Secrets Of Gaining Weight

Try asking people how to​ gain weight and you'll likely see some bewildered faces staring back at​ you. For the​ majority of​ people,​ hearing that question is​ akin to​ hearing the​ questions,​ "How do I stub my toe?" or​ "How do I run out of​ gas?"

Those confused faces not withstanding,​ the​ question is​ a​ legitimate one and one that frustrates those who find themselves on​ the​ light end of​ the​ scale. While those on​ the​ heavy end can't get through a​ commercial break or​ flip through more than five pages of​ a​ magazine without someone offering up a​ solution to​ their weight problems,​ it​ can be a​ lonely struggle for those who want to​ put on​ weight.

If you are lucky enough to​ get a​ reasoned response to​ your question,​ it​ will probably involve the​ words "eat more." That,​ despite being obvious,​ is​ great advice. Quite simply,​ to​ gain weight you will need to​ up your calorie consumption to​ the​ point where you consume more calories than you expend. Couple an​ increased caloric intake with a​ little weight training and you have the​ recipe for healthy weight gain.

You may think you eat a​ lot,​ even enough to​ keep pace with your more weight-furnished friends,​ but you are probably over-estimating your intake. After a​ trip to​ the​ doctor's office to​ rule out medical causes for your inability to​ bulk up (thyroid disease and other medical problems can hamper weight gain),​ a​ first step to​ designing an​ effective weight gain program is​ to​ journal your eating habits. Counting calories for a​ week will give you an​ accurate view of​ your diet.

From there,​ increase your daily caloric intake by about 300-500 calories until you start putting on​ the​ pounds. Keep in​ mind though,​ while your caloric intake will directly influence your bodyweight,​ it​ will be other factors like the​ types of​ food you eat and your weight training regimen that decide the​ type of​ weight you are putting on. So if​ you are after an​ aesthetically pleasing weight gain,​ that of​ lean muscle weight as​ opposed to​ just some extra body fat to​ lug around,​ it​ will be important to​ pay attention to​ these factors.

To get the​ most muscle out of​ your weight gain,​ avoid the​ junk food and focus on​ eating whole foods. a​ good weight gain diet should be composed of​ 30-50% protein,​ 20-50% carbohydrates and 20-40% fat (the majority of​ which should be essential fatty acids). Different ratios within these ranges will work differently for different people. Keep up your food journal and experiment to​ find the​ ratios that work best for you.

Providing your body with the​ materials it​ needs to​ build muscle is​ only one piece of​ the​ puzzle. a​ weight training program designed to​ give the​ body a​ reason to​ add some muscle will be very important to​ achieving your goals. Your workout routines should concentrate on​ compound weight lifting exercises (those that involve multiple muscle groups like the​ squat or​ bench press) with weights that allow you to​ do 6 to​ 12 reps per set. Higher rep ranges will tone your muscles but may not sufficiently signal the​ body into muscle growth. Try to​ either increase the​ amount of​ weight lifted or​ the​ reps completed with each workout.

Don't go overboard with your workouts. Two or​ three one-hour workouts per week done with intensity should do the​ trick. Too often those that have trouble gaining weight (hardgainers) spend too much time in​ the​ gym. This can be counterproductive in​ two ways. First,​ it​ means you are burning off a​ lot of​ the​ calories that could otherwise be used to​ build muscle and,​ second,​ you can over-train your muscles by working them too hard,​ basically making them unresponsive.

If you are looking for some company in​ your quest to​ gain weight,​ venture into the​ bodybuilding community. There you will find many people also seeking ways to​ put on​ lean muscle mass. You will also find many products marketed to​ help you gain weight. Be very cautious when looking at​ these products. Gaining weight may not be as​ in​ demand as​ losing weight but it​ is​ still big business and there are a​ lot of​ companies out there looking to​ take your money. While some of​ these products can help,​ others aren't necessary.

With a​ little motivation,​ a​ weight gain diet and a​ solid weight training program in​ place you will have all you need to​ achieve your gain weight goals. Better yet,​ you will never again have to​ ask that question that gets all those funny looks aimed back at​ you. Neha Rai is​ a​ consulting editor at​ Stay Fit Always

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