How to gain weight is as difficult as losing weight. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration; but we all know someone who is skinny as a stick and does not shy away from food. Most of us are envious that they never put on weight, but they too wish to have a lean well toned, even curvy or muscular look.
Inadequate feeding habits, prolonged meal time gaps, poor selection of foods, increased physical activity without increasing the food intake can lead to energy deficit, are a few of the major reasons for being underweight. Other reasons can be malabsorption due to prolonged illness, diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, hormonal imbalances (hyperthyroidism) and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
How to gain weight: Healthy weight gain
Gradual weight gain is always advisable. An increase in 500 kcal per day can result in increasing the body weight by 0.5 kgs per week. Objective should be to restore a desirable weight/ ideal body weight according to one’s age, gender and height. To rebuild body tissues, to maintain a good nutritional status and to maintain ideal body weight are a few reasons why healthy weight gain is important.
How to gain weight: Exercise
If you’re indulging where food’s concerned, beware of the inevitable skinny person’s paunch. No matter what your skinny status, as you grow older, you will develop an unsightly paunch. To avoid this, you must endeavour to maintain a toned body. For this, exercise is essential. Participate in a balanced mix of cardio, weight training, and flexibility exercises every day.
How to gain weight: Lift weights for lean mass
If you haven’t figured it out already, you’re going to be doing some heavy lifting in order to put on lean mass. The foundation of your routine should be the big compound lifts: Squats, deadlifts, presses (bench and overhead), pull-ups, rows, dips, snatches, power cleans, clean and jerks. These engage multiple muscles while triggering your hormonal response systems.
How to gain weight: Exercises for beginners
Pull-ups 5xFailure (add weight if “Failure” is becoming more than 12 reps)
Overhead Press 5×5
Deadlift 1/2/3×5 (your choice; deadlifts can be incredibly taxing, and with exhaustion comes poor form, so be careful; sometimes it’s better to do a really heavy load for a single set)
Bench Press 5×5
Overhead Press 5×5
Do this sequence every week (maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and steadily increase the weight each session. Once you’re making progress, feel free to add in other exercises like dips or more Olympic lifts.
How to gain weight: Healthy diet
You may take dietary supplement, but you need a balanced diet more. You need the right amount of protein, carbs and fats. Help yourself to nuts and dairy products. Protein is the key for muscle building; this will help you gain weight.
How to gain weight: Healthy heart and weight gain diet
Add pistachios or roasted channa to your diet. Make them your evening munchies, as they help you lower risk of heart disease. Other snack ideas include whole wheat or multi grain bread/ soy sticks with hummus or peanut butter. Opt for salsa dips and chutneys as they are high on fibre and very healthy. How to Gain Weight: Increase liquid intake
If you want to gain weight, you need to build an appetite; and while this might be a tad non-traditional, you can rely on wine as a hunger stimulant. A small glass of wine before your evening meal will help you appreciate your food a whole lot more. Also, avoid drinking water before meals and in between meals, you don’t want to ruin your appetite.
How to gain weight: Eat less
If you eat in between meals, cut it out. They say you should eat three large meals or five to six small meals in a day. Eating less is more. Choose food with nutritional calories and increase intake of starchy foods like potatoes. Remember, the more junk food you eat, the more you deprive your body of healthy nutrients. A thin person who gorges on junk food will suffer the same unhealthy consequences as an obese person with poor eating habits.
How to gain weight: Indulge the right way
Often times, well meaning folks will tell you to eat cakes and other sugar-heavy desserts in order to help you gain weight. While normally this strategy works perfectly for some, for others it could just lead to visceral fat – a state of being skinny fat. Skinny fat essentially means that a person appears skinny on the outside, but has fat accumulated in the wrong places (around vital organs) on the inside. Besides, sugar-heavy foods deplete your body of whatever little nutrients it might be getting from other foods.
How to gain weight: Eat lots and lots of healthy vegetables and meat
You are going to have to eat far more than before if you want to gain weight. Since body composition is 80% diet, you are going to have to stuff yourself. You need to provide lots and lots of proteins for those hormones to synthesize.
How to gain weight: Eat healthy fats
Eat plenty of healthy fats. Eat your egg yolks, meat with animal fat, coconut oil, and other healthy fats. Increase caloric intake – of the healthy kind ofcourse. So those bananas count well here.
How to gain weight: Increase protein intake
Never let your protein intake go lower than 1g/lb of body weight when you are aiming to add long-term muscle. It’s the building block of muscle, and your body is going to be starving for it.
How to gain weight: Foods that help you gain weight
Whole eggs: It is economical and loaded with protein, vitamins A,D, E and good cholesterol.
Butter: Butter is linked with long term weight gain. Intake of butter should be in moderation, as regular consumption of butter is bad for your heart.
Tuna: The vital fatty acids in tuna contain a host of healthy fats, which not only aid in weight gain but also help in maintaining physical well-being.
Natural fruit juice: A healthy and nutritious way to gain some pounds, sip 100-per cent fruit juice that’s full of sugar and added nutrients.
Whole wheat bread: You can eat healthy and pack on pounds at the same time by eating whole wheat bread which accounts for approximately 69 calories per slice.
How to gain weight: Food rich in good calories
Peanut butter – Spread – soft, salty peanut butter on bread. It gives you approximately 192 calories plus it is extra high in protein.
Energy bars – It is loaded with good-for-you nuts and oats. One bowl packs around 500 calories, which is healthy as well as yummy for breakfast.
Cheese – One serving of cheddar cheese packs a good 69 calories. Cheese is concentrated milk, so it is high in protein and calcium, fat, cholesterol and cheese calories.
Oil – Adding extra fat to your food is an easy way to add calories, choose olive oil, canola oil, etc. which is good for your health and will add those much needed calories too.
Banana – One banana contains approximately 100 calories. Not only are bananas rich in carbs and nutritious, they’re also great for workout fuel.
How to gain weight: Daily tips to gain weight
Include three- four servings of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. It is best to consume fruits in their natural form to get all the nutrients.
Make sure you get enough rest.
Instead of stocking up on chocolate as glucose boosters, try high-fibre, low sugar oat bars. These take care of your cravings.
Oats: A bowl of oatmeal is the perfect nutritious breakfast. It is high in fiber, and it also provides the body with vital nutrients.
Yogurt: The healthy fruit-flavored, fatless yogurt can give you as much as 118 calories. Include it in your daily diet for quick weight gain.
How to gain weight: Dietary supplements for gaining weight
Supplements should be taken only in consultation with a doctor/ dietician, only if required in case of nutrient deficiencies. How your body processes these supplements depends on what your body’s needs are. The supplements that are usually associated with weight gain needs are usually carb-enriched supplements.
The same thumb-rule of focusing on your body’s needs before buying supplements, applies to vitamin and mineral supplements as well. Excess of multivitamins can cause hypervitaminosis leading to various problems as diarrhoea, vomiting etc.
How to gain weight: Food habits that help you gain weight
Chew the food properly to improve digestion. Avoid excessive intake of beverages such as coffee and tea immediately after meals, as this hinders the absorption of minerals like iron. Keep a track of your weight gain as this is essential; it is healthy to increase approximately 5 to 6 kgs weight per month.
Cook smartly, using a wide variety of food choices that are beneficial for health. Use a variety of fruits and vegetables to make salads, and rely on healthy appetisers (ex: Amla pudina chutney).
How to gain weight: Unhealthy habits for gaining unhealthy weight
– Lack of sleep may be making you fat
– Eating in the car
– Eating in front of the TV
– Food rut – eating the same thing day in and day out
– Finishing everything on your plate and peer pressure
– “Coffee shopping” or for some of us it is the “meet up for a drink”
How to gain weight: After gaining the right weight
The right combination of healthy food, exercise, right breathing, rest and sleep go a long way in a happier and healthier you. Once you’ve gained the right amount of weight that you desire to gain, you’ll realise that your naturally thin body will look far more toned and curved at the right places, than you ever thought possible!