6 Proven Ways To Eat More & Gain Weight

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Just like calorie deficit is the primary perquisite for weight/fat loss, calorie surplus is the starting point for gaining weight. But for people who think, calorie surplus simply means, eating more food, of any kind, are highly mistaken.

Just like weight loss, weight gain is also a progressive and systematic process, which has its own challenges. Here are 6 mistakes to avoid when embarking on a weight gain journey:

  1. Don’t go all guns blazing. Whenever you plan to add calories in your diet, it has to be a planned gradual increase. Generally 300-500 calorie surplus is a good range to start with.

A lot of individuals, make a mistake of adding a large amount of calories in one go, and then suffer from various digestive issues. Give your body time to adjust to the surplus calories, and then gradually add more.

For e.g. if you have a TDEE of 2000 cal/day, then add another 300-500 calories, and then see for a week or two, how the body is responding. If your digestion remains fine, and the body is able to absorb the surplus food, add another 300-500 calories.

2. Eat more frequent meals. This is one of the simplest methods to boost your calorie intake. Though this method was (and even now) recommended for weight loss, with the assumption that more frequent meals will boost your metabolism. But, research doesn’t agree with this.

However, this is an excellent hack to boost your overall calorie intake, for sure. That’s the reason, most athletes who need to eat a lot of food, eat multiple meals (or meals + snacks). The same goes for people who want to gain healthy weight.

You can only eat a certain amount of food in a single sitting. So, it’s always advised to have more number of meals, during the day. For e.g. if you have 3 major calorie dense solid meals. Try and add 2 more meals/snacks between them, which can comprise of calorie dense liquid shakes, and you can drastically boost your overall food intake.

3. Eat nutrient dense food, not just calorie dense. Somehow, people think that gaining weight just means eating more, and eating anything. That’s the worst thing you can do. Just because you have a faster metabolism, doesn’t mean you won’t fall sick.

Adding quality calories is as important as the quantity of calories. Eating tons of junk like soft drinks, pizzas, chhole bhature, samosa, chips, ice creams, will surely add simple calories, but is also a welcome ticket to illness. These foods are made of junk calories i.e. calories with virtually no nutrient value. In the long run, these foods increase inflammation in the body, and will ruin your digestion.

That’s why when you add calories, make sure you add foods which are rich in proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. For e.g. instead of having an ice-cream, have a nutrient dense tasty smoothie, made of milk, fruits, berries & nuts.

4. Don’t overdo fiber. Fiber is excellent for your gut health, but high fiber diets promote fullness, which means, you will feel full much earlier and will not be able to eat more calorie rich food. This is excellent for people who want to lose weight, but absolutely not for those looking to gain.

That doesn’t mean, you completely eliminate fiber from your diet, as fiber has excellent health benefits. Just avoid too many salads or raw vegetables.

5. Add liquid meals to your solid diet. One of the most recommended way to dramatically boost your calorie intake is by adding calorie dense liquids in your diets. For e.g. calorie dense shakes, which can comprise of whole milk (plant milk in case you are lactose intolerant), fruits, nut butters/nuts, berries, whey/plant protein supplements etc.

Liquids are much less satiating than solid foods, and a very convenient way to boost your calorie intake, especially when the appetite is low.

6. Exercise, specially strength training. None of the advices will work optimally, if you do not spend your energy, for the body to stimulate hunger. Sitting like couch potato, and just eating more, will lead to gaining weight in the tummy area, more than the muscles. Remember, the aim is to gain lean muscle mass, and be stronger, not just add fat on the body in the name of weight gain.