So many times we find articles on how to lose weight, which is super key in getting your health back on track. Most Americans are on this side of the table. However, there are a number of people that are looking to GAIN healthy weight! Whether they have had eating issues, or a fast metabolism, or are a competitive body builder, or returning from a major surgery, doesn’t matter. There are right ways to gain healthy weight, and there are… let’s just say, not so right ways! Let’s dive in!
Because there is quite a large number of Americans that are overweight, fat shaming has become a problem. It is never okay to fat shame a person. I once heard, “you aren’t fat, you HAVE fat”. Everybody has fat, this is definitely true, and you can’t actually be fat, you can just have more fat than others. While I don’t condone being overweight because that can lead to many health issues, I seriously don’t condone fat shaming.
On the other side of that spectrum, there is such a thing as skinny shaming! And that’s NOT OKAY either! You have no idea about that person’s story and life and what they’ve been through, are going through, or have yet to go through. No one deserves to be shamed because of their weight. Maybe that “skinny” person is desperately trying to gain weight. You have no idea. So whether you’re fat, or skinny, or somewhere in between, leave other people’s bodies out of it! You focus on YOU!
Ok, rant over. Moving on.
It’s important to remember the basics. If your calories in equals your calories out, you’ll maintain your weight. Just an FYI – THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW MUCH MUSCLE OR FAT YOU HAVE! It’s simply an overall balance. So, in order to gain weight, you’d need to eat more calories than you use (calories in > calories out). Now that we understand that, let’s gain some healthy weight!
Gain Healthy Weight
Gaining healthy weight isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can’t just go stuff 5 cheeseburgers down your throat and call it a day! Yes, you’ll probably gain weight, but the weight you gain will largely be fat and your cholesterol will likely suffer! So check out these tips on how to gain HEALTHY weight, not just any weight!
Eat More Food
That sounds simple right? Gradually increase the number of calories you’re eating everyday so as to not feel uncomfortably full. The best way to do this is by tracking your calories. I’m not usually a fan of this, because I like to keep things simple, but this is the most effective way. If that’s too much for you (and I don’t blame you), make a batch of these oatmeal peanut butter energy balls, and eat an extra one on day one. Then have two on the day two. Basically, add in an extra snack each day, something over the top of what you’d usually eat. Eating more food will give you more calories, which we just learned is KEY!
PS. I’d probably cap it at 4 energy balls a day 🙂
Nutrient dense foods
Not all foods are created equal though. Like I said above, you don’t want to eat extra cheeseburgers all day, every day. You want to focus on nutrient dense food. Non-processed food. Healthy Food. Yes, you need to eat more foods, but you need to eat the right foods.
Carbohydrates are used up very quickly in the body, so go ahead and add in more. I’d recommend about 60% carbs, 20% protein, and 20% fat. Go for whole grain bread and brown rice. However, I am NOT a registered dietician or nutritionist. If you are looking for a specific meal plan, I highly recommend seeking their help.
Some great nutrient dense foods are nuts, dried fruits, and avocados. Another helpful tip? Add in oils wherever you can. Olive oil is a healthy fat which can increase your calorie count, but you won’t feel like you’re eating more.
Try a Smoothie
A smoothie is a fantastic snack to add to your day! What’s awesome about smoothies is that you don’t typically feel full after one because you’re drinking your calories instead of eating them. This will allow you to actually get more total calories in during the day! You can also throw in whatever you like (just stay away from all the sugary stuff). Sometimes I’ll share my smoothie recipes in my Instagram, check it out!
Eat before bed
You normally hear about NOT eating before bed as a way to lose some weight, and the opposite is true too. Our bodies rest and recover and grow over night, so eating a healthy snack right before bed can help you gain weight! Again, choose the RIGHT snack, not two bowls of ice cream. How about one of these honey banana muffins?
Eat a Variety
When you are eating, whether it’s a full meal or a snack, try to fit in carbs, protein, and fats. Create a balance of the food groups. Don’t just eat some celery and carrots, add in some hummus and crackers too!
Top off Foods
To add in extra calories, top off your normal food with little bits. For example, if you’re having chili for dinner, top it off with some cheese and crushed up crackers. If you’re drinking a smoothie, top it off with fresh fruit, or nuts, or whatever else sounds good with the mix you’ve made!
This one makes me happy! Ok, so doing a lot of aerobic exercise will burn calories. And you don’t want to burn a ton of calories because that means you have to eat EVEN MORE! So I don’t suggest training for a marathon if you’re trying to gain healthy weight. BUT, lifting weights is a much better option! It’s going to help turn those carbohydrates you ate into muscle! And that’s exactly what you need!
If you need some help on what exercises to do, check these one’s out:
In the End
Remember, eating more calories throughout the day will ensure you’re gaining weight. Eating nutrient dense food, learning where and how to fit in extra calories, plus lifting weights, will ensure you’re gaining HEALTHY weight!
What tips and tricks do you have for gaining weight?
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