If you want to gain weight, it is important that you do it in the right way. You don’t need to consume high-calorie, energy-dense foods such as sugary drinks, sweets, and bakery items for this purpose. While these items lead to gaining weight, they also have a negative impact on your health. Therefore, it is important to know the tips for gaining weight safely and healthily. This article tells you about how to gain weight using the correct methods.
How to Gain Weight
1. Increasing Per Day Calories
As per the recommendations, consuming 300-500 calories more than the total energy expenditure of the day leads to a steady weight gain. For a faster weight gain, calories up to 1,000 kcal can be increased per day. But, be mindful of what you eat. Include healthy calories in your diet. Even though sugary drinks and junk foods are high-calorie foods, they tend to increase a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases. You can increase calories by adding nuts, seeds, cottage cheese, fruits, or whole-grain products to your diet.
2. Add Macronutrients to Your Diet
As part of a healthy diet, including macronutrients like protein, fats, and carbohydrates in your diet will help you gain weight.
Protein: Following a high-protein diet plan helps in building muscles that leads to an overall weight gain. Consuming 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight increases a person’s muscle mass. A high-protein diet is one of the best diets for healthy weight gain. High-protein foods include meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, legumes, nuts, etc.
Carbohydrates: Opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes over simple carbohydrates e.g. white bread, rice, bakery products, etc. Even though complex carbs keep you fuller for longer, reducing appetite, your body is still receiving all the right nutrients to keep it healthy and fit. Introducing complex carbohydrates increases the number of calories as well as nutrients in the diet.
Fats: Similar to carbohydrates, including high-fat foods is a great way of increasing calories and nutrients in the diet. But it is important to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats are generally monounsaturated (olives, peanut, canola oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (sunflower seeds, flax seeds, corn oil, safflower oil, salmon, mackerel, walnuts). Unhealthy fats usually include saturated and trans fats. Thus, one of the ways to gain weight is choosing healthy fats over unhealthy fats.
3. Eat Three to Five Meals a Day
Increasing the meal frequency throughout the day is an easy way of increasing calorie intake. Instead of having three large meals, opt for 5 to 6 small meals. This helps in increasing calorie intake. Snacking is also important when you are on the journey of gaining weight. Consume snacks that are high in protein and healthy carbohydrates. High-energy snacks include protein bars, hummus, peanut butter, chickpeas, dates, nuts, homemade popcorn, custard, etc.
4. Drink High-Calorie Smoothies or Shakes
Add high-calorie smoothies and shakes to your diet. These are not only high in calories but are highly nutritious as well. Suitable ingredients for healthy shakes include nuts, different kinds of fruits, milk, yogurt, and seeds. Hence, consuming high-calorie smoothies and shakes is perfect for people who want to gain weight by increasing their daily calories.
5. Weight Training
Weight training is a vital part of weight gain. Experts recommend weight training at least three times a week for gaining muscles and weight. It helps in gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass. You gain weight by building muscle. Moreover, exercise also stimulates your appetite. People who work out on regular basis usually pay attention to their caloric intake to ensure that their body is getting sufficient nutrients.
Some weight gain foods that are healthy and nutrient-dense are:
- Smoothies and Shakes: Blend fruits like bananas, strawberries, nuts, dates, oats, and liquid of your choice. You can also add a scoop of protein powder.
- Protein bars: Protein bars and cereal bars are now commonly available in Pakistan. However, you can also make these at home. Ingredients include blended dates, nuts, flax seeds, protein powder, oats, milk, and chocolate. You can easily find recipes online.
To make it easy and simple for you, we have made a checklist for weight gain. This list can definitely help you answer how to gain weight healthily and safely. The checklist is as follows:
- First and foremost, calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Consume 300-500kcal more than your normal TDEE.
- Eat 3-5 meals per day.
- Increase protein intake for muscle building.
- Choose energy-dense and nutrient-dense foods.
- Add smoothies and shakes to your diet.
- Plan and prepare for the week ahead.
You can also have a look at diet plan for weight loss with easily available Pakistani foods.