With much discussion focusing on how to lose weight, some people have the reverse problem. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to gain weight. You want to bulk up and get some muscle on you, but it might seem nearly impossible. What can you do?
First Things First, Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re severely underweight, there could be some serious underlying medical issues. And even if it’s caused by genetics, being underweight can end up causing serious issues like osteoporosis (which can be combatted with a good weightlifting routine like Strong Curves). That being said, before you start a weight gain program, make sure you go get a thorough check up.
Don’t Go for Quick Weight Gain
Many of the rules for losing weight also apply to gaining. For example, the speed at which it occurs. There are ways you could gain weight quick, but that doesn’t mean they are good for you.
For example, some people will try to gain by eating whatever they can get their hands on. Usually these are sugary, high calorie foods. This might work for you, but it’s going to cause you to gain in all the wrong places, in all the wrong ways. And it certainly isn’t going to be good for your heart or overall health.
“Junk food doesn’t cause me to gain weight.” Yeah, I’ve heard that one a million times. However, guess what it will do? It will:
- Still clog up your arteries.
- Still cause dangerous fat to form on your organs.
- Still keep you from toning, which will keep you “skinny fat,” as some people say.
How to Gain Weight
For women like you who have genes working against them and a metabolism running at a hundred miles an hour, gaining weight isn’t going to be easy. But it is possible.
1. Increase your calories. I like to think of it like how a bodybuilder goes about bulking up. Your body naturally only holds a certain amount of weight on your frame. So to add more, you’re going to have to force it. This means you have to increase your caloric intake.
Sure, you’re probably already doing it. However, you’re going to have to take it up a notch in a planned out fashion. You’re going to have to put food into your body until you feel like you can’t anymore. That means eat a lot and eat often.
Shoot for 6 meals a day—not just snacks. Each of those meals should be rich in protein and complex carbs. Shy away from too much fat or sugar. Of course, healthy fats in things like avocado and salmon should not be avoided. In fact, some people say that the omega-3 in salmon can help you gain.
2. Keep a food log. Want to make sure you’re putting in enough calories? Keep a running record. Many women will think they are getting enough calories because it feels like the eating is constant. However, that still doesn’t necessarily mean you are. By keeping track, you’ll have facts to work with.
3. Cut down on the cardio. I’m not saying you should stop cardio. It’s could for the heart and lungs. However, if you’re killing it running every day, you’re probably going to stay thin. You don’t want to burn off all the food you’re putting in. So consider downgrading the cardio to 30-45 minutes, 3 days a week.
4. Start strength training. I’m sure you have heard that muscle weighs more than fat? Well, muscle can also give you some of those curves that a thin girl might want. For example, squatting heavy weight can bubble out your butt. That being said, a good strength training workout plan will help you gain muscle, which means weight gain.
However, you aren’t going to achieve this listing little 5 pound dumbbells. You need to get in the gym (or buy some weights) and get serious about lifting to see those results.
5. Drink your milk. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to stray far away from dairy. However, milk is great for weight gain. Some people suggest that you drink up to a gallon a day when trying to gain. While that might be a bit extreme, definitely consider drinking 2% or higher on a regular basis.
Add it in wherever you can. Have a glass in the morning. Mix it with a protein shake before and after a workout. Drink a glass before bed. Put it in your coffee and in your tea. You get the idea.
Were you finally able to gain weight? How’d you do it?