How can I safely gain weight?
A Just as for losing weight, a program for weight gain should be gradual and should include both exercise and dietary changes. The foundation of a successful and healthy program for weight gain is a combination of strength training and a high-carbohydrate, high-calorie diet. Strength training will help you add weight as muscle rather than fat.
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Energy balance is also important in a program for gaining weight. You need to consume more calories than your body requires in order to gain weight, but you need to choose those extra calories wisely. Fatty, high-calorie foods may seem like an obvious choice, but consuming additional calories as fat can jeopardize your health and your weight-management program. A diet high in fat carries health risks, and your body is more likely to convert dietary fat into fat tissue than into muscle mass. A better strategy is to consume additional calories as complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A diet for weight gain should contain about 60-65% of total daily calories from carbohydrates. You probably do not need to be concerned with protein. Although protein requirements increase when you exercise, the protein consumption of most Americans is already well above the DRI.
In order to gain primarily muscle weight instead of fat, a gradual program of weight gain is your best bet. Try these strategies for consuming extra calories:
• Don’t skip any meals.
• Add two or three snacks to your daily eating routine.
• Try a sports drink or supplement that has at least 60% of calories from carbohydrates, as well as significant amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. (But don’t use supplements to replace meals because they don’t contain all of the components of food.)
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