Do you know anyone who wants to gain weight? (Lol yes those people do exist).
Before you close this article because you don't think it applies to you, stop, because it does.
One of the most important things you can do to take control of your diet and your weight to get the long-term health results you want, is to have a complete and whole understanding of nutrition and what causes weight loss and weight gain. The more you understand and learn about the big picture no matter what weight you're trying to move towards, the easier it will be for you to achieve your health goals.
So listen up because today I give you 3 things you need to do to gain weight (or not do if you want to lose weight).
How to (Safely) Gain Weight
1. The first thing you need to know before you start the weight gain venture is… do you really need to gain weight!?
In the land of the USA where 69% of Americans are overweight and 35% are obese (1) skinny people look abnormal! Lean people now look like misfits compared to 30 to 50 years ago.
This promotes comments such as "that boy needs some meat on his bones" when ideally, being as lean as possible without being underweight is optimal -- the best weight to be at.
Before you start implementing my below weight-gaining tips, make sure you really need to gain weight. How do you do this?
Check your BMI here. If you're at a normal weight, great! Know you're where you're supposed to be. If not...
2. Eat more food
I've noticed this frequently, especially with hard-working men. When they're highly focused and working they just don't eat! If you want to gain weight you have to eat food and you're going to have to eat more of it.
If you traditionally eat a meat and cheese sandwich for lunch and are now substituting that for an avocado veggie sandwich, you're going to be eating less calories for the same quantity of food.
So, you're going to have to either eat 2 sandwiches and or eat it with a baked sweet potato or a box of black bean soup. Additionally, you should eat snacks or mini-meals between your meals.
Starting to eat more food and interrupting your work to eat it, is nothing but a big ol' HABIT. You need to start doing it everyday and after a 1-3 months, this habit will stick and will become second nature. Set an alarm on your watch for the same break and lunch times each day. When it goes off, eat! (no matte what!)
3. Eat more high calorie dense foods
Calorie density is a measurement of the amount of calories per volume of any given food. This means some foods will have more calories even though they're in a small amount of food and these are great for someone trying to gain weight.
Why? Because they're an easy way for you to get more calories in your diet without having to eat food that will contribute to you getting chronic disease (or erectile dysfunction) later in life (skinny people die of heart attacks too).
Healthy, calorie-dense foods include...
- Processed 100% whole grains such as whole-grain breads, crackers, pitas, tortillas, english muffins etc (I love Ezekiel whole-grain flour products)
- Juice and drinks. Calories consumed in liquid form don't prevent people from eating less in food form. Great news for weight-gaining wanna-bees. Choose 100% fruit juice or add plant-milk to your oatmeal or smoothies instead of water.
- Dried fruit. Because the water has been removed from the fruit, dried fruit isn't as filling as fresh fruit. You can easily eat 2 TB of raisins and still be hungry versus the same amount of calories in grapes. Add dried fruit to your meals or eat as snacks.
- High-fat plant foods such as olives, nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado and whole soy products can be added more generously to your meals to increase the caloric-density of your food. Add an extra TB of ground flax seed to your oatmeal (along with dried fruit and plant-milk) and you'll easily add more calories to this important meal.
Take Control Now
What's the greatest insight you gained from this article?
Share your comments by clicking 'comment' below.
1. CDC, Overweight and Obesity FastStats. Accessed online Oct. 2014 at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm