Healthy Ways To Gain Weight And Muscle

By:    Published: February 22, 2012

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The emphasis of weight is usually on how to lose it rather than how to gain it. This may seem like a funny joke to those who have a serious problem losing weight, but the opposite also can be just as serious.

For some people, especially men around the ages of 15-to-23, the inability to gain weight and muscle mass can be a problem when they're attempting to acquire the ideal muscular figure. This seems like a no-brainer for most, and the answer is just to eat more and lift weights. The problem is that just eating more is not always the healthiest and effective way to gain weight. The point should be to gain weight properly and still maintain healthy eating habits.

Reasons For Lack Of Weight Gain

There are specific reasons that people have trouble gaining weight. Before you learn how to properly gain weight, it's important to know the reasons why you’re experiencing problems gaining size in the first place.

Fast Metabolism

Every living thing has a metabolism. To put it simply, it is the process by which food is turned into energy. The faster this is done, the faster calories are burned. This means that someone with a fast metabolism can eat plenty of food and still lose weight with minimal to no exercise. This can cause a person with a fast metabolism to naturally lose weight and have trouble gaining it. A fast metabolism is more common amongst younger people. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the faster your metabolism works.

(To learn more about metabolism and weight, read The Link Between Metabolism And Your Weight.)

Active Lifestyle

Genetics is not the only reason why people may have trouble gaining weight; another may be the type of lifestyle they live. How active you are on a daily basis can mean that you are constantly burning calories. This constant burning of calories can cause weight-loss as well as make a person have trouble gaining weight. This is common for athletes who play sports constantly throughout the year.

Practices five days a week with at least two hours of constant physical activity, like running or swimming, can make it difficult to gain weight. There are also some people who are constantly moving because of their job, or they just enjoy moving around a lot. These people will burn extra calories and will sometimes prevent themselves from gaining weight.

Poor Diet

When there is a problem with gaining weight compounded with a poor diet, it can only make things worse. Proper nutrition is very important to gain the proper type of weight. The right type of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats need to be added to your diet in order to gain muscle. Simply put, eating fatty foods after a workout will either hinder or create other, more hazardous problems further down the road. (To learn how to differentiate between the various types of fats, read Dietary Fats: Separating The Bad From The Good.)

Healthy Ways To Gain Weight

If you're trying to get bigger and increase your muscle mass, there are correct ways to gain weight, which involves proper dieting and the right types of exercises. Now that you have a better understanding as to why you might be having trouble gaining weight, here is the proper way you should look towards getting bigger.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting is the best and most effective way of properly gaining weight and muscle mass. It does take a lot of hard work and it's not as easy as just picking up some loose dumbbells and lifting them. If you are serious about gaining weight, then a workout plan needs to be tailored to fit your needs.

A simple rule of thumb to building muscle mass is to stay between 6-to-12 repetitions and lift heavy weight. Some people may hit the gym and lift weight they can handle at 12 plus repetitions per set. This type of lifting will get you stronger, but it will not get you bigger over time. Staying between 6-to-12 repetitions will build muscle; the only disclaimer is to make sure that you are switching exercises and increasing weight to confuse your muscles. The effect of this will cause your muscles to continue building therefore creating more muscle mass.

Nutrition

The correct food needs to be eaten during this time in order for the right type of weight to be put on. The common mistake is to think that you can eat anything you want in order to gain weight, and that food will be burned and turned into muscle. This is the wrong approach to take because instead of lean muscle, fat will be gained. The correct foods to target are calorie dense foods that provide a proper amount of nutrients. Examples of these foods are:

  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain foods
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Fruit

Supplements

There are many supplements on the market that aid in gaining weight. You do need to exercise a little bit of caution when searching for these products. Before you buy any product, make sure to research as much as you can to ensure that you are buying something safe. The most common supplements that are available are protein powders. It's important to put the right nutrients in your body at least 30 minutes after your workout. During this time the body is looking for protein in order to build muscle, if your body does not have enough protein then it will not build muscle. The time immediately after a workout is when your body is looking to replenish its protein supply therefore a protein shake can help with this process and aid in creating muscle.

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