So many articles, programs, exercise videos and books about the weight loss can makes us forget one really important thing – not everybody wants to lose weight, so it's important to focus on the ways to gain weight as well. In fact, I’m sure the number of people who want to gain weight is quite large. Some would say most of those people are guys who are trying to pack some serious muscles and finally look like their favorite action heroes but, I’d have to disagree. My sister is living proof, as she has been trying to gain some weight for years now. Well, in case this sounds like you – here are 8 ways to gain weight.
Exercise and increased calorie intake are one of the best ways to gain weight but I don’t need to tell you that – do I? Unfortunately, not everything works for everybody and I must point out that this especially goes for guys and their efforts to go from Woody Allen to Vin Diesel in just a couple of short months. Exercise does have its benefits, that’s for sure, so instead of overdoing the junk food hoping that’s all it takes to put some meat on those bones, opt for definition that will give you curves in all the right places. Exercise plans needed to gain weight and muscle mass differ from the ones people use when they want to lose weight so, if you will be paying for the gym, do yourself a favor and make sure to choose the one with fitness trainers (and/or consultants). And now, let’s focus on the food…
2. Focus on Healthy Fats
Junk food and animal fats are, of course, bad; eating too much of them is often quite an ineffective, not to mention one of the most unhealthy ways to gain weight. Yes, you will gain weight but most of it will just be belly fat. Are you willing to sacrifice your good health for a flabby, unattractive belly? Of course not! Fats are indeed necessary but in order to make sure your weight gain is a healthy one, you must focus on the foods containing good fats such as olive oil, fish, nuts.
3. Eat Food Rich in Calories
You need proteins, vitamins, fats, carbs… You need them all, we all do. Trying to gain weight and trying to lose it don’t differ much in terms of the strategies used to achieve it. People focused on weight loss must find ways to have satisfying, tasty meals with fewer calories and people trying to gain weight must do the same with more calories. So add a slice of cheese to your sandwich, grate boiled eggs into your mashed potato and feel free to try every trick in the book to make your meal… no, not bigger - better.
4. Give Your Appetite a Boost
There are plenty of appetite killers out there but, luckily, the same can be said for smart and often quite enjoyable ways of dealing with the lack of this natural cry for food. Let’s take alcohol, for example. Now, too much of it is definitely a bad thing but that one glass of wine everybody has been talking about is not only good for your heart but will help you feel hungrier too. Alcohol is a known appetite booster so if you happen to like appetizers (hah, cool name, huh?), I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t enjoy them even when you’re not dining out.
5. Have a Snack… or Two
Planned weight gain isn’t based on the formula, “Okay, I have three meals per day and I must make sure I stuff myself until I feel like I’m going to explode.” My sister eats a lot and she still can’t gain a lot of weight and that’s all thanks to the fact that she has two, maximum three big meals and pretty much nothing going on between those. So…. Snack! I’m talking healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and dairy products but you can always toss in a peanut butter sandwich or a few of those delicious wholegrain cookies. You don’t need potato chips or Cheetos as they are nothing but bad fats and empty calories. If you live a busy life, you might want to stock up on protein bars because those are a really good snack and just making sure you have a few in your bag at all times will make sure you never miss a snack again.
6. Healthy Lifestyle
Okay… healthier! I realize real people with real everyday stuff going on simply can’t allow themselves to shut down switch into “zen” mode. Providing for the family, dealing with work-related issues, kids, bills, parents, in-laws… you name it. A certain dose of chaos simply can’t be predicted or prevented. What I’m trying to say is this – take a moment to assess your situation and figure out how to incorporate a healthy “diet” and exercise plan into it. Don’t skip meals because you’re “too busy to eat” and definitely find something that relaxes you because even stress can mess with your appetite and ability to gain weight.
7. Count Your Calories
Some people have a fast metabolism while others have so many things going on in their lives that their bodies burn everything they eat so they never manage to gain any weight. Now, once you finally decide to start doing more than just inquiring about ways to gain weight, you’ll definitely want to figure out your recommended daily calorie intake and start counting calories. I will not give you any numbers here as they depend on the person in question, so try using some of the many free online calculators, instead. The point is this – if your daily calorie intake is about 2000 calories and you’d like to gain weight, you’d need to add about 500 calories more each day. However, if you’re not counting your calories, you can’t be sure you’re really making it happen. A month goes by, nothing happens and you’re thinking, “Okay, this isn’t working for me.” You have a feeling that you ate more and you probably did, but maybe not enough… or not the right food… So count!
Protein shakes and all those “miraculous” powders aren’t really the healthiest things in the world – we all know that. However, saying that every single supplement out there is potentially dangerous would be totally unfair as well. So, if you are really serious about your weight gain, consulting a nutritionist would be a very smart thing to do. One of my sister’s best friends has been a “bean pole” up until a year ago and she’s a whole different (and might I add much curvier) person now. What happened is this- she had some minor health issues and was prescribed multivitamin pills to try to help strengthen her immunity, those apparently contained something called a “vitamin B complex” which (according to her) made her feel hungry more often. Now, I’m no doctor myself so, if you feel like nothing is working for you, consult your doctor and/or nutritionist and see if there is a healthy supplement you can use.
Not really a shocking discovery, huh? Well, the truth is that there is no magical way to either gain or lose weight, so I hope reading these tips gave you a few ideas on how to change your life for the better and reminded you that you must try hard every step of the way. But, did I cover it all? Probably not, so feel free to share ideas and add some other ways to gain weight that others (and I) haven’t heard of.
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