Weight gain, like weight loss, is a difficult journey for many people. If you are often complaining “I don’t seem to gain weight no matter how much I eat”, then it means that your body is biologically programmed to stay at a certain weight. If you are trying to break out of the ‘skinny’ mould, these tips will help you gain weight naturally.
1. Proteins are your friends
A goal to gain weight naturally is not a licence to eat junk and unhealthy food. You can either choose to gain muscle or fat. And in the long run, putting on lean muscle is the better way to go. So, avoid piling on the kilos with high sugar foods and instead get your proteins from lean meat, eggs and lentils.
Get the edge: Make sure you eat protein for breakfast because your last would have been around 8-10 hours ago. This will give your body a chance to catch up with muscle building.
2. Train, Don’t Exercise
Best way to gain muscle is through strength training. Exercises like cardio and running will be counterproductive for you as they burn calories, which you are trying hard to retain. Instead, focus on muscle building through weight lifting, push-ups and low-intensity aerobics.
Get the edge: Make sure you have enough energy before hitting the gym. Have a carb-loaded snack like chocolate 20 minutes before a workout to get your blood sugar levels up.
Follow this exercise routine:
3. You Need More Calories
If you feel like you are hungry no matter how much you eat, then you simply aren’t eating right. Stay away from complex carbohydrates like pasta, white bread, fries and noodles. They not only give you unhealthy calories, but also get digested quickly, leaving you hungry often. Instead, get your calories from fat. Make sure you get monounsaturated fat foods in your diet such as chicken, egg yolk, nuts, olive oil and fish. Here’s how many calories you need in a day
Inactive women: 1,600 + 500 extra calories + the calories burnt during work out
Active women: 2,100 + 500 extra calories + the calories burnt during work out
Get the edge: More calories doesn’t mean more meals. Get your fix with nutrient and calorie dense foods to avoid mid-meal snacking.
4. Swap Your Supplements With Natural Options
Doctors may prescribe you dietary supplements such as protein powder, nutrition bars and tablets and capsules. Before you take the medical route though, try natural alternatives first. Replace your protein shake with an avocado smoothie, get your whey proteins from egg whites and oily fish. Cheese is a good alternative to a nutrition bar. It gives you the right amount of protein and fat and will keep you full as well. Sprinkle your salad with nuts and seeds to add extra calories and get your vitamin intake.
If you still don’t gain weight after trying these tips, then add 500 (healthy) calories more to your day.