While weight loss is a topic that is commonly discussed, weight gain is much less talked about. Inadequate information on weight gain in the public domain leads many who want to bulk up to commit avoidable mistakes. This include:
- Concentrating only on exercise without realizing the importance of right nutrition
- Consuming supplements such as mass gainers and other weight-enhancing drugs without understanding the merits of a natural diet
- Setting unrealistic expectations
- Running up muscle injury from overtraining
When you start going to the gym with the intention of gaining weight, you need not lift weights from the first day itself. Starting with body weight training is a much better idea, and the focus should be on getting your form, posture and technique correct.
In order to gain weight, you need to increase your calorie intake. Your calorie requirement could be anything between 2,200 to 3,200 calories a day, depending on your age and gender. If you find it difficult to source calories from your regular diet, try weight gain supplements. When you start with a supplement, read up about the product and test it out for 3-4 days to confirm whether you’re allergic to it—in which case you should stop using it immediately.
If you end up getting more calories than you need with a weight gain supplement, there’s a chance you could end up gaining fat and not muscle. These supplements may also interact with any medication you may be on so it’s best to consult a doctor before starting on them.
It is always better to consult a nutritionist before commencing with weight gain training. S/he can chalk out a diet which is not just carbs or fat-rich but also has sufficient amounts of protein, fibre, minerals, and vitamins – all of which are equally important for healthy weight gain.
Keep in mind that there can be no substitute for a natural diet when it comes to weight gain.
Tips for Healthy Weight Gain
Eat at least once every three hours. Skipping meals force your body to dip into energy reserves which include muscle mass. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps your body from losing tissue.
Exercise is crucial
Exercise is the key to healthy weight gain, but correct technique is important. Working out helps increase your metabolism—but avoid overtraining
Expand nutrition intake
Your diet should include different food groups and not restrict itself to one or two. Choosing a variety of food groups leads to the intake of more nutrients, all of which are significant for the weight gain process.
Eat before going to sleep:
Since our body regenerates itself during sleep, eating a little before going to sleep ensures that there are enough nutrients available in the body to carry out its repair work.
“When in doubt, eat” is a good mantra to live by when you’re trying to bulk up. Also, remember that body transformation is not a one-day process but a constant evolution.