What Foods To Eat For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain Gain Weight and Build Muscle

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Gain Weight and Build Muscle

People who are naturally thin may be due to their genetics or a low food intake which means they feel full more quickly which prompts them to eat less or a hormonal imbalance or a high metabolism which metabolizes the food they eat immediately increasing the overall requirement calories and other nutrients. According to the BMI (Body Mass Index) range, a BMI less than 18.5 qualifies as underweight. Although a growing minority, those who are underweight may be at risk of health problems such as nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis especially in women, low immune systems and fertility problems in women to name a few.

“Eat as much as you can” is a common piece of advice one gets when trying to gain weight, especially for someone who has always been lean and skinny. You may gain weight but it may not be the best indicator of your health. Body composition is a better tool to ensure your health and fitness along with weight. It is a measure of how much of your body weight comes from lean mass, which includes muscle, bone, connective tissue and water, and how much comes from fat. It is often observed that although the weight and BMI are in the normal range, the fat composition is very high indicating that the fitness level is not suitable and this makes the individual vulnerable to various metabolic diseases.

It may sound strange, but it is possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same or even gain, even if you lose a few inches, it’s a sign you’re moving in the right direction. Similarly, when gaining weight, it is likely that the individual gained weight with an increase in fat mass and not muscle mass indicating that the weight gain did not occur in the correct way.

Here are some healthy ways to gain weight if you’re underweight:

1. Eat more often: If you feel you cannot eat more food at a time then it is wise to eat five to six smaller meals instead of three main meals.

2. Increase calorie intake: Determine your daily calorie needs with your BMR and gradually increase the number of calories (see where you get them from).

3. Smart snacking: Calorie-dense snacks like nuts, cheese, dried fruit, hummus or guacamole with whole-wheat bread, peanut or almond butter with bread, smoothies and milkshakes will help you get calories with other nutrients.

4. Pay attention to fat: Avoid saturated fats from butter, margarine, ghee, salad dressings such as mayonnaise and thousand island dressing and full-fat dairy and dairy products. They are not good for your heart. Instead use vegetable oil that contains good fats. You can drizzle extra olive oil on salads, soups and breads (don’t overdo it).

5. Do not overdo protein: Medical research shows that consuming more protein can actually harm your body. Eating more protein and increasing calorie intake will increase body fat mass and cause stress on other body systems. So, take protein in moderation (15% of your total daily calorie intake). Lean chicken and fish are your best options when it comes to animal protein.

6. Dispose of garbage: Avoid sweet and processed foods. Your weight gain is mainly fat gain which will increase your risk of diseases caused by its intake.

7. Remember to exercise: Exercise, especially weight training helps in building muscle and subsequently gaining weight. Exercise also helps stimulate appetite.

Regardless of the reason for gaining weight, it is important to focus on the nutrient profile of calorie-dense foods and not just the quantity of calories in them. Eating more calories should not give someone license to eat junk food that contains only empty calories and no other nutrients in it. Eating more calories from the right foods along with a monitored exercise program will ensure that the weight you gain is muscle weight and not fat.

A qualified nutritionist plays an important role in formulating a good weight gain diet. He will be able to provide proper bodybuilding nutrition with the appropriate macronutrient percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to maintain the desired body composition. If one does not have the opportunity to visit a qualified sports and fitness nutritionist in and around their place, there are various nutrition companies that offer online nutrition services for the same.

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