While losing weight is a big concern for many, there is a small part of the demography who are still struggling with gaining weight. Gaining weight is not just for people with some sort of disease that would stop them from becoming fleshy. People who are competing, people who have achieved the goal of losing weight are few of the most common that seek to put on some lean mass. What do I mean by lean mass here? We need to understand it is not ok to put on weight just like that by eating junk. We must know the difference between healthy mass and unhealthy mass. The weight of your body can fluctuate due to the never-ending swing of muscle to fat mass ratio. As you would have guessed by now, increasing weight through muscle mass is the healthiest way which is otherwise called an increase in lean mass. Now the question boils down to this. How do I gain lean mass? Are you being advised by 100s of people to try 100 different things? Well, let me give you some scientific tips that will help you decide what to do.
What you put in your mouth matters!
Eating in a caloric surplus
You cannot deprive your body of energy and expect to increase weight. This also means that you can increase weight only by bumping up some extra calories. It is important to find out your maintenance calories and eat a couple of hundred calories over it. If you are a very thin person, you need to figure out ways to eat in a healthy caloric surplus. What do I mean by that? Well, there are dummy calories and nutritious calories. Make sure to choose a high-quality nutritious diet over just other useless foods.
Ideas for nutritious caloric surplus foods: 1. 5 cups of chicken salad topped with 2 tablespoons of olive oil has a whopping 345 calories. A slice of cheddar cheese with 2 slices of brown bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter can give you 439 calories. Now that is something that would help you hit your daily targets.
In the ideas I have given, you can see that the food is not only high in calories but also very nutritious. Like for example, 2 tbsp of olive oil has 28 grams of monounsaturated fats that can be heart healthy.
Liquid diet – Fruits, milk, and smoothies
And no, I am not talking about high-calorie sodas! The liquid diet is an excellent way to consume extra calories. But it is again important to get it from a good source. Milk, fruit juices and smoothies are a very pleasurable way of increasing your caloric intake. When you are trying to put on weight never use skimmed milk but rather use high-fat milk. Similarly, fruits like mangoes, berries, oranges, and bananas can have extra nutritional benefits as well. Try drinking a smoothie daily. Add your favorite fruit or fruits with some thick milk, blend it and voila! You can choose to add sugar or drink it up without it. However, adding sugar can add to the calorie count and increase the taste.
It is very important to reach your protein goals. Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) is stimulated by both resistant training and plasma amino acids in the blood. MPS promotes muscle growth. Consuming a lot of protein-rich foods can better your chances of growing lean mass. Fatty fishes, eggs, white meat and, red meat are probably the most known way. Any gym-goer will know what the alternative is. A protein shake! Protein shakes can be your best pal as chewing a lot of solid food can be quite satiating. But it should be kept in mind that protein intake from whole foods is the best option. It is recommended that an average adult in the 20-30s age category with no kidney problems should intake 1 gram of protein/ body weight in pounds. If you are a person weighing 140 pounds, then your protein goal will be 140 grams per day.
Consuming supplements like fish oil, multivitamin, ZMA, etc. can help you hit your micronutrients goal. Vitamins and minerals will be your hidden secret for success. If you can consume it through whole foods, nothing like it, else, these supplements can come in handy.
I have covered this in another article and it gives a greater insight into why compound lifts are important. Lifting heavy weights can stimulate MPS and in turn, can improve your lean mass. It is important to train at least thrice a week to improve on your muscle mass. My advice to people who are trying to gain weight is to stay away from cardio as much as possible. Cardio can use up all those extra calories that you consumed and can leave you thin forever.
Good quality sleep
Sleep is when your body is relaxed and free from cortisol, a stress hormone. Every time your body is stressed, the body gets into a catabolic state that ends up etching away all the muscles you gained. An anabolic state is what you need to be in order to keep your MPS active. If you are not getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day, try working out on getting your daily schedules right. Become more disciplined and put yourself to sleep according to your schedules.
Quit smoking and excess alcohol consumption
As depressing as it may sound, alcohol is killing your gains. Alcohol can trigger Estrogenic release in your bloodstream that can affect the Estrogen-Testosterone ratio. In a given time when your Testosterone level drops, the concentration of Estrogen will have detrimental effects on your muscle growth. Smoking, in general, is bad for your lungs. The more you make it hard for your body to absorb oxygen the worse it is going to be for you to have healthy organs.