In the diet to gain weight, you must consume more calories than the body spends, which can be achieved by eating every 3 hours, avoiding skipping meals and adding healthy, nutritious and caloric foods to the diet such as olive oil, fruit smoothies , oatmeal, avocado and nuts.
However, it is important to emphasize that even if the diet aims to gain weight, the consumption of processed foods such as French fries, soft drinks and sauces, for example, should not be increased. These foods are rich in sugars and saturated fats, which favor the increase in body fat and the risk of heart problems, cholesterol and high triglycerides.
Ideally, the weight gain is due to the increase in muscle mass, which can be obtained by following a balanced diet and physical activity, since this way the body remains defined and healthy.
Check out the following tips for healthy weight gain:
1. Eat every 3 hours
Eating every 3 hours is very important to increase calorie intake throughout the day and promote weight gain, because more calories must be ingested than the body spends. Likewise, a good daily balance of calories from carbohydrates, proteins and fats must be maintained, this will also favor the increase in muscle mass.
For this reason, it is important not to skip meals so as not to impair the supply of nutrients to the body, and to maintain adequate levels of glucose and amino acids in the blood to promote recovery and muscle growth.
2. Include protein in all meals
Including protein in every meal of the day keeps amino acid levels in the blood constant throughout the day, favoring good post-workout muscle recovery.
Proteins are present in foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese and yogurt, and it is very important to make snacks with efficient combinations such as a chicken and cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread or toast with cheese and yogurt.
3. Eat at least 3 fruits per day
Consuming at least 3 fruits per day and eating salad at lunch and dinner helps increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in the diet, which are essential for the proper functioning of metabolism and to promote weight gain and fat loss. muscle mass
Fruits can be consumed fresh, in the form of juices or smoothies or dried fruits, and can be included in snacks or as a dessert for lunch or dinner.
4. Eat good fats
Foods that are sources of good fats such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts, avocado, coconut, olive oil, flaxseed oil and seeds in general, are excellent options to increase the calories of the diet with a small volume of food. In addition to this, these fats also help to gain muscle mass and do not stimulate the accumulation of fat in the body.
Some examples of how to use these foods are: adding peanut butter to bread, cookies, or smoothies; eat a handful of nuts at snack time; add 1 tablespoon of grated coconut to the yogurt and; prepare avocado smoothies at snack time.
5. Drink at least 2.5 L of water per day
Drinking plenty of water and staying well hydrated is essential for gaining muscle mass, since hypertrophy, which is the increase in the size of muscle cells, only occurs if the cells are well hydrated.
For this reason, it is important to stay alert and count water consumption, remembering that pasteurized soft drinks and juices do not count as liquids for the body. In addition to this, it is important that the consumption of water is between meals, because if you drink it together with meals it can interfere with food intake.
6. Do physical activity
To guarantee that the extra calories are transformed into muscle and not fat, it is important to do physical activity 3 to 5 times a week, mainly muscle exercises and not aerobics. Ideally, consult a physical trainer or physical education teacher to carry out an exercise routine appropriate to your individual needs.
what not to eat
It is important that weight gain is based on a varied and balanced diet, avoiding the intake of processed foods rich in sugars or saturated fats. Some of these foods are snacks, sausages, bacon, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, sauces in general, sweets, chicken thighs, soft drinks, pasteurized juices, cakes, cookies, fast foods, fried foods, among others.
The consumption of this type of food can favor weight gain due to the accumulation of fat in the body and not due to the increase in muscle mass, which in the long term could cause health problems.
Diet menu for weight gain
The table below shows an example menu of 3 days of a diet to gain weight:
|food||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 cup of coffee with milk + Integral sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese and egg + 1 medium apple||1 glass of milk with cocoa + Large wrap with chicken and cheese + 1 tangerine||1 glass of natural orange + spinach omelet with chicken|
|morning snack||Whole Grain Crackers with Peanut Butter + 1 handful of Almonds||Wholemeal sandwich with 2 tablespoons avocado and egg + 1 banana||Oatmeal with chopped fruit + 1 handful of nuts|
|Lunch dinner||Chicken stroganoff accompanied with rice and black beans + Cabbage salad with carrot dressed with natural yogurt with coriander + 1 orange||Tuna pasta with olives, corn and cherry tomatoes + Raw lettuce salad with carrot dressed with 1 tsp olive oil + 1 slice of melon||Meatballs in tomato sauce accompanied with mashed potatoes and broccoli au gratin with cheese and seasoned with olive oil|
|afternoon snack||Chicken and cheese crepe or wrap + 1 pear||Yogurt with granola + 3 whole grain toasts with cheese||Avocado papaya smoothie + 2 tbsp oatmeal + 1 tsp chia seeds (smoothie)|
It is important to go to a nutritionist to develop an individualized nutritional plan, since the amounts vary according to age, sex, physical activity and medical history. In addition to this, if necessary, the nutritionist may indicate the use of vitamins or a nutritional supplement, which can be protein-based or one that allows more calories to be added to the diet.
How long can it take to gain weight?
The average time it takes to gain muscle mass and gain weight is about 6 months, but in 3 months you can already see some changes. However, this varies from one person to another, since it will depend on the diet and whether or not you do physical activity that favors muscle growth.