There’s plenty of information out there about how to lose weight. Shelves in bookshops heave with volumes and volumes on the subject and magazines dedicate thousands of column inches to the issue every single week. But if you’re someone who wants to GAIN weight, you soon realize that there’s a lot less information and advice out there for you to read and use. Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about how you can gain weight safely and consistently without getting fat and without negatively affecting your health. By following the tips and advice that follow, you’ll be able to beef up as much as you like. The only limit is your own preference. So let’s get started.
The only real way to gain weight is to increase the number of calories you consume on a daily and weekly basis. However, there are a few special rules to doing this that you should follow if you can. Let’s get the main calorie concept out of the way first. A pound of weight consists of around 3500 calories. To lose a pound a week, you’d need to eat 500 fewer calories a day (7 x 500 = 3500) than usual. To gain a pound, which is what you’re looking to do, you need to eat 500 MORE a day. So that’s the first thing you need to do. Over the course of one week, eat as you usually do and take note of how many calories you consume in a day on average. After the week is over, total the day’s up, then add 3500 to that number. Divide that number by 7 and you’re left with your new per-day calorie intake goal. Here are a few quick tips to help you eat more calories in the best possible way:
- Eat little snacks throughout the day, in-between your three main meals
- Pick foods with higher calorific contents whenever you can
- Increase the size of your portions whenever possible
An important point you MUST bear in mind here, is that some foods are much better than others when it comes to which ones you choose to eat to increase your calorie intake. Try to adhere to the following rules:
- Include a lot of unrefined/unprocessed carbohydrates in your weekly diet, things like whole grains and fruits, plenty of vegetables and lean foods that are high in protein such as products made of skim milk, eggs, and low-fat cuts of red meat like beef and pork.
- Try to avoid eating lots of saturated fats. It might seem like a good idea to pack on some weight, but it’s not when you think about it. All fats contain the same number of calories (45 in 1 teaspoon). Eating saturated fats more than any other kind will only raise your cholesterol, so stick to healthy fats like Omegas 3, 6 and 9.
So, which specific foods can you eat to up your calorie intake without consuming too much bad fat? Here are some ideas:
- Add powdered milk and/or margarine to mashed potatoes
- Add fruit, seeds and nuts to your cereal in the morning. Muesli and porridge are especially good morning meals.
- Feel free to eat dessert, but try to find desserts that contain low-fat milk and healthy oils.
- Snack regularly on things like crackers and cheese, yogurts, soup with croutons and added skim milk, and milkshakes containing frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself energized and hydrated.
Overall, remember that your goal is this: to eat more calories per week by consuming foods that are high in protein but low in saturated fats. Eat big to get big!
Doing too much aerobic exercise will hinder your weight gain, but exercise is still highly recommended. You want to keep your muscles lean and fit, so lift weights whenever you can. Stick to performing low reps with a lot of weight to bulk up without getting too ‘cut’.
Lastly, sleep as soundly and for as long as you can every night. 8 hours minimum if you can manage it. It helps your body process the things you’re eating and keeps you feeling awake and vitalized during the day.
If, after a few weeks, you see your weight gain stop or severely slow down, up your calorie intake further – but still keep your diet healthy. Add 250 more calories to your daily intake and go from there to kick-start your weight gain again. Simple!
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