How to Gain Weight?
Many people have a lot of difficulty in gaining weight and then they become desperately obsessed with one question “HOW TO GAIN WEIGHT”. So, if you are one of them then you have come to the perfect place. If you want to bulk up then you have to focus on 3 main areas, but before that you need to bring clarity to one most important concept. That is:
Weight Gain=(1)Muscle Gain OR (2)Fat Gain OR (3)Water Gain
When we are discussing “HOW TO GAIN WEIGHT, WE ARE DISCUSSING HOW TO GAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT/MUSCLE”. Weight gain does not always mean muscle gain, it can also mean water gain which is why it is suggested not to weigh yourself every morning everyday because your weight fluctuates throughout the day due to fluctuating water content in you and you will always find less weight in the morning due to low water consumption throughout the night.
UNHEALTHY GAINING/DIRTY BULKING
- Unhealthy gaining simply means when you are eating anything and everything.
- Neither you are taking care of the quality of the food nor the quantity.
- This always results in fat gain because you are eating junk food(Excessive decreased quality) or even if you are eating healthy food, you are eating excessively too much(Excessive increased quantity).
HEALTHY GAINING/LEAN BULKING
- Healthy gaining means gradually increasing the body weight by having a controlled diet, both in terms of quality and quantity.
- You are taking care of both the quality and quantity of the food.
- This always results in muscle gain with least to least fat gain possible because you are eating healthy food that too in a prescribed limit and manner.
Now, let’s discuss the 3 main key areas to focus on for healthy weight gain.
1. Diet(Calorie Surplus)
As discussed above, calorie surplus is eating a bit more than what you generally eat on a regular basis. People often commit a mistake while bulking up that they eat too much excessively thinking that it will result in quick weight gain. But you need to understand, that the reality is the quicker you will try and force your body to gain weight, the higher the chances are of gaining more and more fat instead of muscle and the slower you will go, the more muscle you will gain with least to least fat possible. This is called “LEAN BULKING”.
If you want to gain healthy weight, your diet should have both quality and quantity. Quality means it should have all the macros/macronutrients which are carbs/carbohydrates, protein and fats and micros/micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals.
How much calorie surplus to gain weight/muscle or for lean bulk?
For the beginning, a surplus of 200-400 calories is absolutely enough and safe. Gradually, when your body demands more calories over a long enough time frame, then you can increase it, if you want otherwise continue. At this much calorie surplus, your body will gain mostly muscle with as low fat as possible.
How long does it take to gain weight/muscle?
Which foods make you gain weight?
NOTE:-Listen up! No food on this planet can and will help you to gain weight because as mentioned earlier, even after eating so called “WEIGHT GAIN FOODS” if you are not in a calorie surplus, then you will not gain weight.
This is the list of few foods which are high caloric, nutritious, healthy, reasonably priced and easily available and it is consumed by the most competitive athletes and bodybuilders and it is an integral part of their diet:
1)Carbohydrate Sources– Banana, potato/sweet potato, bread, rice, wheat, oats.
2)Protein Sources-Milk and dairy products, non-vegetarian options like eggs, fish, chicken, etc., peanut/peanut butter, chickpea, kidney beans, soya, Whey protein.
3)Healthy Fat Sources-Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, ghee, butter, any cold pressed oil like virgin coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
2. Exercise(Intense Workout)
Exercise on a regular basis is also mandatory for healthy weight gain to ensure that you gain weight in the form of muscle while keeping yourself healthy, functional and strong. Doing an intense workout on a regular basis is extremely important to make and maintain a nice physique. You should opt for weight training be it resistance training, bodyweight training, calisthenics, etc. Indulging in just sports or cardio is healthy but not the best, whereas weight training will ensure an evenly trained body and is comparatively better.
Should you do cardio while bulking?
Different people have different take on cardio and its importance while losing fat and gaining weight. But I would strongly suggest you to do cardio on a regular basis or as frequently as possible to ensure good heart health. A physique is of no use if the person’s internal health is optimal. But, definitely do not do rigorous/intense cardio, keep it light. Just 10-15 minutes of walk after every meal, 5 minutes of skipping, etc.
3. Recovery(Sleep Quality and Pattern)
Once your diet and workout are in place, your focus should be on providing the body enough recovery time, which is through sleep and also the rest time which you take between the sets. When you exercise you put stress on your muscles and they break down. To build them stronger and bigger, you need food as well as proper sleep. So, ensure at least 6-7 hours of sleep at a stretch on a daily basis, take at least a day off from your training as a rest day and read this How to reduce muscle soreness? if you want to know more.
1. Fix your digestive issues, if any, so that whatever you eat gets digested well and is consumed by the body optimally.
2. Do not just focus on protein, but also on carbs and fats. Especially fats, because fats are high caloric but less volume foods. Just adding a teaspoon of butter on the bread adds significantly more calories without even forcing you to eat more. Smart, isn’t it?
3. Also take your micros/micronutrients properly. Consume seasonal fruits regularly to have all kinds of vitamins and minerals.
By focusing on diet, exercise and sleep you can improve your physique and physical condition immensely over a period of a few years. Be patient and put your effort into the process and the result will be perfectly evident in a matter of a handful years.