There are countless articles as well as television commercials that advertise products promising weight loss. While weight loss is an extremely hot trend, weight gain can be just as difficult a problem for up and coming athletes. Many of us are told growing up by our coaches and trainers to “put some meat on your bones,” so we hit the weight room, exercise five days a week… but still without results. Here are five helpful techniques and remedies for those of us in need of gaining that extra muscle mass needed to stay competitive:
- Eat every four hours. Skipping meals or going long periods of time without eating deprives your body of the energy it needs hence forcing it to borrow from the energy it has in your system. Spacing your meals three to four hours apart allows your body to avoid going into its “reserve” bank and using energy- which includes muscle mass, to cover the loss. If you are really serious about gaining weight try keeping a journal or setting reminders on your phone to track your meals.
- Add Calories: This is surely a no brainer that I’m sure is the first thing we all do in our attempts to gain weight, but still it is a necessary step. Utilizing protein shakes/powder is an easy way to add nutrients and calories to a busy schedule. Usually adding around 500 more calories to your intake is a safe adjustment. Use caution because if you are not on a consistent weight/muscle building program all that extra “dead” weight can bite you down the road and lead you to begin researching weight loss tips! Make sure everything you put in your body comes from a natural source and is free of additives and preservatives.
- Lift: Weight training is an excellent way to put on weight. Lifting weights, and increasing the weight limit regularly helps to put on muscle mass. Because muscle weighs more than fat weight lifting is a very effective way to gain weight. Also, weight lifting helps increase your appetite so you will in effect be killing two birds with one stone.
- Liquefy it: Liquids aren’t as filling as hard foods. By drinking more smoothies and shakes we allow ourselves to essentially “eat” more and put on more calories. Although smoothies are a healthier alternative, “milkshakes” can be created using protein powder, coconut milk and frozen bananas. Keep in mind, you can thicken your drink by adding monofats like avocado. Keep on trend: adding chia seeds, hemps seeds and pumpkin seeds gives you instant energy.
- Eat before sleep. When we go to bed our bodies “reset.” They recuperate and gather energy for the upcoming day. When losing weight you are always told to give yourself at least 4 hours before bed so that your body’s metabolism can work off the weight. Going to bed right after a meal forces the calories to essentially “sit” in your body, leading to weight gain.
All of these tips to gain weight are easy implemented and can be done cost effectively. Gaining weight can very often be tougher than losing weight. Give these five simple weight gaining techniques a try and remember to stay regular, stay motivated, and believe! What do you have to lose?