How To Gain Weight
by Joseph D. Tabora, M.D.
This article starts below.
To gain weight, first make sure that you don't have any medical condition that keeps you from gaining weight. Second, make sure that you eat the right amount of calories everyday. Finally, start an exercise program for gaining strength.
If you can't seem to gain any weight, do a quick checklist of the following symptoms:
- low-grade fever, loss of appetite
- chronic cough
- palpitations and tremors
- excessive urination, thirst and hunger
- small-caliber stools
- any mass or non-healing wound
These symptoms point to infectious, endocrine or neoplastic diseases that cause weight loss. They must be addressed medically if you are to gain weight. If you have any of the above symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
If you don't have any of the above symptoms, then take a look at how much you're eating. Your weight represents the balance between caloric intake (how much you eat) and caloric expenditure (how much you work or exercise). If your caloric intake equals your expenditure, you will maintain your present weight. On the other hand, if your caloric intake is less than your expenditure, you will lose weight. In order to gain weight, your caloric intake must exceed your expenditure.
To get an estimate of how much you should eat, use our tool for computing the ideal body weight and daily caloric requirement. Then look at the sample daily menus with a specified caloric content (like the menu for a 2300 calorie diet). Then pattern your daily food intake according to the sample menus.
It is possible that you are already eating properly, that is, your daily caloric needs are already being met, yet you still can't gain any weight. If this is the case, you need to do one more thing: exercise.
Exercise for weight gain may sound counter-intuitive, but the truth is that without the proper exercise, you will not be able to gain weight. The reason is that you are naturally thin.
Look around you. There are people who are naturally muscular, even with little or no exercise. They are mesomorphic. They tend to produce the right proportion of muscle and fat naturally.
Then there are people who are naturally fat, even if they are ever watchful of their food intake. They are endomorphic. They easily form fat whenever they have excess calories. Their concern is how to lose weight.
Finally, there are people who are naturally thin, no matter how much they eat. There are ectomorphic. They can eat anything, but they don't easily gain weight. They have a high basal metabolic rate and very little excess calories are used to form fat or muscle.
Without exercising and dietary modification, people will maintain their natural body type. You will remain thin without the right exercise and proper diet.
Exercise for weight gain
The right exercises will force your body to use calories for repairing and building muscles. The proper exercises for weight gain have the following characteristics: uses major muscle groups, low repetition, heavy weight, with appropriate time for recovery
Here are sample programs for weight gain that beginners can use:
Choose one of the two programs above to start your weight training program.
After eating properly and beginning an exercise program, you will start to gain weight the natural way. And you would have began changing your lifestyle toward a healthier you.
You will gain weight after you start exercising and mainting proper nutrition. But the rate of weight gain will not the same over time. First you will notice a tremendous increase in your weight. Then the rate will gradually decrease until you can no longer gain weight even if you are exercising and eating properly.
This will happen to you. When it does, the beginner exercise program you started with is no longer appropriate for you. It's time to use a program for intermediate lifters. This program will allow you to gain more weight by weekly gains in your lifts.
Remember that total health and fitness is more important than weight gain. Be cautious of using supplements for the sake of gaining weight faster with uncertain consequences on the health of your liver and kidneys.
Always be careful of the eat-everything-in-sight attitude. While you want to gain weight, you also want to keep your heart healthy. Wanton eating without regard to cholesterol and fat content will be detrimental to your health, even if it can increase your weight faster.
Remember to take everything in moderation.