Want to gain weight healthfully? It takes a combination of healthy, calorie-dense foods and resistance training to build lean body mass.
When it comes to your overall health, you often hear that you should work to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. And when you hear that, it’s natural to think that it applies only to people who have extra weight to lose. But there are those who have the opposite weight problem: they struggle with trying to gain healthy body weight. While plenty of overweight folks might be happy to trade places with those who struggle to gain, they should know that underweight people often find it just as hard to achieve their weight goals as those who are trying to lose. Just as with many overweight people, those who feel skinny or scrawny may have issues with body image, or they feel as if all they do is think about food.
Whenever weight change is the goal—whether it’s to lose or to gain—most people want quick results. But in either case, the process is usually fairly slow and gradual. In order for an underweight person to gain a pound in a week’s time, they need to eat an extra 500 calories above what they burn every single day. That’s oftentimes easier said than done. Sometimes, in an attempt to speed the process along, people turn to unhealthy, high calorie foods, like donuts and French fries, which are loaded with fat and sugar. Aside from the fact that these foods don’t provide proper nutrition for an active body, they’re also not likely to lead to healthy weight gain.
Gaining weight in a healthy way requires more than simply eating more calories. You want to emphasize healthy foods that are also calorie-dense to ensure that you’ll ‘bulk up’ rather than simply ‘fatten up.’ But boosting calories alone, even from very healthy foods, could simply add more fat to your frame if you don’t couple it with resistance exercise. So, gaining healthy lean body mass requires a one-two punch of healthy eating along with strength training.
It also helps to eat on a schedule—to set aside some extra time to eat more often—in order to work in those extra calories. It does take some forward planning and a lot of patience, but with practice, you can achieve healthy weight gain.
Here are some tips to help you.