Weight Gain: 10 hacks you can gain muscle & not fat
This post was most recently updated on April 25th, 2018
While you cribbed all this while about me not posting about weight gain, let me confess that I’m not a weight-loss fan like I may have apparently seemed to you. I’ve always liked motivating my wonderful readers & keeping them pepped up into living a fit & healthy life. So, if you’re among my amazing readers who’ve been trying to gain weight, this one, buddy, is totally FOR YOU!
Weight gain, just like weight loss, isn’t an easy affair if you hop along without knowing the science behind it. And, seriously, you’re not a balloon that inflates upon continually filling up with gas, junk, soda or shakes whatsoever. So, the next time your friend laughs your weight off by saying, “You just got lucky! Now all you gotta do is binge over muffins, pizzas & lots of coke“, let him/her know that you’re triggered. And by the way, it’s high time you think of more creative ways to snub that guy who tells you to drink beer for weight gain. DUH!
So, if your BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 18.5, you might very much want to consider gaining weight.
So, what’s the whole idea behind weight gain?
When you say you want to gain weight, you ideally mean that you wish to add healthy muscle to your body in the right proportion without piling up pounds of ‘fat’ pouches all over it. Not to forget, weight gain doesn’t imply a countdown to bloating your stomach & pumping up your face with what looks like a double chin!
Basically, anything to do with body weight, whether weight gain or weight loss requires you to handle your metabolism differently. Yet in a healthy & proactive manner.
So, while you work on gaining weight, you should focus more on adding proteins than just meaningless calories.
And here are some super-simple ways to a healthy, steady & safe weight gain…Yes, WITHOUT SUPPLEMENTS!
Don’t eat more, eat frequently
Yeah, I know. You’re just about to point this out from my post on weight loss & some of my answers on Quora too. And you’d ask, “If this is meant for weight loss, shouldn’t it be the opposite for weight gain?” Well, our metabolism doesn’t work according to the ‘opposite’ hypothesis. Eating 5-6 meals a day works favorably for both the groups of people; the weight loss & weight gain aspiring folks.
When you eat frequently in intervals of 3-4 hours, your metabolism remains consistent & you don’t have those sudden, evil hunger pangs. So, when you eat the 3 main meals along with 2 or 3 snacker meals, your portion of eating reduces. This prevents you from gaining unnecessary fat, but helps you absorb the protein & other relevant macro-nutrients from whatever you’re consuming.
Here’s what you could look up for having as ideal snack meals to gain weight
Weight Gain = Rich protein + Quality calories
— Ashvini Naik (@FitbeWell_Blog) March 16, 2018
Proteins are the necessary body-building blocks we derive from our food. And without ample consumption of protein-rich foods, it’s almost impossible to gain that lean & toned muscle. Remember, healthy weight gain implies building toned muscles & not accumulating fat tissues around your body; which many people seem to contemplate.
Some of our foods are abundantly filled with proteins such as pulses, eggs, lean meat & milk derivatives such as cheese & paneer (cottage cheese). Upping your intake of these foods with the right amount of quality calories surely helps you gain weight.
Coming to calories, inclusion of sweets, candies, soda, confectioneries & carbonated beverages is NOT what you must start thinking of to gain weight. These comprise of empty calories & the simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar only slows your metabolism & adds to fat contribution. Because, in order to absorb proteins from your diet, you need to do the appropriate exercises for muscle weight gain. Eggs, Ghee (home-made), spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, fruits, yogurt & whole milk contain essential calories that aid weight gain & help in protein absorption.
Choose the right Fats
Not all fats cushion you around in the form of arm fat, cellulite, love handles & pendulous tummy. We need to consume the good unsaturated fats & foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These could be found in avocados, most of the nuts, cod liver oil, ghee, flax seeds, salmon & mackerel.
Do NOT avoid carbs
Carbohydrates are of 2 types – Simple & Complex. The Simple carbs although found most abundantly in fruits & milk products, are more notorious for their presence in candies, sugar, soft drinks, chocolate syrups etc. However, you cannot consider avoiding carbs ever, be it over a weight gain plan or a weight loss journey. That’s because carbohydrates fuel a large number of processes within the body, especially those to do with the brain. Aim to eat more of complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat breads & brown rice.
Track yourself over an app
When you’re up to a fitness journey, whether weight loss or weight gain, it’s always best to track your diet & exercise routine with the help of any handy app. Fitbit, HealthifyMe & Obino are great apps.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS – Download here the list of Indian foods recommended for gaining weight. Absolutely FREE!
Exercises that help you get there! (Without Equipment)
Basically, exercises that work hugely on your bigger body muscles, such as the biceps, chest muscles & the legs (the quadriceps or thigh muscles, mainly) will lead you into a healthy mass gain process. Remember that appropriate exercise helps your body absorb the extra proteins you’re consuming to gain weight. If you don’t work out & just decide to depend on your protein-rich diet, you’re not pretty much seeing the difference & would rather suffer from inactivity & a lot of flatulence! Hell, NO!
As I’m somebody who has been trying workouts with minimal equipment, I love talking about these exercises in particular:
- Jogging – Jogging is a moderate/light form of cardio exercise & that revs your metabolism up leading to better protein absorption by your body. Hence, your stamina increases & so does your appetite & the process of adding healthy muscle mass.
- Squats – Squats are great when you specially intend to gain mass about the lower half of the body; around the buttocks, thighs & calves. It is like strength training your lower half body muscles altogether which tones them perfectly.
- Push-Ups – Just like squats work on the lower half body muscles, push-ups help in strength training the torso muscles along with the arms, viz., the biceps & the triceps. Push-ups exert your existing body weight on the big muscles of the upper half body.
- Pull-Ups – Nah! You don’t need to buy any equipment such as a bar here either. You could even go to your nearest recreation park where you’re sure to find a monkey bar. Pull-ups are again a form of strength training exercise in this context which target increasing mass around the shoulders. (And, no; if you’re a woman, you won’t develop those huge sausage-like biceps. You don’t make testosterone like the men do. So, girl, chill. You won’t end beefing up like a man!)
Note – Push-ups & Pull-ups are my personal favorites! 😉 And I also happen to cover my push-ups in a couple of Yogasanas that I do, including Suryanamaskara.
- Yoga – While Yoga has always been an all-health rescue, it has some really effective Asanas that aid weight gain at a gradual pace.Source: www.flickr.com
- The Bhujangasana, Vajrasana & Pavanmuktasana poses particularly ease the digestion process that help boosting your metabolism & thus facilitate weight gain, as gaining weight depends largely on how well you absorb your nutrients.
Well, here’s an Electronics & Embedded System Designer, Dattaprasad, who loves working
out as part of his fitness regime. And he’s managed to gain weight from 72 kgs in 2011 to 84 kgs in 2012!
EXCLUSIVE BONUS – Download Dattaprasad’s (DIET + EXERCISE) routine over his weight gain journey for FREE!
Nevertheless, being underweight could also sometimes be due to certain conditions such as Thyroid issues & Anemia. Hence, it’s always advisable to screen yourself for such conditions that prevent healthy weight gain despite all your legitimate efforts.
Have you got a successful weight gain story to share? Or do you face any hurdles in gaining that weight? Please share in the comments.