It is more common to find people concerned over losing weight. However, there are some who may actually need to gain weight. A number of people are thin naturally. But being thin is not always a good sign. Sometimes being underweight can be the result of a chronic disease or eating disorder – which are both harmful conditions for the body. An underweight person is also vulnerable to other diseases as well – their bones may become weak due to the lack of nutrients, and they cannot work as much as healthy people. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight that is just right.
If you are one of those people who are thin and weak, and just cannot put on the pounds in your body, here are a few healthy tips for a weight gain diet that you can follow.
Firstly, you have to understand that to gain weight, you must intake more calories than you burn. Healthy foods and healthy beverages can add calories to your body. You can start by consuming five to six square meals per day, taking three small meals, and three large meals alternately. A three hours break between each meal will give you time to digest what you have eaten.
Many people over-stuff themselves with fatty foods when they want to gain weight. This is true, as fat does work to plump up the body. But it is important to remember that what we want to gain is not a fat but lean body mass. Therefore, exercising can help to keep the metabolism high. Exercises like resistance training helps to enhance muscle mass, which in turn increases metabolism.
Exercise requires eating well. But it is important to eat not just anything, but a balanced diet. A diet composed of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats is an ideal one. Protein rich foods contain amino acids which helps prevent existing muscles from breaking down. Therefore, protein is the key to muscle mass. It is recommended to take 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight everyday. Protein intake should be taken throughout the day, and should not be concentrated on a single meal. It is also necessary that the protein you take come from foods, and not from diet supplements. All kinds of fish, whey, meats, diary products, nuts and seeds from almonds pumpkin, sesame and sunflower are good sources of protein. Milk is a great source of protein as it contains two high quality proteins – whey and casein. Whey is easily broken down to amino acids and is absorbed in the bloodstream. Whey is very good after a workout. Casein is broken down slowly, and provides the body with continuous supply of protein for a long time.
Healthy fats do not come from fatty foods, which is a common misconception. Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats. Salmon, and some other kinds of fish, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Cold pressed oils, such as sunflower oil, olive oil, linseed and canola oil are taken as good sources of healthy fats.
To give you a clear idea of what you should eat, here is a typical weight gain diet for one day:
You can also snack on cottage cheese, yogurt, and fruits, milk or salads midway between every meal. Try avoiding fast foods such as fries, onion rings and donuts in order to keep unhealthy fat off the menu.
If you follow the right diet, gaining weight may become easy for you. But you have to remember that to gain weight, you must not eat anything and everything, but you must consume a balanced diet that is calorie dense, and yet gives you all the nutrients that your body needs.