The Best Way to Gain Weight and Build Muscles - Fitness Health Check

The Best Way to Gain Weight and Build Muscles

Showing off muscle gain

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While millions of people are working hard to try and lose weight, it may come as a surprise to many that some people need to gain weight.  For underweight individuals, adding extra pounds can be a challenge but not a real problem unless you are grossly underweight.  There are different ways to bulk up your physique but the best way to gain weight is always the healthy and natural way.

Many people are skinny because of hereditary factors.  Others are underweight and need to add extra pounds due to lack of appetite, illness, or eating disorders.  The only way to gain weight is by consuming more calories than you burn every day.  You can increase caloric intake by eating larger quantities of food or choosing calorie-dense foods.  It’s always best, however, to eat nutrition-rich foods rather than junk foods.

Count Calories and Nutrients, Too

Healthy foods offer the best way to gain weight.  Choose foods not only for their caloric contribution but, more importantly, for the nutrients they provide.  Eat foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  Each serving must be loaded with good nutrition as well as calories.  Foods that are high in calories and nutrients include nuts, avocados, dairy products, meats, eggs, and poultry.  Don’t forget to include healthy fats in your diet.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Your body needs large quantities of carbohydrates, protein and fats, with carbohydrates being the primary energy source.  According to the Food and Nutrition Board, 45 to 65 percent of your total caloric intake should come from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent from fats, and 10 to 35 percent from proteins.  The best sources of carbohydrates are potatoes, corn, brown rice and pasta.  Good protein sources include meat, fish, beans, tofu, and poultry.  Healthy fats from olive oil, nuts and seeds provide the extra calories you need to gain weight.  Butter, whole milk and cheese also add more calories.  Don’t forget to include colorful fruits and vegetables and leafy greens in your daily diet.  They provide the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need for proper metabolism, higher energy levels, and a stronger immune system

Exercise

You need to do strength-training exercises in order to convert protein and extra calories into muscle mass.  When trying to gain weight, the best way to do this is to eat protein-rich snacks after weight training.  Proteins provide the amino acids needed to repair and build body tissues and make the muscles grow.

Supplements

People who are trying to gain weight can benefit from muscle-building supplements.  Creatine supplements contain a mixture of amino acids essential for muscle-building.  A number of studies, however, indicate that creatine may be linked with liver and kidney damage.  It may not be the best supplement for weight gain.  Whey protein, on the other hand, is loaded with amino acids that the body can easily absorb and utilize to build bigger and stronger muscles.  Whey protein is a safe and natural supplement that can be added into shakes and taken before or after your workout.

Rest and Recovery

The best foods and exercise regimen will not do you any good if you do not give your body time to recover.  The body repairs itself and builds muscles while you are resting and sleeping.  Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.  A combination of nutritious foods, exercise and rest is still the best way to gain weight and build muscle mass.

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Garth is a writer and publisher of information on health and fitness, small business development, and other approaches towards personal empowerment.

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