Google search is dominated by questions and suggestions on how to lose weight, and FAST! With this trend, it is little wonder why people generally raise eyebrows when skinny people (especially ladies) want to add on weight faster.
In your healthy weight-gain journey, it’s easy for people to tell you to –“eat more”, “workout”, “sleep well”, “get married and have babies, then the weight will come”, and blah blah. But the truth here is what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. So if you have been a size minus to zero all your life, or if you are thin for your age, height or frame and you want to beef-up a little, here are the things you can do to add the weight you want now.
First of all, are you actually under-weight?
Sometimes, being thin or fat can be relative and, as much as you (think you) look like you’re just a bag of bones and knobbly knees, the hard truth is that you may not need to add weight. Before you start your weight-gain journey, it is important to check your BMI (Body-Mass Index) just to determine which weight gain program can give you the results that you want.
To calculate your BMI, divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height squared (in centimeters).
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Medical Check-Up is Key!
While some people just smell food and get fat, others can eat from now till thy kingdom come and not add as much as a hair strand! Weight gain and loss issues also depend largely on your genes or some hormonal imbalance or deficiency. For this reason, it is vital that you first identify the root cause of your weight issues by visiting your physician and ask for a thorough medical check-up.
Eat Quality Not Necessarily Quantity.
You have probably had people tell you to pile your plate high or eat massive amount of eba or akpu to add on weight. Or that the extra you eat after you are satisfied is what will make you add on the desired weight. This is so not true as you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
It is very important to plan out your meals carefully. True, you have to load up on calories however; these calories should not come from just about any food but from those natural sources that will give your body the amount it needs. Pay attention to your meals and ensure that you eat nutritious foods that have high calorie content.
Calories contain fats but avoid eating food or snacks that have saturated fats. Saturated fats can cause increased cholesterol and other related illnesses and conditions.
TIP: Avoid taking water WITH your meals; you can drink water 30 minutes before or after our meal. This is because taking water during meals fills your stomach and gives the illusion of fullness when you haven’t really eaten much. It also dilutes the digestive juices in your stomach, slows down digestion and dilutes the nutrients absorbed by the body.
Instead, substitute water for fresh juice during meals. A glass of good red wine is also recommended. If you can’t afford to do this all the time, take a glass of milk with your meal. SODAS OR ARTIFICIAL SOFT DRINKS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED!
For normal to big eaters, an ideal meal schedule is at least three heavy meals and two snacks each day. However if you are a little-eater, bear it in mind that it is best not to force yourself to eat massive portions because you might vomit or be full in an instant. In this case, a three-square meal only is not enough. To add on weight, you can double your meal time and eat as much as 6 times daily.
You probably panicked when you read “6 times” but this is not about stuffing yourself with heavy random food. –it involves eating smaller meals that have high calorie contents at planned times, and making sure you stick to your meal schedule.
REMEMBER, thy shall not skip any meal because thy body will use up thy reserved fats.
In your weight gain journey, you find yourself eating lots of proteins, and these proteins need certain enzymes to break them down. And these enzymes are abundant in fruits and vegetables. Adding fruits to your diet is an ABSOLUTE must. Fruits and vegetables aid in detoxification and bowel movements, promotes a healthy, beautiful and radiant skin, and most importantly, is a natural source of vitamins.
Supplements Are Add-ons Not Complete Nutrient
Taking food supplements is a way to go to boost your weight gain goal. However you must remember that FOOD SUPPLEMENTS WORK BEST WHEN YOU ACTUALLY EAT FOOD. Food supplements helps your body absorb nutrients from the foods you eat at a faster rate.
Examples of the best kinds of supplements are protein shakes, Omega 3, Amino Acid, e.t.c. Supplements like protein shakes (Whey Protein) provides sufficient supply of calories in the body and it is best taken before or after workouts/exercise.
Fitness is Fab
Just before you think you can eat your way up the weight ladder, you must remember that where there’s no pain, there’s no gain.
No matter how lazy you feel, you must exercise regularly. However, you should do exercises that promote muscle building and strengthening e.g squats and lunges, lifting, bench presses, e.t.c. This is very important for a great body metabolism and well-toned body. Think about it; food increase + food supplements + zero exercise is a recipe for unhealthy weight gain.
Be Patient. Be Consistent. Be Rest-full
Gaining weight is as much hard work as losing it. So if after you try out these steps and the needle on your scale isn’t jumping to the place you want it, just chill and stick to your meal schedules like glue. Ensure that you are consistent in following your meals, supplements and exercise schedule. Most of all, avoid checking your weight on the scale every little second of the day.
And yes, you need to sleep well. Studies have shown that physically or mentally hyperactive people burn up energy (and body fat). Ideally, you should get for a minimum of 7 hours at night. But if you live the typical Lagos city life where you wake up to prepare for work by 4:00am and get back home by 11:0pm, ensure you take a power nap during the day if/when you can afford it, and try to get as much sleep as you can at night.