The title of this article might surprise you given the fact that most people are searching for easy ways to lose weight. However, there are people, and men especially who are looking for proven, effective and easy ways to gain weight and bulk up naturally. Media and movies have shown time and again, that bulkier and muscled men look attractive and nature has also intended for men to be strong and muscular. Also, some women believe they are too skinny and wish to gain weight naturally at home. After all, curvier women are considered sexy. So, in this guide, we will consider some of the most effective and easy ways to gain weight naturally and effectively at home.
1. Gain calories smartly
Most people believe that it is easy to gain weight-all one has to do is eat, eat and eat. However, that is unhealthy and can lead to lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes etc. The key to gaining weight in a healthy manner is to gain calories the smart way. It is very important to eat breakfast every day. This can help regulate metabolism and actually wake up your appetite. Make sure you include all major food groups like whole grains, proteins and fruit to start the day right. Have a yogurt and a bagel sandwich with eggs and cheese. Alternatively, if you are in a rush, grab a smoothie and/or cereal with some milk and berries. Experiment and vary with the type of proteins you select. Some good examples are: Cheese, nuts, beef, fish, yogurt, eggs, turkey, cottage cheese, lamb etc.
2. Know your body type and body shape
Let’s face it: not all of us are made to grace the cover of a magazine. Not only our lifestyle, but our genes also determine our body shape and body type. It is therefore very important to set attainable goals. You must also know that healthy weight gain is going to take time, efforts and patience.
3. Follow basic rules of nutrition
Basic rules of nutrition include good eating and balanced diet. You might be tempted to gorge on pizzas, milkshakes, and fast foods as these are easy ways to gain weight. However, it is very important that you also balance these items with “real food” and nutritionally dense and rich items like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins like meat, eggs, nuts, beans and dairy.
4. Eat 5-6 small meals daily
This is a super easy way to gain weight at home naturally. Ask any film star how he bulked up for a film role, and the answer, invariably would be, “I ate 5-6 small meals consisting of protein rich foods”. So, similarly, make sure you include 5-6 portions of white/lean meat like chicken, fish etc to gain weight in a healthy way. You can also eat granola bars, and drink energy shakes between meals. At the end of the day, the calories you gain must be greater than the calories you burn. Include plenty of healthy snacks in between meals. Some ideal snacks are: Trail mixes, nuts, Bean spreads with low fat chips, sugar free fruit juices, granola bars etc.
5. Work out
Now we hear you saying, “How can this be an easy way to gain weight?” Exercise leads to burning of calories and that should actually make you lose weight. However, healthy exercise will also help you kick up a healthy appetite. This will lead you to eating more frequently and also help in regulating your metabolism. Make sure you include activities like weight training, resistance training etc as these help tone your muscles and bulk you up. Do make sure that you balance between cardio, flexibility training and strength training.Do include protein shakes before and after every workout. Whey protein shakes especially contain Branched Chain Amino Acids that reduce wear and tear of muscles and also facilitates quick repair after workout.This is very important to gain weight in a healthy way.
6. Quit smoking
Notice how most smokers are like slim and trim bean poles? Smoking reduces appetite so- every time you feel the urge to light up, reach out for a healthy snack instead.
7. Consider high quality nutritional supplements
Let us face it: at times, all of the aforementioned easy ways to gain weight need a little boost.So you might need some energy dense, high quality nutritional supplements. Some mention-able ones include Carnation Instant Breakfast, Boost Plus, Ovaltine or Malt powder in milk etc. These foods act as your nutrition medicine. Make sure you have them on days when you do not feel like eating.
Foods to choose when you need more calories
One of the easy ways to gain weight in a healthy way is to make the right dietary choices. Here are some foods that can help you gain calories in the right way:
- Breads – Choose the denser and whole grained bread varieties like Pumpernickel, Rye, whole wheat and oat bran. Avoid white, refined breads. Also use peanut butter, jam, cream cheese and other rich spreads.
- Cereals– Select denser, cold cereals like Muesli, granola, shredded bran, etc. When making oatmeal, add whole milk. Make cereals extra nutritious by adding nuts, dates, maple syrup, berries etc.
- Starchy vegetables– Go for potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, winter squash, beets etc.
- Fruits– Select starchy fruit like avocados, bananas, pears, apples, pineapples, and all dried fruits like dates, raisins etc.
- Soups and salads– Choose meaty stews and soups with black beans, lentils, split peas, etc. Brothy chicken and beef or vegetable soups are more carbohydrate dense than other varieties. Likewise, in salads, choose ones with chickpeas, grilled chicken, garbanzo beans, kidney beans etc. Also select creamier salad dressings.
- Beverages– Select dense beverages like milk, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, etc. Avoid carbonated soft drinks and alcohol. Reduce your caffeine intake as it can reduce your appetite and also disturb sleep.
- Oils for cooking– Cook with olive oil, Ghee, coconut oil etc as these contain heart healthy fats and MUFAs(monounsaturated fatty acids). Also use oils like walnut oil, flaxseed oil etc for dressing the salads.
- Add protein where you can– As stated before, include protein wherever you can such as Oat bran and wheat germ to your baking, casseroles, hot cereals and power shakes. Also add dry milk powder and soy protein to flours for baking, in casseroles, in your mashed potatoes, and also shakes, soups and cereals.
As stated above, healthy eating is one of the easy ways to gain weight naturally. Make sure you consume at least 4000 calories daily based on your age, weight and height. Do consult a doctor or a trainer to help you determine your exact calorie needs.