There are loads of reasons why someone would want to gain weight – you might be looking to pack on some muscle but have a high metabolism, or maybe you’re not quite hitting the number of calories and nutrients to maintain your overall wellbeing. Whatever your reasons, we thought it might be a good way to look at some ways you can do this in a healthy and sustainable way.
Calories are your friend
We all have a basic minimum number of calories that we need to keep bodily functions and energy levels in tip top shape. Government recommendations put this number at around 2500 calories for men and 2000 for women - these are just broad recommendations and may change slightly based on your age, lifestyle and size but are useful as something to aim for. If tracking your levels seems like hard work there are all kinds of apps out there to help you keep on top of things and help you reach your target.
Get the ‘good’ calories
Calories are just energy – nutrition is just as important. Make sure that you’re aiming for healthy foods instead of focusing on junk or convenience to get your numbers up. The best way to get quality calories is to hit nutrient-dense foods such as wholegrains, kale, spinach and beans. For snacking, dried fruits and nuts are a great choice as long as you keep an eye out for added sugars, salts and flavourings. Aim to have around half, if not more of your calories come from quality, complex carbohydrates.
Smoothies for the win
If you have a blender or food processor available, smoothies can be a fantastic way to get essential calories and nutrition by simply drinking them. You can make pretty much any combination that you want, using your favourite fruits and vegetables to tailor-make things to your taste. Apples, bananas, carrots, celery, kale, oats and protein powder will supply you with a whole bunch of great nutrition and help you reach your calorie goals if eating too much by volume is a barrier. To get you started, why not try one of these smoothie recipes.
If you are having trouble with appetite or simply want to put on some muscle, exercise is a good way to go. Some light weight training combined with cardio will get your metabolism burning, which in turn will generate an appetite. Make sure that you are getting the calories you need both before and after to get the most benefit, especially proteins to help aid recovery and building of muscle.
So there are a few things to consider if you’re looking to put on some weight without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle! We have a whole bunch of tasty recipes, so head on over and see what you fancy!