Gaining weight can be as difficult for some women as losing it is for others. While our culture offers an abundance of ways to gain weight thanks to the availability of junk food full of fat and calories, adding pounds in a healthy manner is not as simple. Simply eating a lot can have adverse effects on your health, and it is important that weight-gain plans add pounds in a controlled manner, preferably with the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Eat Frequent Meals
Eating several meals per day on a regular basis can increase your weight, according to UCLA's Student Nutrition & Body Image Awareness Campaign. This can include three regular meals and a few snacks, preferably high in nutrient-dense calories. Choosing whole grains, starchy vegetables like potatoes, brown rice, fruits, legumes and heart-healthy oils like canola or olive is recommended. You can also add sports drinks or protein bars to supply extra calories in a healthy way. Try to avoid empty calories like over-processed junk food and sodas.
Creative Calorie Additions
Weight gain can be achieved by women without resorting to the expensive powders and drinks consumed by bodybuilders. The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center recommends a few minor adjustments to the food you already eat in order to add weight in a healthy way. Drink high-calorie beverages such as cow or soy milk and fruit juices; snack on soy nuts, almonds or walnuts; add powdered skim milk to soups and smoothies; add cheese to deli sandwiches and burgers. Get creative with these extra calorie sources, but ensure they are nutrient-dense foods and not simply candy or full of saturated fats. A registered dietitian can help you design a weight-gain plan that incorporates nutritious foods.
Eat More Calories than You Burn
You must create a calorie excess in order to gain weight. A woman requires approximately 3,500 extra calories above her basic metabolic rate in order to gain one pound. This means you should get an extra 500 calories above what you normally need per day in order to gain one pound per week. Strength training, such as weights or isometrics, will help to ensure lean muscle, and not fatty tissue, is being gained. Certified fitness trainers and nutritionists can work together to advise you on a healthy plan that incorporates extra calories with resistance training to gain weight.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.