Not everyone wants to lose weight. There are quite a few people who are concerned about the opposite problem: how to increase body weight. Because being too thin is not only not beautiful, but also not healthy. The body needs to be in proper, healthy condition in order to function normally. Otherwise, problems begin.
But “getting better” should also not be just like that, if only the numbers in the window would grow on the scales. As a rule, we are talking about an increase in muscle mass. And diet plays a key role in weight gain. MedAboutMe talks about 10 important components of proper nutrition.
Do not save fat, but feed the muscles
In an effort to gain weight, you should focus not on the size of clothes, not on kilograms and not on centimeters of volume. As a rule, BMI is better suited for this — body mass index, which gives an idea of u200bu200bthe correct ratio of height and weight of a person. BMI is calculated by the formula:
- Weight expressed in kg : (Height in m) ²
The World Health Organization (WHO) conducts statistical studies, on the basis of which a “normal” BMI value is determined, deviations from which are considered undesirable. A low BMI means you are underweight, while a high BMI means you are overweight or obese.
It cannot be considered an ideal indicator of BMI, but it is quite possible to focus on it when correcting body weight.
There are other indices that allow you to determine not only the ratio of height and weight, but also the ratio of muscles, bones and fat “reserves” of the body. In order to correctly build a plan for moving towards the goal in the form of a beautiful and healthy body, it is better to contact specialists who will not only be able to correctly determine the current state of the body, but also give advice regarding the training schedule, regimen, and, of course, diet.
If the goal is not to become a sumo champion, then it is very important to properly plan the diet so that the muscles get enough energy for physical work, the organs of the body are not nutritionally deficient, and that nothing has to be stored for future use in the form of fat.
The process of increasing body weight should be as gradual as losing weight and should not exceed 2 kg per month. To maintain just such a regimen, you need to individually calculate the daily calorie intake. This indicator will be adjusted if necessary, and for this you need to keep a diary in which to record changes.
As a rule, when gaining mass, the basis of the diet is carbohydrates — from 40 to 60%, a little less protein — up to 35%, and the least fat — 10–15%.
Changes in nutrition should be gradual so as not to disturb the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
What foods best meet the requirements of a weight gain diet?
Carbohydrates: cereal, chocolate, bread
- Porridge is an excellent source of “slow” carbohydrates that supply the body with energy. It is usually advised to focus on oatmeal and buckwheat, but rice should not be neglected either. Porridges can serve as side dishes for meat and fish, or be an independent dish, for breakfast, for example. You can add dried fruits or fresh berries, milk, kefir, butter (in moderation) to the porridge.
- Bread is also a good source of carbohydrates. Suitable whole grain bread or with the addition of bran. If you have a bread machine, you can provide yourself with delicious bread with a variety of additives — sunflower or pumpkin seeds, nuts, prunes, etc.
- For those who love chocolate, it is quite possible to include a treat in your diet. But only high-quality, with a cocoa content of at least 70%.
- Natural marmalade, marshmallow and marshmallow. But not eastern, but in the northern version, from applesauce with egg whites. Although the eastern one, made from pureed berries, is also a good delicacy.
Protein sources: meat, fish and seafood, eggs
Protein is necessary for building muscle mass, these are the “bricks” from which muscles are built. The source of this important component is:
- Chicken and quail eggs. They can be consumed almost every day, and together with the yolks. The norm of chicken eggs — up to 10 pcs. per week, quails can be more. Eggs can be scrambled, boiled, or added to other dishes.
- Seafood is an excellent source of protein. Crabs, shrimps and squids should take their rightful place on the table. And they will be accompanied by fish, from which the body will receive not only easily digestible complete protein, but also such important nutritional components as Omega‑3. Fish can be both freshwater — carp, pike perch, pike, and marine. In particular, mackerel, cod, all types of salmon, from chum salmon and salmon to arctic char and trout.
- Meat and poultry. The opinions of nutritionists are divided here. Some recommend making beef the basis of the protein diet, while others insist that turkey and chicken breasts are much more suitable for those who seek to increase muscle mass. But, since red meat is still better to limit in the diet, you should give preference to poultry meat. Turkey and chicken fillets can be boiled or baked, used both as a hot dish and as a cold snack and snack.
Dairy products: forget about low-fat varieties
- Milk is valuable not only because it contains both proteins and fats in a relatively easily digestible form. Drinking milk can reduce the unpleasant consequences of intense physical activity in the form of muscle pain. If there is no lactose intolerance, whole milk and dairy products can be included in the diet daily. They can be included in smoothies, milkshakes. Milk is added to cereals, and yogurt and kefir can serve as a dressing for salads.
- Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. You can serve it with sweet fruits, nuts, dried apricots and raisins, or flavor it with herbs, garlic and lightly salt. A good snack is obtained from a mixture of cottage cheese, sour cream or yogurt, fresh herbs. The mixture can be spread on bread or stuffed with fresh tomatoes. The optimal fat content of cottage cheese is 9%.
- Real, live yogurt will not only ensure the intake of protein, but also maintain the optimal composition of the intestinal microflora, help to improve the functioning of the intestines. To have complete confidence in the absence of unwanted components in yogurt, it is better to cook this healthy product yourself, it is not difficult at all.
- Cheese, hard and soft. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein. It is only necessary to avoid too salty and spicy varieties of cheese so that excess salt does not cause water retention in the body and swelling.
Fruits, vegetables, berries: fiber and carbohydrates
First of all, it’s just delicious. Secondly, it is very useful from any point of view.
What vegetables and fruits should you pay attention to first?
- Bananas. These fragrant fruits contain starch — a source of “slow” carbohydrates, and potassium. You can snack on bananas (including after a workout), add them to smoothies and fruit salads.
- Cherry, the juice of which helps to get rid of muscle pain after significant physical exertion.
- Dates. A few dates are a great, energizing snack.
- Forest and garden berries — currants, raspberries, lingonberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. A wonderful source of vitamin C, a delicious addition to porridge, cottage cheese, as well as a component of nutritious and vitamin cocktails and smoothies. Please note: when preparing homemade yogurt, berries should be added to the finished product, as fruit acids inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria and interfere with fermentation.
- Avocado is a unique fruit that should be considered more of a vegetable than a fruit. Avocado fruits are very high in calories, while they are perfectly absorbed. Avocados are used to make salads, add them to rice and pasta dishes, or simply scoop out the tender, oily pulp of a ripe fruit with a spoon.
- Root crops: carrots, beets, turnips. They are quite high in carbohydrates, but the main advantage is their high fiber content. In addition, it is one of the most inexpensive and widely available products. Unlike the same avocado, for example.
- Potatoes. Potato lovers can exhale: a diet for mass gain allows the inclusion of potatoes in the diet, unlike “weight loss” diets. Preference should be given to boiled and baked potatoes. And don’t overuse it.
Seeds and nuts
- A handful of nuts can be a good snack. And they are added to salads, casseroles and homemade bread. Pay attention to almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, cashews, as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sesame, flax seed.
Bon appetit and beautiful figure!
Grant Tinsley, Physiologist, Sports Nutrition Specialist, Texas
The first thing to start with any weight correction, both downward and upward, is an examination of the body. This will determine his condition, and possibly identify the reasons why the weight does not increase or decrease. Only after that, taking into account all the data obtained, it is possible to begin to develop a correction program, including not only the amount and schedule of physical activity and diet, but also the lifestyle.
It is good if it is possible to constantly monitor the state of health and the process of weight change, muscle growth and fat reduction.
In order for weight gain to proceed gradually, it is necessary to calculate the daily number of calories so that the surplus is about 10%.
It is important to have a balanced diet. And it is equally important to avoid stress and disruption of work and rest.
In the best case, all work is carried out under the constant supervision of a sports nutrition specialist in cooperation with a trainer. So you can timely adjust both the diet and training loads.