You might want to gain weight for one of 2 reasons. You might be an athlete looking to build muscle mass, or someone who has been diagnosed as underweight and needs to put on some pounds. But you can’t just gorge on junk food. This might make you gain weight, but it will make you unhealthy. So, use these 6 ways to bulk up without causing a detriment to your health.
How to Gain Weight
Gaining weight is simple. You need to eat more calories than you burn. It is recommended that you eat an extra 500 calories a day. Therefore, for men looking to gain weight, you will need to increase the recommended 2,500 calories a day to 3,000, and women from 2,000 to 2,500.
But remember, this has to be net calories. If you’re working out, you need to make up for what you burn. For example, if you burn 300 calories doing a 20-minute run, a woman will need to consume a total of 2,800 calories in order to gain weight.
What is “Healthy” Weight Gain?
These extra calories need to come from good food sources. This means eating plenty of whole food that is high in nutritional value.
Well, even though pizzas and burgers make you put on weight because of their high-calorie content, they’re also full of saturated fat, sugar, and salt, that can put you at risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and hypertension respectively.
The food you want to be eating should be:
High in protein
High in calories
High in healthy fats
Avocado, beef, rice, and potatoes are all great examples of brilliant food for healthy weight gain.
6 Weight-Gain Tips
#1 Eat More Regularly
One of the reasons you might not be putting on weight is because you can’t seem to eat much at mealtimes. Therefore, instead of the standard 3 meals a day, try 5 smaller ones.
But how does this help?
Let say you can only eat 600 calories at any given meal. If you can only manage that, at 3 meals a day, you’ll only consume 1,800.
But, increase the number of meals to 5 and you’re suddenly consuming 3,000.
What’s more, by eating more regularly, your stomach will start to expand, increasing your appetite over time.
#2 Milk it
Milk is a brilliant option for people who want to gain weight. It’s full of good fat and high in protein. Indeed, milk has been considered a weight-gain staple for many years.
You can start your day off with overnight oats soaked in milk, a fruit smoothie made with milk, or drink it straight from the bottle!
However you want to take it, just make sure you’re getting a good amount of it.
#3 Don’t Drink Anything for 30 Minutes Before Meals
While chugging milk is great, be sure not to drink it, or anything else, before your meal.
This is because you don’t want any liquid taking space up in your stomach. The more liquid you have in your stomach, the less room there is for food. Less room means you’ll have a smaller appetite and will eat less as your stomach will fill up quickly.
As liquid takes approximately 20 minutes to move through your stomach, not drinking for half an hour before you eat should ensure that your stomach is as empty as possible.
#4 Forsake Fiber
Generally, having a high fiber diet is considered healthy. This is because it helps keep your digestive systems in good working order, helping to prevent health issues such as colonic cancer.
But, you actually want to be having less of it in your diet if you want to gain weight.
Fiber goes through your body mostly unchanged, cleaning out your guts as it does so. What that means is, the more fiber you have in your stomach, the less room there is for food with the nutritional value you need to gain weight.
Therefore, steer clear of wholegrain products. Eat white bread and rice instead of brown, and avoid beans and lentils.
But, you still need at least some fiber in your diet.
You can get this by eating starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and beetroot. These particular vegetables have a high amount of starch in them compared to others and will help with your weight gain without putting your gastric health at risk.
#5 Rice is Nice
While rice has already been mentioned above, it can’t be stressed enough how effective it is for gaining weight. Much like milk, it’s a long-standing weight-gain superfood.
That’s because 1 cup (150g) of cooked white rice has a whopping 200 calories in it.
Add some starchy vegetables and some red meat to it, and you’ve got yourself a robust high-protein and high-calorie meal. So, try and incorporate it into as many dishes as possible.
#6 Use a Shopping List
A shopping list can be the most unexpected hero when it comes to sticking to any diet. This is because it will not only help you to remember everything you need, but it means you’re less likely to succumb to temptations at the grocery store. You’ll do this by sticking to only buying things on your list. This will help make sure you’re gaining weight in the best possible way.
If you don’t fancy carrying around bits of paper, you can go digital and download a shopping list app, meaning you’ll always have it with you on your phone.
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