When talking about getting healthy, individuals tend to think about it as synonymous with losing weight. Health oriented articles, discussions, classes, etc. also more commonly revert to this widely discussed topic of losing weight. However, what if you are a part of the other large portion of the population that is striving for a healthier life, but instead of losing weight, you need help in the gaining weight arena? This is a big concern for many struggling individuals and should be taken just as seriously as losing weight to get healthy. You may be on track to getting active and making it a habit, but sometimes that muscle and healthy body weight is still difficult to come by. If you are tired of hearing the same uninformed advice of, “just eat more!” to gain weight, then you have come to the right place. Here are a few tips to gaining healthy weight right.
Count up your calories.
Just because you are not dieting or limiting your food intake does not mean you are excused from the dreaded task of calorie counting. The reason this task is so commonly stressed is because it directly determines your weight. You can decide how much weight you are going to lose or gain by deciding how many calories to put in your body. 3,500 calories equals one pound. Lock that away in your mind’s storage unit while I explain more about daily calories.
An average adult female (ages 19 to 30) that lives a moderately active life needs about 2,000 calories each day to sustain her body weight. An average male of the same age needs about 2,700 calories. An average female (ages 31-50) with a moderately active life also needs about 2,000 calories, while a male of the same age needs about 2,500 calories. (Source: WebMD) Keep in mind that this is the amount of calories needed to MAINTAIN a current weight. If you eat more calories than that, you will gain weight, less and you will lose weight. If you have been struggling to gain weight, count up the calories you eat on a daily basis. If it is lower than the required amount, you may have found your problem.
Eat your proteins and carbohydrates.
If you found out that your problem is that you are not getting enough calories, remember that eating the right type of calories is important. Buying yourself a dozen donuts every morning will not get you the healthy weight you need. You no longer should turn your nose up to bread and any other carbs because they, along with protein, will now be very good friends of yours.
Each gram of carbohydrates and protein contains four calories. Even though this is fewer calories than fat, they will keep you full for shorter amounts of time and much less bloated than fat. Add more of these to your diet to take up calories rather than fatty foods. Some good examples of what to eat in order to gain healthy weight include lean red meat, nut butters, whole milk, tropical fruit, avocados, granola, wheat bread, vegetable oils, nuts, cheese, and potatoes. (Source: Active Beat) Calories from these foods will help you gain healthy lean muscle weight rather than flabby stomach weight.
Have several smaller meals.
Never go more than four hours without eating. If you get hungry at all before the four hours are up then grab something else to satisfy your stomach. Snack all the time. You don’t even have to cut back on your regular meals. I am not going to tell you to eat a lot of small meals and no big meals. Go ahead and eat your big meals, and snack in between!
You never want to spend any time hungry, or your body will start digging into your protein supply that your muscles need and use it for energy instead. Let your muscles keep that protein so they can grow stronger by providing your body with other calories to keep it energized.
Eat before bed.
You may have heard the common advice to never eat after seven, or whatever time is now in that go-to phrase. When attempting to lose weight, it is a good idea to not eat too close to bedtime. Your body needs the most food at the beginning of the day to keep up its supply of energy throughout the day, but sleeping requires much less energy. Too many unused calories, especially right before bed, can be converted into fat. However, calories before bedtime are a good thing for weight-gainers. This will ensure that fewer calories are being quickly burned because of your body’s activity, and more will be stored for body weight. Just make sure you are eating the healthy calories mentioned above in order to get the type of weight you want.
Get your sugar fix right before and after workouts.
Sometimes your cravings force you into snacking on a candy bar or sugar. As you know, restricting yourself from specific foods is not the right way to go. All you have to do is limit your intake of these foods you crave and learn the best time to eat them. Believe it or not, there is a good time of day for sugar. That time is directly before or after a workout.
Simple sugars give your body a quick burst of energy. These calories will convert into fat if you do not use the energy, but if taken advantage of, can give you a boost. Your body can use a quick burst of energy before you workout to get you going. After the workout, your body will be very low on calories and energy because of all your activity. If it does not get calories quickly enough, it will start to dig into your necessary stored protein calories again and could leave you weaker. Grab a piece of candy to give your body a quick boost of calories until you can sit down for a healthier meal.
Drink your calories.
Sometimes a plate full of carbohydrates and protein that will fulfill your final daily needs can be a daunting task to stomach. Instead of giving up after a few nights because you cannot bear chewing anymore, start drinking your calories. Juicing and protein drinks are a great option and often times are easier to get down than a mound of chewable substance. Count up your last calories you need for the day, drop them in the blender, and drink up some healthy weight.
Gaining weight to become healthy is just as important as losing weight for your health. This task can be even more difficult because it is not a commonly talked about subject. Learn what your healthy body weight should be, and take the steps to getting there in a healthy way.