You want to know how to gain weight and ultimately; how to make yourself look bigger.
The thing is that you’ve been skinny your entire life.
It seems like no matter what or how much you eat, you just can’t manage to put on any weight.
In a world where most people strive for weight loss, this might appear like a luxurious problem.
However, for some individuals, low body weight really is a big issue that can affect both one’s self-image and self-confidence. Fortunately, there are several ways to achieve a healthy weight gain.
In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at 6 different approaches to leave your skinny days behind.
1. Eat More Calories
In order to be able to gain weight, the first thing you need to do is to create a positive energy balance. This basically means that the energy you get from your food intake needs to be higher than the amount of energy that you burn (by moving and exercising).
Sounds easy, right?
Well, it could be.
Except for that your body has a very well-functioning system when it comes to regulating your appetite and keeping your body weight in balance. It’s this particular system that makes it challenging to gain – or lose – weight since your body preferably wants to remain at a consistent body weight.
The easiest way to achieve a positive energy balance is simply by either (A) eating more during each of your meals, or (B) increasing the number of meals that you eat. When you apply one of these approaches, the first thing you will notice is probably that you’ll feel full very fast.
Again, this is your appetite regulation system telling you to stop eating, simply because that’s what it’s used to do. What you got to do is to push through and keep eating just a bit more. By increasing your portion sizes or eating more meals – in a progressive manner – you will successively form new habits that’ll help you to gain weight.
Naturally, you shouldn’t eat until you throw up. However, you need to prepare yourself with the right will-power to stay focused on your long-term goal: getting bigger.
2. Enjoy Your Meals!
It’s easy to turn initially positive goals into unhealthy obsessions. Eating enough calories for you to gain weight should never feel like an obligation. Instead, aim to slowly increase your appetite by creating as many positive associations as possible around your meals.
Avoid stress or rushing; take time to sit down and actually enjoy your food. Add different flavors and spices from what you normally use when you cook. Or get inspired by trying a completely new recipe. Another way to that could help you to gain weight is by eating in company with others:
In the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Brian Wansink points to studies that show how we eat more when eating together with other people, rather than alone . Further research indicates that it’s easier to “overeat”, i.e. eat more, if you perform an activity such as reading or watching TV while you eat .
3. Eat at Regular Times
By eating during the same hours every day, you’ll decrease the risk of missing out on a meal due to lack of time or forgetfulness. So, do your homework and decide when and what you should eat; at what time.
This will help you to cover all the calories you need to gain weight. True, this might sound like a no-brainer, however; time pressure is one of the most common reasons for skipping out on a meal.
If you prefer to eat many meals rather than fewer and bigger portions, go for it. In fact, research shows that those who eat several meals per day also tend to have the highest total caloric intake .
One way to go about this could be to aim for six meals/day, including: (1) breakfast, (2) snack, (3), lunch, (4) snack, (5) dinner, and (6) snack. Eating accordingly, with a meal at every third hour, is an approach that works great for tons of people.
Experiment and find a schedule that suits your needs and daily life.
4. Drink Your Calories
One of the most common advice for people trying to lose weight is to avoid liquids high in energy.
This is due to that liquids don’t satiate very well. On the contrary, if you want to gain weight; liquids are one of the easiest ways to increase your caloric intake. Of course, this does not mean that you should start pouring down beers or sugar-sodas.
However, there are other liquids that are both healthy and good calorie sources, including milk, protein-shakes, juice (without added sugar), and fruit/berry smoothies.
5. Add More Fat to Your Diet
Fat is the most energy dense out of all nutrients, containing as much as 9 calories per one gram. To put this in perspective, carrots contains about 0,4 calories per one gram. In other words; eating more fat is a great way to boost your total caloric intake and thus, help you gain weight.
So, how can you add more fat and what are some rich sources? Start by topping your meals with olive oil. Use full-fat dairy products instead of the low-fat choices. Fill out your stews with seeds, nuts, or cheese.
6. Dare to Be (Somewhat) Less Strict
Choosing fresh, high-quality, and nutrient-dense food is one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your health. However, if your goal is to gain weight, going a bit off the “healthy path” every now and does not have to be the end of the world.
Remember; the key to increasing your body weight is to create a positive energy balance. This can be achieved by making small daily adjustments such as replacing raw salads with wok vegetables, adding a few extra slices of cheese on your sandwich, or drinking milk instead of water during your meals.
Sometimes, you might even enjoy a dessert! Hang on to your healthy habits, but don’t be afraid to add more energy dense food into your diet. If you want to go big, you got to eat big.
The recommendations in this article are general guidelines which means that some of them might not suit your unique needs.
Still, by applying the ones that you do find appealing – and making them a regular part of your lifestyle – you should soon start to notice a positive change in your body weight.
Be patient and keep in mind that getting used to eating more calories is a process that requires will-power and dedication.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mattias Johansson is a Nutrition and Fitness writer, a personal trainer that applies latest research to optimize performance and help you excel.
Here are some highlight of Mattias Johansson’s qualification.
*Specialized Sports Educator
*Physical Education Teacher
*Bachelor of Sports Science & Psychology at Halmstad University. Courses included: Applied & Social Psychology, Sports Psychology, Cognition, Motivational Strategies, Exercise Training, Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, Scientific Methods
*Studied Advanced Studies in Sports Medicine & Nutrition at Linnaeus University. Courses included: Nutritional Recommendations for Performance Enhancement, Nutrition & Diet Analysis, Client Collaboration, Supplements, and Athlete’s Diet
*Sports Science & Management at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 11th World Ranking. Courses included: Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, Conditioning for Physical Fitness, and Principles of Strength Training
*International Nutrition & Fitness Copywriter