As weight-loss programs and products flood our TVs and online advertisements, it seems clear that women who want to gain weight are in the minority. However, there are women who are lucky enough to have a fast metabolism, and gaining weight is harder than losing it. It can be done, though, through through a healthy mix of eating more, exercising and getting enough sleep.
Eat foods containing complex carbs. Foods such as bread, potatoes, pasta and rice are good for gaining weight, as they contain glucose that the body uses for fuel. Believe it or not, you can also have chocolate and cake; however, these are simple carbs, and eating them in large quantities isn't the best idea. The glucose is too readily available for the body in these foods, and this means it will leave more glucose in the blood. This can cause problems, as seen in diabetic patients. Fat and protein intake also are essential in gaining weight, so consume adequate amounts of healthy options.
Do strength training. Strength training is the best way to add lean muscle tissue to your body. Some exercises you can do include bench press, seated rows, crunches, bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, leg press and leg curls. Try to do two to three sets of four to eight repetitions of each of these exercises. When you can easily do eight reps, increase the amount of weight you are lifting. However, don't forget about cardio workouts. Try to get two to three workouts of 20 to 30 minutes of moderate intensity in each week.
Drink a lot of fluids. Drinking a lot of fluids helps because muscle is about 70 percent water. When your body builds muscles, water is used as the solute. Drink fluids that have more calories like juice, milk, milkshakes and sports drinks.
Get a good night's sleep and snack before you go to sleep. Sleep helps you gain weight because it is during a deep sleep that growth hormones, which helps you build mass, are at their highest. Not only should you get a good night's sleep, but try to eat a snack before you go to sleep. This will boost the number of calories you eat. If you aren't feeling hungry, think of snacking as medicine that you have to take. Some healthful snack choices include yogurt, frozen yogurt, low-fat cheese and crackers, pizza, peanut butter crackers, instant breakfast drinks, hot cocoa, bananas, dried fruits and sandwiches.
- If you are unable to keep the added weight or continue to lose weight, see a doctor. A doctor will help you figure out the right weight-gain plan.
- Health Guidance: How to Gain Weight for Women – Things Skinny Girls Need to Know to Gain Weight
- North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: How to Gain Weight Healthfully
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign McKinley Health Center: Gaining Weight the Healthy Way
- The University of Arizona CATS Team Nutrition: Adding Weight
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