How To Gain Healthy Weight
If you’ve struggled to gain precious weight, and search to find something, anything on the internet, you’re most likely frustrated as most information in the news, online, magazines and books is geared towards weight loss.
Is this you? You can eat all you desire and still, the weight doesn’t increase – you are not alone. Your struggle is real and there is a solution. One experiment done back in 1967 promised prisoners that if they could gain 25% of their body weight eating 10,000 calories a day, they would receive an early release from prison – they could not do it. The conclusion, even back then, was that some individuals are biologically programmed to stay at a certain weight.
What is healthy weight gain? It is weight that is not gained from fat storage (excess fat), but from healthy muscle mass. This is a crucial difference and a difference that can be seen and felt. This means that one needs to gain muscle.
You also have greater insulin sensitivity, which is an excellent healthy advantage over those that can gain weight easily. Healthy in that you are able to keep insulin low and glucose levels low and why you can increase muscle strength and do it quickly, plus it keeps a lot of those extra calories that you’re piling in from getting converted to fat. Excess glucose creates not only fat storage, but inflammation as well.
So let’s set the foundation for weight gain for both men and women. Both genders who can’t gain weight, have a metabolism that is biologically higher and programmed to stay at this given weight. However, as we know with weight loss, we can also tweak for weight gain.
Below are 5 Tips to Help You Gain More Weight Faster.
Eat a diet that is packed with nutrients + energy.
This simply means healthy calories and you need to eat a lot. Adding unhealthful calories such as twinkies, pretzels, cakes, chips, cookies etc. only cause low-level inflammation and slow down your optimal weight gain results. However, adding in healthful nutrient-dense calories such as nuts, seeds, fatty fish, cheese, coconut (in any form), avocado or olive oil to your meals, will add healthy calories while contributing powerful nutrients. This will not only add more weight healthy muscle weight, but optimize your health as well.
Eat Five Meals a day.
Eating more often is key. You have a fast metabolism so it behooves you to take the time to snack and eat meals. Eating bumps up insulin and that promotes much needed muscle growth for you. Eating 2-3 times a day really doesn’t move the needle but 5 times or more a day will. I also recommend eating a snack before bedtime.
These meals should include high-quality protein, complex carbs (instead of refined carbs) are also eaten around your strength training session as Insulin is responsible for muscle growth and finally, incorporate healthy fats into each meal and snack.
Eat More Protein.
To build muscle and put on weight, your body must synthesize more protein than it catabolizes (breaks down).
Consume 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kilogram, or about 0.64 to 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.
Quality proteins are important to gain muscle/weight. Look for branched chain amino acids (BCAAs); creatine; leucine; whey protein isolate that is cold-processed; Pea, hemp and rice protein powder; colostrum; Please consult your doctor before use.
It is vital that you integrate any type of weight lifting or resistance training program. However, using multi-joint or compound exercise training, 3-4 times a week works best and quickest such as: squats, deadlifts, cleans, overhead press, bench press, pull-ups, rowing.
Your muscles grow as they repair and recover and what will help are short bouts of high intensity intervals (HIIT) that is also an excellent form of cardio to promote blood flow to the areas. Short bursts such as this 15-minute session on the elliptical (or walking, running, treadmill etc):
Go as fast as you can for 30 seconds
Slow down to a moderate pace for 90 seconds
Repeat 8 times
Foods To Eat
- High Quality Proteins such as: wild fish, grass-fed meats, wild game, pasture-raised chicken, organic whole eggs,
- Full-Fat Yogurt and other dairy foods
- Fruits and Veggies
- Whole-fat cheeses
- Healthy Fats such as nuts, seeds, whole eggs, avocados, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil,
- Sprouted Whole Grains such as the Ezekiel Brand (bread, English muffins, tortillas, pitas, bagels)
- Beans or Legumes
- Nuts and Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Paleo Granola (no refined carbs, yet calorie-dense)
- Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Winter Root Vegetables
- Quinoa, Wild Rice, Brown Rice
- Dark Chocolate (80% cacao)
The most important factors for healthy weight gain are proper nutrition and exercise while eating more calories than your body uses and eating more protein than your body breaks down.