How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle the Healthy Way

man gained weightA lot of people will ask about the best ways to lose weight. After all, who wants a bulging tummy or saggy arms, right?

Unfortunately for many, the problem is just the opposite. As a matter of fact, a lot of people, mainly men,  are looking for ways on how to gain weight and build muscles in the healthiest way possible.

The question is, are you one of them?

If you answered yes, then there’s good news for you. Here are tips on how to gain way and build muscle without developing unwanted pounds and calories.

From Flabs to Abs: Healthy Foods That Must be Included in Your Diet

Most nutritionists will agree on this: if you really want to gain weight, focus not just on the calories but also on good nutrition too. Hence, weight gain is all about calorie-rich yet nutrients-rich foods too. At the same time, frequency or the number of times you eat everyday also matters. This means you need to eat small and healthy meals for six times a day. And these small meals must be packed with protein, starch, fruits and vegetables and even a little bit of fat.

Here is a list of the different food you can take that can help add additional pounds.

  • Plant fats – This includes nuts, peanuts, seeds, almond butter, avocados and oils. Plant fats are rich in both calories and nutrients, which makes it a healthy candidate in your quest for weight gain. Just be creative on where you want to add it. For instance, sprinkle nuts – which are high in monounsaturated fats, by the way – on salads, Greek yogurt or even cereal.
  • Tuna – Did you know that tuna is a classic favourite among fitness buffs? This is because it has a low fat content yet high in protein and healthy calories, making it a perfect choice if you want to gain weight in a healthy manner.
  • Whole fat dairy products – If you really want to gain weight, then stay away from skimmed or low fat dairy. Whole fat products are rich in protein and fat which can easily help you gain weight. So don’t be afraid to add cheese in your sandwich, drink full cream milk or even eat yogurt. You’ll need it.
  • Fruits and vegetables – This is classic. If you really want to gain weight without compromising the nutrients your body needs, then fruits and vegetables is the perfect choice. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy fat too. If you think fresh fruits are messy to eat, you can try dried fruits too. These are concentrated sources of calories that you can eat alone or freely add in any other dishes too.
  • Whole wheat – Crackers, bagels, bread, eat whatever you want as long as it is whole wheat. This can help you add a few pounds while making sure that the fibre needs of your body is still intact.

And more importantly, do not deprive yourself with good food once in a while. That is actually the best thing you can do when you want to gain weight.

You can freely eat whatever you want such as dark chocolates, ice cream or baked potatoes and pasta without putting too much emphasis on the number of calories added in your body.

Still, this does not mean you can overeat. Stay away from too much carbohydrates and high-calorie snacks with little nutrition. That means cakes, biscuits, confectionary, French fries and junk food. You will only add more weight minus the nutrients that your body needs.

What Else Can you Do to Add More Weight?

Eating tons of cheeseburgers and drinking sodas or even lining up in eat-all-you-can buffets is simply not the best way to add extra weight. Here are healthy and natural ways to add up a few pounds.

  • Drink fruit juice. It is rich in calories too.
  • Eat after 7 PM. There is no such thing as “after 6” diet when you want to gain weight.
  • Start to lift weights. It adds muscles to your body which can make you weigh more.
  • Stock up on protein. Milk, eggs, cheese, lean meat, nuts, beans and grains are only some of the protein-rich foods that can boost your weight.
  • Do not be too scared of sweets. Go on, sumptuous desserts such as ice cream, cupcakes and brownies are too hard to resist.
  • Get enough rest. Did you know that your body builds muscles while you sleep? Hence, sleep for 6 to 8 hours everyday.
  • A potato a day will never keep the pounds away. Potatoes are packed with nutrients and at the same time, helps add weight quickly.
  • Make your own smoothie. One of the best ways to put additional weight is by making your own smoothie. Mix bananas, berries, pineapples, protein powder, raw egg yolk, ice cream and even full fat yogurt to gain weight in no time.

Protein: Is It Really That Important?

A leaner and healthier body will never be complete without protein. Protein is composed of amino acids or the essential building blocks of your muscles and body. This means that without amino acids, it will be difficult to build, repair and even maintain muscle tissue. In other words, you need all the necessary amino acids to build muscle.

So why do you need protein in building muscles? And what can protein do to help you in the muscles department?

  1. Muscles are made up of protein. Aside from water, did you know that protein makes up 20% of your muscle cell composition? Yes, you read that right. Protein plays an important role in your body, especially in muscle building. Therefore, stock up on protein since you will need it to develop and build these muscle cells.
  2. It helps rebuild your muscle cells. Aside from developing it, protein also helps rebuild muscles and make it stronger. Keep in mind that when you work out, the muscles in your body also breaks down and becomes damaged. And one of the best ways to regain it is by supplying your body with protein.
  3. It helps you burn fat. This is good news especially for the ladies. If you want to burn unwanted calories in your body without exerting too much effort, then protein might be your solution. This is because when you build muscles, your metabolism functions will also increase, making it easier for you to digest and burn everything you eat. In other words, the more muscles you have in your body, the more calories will be burned even if you are at rest.
  4. Protein makes you fuller. This may be fibre’s main function but did you know that protein can also suppress your appetite too? Hence, eating enough protein such as meat or chicken can make you eat lesser calories.

How about Creatine? Can It Really Help You Build Muscles?

If you are looking for easy and instant results to build muscles, then Creatine must be on top of your list. It is the most popular performance-enhancement drug that can help enhance muscle mass, boost your strength and allows you to recover quickly during exercise. It comes in variety of forms – powder, tablets, energy bars, and even drinks – which makes it easily accessible to you.

Creatine is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body. This will then create a substance called adenosine triphosphate or ATP which provides energy for muscle contractions.

However, the biggest question now is ‘is it safe?”

To this date, experts are still trying to figure out the safety and effectiveness of this supplement. There are studies that can attest to the drug’s ability to help improve your performance during an athletic activity while there are also studies that suggest otherwise. At the same time, researchers are still unsure of the long term effects of taking Creatine, especially in young people.

It is also important to note that this drug comes with side effects too. This can include weight gain, difficulty in breathing, kidney problems, nausea, fatigue, rash and upset stomach among others. If you are taking medications such as diabetes drugs or diuretics or stimulants such as caffeine, Creatine may cause adverse effects too.

What does this mean? No matter how healthy or fit you are, ask your doctor first if taking Creatine will be good for you. You don’t want to experience those side effects in exchange for a perfectly chiselled body, right?

What Can You Do to Build Muscles the Healthy Way?

If you are looking for ways to bulk up, then remember this: there should be a mixture of enough calories, protein and proper strength training.

One of the easiest ways to build muscle is by eating protein-rich snacks. High protein energy bar or a protein shake after you lift weights can definitely give your muscles an extra boost. However, the best way to build muscles in the healthiest way possible is by resistance training. If you want to build muscles, then you need to you should include resistance training in your workout routine.

It focuses on muscle cells and increases its protein synthesis. At the same time, it increases and thickens the connective tissue that surrounds the muscle fibre, thereby increasing the size of your muscles. Resistance training is focused on the “overload principle.” This means weights will be used to place a greater stress on the muscle cells, which can stimulate the muscles to grow and make it bigger.

At the same time, increasing the number of times you lift weights can also help build muscles. Keep in mind that there is no exact number of repetitions and sets that can guarantee muscle growth. Still, two to three sets with 8 to 12 repetitions is enough to stimulate muscle growth.

Also, resistance training should follow an exercise sequence. So if you have eight exercises in your training routine, these exercises should be in sequence so the muscle fatigue does not limit your ability lift weights. Just make sure to do the resistance training routines correctly and properly to achieve maximum gain.

Resistance training includes but not limited to:

  • Squats
  • Pull ups
  • Overhead press
  • Bench press
  • Dead lifts

In conclusion, here are two important things you need to remember when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle in a healthy way: eat calorie-rich and nutrients-rich food and lift weights consistently. By doing these two, you can see an improvement in your body in no time.

Barbara Komorek

Barbara is the founder and owner of www.leanhealthyandwise.com. She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

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Kevin Reply

Hi Barbara, great post. Your website is really sluggish to view though. I wanted to have a browse around but it was loading so slowly. Thought I’d let you know. Kevin

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