Being underweight can have a lot of physical and psychological challenges. Though it is less common, many people do, in fact, suffer from not being able to pack on essential pounds, or succeed in gaining muscle. Many individuals who fall below the expected Body Mass Index (BMI) face challenges such as low immunity and fatigue. Others face problems like lack of strength in essential joints and muscles, making the entire system fragile. There are several causes for being below the recommended weight, which include: high metabolism, genetics, illness, mental illness, and even frequent exercising. If you’re looking to gain weight and/or put on some muscle, learn how to do it healthfully. Check out our four healthy tips for gaining weight.
1. Say Yes to Strength Training
The right exercises can be a great way to gain weight. Body weight training or endurance activities may not be the right way to go as they burn calories without encouraging muscle growth.
Whereas strength training exercises with fewer repetitions are useful to promote muscle growth.
The advantage of strength training exercises is that they increase your muscle mass while alleviating fat percentage, keeping you in great health and shape.
You will witness a significant change in your body composition while strength training, and you can reach your weight goals easily through this method.
Strength training exercises are easy to do both at home as well as at the gym. You barely need any equipment to perform these exercises and just understanding the proper technique can even help you benefit from the fundamental exercises.
Females and males have different areas of the body where the fat gets stored. Muscle mass distribution is also significantly different.
Hence, you need to try out a few exercises. These exercises take a while before they show results, but the process is worthwhile as it strengthens your body, especially near joints.
Here are a few exercises that can efficiently build muscles and encourage weight gain.
- Bench press
2. Focus on Recovery
While strength training promises to encourage muscle mass, adopting good diet patterns during this time can get you closer to your goals. One of the most common mistakes while trying to improve muscle mass is not providing the body with the right nutrients to recover from workout. It leads to loss of muscle mass and no improvement in weight.
Load up on pre-workout supplements to boost energy. They help you stay engaged for longer, and also provide energy to perform intense workouts. Muscle tissue density is higher compared to fat, and hence, it is possible to gain weight with complementary strength training and diets.
Recovery is critical for muscle building as your body gears up to heal tissues and strengthen them with the help of protein. Muscle building happens post-workout, along with the right nutrients and electrolytes to bring your body to a state of balance.
Complete your workout and then consume protein-rich meals or supplements to support recovery. Rest is important for muscle building as well. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep. You can also try natural sleep aids to get the recommended quality sleep needed for true recovery.
3. Eat Every Few Hours
One of the most common reasons people find it difficult to put on weight is due to a fast metabolism. Even when diets include enough nutrients to add weight, the metabolism can efficiently convert them to energy, thus leaving very little to store. We teach how to do this in our Target phase inside Phase it Up.
Supplying your body with enough food every four hours can help retain a portion of the nutrients in the body and add mass. Your body requires a constant source of energy to function. When you skip a meal, it utilizes the stored energy including the muscle mass instead of burning your food for energy.
Having properly chartered meals at regular intervals ensures your muscle mass stays intact, and all the important tissue remains untouched. It also helps you gain muscle mass.
Plan a proper diet chart and spread your meals with intervals of three to four hours in between. There are several important considerations while planning your meals. First, erratic eating behaviors will do more harm than good when it comes to weight gain.
So munching junk foods in between these intervals or substituting the planned meal with them will not help. Eating too often is not the key here. It’s the consistency with the right percentage of macronutrients in your eating timing and meals. It also helps regulate your digestion and enhance muscle mass.
Also, whole foods with minimal ingredients and processing tend to carry a spectrum of nutrients crucial for building mass as opposed to processed food. Whole foods help you gain healthy weight the right way without simply encouraging fat gain. While weight gain is important, doing it the right way with healthy food is essential.
4. Modify Your Diet
If your regular diet does not support weight gain, you need to understand the right type of nutrients to consume to encourage muscle mass. Start consuming more calories. The number of calories you consume needs to be more than what you burn through various activities in a day.
You can calculate your typical calorie needs with an online calculator and understand how many calories your body consumes in a day. Consuming at least 3500 calories or more on an average per day can be beneficial to reach your weight goals.
Again, you need to figure out the right foods to elevate your calorie count. Junk foods are strictly off-limits. Try to increase your calorie intake by including sugars from whole foods, oils, and proteins.
Coconut oil, hemp seeds and avocado are brimming with healthy fats and can be a good way to improve your weight. You can also explore healthy nut butters that help with weight gain.
Dried fruits are an example of a food people trying to lose weight don’t touch. But, if you buy sugar-free varieties of straight up dried fruit, you can enjoy them. Removing the water shrinks the portion by almost 75 percent for a higher calorie, but healthy snack. You can also choose carbs in the form of whole grains and complex carbohydrates to encourage muscle mass.
Elevating your protein intake is one of the most powerful and effective means of improving muscle mass and gaining weight. Protein is the building block of muscle. Consuming enough protein ensures you have the right amount of energy, and amino acids to function without having to dip into the stored reserve.
With proper protein levels, you can prevent the breaking down of lean muscle mass and support muscle building. You can use natural sources of protein such as red meat, eggs, or even protein supplements to reach your ideal weight.
Be patient. Consistency is the key to good results in your weight gain journey. Muscle building and weight gain cannot happen overnight. So, follow your diet plans and training diligently, and it will give you the promised results in time.