How do I Gain Weight?

I receive this question often from young men and women in their teens and early twenty’s. I remember when I was that age, gaining weight was difficult, but it can be done with a proper diet and strength-training program.

Weight gain is something that isn’t easy to do and you probably know this already. People who cannot gain weight usually have a high metabolism, which makes gaining so hard. The key to weight gain is to do everything BIG. You have to eat big, lift big, in order to get big. This is your new motto! A lot of people think weightlifting is the key to gaining weight. It is an extremely important part, BUT, the other thing that is just as important is your diet.

So, to put it as simply as possible, there are 5 simple steps to how to gain weight:

1) Count how many calories you eat in a normal day. Don’t change anything, just eat like you normally would and count how many calories you consumed. This is extremely important, so try to be as exact as possible. Also, weigh yourself. If you are not gaining weight or losing weight, this number is your baseline caloric intake.

2) Starting the day after you counted calories, eat 500 calories MORE than you normally do. So, pretend that the day you counted calories you counted 2000 as your baseline. For the rest of the week, you would now eat 2500 calories a day. Instead of eating 3 big meals a day or eating all day all the time, spread those calories out over 5-6 smaller meals. Eat one meal every 2 and a half to 3 hours. To get big, you have to eat big! Remember that.

3) Weightlifting! Get in the gym and lift! This is another important step to how to gain weight, so make sure you are doing it correctly. For more information on weightlifting workout routines check out the StewSmith.com eBook Fitness Store for PT workouts and the new Weightlifting workout.


4) At the end of the week, weigh yourself. You’ll notice you are gaining just after one week! Now, don’t expect to see a 10lb increase. Gaining anymore than 1 or 2 pounds a week is unhealthy and means you are putting on way too much fat. So look for 1 or 2 pound gains at the end of the week. Doesn’t sound like much? You can be gaining 5-8 pounds a month! So be patient.

5) Here is an important one. At some point, you will stop seeing weight gain. At this point, you will have to eat even more. So, when you stop gaining for at least 2 weeks, it means it is time to start eating an extra 250 calories a day. Every time you see you haven’t gained weight for at least 2 weeks, add an extra 250 calories. UNTIL you have reached your goal. NOW, even more important KEEP WORKING OUT! Do not just eat to get big. Lift to get big too!!!

More tips for how to gain weight (extremely important!)

Stay away from fat! Even though weight gain is your goal, you don’t want to be getting all your calories from fatty foods, thus gaining fat. Get rid of the chips and candy. No more fast food, nothing fried. Stick to high protein / low fat foods like tuna fish (and other seafood), chicken breast, turkey, ham, lean meats, fruits and vegetables.

WATER! Drink water! Drink around a gallon a day, more if you can. Yes, that is a lot of water, but it is water that will allow you to gain weight. Just make sure you sip it through the day and not consume quarts during meals. That will take up space in your stomach. Below is a list of foods you want to eat to gain weight:

Foods that will assist with weight gain:

Whole or 2% milk Milkshakes

Salad dressing Mayonnaise

Cheese Burgers

Raisin Bran Cereal Oatmeal

Crackers Croissant

Peanut butter and jelly Club sandwiches

Bagel Cream based soup

Prime rib Steak

Ice Cream Chicken

Ham Steak Fish

Peanuts Beans, Peas

Potatoes Carrots

Bananas Protein drinks

Eat these in moderation if you are trying to lose weight, but add additional helpings if you are trying to boost your caloric intake to 2500-3000 cals per day in order to gain weight – even more if you are very active with your workouts.

If you want to lose weight you have to drop your calories to 1500-1800 calories a day in addition to cardio-vascular and resistance training exercise.

Feel free to contact meat Stew@stewsmith.com if you have any questions. Also, read the Article Archive Guide for answers to Army, Navy, Air Force Special Forces, scoring better on the PFT, losing weight and many other issues with fitness in the military.

Thanks for the e-mails. Keep them coming at stew@stewsmith.com.

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