacks so that you can use it as and when you feel hungry. Prepare a diet plan in consultation with a dietitian and always stick to it. Remember, your target is not far if you can add about 1kg of muscle to your body each month.