Gaining weight in a healthy manner can be challenging, especially when so many people are trying to achieve the opposite and lose weight. Finding information about dieting and losing weight is simple, but if you want to gain weight and stay healthy, it can be tougher to devise a diet plan.
Obviously, you gain weight by eating more and burning fewer calories. Unfortunately, if you increase the amount you eat with unhealthy foods, you will increase your body fat and damage your health.
Though increasing body fat might be necessary in rare instances, most people want to gain weight by adding muscle. There are several changes you can make that are safe and healthy to help you gain weight.
Modify Your Diet
First, make healthy food choices. It would be easy to put on weight by eating high-fat treats like ice cream and cupcakes, but this does more harm than good. Instead, choose healthy, calorie dense foods, such as nuts and seeds, lean protein, whole grains, and granola.
Also consider adding specific higher calorie foods such as Greek yogurt, avocados, and nut butters to your daily meals.
Be Creative with Food Combining
Also remember you can boost the calorie content of each meal by combining foods. Salad is a great healthy option, but it is usually a low calorie food eaten by dieters trying to drop pounds. Eliminating fresh veggies from your diet is not the best option.
Instead, add a sprinkle of nuts and a drizzle of olive oil to boost the calorie content. You can use similar food combining tricks when making sandwiches, casseroles, and smoothies.
People trying to gain weight should not only increase their calories at each meal, they should eat frequently. This increases the calories eaten over the course of the day and it prevents your body from ever getting hungry.
Chances are if you need to gain weight your body already metabolizes calories quickly. Keep your metabolism fueled and prevent hunger by eating every three to three and a half hours.
Monitor Your Workouts
Another safe way to put on weight is to stop burning it off. If you exercise and cardio is a part of your routine, think about altering your workouts to include fewer minutes of or less strenuous cardio. Cardiovascular exercise is great for heart health, but it promotes weight loss.
If you are trying to gain weight, switch from running or jogging to walking, skip high-intensity workout classes, and swap out 10 to 15 minutes of your current workout for weight lifting instead of cardio.
Working with your doctor or person trainer can help you bring your cardio and strength building routines into balance and help you reach your weight gain goals.
Finally, consider supplementing your diet, but do not overdo it. There are many protein supplements on the market that help you bulk up, but indulging in too many powders or shakes can have a detrimental effect. Just a small scoop of protein to a fruit and vegetable smoothie might be enough to help you add the pounds you need.