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Planning to add some extra pounds of healthy weight to your body? Do you wish to know how to gain healthy weight? It seems an easy task as the only thing to be done is eating a calories surplus but it is harder said than done. Gaining healthy weight involves more than just eating more calories than what your body burns.
Most of the people after calculating their calories tend to eat anything and everything they can just to meet the calorie requirement. Result? They end up with unhealthy fat gains and long term heart diseases. To look better and gain healthy muscle, a proper healthy diet including protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is to be maintained along with a strict workout regime and adequate sleep. It may be easy for people to consume 3000 calories per day with pizzas and other junk food but as mentioned earlier this is not the required approach.
Hence in this article we will discuss how one can gain weight the healthy way which means more of muscle than fat. Not to forget, gaining and losing weight is a natural process and it takes time and effort to bring a change in the body. You should never expect to see results overnight or even in near weeks. Instead, focus on your diet and workout and you will end up with great results soon.
Follow the below given points on how to gain healthy weight:
- Track your Calories: The first step involves counting the approximate number of calories that you will require to gain 1 pound of weight in a week. This can be calculated through the daily calorie intake calculator. Once you get an idea as to how many calories are required, try to incorporate foods in your diet such that the total calories derived from the foods at the end of the day matches your daily calorie requirement. The importance of counting calories is seen at the end of the day when you wish to check your progress. In short, when you count the calories for the day you can get to know if you were able to meet the calorie requirement or not and where you stand. Hence I would suggest you to first count the calories through a calorie intake calculator and maintain a diary or app that can help you record the foods that you consumed helping you track your calories.
- Eat Small and Frequent Meals: Gone are those days when people used to rely on just 3 meals per day. In order to maintain your body in an anabolic or muscle building state, aim for at least 6 meals a day and each meal being of at least 400 calories. This way you will be able to consume more than 2500 calories a day while keeping your body in an anabolic state. When you skip a meal or do not eat within 3-4 hours your body gets into a catabolic state where your body fails in getting adequate nutrition causing some undesirable effects like fatigue and muscle pain. Hence the best approach is to keep your body in a muscle building state by providing quality nutrition every 2-3 hours.
- Focus More on Whole Foods rather than Processed Foods: Another important step in gaining healthy weight is to focus on whole and real foods that have high nutritional profiles and also are high in calories. Some of the examples of these types of foods are Chicken Breast, Red Meat, Whole Eggs, Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Breads, Shakes and others. These foods are high in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats and will be used up by the body faster and will help you gain healthy weight. It is always better to consume more of real foods rather than processed ones because food processing removes most of the nutrients from the food and since they are not natural, they can cause various gastrointestinal disorders. Hence my advice is to create a diet chart which contains quality whole foods rich in nutrients to speed up your weight gain process.
- Focus on Protein, but do not forget Carbohydrates: You may have heard while gaining weight that carbs are your friend. The statement is true because carbohydrates are digested faster and are used in muscle building. Not just this, carbohydrates are also needed by the body for energy and they are the muscle fuels for your body. Protein is very much a necessity when gaining weight as it builds muscle and repairs the muscle tissues in our body, but carbs are equally important. For gaining healthy weight, try to eat more of foods that have complex carbs like green vegetables, whole grain breads, oats, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils and brown rice and less of simple carbs or sugar. Complex carbs also help in better digestion and important for optimal metabolism. Hence try to incorporate the above foods in your diet as much as possible.
- Workout with Compound Movements: Working out in a gym with heavy compound exercises can give you a boost in gaining healthy muscle. Compound exercises are exercises which involve more than one muscle at a time and help the body in releasing more Human Growth Hormone, helping you to gain faster. Try to focus more on Compound exercises like Deadlift, Bench Press and Squats and less on isolation movements like fly’s and curls. An optimal approach is to start your workout with 2-3 heavy compound movements and end with 1-2 isolation exercises for maximum benefit.
Another important factor to keep in mind is to avoid over-training. When you wish to gain muscle, you just need to work out for 45-60 minutes a day and for maximum 3-4 days a week. Give your body enough time to repair so that it grows stronger.
- Consider the Right Supplements: There are tons of supplements available in the market like Whey protein, Mass gainer, BCAA’s, Creatine, Glutamine and so on but not all of them are needed to gain healthy weight. You only need the right supplement with right diet to gain healthy weight. According to me the only two supplements that you will need during the process are whey protein and creatine. You can make your own weight gainer shake through weight protein my mixing whey protein with peanut butter, raw oats, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, ice cream, bananas and other. This weight gain shake is easy to prepare and will give you over 500 calories.
Another great supplement while gaining weight is creatine. Creatine is a chemical that is formed in the body which helps in increasing athletic performance. But why use creatine supplement when it is already produced in the body? Our body does not produce enough creatine that can help us in intense workout and hence creatine supplements are used. Various studies have shown that with creatine supplementation, the athletic performance of a person is increased and also the strength to lift weights in increased. Hence the best suggestion is to go for Creatine Monohydrate which is effective as well as cheaper from others.
- Get Adequate Sleep: This is the step which most of the people ignore and avoid. Compromising on your sleep directly leads to loss of gains. During sleep, your body releases 70% of the Human Growth Hormone, which is required by your body to grow stronger. Your body also repairs all the muscle tissues that were damaged during the intense workout. Hence never compromise on your sleep. Try to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every day. Some tips for getting quality sleep are:
1) Turn of electronic appliances and gadget 1-2 hours before your sleep.
2) Try to drink warm milk before bed to get a better sleep.
- Some other tips for gaining healthy weight:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out the waste.
- Do not depend solely on supplements, eat a well balanced diet in conjunction with right supplements.
- Do not exceed meal time by 4 hours.
- Do not forget carbs, eat both protein and carbs in moderation.
- Try consuming liquid calories as well, example being shakes and smoothies.
- Do not overeat, instead increase small amount of calories in each meal.
- Eat right before bed to feed your muscles at night.
- Train for less time, but with high intensity and minimum rest period.
- Try to limit your workout to 3-4 days a week
- Believe in yourself, do not expect for results overnight. Put in all your efforts and time and you will see results soon.
These were the ways on how to gain healthy weight. Do not run for results, instead follow each step carefully and put in all your efforts and you will see results within months. For more weight gain related articles, Calorie Calculators and Supplement Reviews visit my blog Gaining Tactics.