Gaining weight will be a part of your fitness journey too. Just like losing fat is. Once you drop your body fat percentage to a certain level, you might look forward to packing on some muscle. Or you’re just looking to gain a little weight for your desired physique.
Either ways, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to gain weight the right way. Here they are –
Eat more than what you burn in a day
This is a given. If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more than what you burn in a day. That is, your calorie intake must be higher than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
What you eat can make a difference to what you gain (Muscles or fat) but the fact remains that you need to eat more in order to gain weight. There are some exceptions to this (Beginners, etc) who can gain weight in the initial days by eating at maintenance calories, but that’s a topic on to itself.
Now, the caloric surplus does not have to be really huge. It should be a slight caloric surplus (200-300 calories) depending upon your level of experience as a lifter. A big surplus leads to unnecessary fat gain without any measurable impact on extra muscle gain when compared to a slight caloric surplus.
Have sufficient protein
Now, protein is important because it helps with mps (Muscle Protein Synthesis). Basically, what we mean is by making sure that you’re eating ample amount of protein daily, you’re minimizing fat gain and maximizing muscle gain which is good for the long term.
Intake between the range of 1.6 - 2.4 g/Kg body weight works best for most people. Also, it is a good starting point & then you can asses how your body is responding and make changes accordingly.
Lift Heavy & Cut Down on the Cardio
You should cut down on the cardio as doing a lot of cardio just burns more calories which then makes your TDEE go up.
Instead, focus on lifting heavy in the gym. This will also help in making sure that you gain more muscle & less fat.
Though it is impossible to just gain muscle & no fat in a gaining phase, we can definitely take some steps to minimize the fat gain & maximize the muscle gain with High protein diets & heavy workouts being the two main factors.
Eat at least 3 meals a day
Now, the only reason that this point finds it’s place here is because when you’re trying to gain weight, you have to eat more. And, it’s easier to distribute your calories in multiple meals rather than cramming it all up in 1 or 2 meals.
This way, you can be sure that you complete your calorie intake for the day and don’t miss out on those calories.
This will also help you in enjoying the meals more.