"How can I gain weight?" - Ask that question, and all you'll get will be bemused looks. For most people, that question is like hearing somebody ask - "How do I have a car crash?" or "Somebody please tell me, how do I break my leg?"
However, for many people, especially those who have an ectomorph body type, frustrated at being stuck on the lighter side of the weighing scale, it is a legitimate quest. For those who are well endowed, there are tips and diets galore on how to lose weight. However, for those searching for tips on how to gain weight, it can be a lonesome struggle indeed. So, for anyone out there desperately seeking effective weight gain tips, here are a few that will help you to gain weight fast.
Although that may be obvious, it is good advise. Put simply, in order to gain weight you will need to consume more calories than you expend. However, in order for this to be effective, it has to be done in a controlled manner. First begin by counting how many calories you consume in a day. Don't make any changes in the diet, just eat as you usually do, and check how many calories you consume normally. Try being as exact as possible, since this is a very important step. And also, check out your weight. Then, starting from the next day, increase your calorie intake by about 300 to 500 calories. So, for example, if you normally consume 1,500 calories per day, you should start eating 2000 calories a day for the rest of the week. Also, instead of three large meals a day, or eating food all day long, it is advisable to spread the calories over five to six smaller meals.
While increasing the calorie intake will influence how much you weigh directly, it will be the kind of food you consume that will influence the kind of weight you put on. Hence, if you want an aesthetically pleasing and healthy weight gain, comprising the weight of lean muscle instead of just body fat, it is important to focus on eating wholesome food and avoiding junk food. A healthy diet should comprise 20-50 % carbohydrates, 30-50 % protein, and about 20-40 % fat, most of which should consist of essential fatty acids. Various ratios in these ranges can be worked out according to individual requirements.
While increasing calorie intake and eating healthy food is important for weight gain, a weight-training program tailored towards adding muscle mass on the body, is an integral factor that needs to be incorporated. Your weight-training routine should be concentrated on exercises that involve compound weightlifting, which means exercises that require the use of multiple groups of muscles such as bench press or squat. The weights that you lift should allow doing 6-12 reps, each set. While ranges that involve higher reps will tone up your muscles, they will not be enough to signal muscle growth in the body. With each workout, try increasing the reps or the amount of weight to be lifted.
However, care must be taken not to go overboard about workouts. Very often, those who have difficulty in gaining weight, turn into gym addicts, which can actually be counterproductive. First, because it burns off too many calories, which could otherwise help in building muscle, and second, because the muscles get over-trained by being worked out too hard, resulting in making them unresponsive.
Choose Supplements Wisely
While there are plenty of supplements available in the market, most of them are inferior compared to natural food, especially to build muscles, in order to gain weight. Natural food is superior as it possesses many naturally occurring minerals and vitamins that are beneficial for muscle growth. In fact, it is advisable to avoid weight gain powders, because most of them are just empty calories, not very different from the junk foods in the market. Some of the supplements that may be worth trying out are L-glutamine (in moderate amounts), creatine monohydrate, and a good protein powder devoid of artificial flavoring, sweeteners, and colors. However, before taking any kind of supplement, you need to consult with a medical practitioner about its efficacy and safety.
A big dose of motivation, an effective weight training program, and a healthy diet will be the answer to your 'How to Gain Weight Fast' query. And better still, once you achieve your goal of gaining weight, you won't need to ask that question again, and face those bemused looks thrown at you. All the best!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.