Most American’s view weight gain as a bad thing, in fact, most would love to lose a few pounds, but for those who struggle with healthy weight gain, or for those who need to meet specific goals for athletics, building muscle, or health related issues, gaining weight can be a real problem.
Many dieters focus too intently on what they are eating and how much they intake, and not enough about when they are eating, or how frequently they sit down for meals. Closely monitoring when you eat and what to eat at specific times in the day can greatly impact weight gain, or weight loss, and is equally as important as what types of foods you eat. Generally speaking, it is best to space your meals throughout the day instead of eating 2-3 large meals, and to eat slow digesting foods at night, such as casein protein, to prevent your body digesting your muscles. You should also never skip breakfast.
Putting on healthy weight means increasing your daily meal count to pack in more calories a day, and focusing on the intake of both proteins and carbohydrates in balance, as well as other essential nutrients.
One of the most important factors for gaining healthy weight is protein. According to myfooddiary.com, our body uses proteins for many different things. Protein is used for energy, and also as an enzyme to help with complex reactions, such as gene growth and metabolism. Proteins are also used to create and form muscles.
Proteins should be gathered from lean sources such as:
- Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Cod)
- Lean Red Meats
- Chicken and Turkey
- Whey or Soy Protein Supplements
The next piece of your dieting puzzle is carbohydrates. Again, according to myfooddiary.com, carbohydrates are used by our bodies to provide energy. It is best to focus on partaking of carbs with a low Glycemic Index , or carbs that have less effect on your blood sugar.
Healthy carbohydrates can be found in the following sources:
- Whole Wheat Pastas and Breads
- Fruits such as Apples, Peaches, Bananas, and Pineapple
- Brown Rice
Other Essential Nutrients –
- Healthy Fats
- Vitamins (B,C,A,D,E,K)
- Minerals, especially Calcium and Iron
The last thing to focus on is calorie intake. The rule of thumb is to increase your daily calorie intake by 250 calories for men, and 125 calories for women. Whatever calories you burn during your daily work outs will also need to be taken into account.
Use the following formula to estimate your ideal calorie intake:
Women: 10 calories/pound of body weight +125
Men= 11 calories/pound of body weight +250
Example: If a man weighs exactly 180 lbs, his weight gaining calorie intake should be 2,230 calories daily.