The need to lose weight is undoubtedly the most widespread, and it is rightly so seen and considered that excess weight has negative effects on the health of an individual. But the opposite can happen: that is that a person wishes to gain weight, perhaps by strengthening muscle mass. The result, however, is not so obvious, you must in fact avoid making compromises with health, which will only end up making you eat any kind of junk food.
Obviously we do not deal with pathological cases such as weight loss in anorexia or in cancer patients, situations that require specific medical interventions, but rather those situations in which the person is healthy but needs to regain some pounds in order to see and feel better. These are generally people who are genetically inclined to be very thin and who want to bulk up in terms of muscle and not just put on fat.
As always there is a clear distinction to be made when it comes to weight: there is fat and lean mass.
Obviously our goal is to increase muscle, and therefore lean mass.
This, among other things, is the main cure for aging. In fact, with the studies done on astronauts, we have discovered that the first consequence that the absence of gravity brings is the loss of muscles. Only from then on do all other physical damage take place.
This is why some countermeasures have been introduced in recent years that involve muscle training even on board space stations. Muscles are both the main defense and the best source of energy for us.
Most likely, while being overweight is more linked to a lifestyle problem , to a series of errors, especially in the nutritional field and with regard to poor physical activity, thinness seems to be more genetically determined than lifestyle dependent and therefore actually requires more effort to be countered in a certain sense.
The mistake these people who try to gain weight fall into most often is to risk doing it to the detriment of their health, by inserting a whole series of unhealthy foods that yes, can also contribute to making you gain weight, but almost certainly that weight will be fat, instead of being muscle, which is what really strengthens an organism, and above all the risk is to do it in a way that is even negative for the metabolism, for the blood parameters, and therefore to try to counteract a phenomenon that is judged as dysfunctional going in a direction that causes even worse dysfunctions.
5 tips on how to gain weight effectively
1. Don’t eat junk food
Don’t be stuffed with cookies, cakes, soft drinks ; do not think that the more foods of this type you introduce the easier it will be to correct the situation. No, the easier it will be to create another problem for you.
So everything you consider to gain weight, make it healthy . However, industrial foods rich in calories are poor in nutrients and therefore alter the metabolism. They generally contain specially designed mixtures of sugars and fats or fats and salt that raise blood sugar, stimulate the pancreas to produce too much insulin, increase blood pressure and tend to inflame the body.
Over time these effects amplify and end up creating damage at various levels: they increase oxidative stress and glycation (the link between sugars and body proteins that compromises their functionality), worsen the inflammatory state and deprive us of nutrients fundamental that we need and that must be provided by a regular intake of wholesome food.
2. Bring in plenty of naturally caloric nutrients like nuts
Examples of foods to be introduced in abundance because they are caloric but also healthy nutrients full of good fats, well nuts for example. This is a key element for anyone who wants to keep the energy intake of their diet high but choosing foods that are caloric but absolutely natural, rich in vitamins, rich in antioxidants and rich in good and healthy fatty acids. We can choose between walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews or other to taste but always in the natural, unsalted, not roasted versions.
3. Increase the intake of cereals in their wholemeal versions
It is clear that increasing the carbohydrate intake in these cases is necessary, but rather than eating high doses of refined flours, white pasta, white bread, white rice, we choose the wholemeal versions that are also rich in fiber and will provide however that surplus of calories, of starch that interests you, but not to the detriment of the metabolism that regulates blood sugar for example or the production of insulin, which are delicate mechanisms that you run the risk of targeting too abruptly with a diet super refined.
4. Uses noble proteins
If we want to try to gain weight mainly through an increase in muscle mass, we must also feed these muscles with proteins. These proteins must primarily be fish, eggs, lean meats, poultry. These are the richest and most noble proteins that the muscle is best able to assimilate.
5. Increase muscle mass
If you want to gain weight, in particular gain muscle mass, you cannot do an excessive amount of aerobic activity, so that activity, let’s say with medium-low effort, prolonged over time: walking, running, cycling a lot, doing long-term swims are all healthy activities but in this case they risk being a bit counterproductive compared to the attempt to gain muscle mass. Much more effective is to go to the gym and do some weight training to build muscle mass.
Then there are those people who want to regain muscle mass after losing it. There are several reasons why this happens:
- Cessation of physical activity due to injury : sport and in particular the gym allow you to increase strength and muscle mass but wear out the joints and tendons. Sometimes you are forced to prolonged periods of rest which negatively affect muscle mass.
- Periods of high stress : in some cases stress leads to eating more and gaining weight, but in other cases, tension closes the stomach, increases consumption and leads to weight loss.
- Lifestyle change and reduced food intake : when there are major life changes, eating habits and consequently weight can vary. Leaving the house for study reasons, for example, often compromises the quality of nutrition for children.
Also in these cases, first of all, medical causes that lead to weight loss must be excluded. Then it is necessary to adopt those changes mentioned above but logically in these cases the results come faster than for constitutionally thin people.
In fact, if we have to counteract a mechanism, which is above all genetically determined, a key word to do this is “be patient” because evidently the body is calibrated for a certain body weight. This may not please you and there may be valid reasons why a person wants to gain weight, but it must be done with that sweetness and delicacy that respects the needs of our body. Gaining muscle takes time, it takes method, and you can’t expect immediate results.