Weight Gaining Diet

Written by Emily Ledbetter
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The overabundance of fad diets and trendy exercise programs in today's society contributes to the notion that everyone is looking for an effective, convenient way to lose weight. However, there are individuals who are looking for safe, healthy methods for gaining weight. There is no conclusive evidence available on why some underweight people struggle to maintain a healthy body weight. It is suggested that it may be due to the fact that, though they believe they are consuming enough calories through a proper diet, underweight people actually have a lower caloric intake than they think.

Healthy Weight Gain

Most experts agree that an average of 500 extra calories a day is the optimum amount to help most underweight people gain weight. At this rate, individuals can expect to gain about one pound per week. The average calorie requirement for adult women is approximately 1900 calories per day. This means the optimum amount to help most underweight people gain weight is about 2400 calories. However, each person is different so it is important to determine what the individual needs are associated with weight gain.

Once a person has determined their optimal daily caloric intake for weight gain, the next step is to divide those calories into the right ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat and eat foods in the proper combinations at every meal. The ideal ratios for most people attempting weight gain are 55 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 15 percent fat (give or take five percent either way). The key to healthy weight gain is to consume calorie-dense, but healthy foods. A diet high in unhealthy, saturated fats will definitely lead to weight gain but it will also contribute to cardiovascular disease and a fatty mid-section.

Ten Tips for Weight Gain

• Eat High Calorie Meals - High daily caloric intake is the first and most important step in gaining weight.
• Eat Four to Six Times Per Day - Eating four to six meals a day helps ensure high caloric intake.
• Eat High Carb & Protein Meals – Complex carbs should be the majority of total calories, not protein.
• Drink Water - Water contributes to proper regulation of food, vitamins, and minerals and also ensures full benefit from protein and carb absorption.
• Eat Late At Night - Late night eating helps to keep the body from burning too many calories during sleep.
• Cycle The Diet - Try eating a normal high-calorie diet for about four days, then dramatically eat even more calories for the next three days.
• Increase Sodium Intake - Slightly increasing daily sodium intake helps increase water retention and plays an important role in overall muscle growth.
• Eat Red Meat - Red meat is the most affordable and effective type of meat for weight gain.
• Supplement Meals With Protein Shakes - Protein shakes or meal replacement drinks taken with or in between meals helps to prevent muscle breakdown. They also provide extra calories and aid in muscle recovery after workouts.
• Eat and Rest – Get six to eight hours of sleep a night to ensure that your body is not burning calories due to an inadequate amount of rest.

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