Image by: Adelie Freyja Annabel
By Jake Bradshaw
In many circumstances, gaining weight can be just as hard as losing weight. With so many diet and lifestyle books on the market, most of us feel like we know it all. But gaining weight isn’t just about eating whatever you want.
If you don’t want to look like a sumo wrestler by the end of your diet plan, you need to bring special attention to detail. This is the only way you will ever get the results you want.
#1) Not All Calories Are Created Equal
People focus too much on calories when they’re trying to gain weight. After all, it’s the prime thing we need to gain it. But this doesn’t mean you should go to the store and stock up on everything you find.
If you want to gain healthy mass, instead of squishy and unbalanced fat, your focus needs to be on high caloric foods that are also a good source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Every bite must be full of good ingredients, not sugary, fatty, and salty foods. These will screw up your metabolism, making it hard to gain power back.
A good idea is to look for the nutrient content first and foremost. From there, adding healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, hummus, granola, and organic peanut butter will give it just the right amount of calories you need to put your metabolism in the direction.
*Tip: Every other time you reach for water, instead, reach for organic fruit juice. This way, you’ll up the calories without adding all the sugar.
#2) Boost Up The Carbs & Protein!
These two components are the magic words when it comes to building mass and healthy weight. In fact, it works so well that NFL players are specifically told to up their carb and protein intake during training camp.
Carbs and protein not only give you calories, but they also give your muscles something to feed on while giving your metabolism an internal “upgrade,” training it to grab what it needs from the right source of foods. Think of it as a makeover for your digestive track. Here are some foods to start adding to your diet:
- Eggs – Only one has 6 grams of protein and 78 calories with A & B vitamins to enhance nerve response and vision. Because of its cholesterol content, never go over three a day.
- Fruits – Full of carbs, potassium, fiber and ZERO fat, fruits are must have in every meal.
- Whole Grain Pasta & Rice – An excellent source of carbohydrates, they also give you energy and allow your muscles to have a speedy recovery process after the gym.
- Frozen Yogurt Or Low-Fat Ice Cream – Yes, you read correctly. Both of these treats will not only keep you sane, but also give you calcium which will help your bones stay strong as they take on the duty of carrying more weight.
#3) Lift While You Eat
If you want to gain weight in all the right places, it’s crucial to increase your lifting routine in the gym and slightly decrease the cardio. But strength training works only with whatever food you supply your body. If you’re supplying it with more food than you regularly do, your muscles will suck it all in and use it to enhance their mass. This is a good thing.
Start by writing a diagram of whatever place on your body you want to enhance. The more protein and carbs you eat, the more you should focus on this area. Together, your muscles and fuel will target the parts of your body which are most stressed (i.e. the areas you’re working out most). The result is always going to be muscle growth.
*Tip: Eat something within 15 minutes of working out, even if you’re not hungry. Protein shake, yogurt, trail mix, energy/protein bars will allow you a speedy recovery while keeping your muscles hungry.
#4) Always Add, Never Subtract
Sometimes we can be obsessed with our food content that we get paranoid easily. More often than not, we will then take away important ingredients from the food out of fear of its content. Unless the content is nothing but chemicals or sugar, always keep it in the pot! Better yet, add more.
Potatoes are always a great addition and are full of carbohydrates. Another tip is to drizzle olive oil or canola oil on your salads. This will give you the nutrients your body needs while enhancing it the healthy fats necessary to gain mass.