There is a lot of focus on how to lose weight. At the start of the year, or the run-up to summer in particular, we are surrounded by diets and information on how to shed those pounds or get that perfect bikini body.
Some people, however, have a different problem. They want to know how to gain weight in a healthy way.
Adding weight to your body isn’t as easy as it might sound. It’s not simply about eating lots of foods that are high in calories and sitting back to wait, doing no exercise, while the pounds pile on.
To achieve a healthy weight gain you need to look at your diet and exercise regime in much the same way you would if you were trying to lose weight.
In simple terms, you need to consume more calories than you use up. You also need to concentrate on toning exercises and a fitness plan that gently increases the size of your muscles. Muscle weighs more than fat, which is why a lean but muscular person could weigh more than someone who is a flabby but has no muscle definition.
As with a weight-loss plan, you need to set yourself realistic goals. A gradual increase of around 1kg a month is a manageable target. This will require you to take in additional calories of somewhere between 300 and 350 a day. Don’t reach for the chocolate bars though. This needs to be done through a balanced diet.
What Foods Should I Be Eating?
Starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, cereals and bread should be the basis of your meals and they are a good way of trying to make your meals a bit larger and more calorific. At breakfast eat an extra slice of toast or go for a jumbo baked potato for lunch. Extra servings of wholegrain pasta or rice are also a good idea at mealtimes.
Protein helps to build body tissue and muscle so is an important element of a weight-gain diet. Protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, pulses and tofu. Go for two portions a day but try to limit high-calorie choices such as sausages, pptt, bacon or burgers. The lean protein found in chicken and fish is a far better option, along with the vegetable proteins.
Snack during the day to keep calorie levels up but make sure you limit any foods that are high in sugar or fat to just two daily servings. Remember that you can still go for low-fat options when it comes to dairy products such as milk, cheese or yoghurt as you don’t want to start consuming high levels of saturated fat.
What’s the Best Kind of Exercise?
For your exercise plan you will need to make sure you don’t do too much aerobic activity as this will burn off the calories you are trying your best to gain. Instead, go for resistance training or free weights to tone up, build muscle and add weight.
Slowly and steadily, the combination of the right diet and exercise will help you to change your body and gain weight.
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Lloyd is a freelance writer and blogger, currently working on behalf of Reebok Fitness – experts in home gym equipment.