Numerous online articles talk about how you can lose weight overnight or over a specific period of time. Most of these pieces hardly cover the process of how you can gain weight. Contrary to what you may think or believe, weight gain is among some of the important issues people are facing. While it may come easy for you, for some, this is a real struggle.
If you go online today, you will most likely see numerous diet plans to help with weight loss. However, when you look for mass gaining diet plans, the results are fewer as compared to the weight loss meal plans. This could probably be because most people with sedentary lifestyles are focusing on losing weight, not gaining weight.
However, this does not mean that those who are looking to put on some pounds should be ignored. If you are looking for the best mass gaining diet plans, then this piece is especially crafted for you. Stay with us as we uncover the foods to include in the meal plans of anyone who wants to gain muscle or weight.
How To Gain Weight
Gaining weight for some is as challenging as losing it for others. You may think it is easy peasy, but in reality, it is quite an issue for those people who struggle with it. You can add some weight using a number of various methods. However, each method has its effects.
Some methods may have long-term effects and others have short-term effects. Therefore, you must seek professional help before you decide on what weight gain method you want to adopt. But before you start analyzing these weight gain methods, there are some crucial factors you need to evaluate. These include:
Your Body Weight
Mass gaining diet plans are usually only recommended for underweight individuals. So, to begin with you have to calculate your overall body mass index (BMI) before you start such meal plans. The body mass index is calculated using your weight and height.
These are some of the factors that may have an integral influence on your weight gain. Usually, health care providers will only recommend weight gain diet plans if your body mass index is below 18.5 or if you have lost a significant amount of weight recently without intending to (4).
A BMI below 18.5 classifies you as e underweight, meaning you may want to take part in a mass gaining meal plan. Make sure you also seek consultation if you measure this by yourself and find your BMI to be lower than this limit. Professional assistance may help you craft practical meal plans depending on your goals.
Your Body Goals
Your aim could be to slightly increase your body weight or add weight for a specific duration. If not, you may want to add some pounds over an extended duration. On the other hand, you may also want to build your muscles.
Whatever the case is, it is of importance to seek professional advice. In this way you will get help on the best method to help you attain your goals and sustain your results. For example, for muscle mass, you might be advised to exercise intensely. On the other hand, diet plans might be recommended for long-term results.
You also have to consider your health, especially if you decide to use the weight gain meal plans. Your doctor has to give you the go-ahead for implementing such diets. Never make any dietary changes without seeking medical advice.
Your Daily Caloric Intake
You have to know how many calories you are required to consume daily before you decide to put on some weight. Understanding your daily requirements helps one to determine the most appropriate diet plans for gaining muscle mass or weight.
If your goal is to add weight, experts recommend consumption of 300 to 500 calories greater than what your body burns (6). You have to consistently consume these calories and daily for steady weight gain.
If you want or need rapid weight gain, some experts suggest you consume over 1, 000 calories more than you daily needs. Therefore, know your daily calorie intake and also track your calories after you start your preferred weight gain method.
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Gaining Weight And Muscle Through Your Meals
Most people only know of two methods that can help with weight and muscle gain. These include exercising and eating right. However, for some, such goals are only obtainable through exercise.
Exercise is not enough on its own to help with female muscle growth. Take a break from your routine and focus on your diet plan. It is also necessary to provide the right building blocks for your body.
All you have to do is include the right foods to help you reach your goals. Let us evaluate some of these foods.
Foods To Help You Gain Weight And Muscle
Before we mention these foods, you must understand several concepts. First and foremost, eating any sort of various foods frequently will not help you add weight. You have to be consuming the right foods for such a change to occur.
Secondly, overeating may also not help you attain your weight gain results. You should still eat balanced, healthy, and appropriately portioned meals to help you achieve your weight gain goals. With that said, let us examine good examples of foods to consume.
Most mass gaining diet plans tend to have specific foods. Some of the most suggested foods in most of these diet plans include:
Milk is rich in fat, proteins and carbohydrates. It is also a great source of nutrients such as calcium. If you are trying to either add weight or build muscle, then milk is a great food option. It ranks among the best post-workout drinks to have, especially after a resistance training program. However, you must take note of the milk you are drinking. Select skim cow’s milk instead of a soy-based one that does not contain much protein (3). This is a more effective way to build muscle.
Smoothies are among the beverages you can sip to put some pounds on or get muscle mass. They are quite effective in building muscles if they are taken after an exercise. However, not all shakes or smoothies can help you attain these two benefits.
Some smoothies are also known for weight loss, such as the green smoothie. For weight gain, protein shakes are the most recommended. You can have them in between or as your meals to help in gaining extra pounds.
Nonetheless, you ought to consult with your dietitian, especially if you do not know how to prepare these protein shakes. Buying these drinks from health shops does not necessarily mean that they are indeed healthy and will help with your goals.
So, it is best to learn how to make your smoothies. After getting advice on what ingredients to use, you can get creative and come up with several recipes. You can also incorporate various protein powders in your protein shakes and add ingredients to help with improving the taste (5).
You may be contemplating on whether or not you need to include rice in your mass gaining diet plans. The answer to that is yes, you may want to add it in such meal plans. One cup of rice has about two hundred calories.
It also contains carbs that may contribute to weight gain. Fortunately, rice can easily be incorporated into such diet plans. This is because you can have it alongside other foods such as vegetables and proteins. Brown rice has more gut-healthy fiber than white rice.
Red meat is known to be a great contributor to weight gain. This perhaps explains why most dieters are advised to keep away from red meat and instead have lean meats. You can include red meat in your muscle-building diet as it helps in increasing your muscle mass.
Again, you can also eat this meat for weight gain as it also ranks among the top foods to gain weight. However, you must remember that the leaner cuts of red meat are better for your heart health. So, you may select them over the fattier parts. Poultry and oily fish are also great protein sources which can help you build muscle and gain weight.
Nuts, Seeds, And Nut Butter
Your weight gain meal plans also can contain some nuts and nut butter. Nuts are among the foods with high sources of fat, fiber and protein. They contain an estimated 150 to 200 calories in an ounce (2).
Seeds also contain a lot of calories in every bite. So, you can add the pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds to your meals. You can try to sprinkle them over your soup, oatmeal or salads. If not, you can just eat them plain as your snack option.
One tablespoon of nut butter has at least 100 calories. It makes it a great snack option if you want to add some weight. You can eat it as it is or spread it on your bread.
Whole Grain Cereals
You also need to add whole grain cereals in your diet if you want to add weight. In addition to containing nutrients and vitamins, some of these cereals are also known to contain a lot of sugar.
Read the labels to make sure you do not pick cereals with too much added sugar. Instead, pick those that have either whole grains or nuts. Such contain healthier carbs, fiber, and calories that will promote your weight gain.
Starchy vegetables may contribute to weight gain as they have a higher-calorie intake than the other veggies. For example, one cup of corn may contain 156 calories (2). Likewise, a cup of peas has 117 calories and a large artichoke has 80 calories. These will come in handy when adding some extra pounds.
Yoghurt can also help in promoting weight gain. You can include it in your mass gaining diet plans by using it as an ingredient in your smoothies. If not, you can have it as well for lunch or as a snack.
However, for this you may want to choose the full-fat option. Low-fat or fat-free yoghurts have fewer calories. This is just the opposite of what you want to achieve. Therefore, remember to double-check the labels.
Again, try and avoid the flavored yoghurts. They may contain added sugars. To flavor your yoghurts, use either some nuts or fruits like berries.
The other food that one should hardly miss out from a bodybuilding meal plan is the egg. Eggs are considered complete proteins because they contain all the nine essential amino acids (1). Besides the high-quality protein content, eggs also contain healthy fats and other nutrients.
Some of these amino acids in the eggs promote muscle gain. It might explain why most bodybuilders tend to add eggs to their diet plans.
You can also snack on cereal bars to reach your weight gain goal. Such bars are also important as they contain various vitamins and minerals. When looking for your cereal bars, search for those containing whole grains, fruits and nuts. Keep away from those bars that have high amounts of added sugar.
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Tips For Safe Weight Gain
In addition to adding these foods to your diet plans, the following tips can also help you get quicker results:
Drinking Your Calories
You can get extra calories in by drinking them. An easyway you can drink your calories is by preparing smoothies or shakes. Try to have them more frequently. If not, you can prepare more soup dishes. There are numerous kinds of soup you can prepare using the recommended foods (4).
So, do not just focus on the smoothies. It’s best not to replace your solid meals with liquid ones, but enjoy a smoothie or shake as a snack to supplement your usual meals.
Keep Track Of Your Eating Patterns
Old habits die hard. If you never ate some of these suggested foods, it is quite likely that you will keep away from them. Remember that it will be tough making changes to your diet plan. Likewise, it will be tough to enact these changes.
The key is to be consistent and think of the end goal. Create a food journal to help you stay on track with your mass gaining diet plans. Similarly, you can plan your meals to keep yourself organized and make it easy to eat the right foods.
Diet is a critical part if you want to either gain weight or build muscle. Of importance is determining the right foods to help you meet these goals. You can add foods such as starchy vegetables, milk, eggs, rice and red meat in your mass gaining diet plans. They will certainly help you reach either of the two set goals.
Diets are great, but your body will thank you if you supplement your healthy nutrition plan with a good workout. Take up this 20 Min Full Body Workout at Home.
The information presented is meant for general educational purposes only. It does not represent any nutritionist’s advice. Seek professional advice before you uphold any advice presented in this article.
Reviewed by: Kristen Fleming
- Foods That Help You Build Muscle (2021, webmd.com)
- Healthy Ways to Gain Weight (2015, webmd.com)
- How do you gain weight quickly and safely? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Safe Ways to Gain Weight (2020, webmd.com)
- The weight gain diet (2010, theguardian.com)
- Tips for gaining weight safely and things to avoid (2018,medicalnewstoday.com)