This topic “How to gain weight” is very close to my heart as once I was a kind of person who faced tough times gaining weight and muscles but as my knowledge of fitness evolved, I became aware of the fact that losing weight is much more tough than gaining weight, it need a lot of self-control, dedication, determination, will power.
If you want to lose weight then you can read my blog – How to lose weight. But now let’s stay on track and let’s talk about gaining weight. Before giving any tips and tricks to gain weight, you should understand the science behind this body transformation as to know why some people have tough time in gaining weight and also you should understand your body and body type and see what works best for you and what not.
Endomorphs-They are the kind of person who puts on weight easily and they are on the higher side of fat percentage. Although they don’t find it hard to gain weight but they have to work very to maintain their weight or lose extra fat in body. Example of this kind of body type is Sachin Tendulkar.
Mesomorphs- Mesomorphs can put on muscle easily, They have square shaped frame of body. Obviously because of their body type, they don’t have to work hard to gain weight. Example of this body type is Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Ectomorphs-Person with ectomorph kind of body struggles to put on weight and they have lower fat percentage,and people for whom this article is most relevant falls under this category and they have to move to mesomorphs to gain weight in the right way. Example of this body type is Ishant Sharma
As you must have understood the different body types and you must also be aware in which body type you fall to change your body in a better way. The best example of a person who had completely changed his body type is Virat Kohli, who was an endomorph basically and managed to change ( obviously with his hard work and dedication) his body type from endomorph to mesomorph. Now as you have understood the science of body type, let’s move to some tips to gain weight.
Tips to gain weight
Eat more calories than you burn- The basic “Mantra” of weight gain is that you have to take in more calories than you burn through exercise or any other activity. For this first you have to calculate your maintenance calorie level, for this you can use various calorie calculator. Right way to approach weight gain goal is to create small caloric excess over your maintenance calories level.
Calorie Calculator- https://www.prokerala.com/health/health-calculators/weight-gain-calculator.php
Eat frequently- To gain weight you have to eat frequently. The idea is that to gain weight you don’t have to eat more than your appetite but you have to focus on eating more often and frequently. When you take one big meal and there is a long gap between your meals than your system remain idle for a long time which is not good for your weight gain goal instead you have to take small but frequent meals and this will accelerates your process of weight gain. I recommend that you should eat atleast three meals a day if you are on a weight gain diet.
Take a balanced diet- You have to take diet which is rich enough to exceed your daily protein, fat and carbohydrates requirements. In your diet, you have to focus mainly on good carbs as this will help you in you weight gain journey and will provide you with ample amount of energy for day to day work. Secondly you should also include good fats and enough protein in your diet.
60-25-10 Rule- To gain weight in a healthy way you have to educate yourself about diet, foods exercise and other related stuff. Start understanding macro-nutrient. Textbook method is 60-25-10 rule, according to which 60% of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates, 25 % from protein and 10% from fats. Remember Protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9 calories a gram.
You have to base your macro-nutrient intake on your daily calorie count for this let me give you an example- Like you are a person of 21years of age with weight 48 kg and height 172 cm and your goal is to gain 2kg weight in one month with moderate exercise and three meals per day, so your daily calorie requirement will be 2687calories per day(20% more than your maintenance level recommended) and in one meal you have to consume 897calories and fat, protein and carbs should be taken in one meal as-Fat- 30(gms), Protein-38.7(gms), Carbs- 118(gms)
Don’t ignore Micro-nutrients- To gain weight and live a healthy life micro-nutrients are as important as macro-nutrients, so you should not ignore these in your diet. You need to include iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and other micro nutrients in your diet.
Eat junk food- You must be wondering that what this man is suggesting , everyone else recommend to stay away from junk and he is suggesting to go that way, so ladies and gentleman let me make it clear for you, if nothing works for you and you want to experiment something insane( I have experimented this and won’t suggest you anything without experience) then you can take this way which is a short cut and you have to do this very carefully as this will affect your body in a bad way, this tip will make you lazy and the weight you will gain through this is not a good way to gain weight.
In this shortcut of weight gain, instead of staying away from junk food you have to consume junk food very carefully and in a controlled and balanced way. You can eat burger and pizzas with every two days. You have to increase your sugar intake( which is obviously a bad carb source), you can eat samosas, kachoris, and other junk food in a controlled manner but remember this will have bad impact on your overall health if not taken in a balanced and controlled way.
Don’t drink water before meals- You have to consider one thing that you should not drink water before meals. The reason is that water does not have calories and nutrition and if you drink water before any meal it will decrease your appetite and will also hamper your weight gain goals, so avoid it.
Drink milk- If you are a vegetarian then Most nutritionally balanced food which is easily available and is a cheap source of protein and all other nutrient is milk and therefore it must be include in your daily diet to gain weight. Milk also boosts your mental health, increase bone density and it has numerous other benefits. But some people are lactose( an acid found in milk) intolerant, they can either use chocolate ,vanilla strawberry flavored powders available in market or they can try other vegan sources which are equally impactful as milk like Paneer, Soya chunks etc.
Weight gainer shakes- Although it would be stupid to buy something which is easily available at your home for free or at a negligible price, so is weight gainer shakes. Weight gainer shakes are actually packed carbohydrates and you know you can avail cars easily at your home, potatoes are the good source of carbs, fruits, dairy products ,rice, starchy vegetables are also goods sources of carbohydrates and for this you don’t have spent that much amount which you spend on weight gain shakes.
But you have to understand one thing there are lot of people who don’t have a good appetite and they can not consume so much food to fulfill their carb needs, there are also people who don’t have time to purchase or eat so much food, there are also people who are psychologically lazy and want their life to be hassle-free, so for them weight gainer shakes make life easy and they can consume required amount of carbs in one go.
Add cream to your coffee– Cream is a good source of carbohydrates and if you are a coffee addict than you should add a little amount of cream in your coffee to boost your carb intake.
Eat protein first and veggies last- if you eat veggies first while taking your meal than it hampers your appetite and you will end consuming less nutrition after that meal, so if you are on weight gain diet than you should start you meal with protein, carbs and fats and end it with veggies and low calories sources.
Don’t smoke and drink– drinking alcohol and smoking harm your body in many way. It also hampers your weight gain goal by making environment of your body toxic and most things you do to gain weight don’t work as they should. These activities also make you an addict and have harmful impact on your mental health.
Homemade protein smoothies- You can prepare homemade protein smoothies with whey protein and other protein sources and let me tell you one such recipe- Take one glass milk, a banana and mix a scoop of whey protein powder and sugar according to your taste( it is recommended to avoid sugar) grind above mixture in a mixer grinder and your homemade protein smoothie is ready. You can use honey instead of sugar and can also use different nuts to make it more nutritious. This homemade shake should include a balanced amount of protein, carbs and fats.
Take rice, red meats, nuts, potatoes, whole eggs- Rice is good source of carbohydrates and it gives you energy for your workouts. Red meat is a very good source of protein and it fulfills your protein needs for your weight gain goals. Nuts are very good sources of fatty acids and other micro-nutrients and you advised to include these in your weight gain diet. Eggs are the best and the cheapest source of a good quality protein and these are must include in weight gain diet.
Consume atleast 1gm protein per kg bodyweight- Minimum protein quantity which you need to consume per day to gain weight at moderate rate is 1gm protein per kg of your body weight, which means if you are 50 kg person, you need to consume atleast 50 gm of protein per day to gain weight at a moderate rate. To gain weight at a above moderate rate you need to take 1.5-2 gm of protein per kg of your body weight.
Increase your appetite a little bit gradually– After deciding your weight gain goal, you don’t have to start consuming a lot of food right away instead you should focus on making a balanced diet plan and increase your appetite little bit gradually. This process won’t take toll on your body and you can easily shift towards a new lifestyle.
Track your weight- you should track your weight every week in similar conditions, keep analyzing your progress and make much needed course corrections and changes in your diet and exercise routine, these efforts will keep you on track in your weight gain journey.
Change your body environment- Trigger your anabolic or building state through using fat sources for required calories, take atleast basic amount of carbs and protein in your diet. Many food items increase toxicity in your body like tea and coffee in excess makes your body acidic which hampers your weight gain goals, sugar and junk food also disturbs your body environment so avoid them.
Lift weights and improve your strength- Diet alone can’t help you to gain weight, you also have to introduce some amount of physical activity in your lifestyle to gain weight rapidly and what’s better than weight lifting and resistance training. Diet alone will give you the bulk and mass in body but to get the proper shape and size and to get good aesthetics you have perform some kind of weight training exercises. I would recommend that if you are working for a weight gain goal then you should not to do cardio and if you do then don’t do it excessively, you can do it once or twice a week.
Many beginner body builders and gymmers thinks that (obviously they are misguided by untrained trainers) lifting heavy weight will make them bulky and heavier but such is not the case if you are a beginner in gym then you should not focus on lifting heavy weights in your early days, it will harm you and you may also get injured as you have not spent much time in gym and in educating yourself about weights and weight lifting.
Lift Light weights with high reps for bulk and rep range should be 8-12, don’t go to failure , you don’t have to be harsh on your body to gain weight in your initial days. You just have to take a good diet and focus on little bit weight lifting exercise and I would also suggest you to avoid cardio if you are on a weight gain diet, cardio will take your body in a catabolic state and you will lose weight and muscles.
Some myths about weight gain being cleared
Gaining weight is easy than losing weight– Due to our conditioning we develop some beliefs about our health which we need to break. One of such belief is thinking that weight gain is tough in comparison to losing weight but believe me I have experienced it personally and you can also consult about any pro-fitness expert that weight gain is far more easy than you think in comparison to losing it and the reason is that It is easy to increase your appetite than controlling your temptations and fantasies for food. It is bit psychological.
There is difference between gaining weight and gaining muscle- You have to understand one thing that there is lot of difference between gaining weight and gaining muscles. You can increase your weight even by increasing your fat and water weight but that is temporary and short term and also unhealthy. Instead you should focus on increasing your weight with muscle mass which will take time but is long term and healthy way of gaining weight.
To gain weight, you cannot be constant in diet, follow protein goals, educate yourself about protein, carbs and fat content in different foods, include protein source with every meal and also include a decent amount of fat and carbs to accelerate your weight gain. Lift light weights with high rep range and avoid cardiovascular activities. There is no shortcut to healthy weight gain and you have to religiously follow above tips to gain weight in a healthy manner.