It’s important to remember that not everyone wants to lose weight, it’s an equally valid goal to want to gain weight.
If adding some lean muscle or simply putting on some weight is your goal, it’s extremely important to create the correct stimulus through your training. However, this is only part of the equation. Getting the nutrition side of things right will be just as crucial.
There are a few main things we need to consider:
1. Consuming adequate calories
2. Consuming the correct calories
3. Meal frequency
Firstly, you need make sure you’re in a calorie surplus in order to gain weight. This might be harder if you’ve a super high metabolism, you come from a skinny family, or you have a very active job. Basically, you need to eat more calories than you’re burning in a day.
Secondly, it’s important that you get sufficient protein into your system in order to build muscle optimally. When trying to create new muscle tissue, you need the building blocks in place to do so.
Throughout the day, aim to consume 1.5-2g of protein per kg body weight. So if you’re 80kg, 120g of protein would be your minimum target. Examples of 25g protein would be:
– 85g chicken breast
– 85g turkey breast
– 90g steak/beef
– 125g salmon
– 2 cups of natural/greek yoghurt
– 4 hard boiled eggs (white)
– 1 large scoop of whey protein powder
– 3 cups of cooked quinoa
Ideally, you should aim to consume a mixture of fat sources. A target amount is 1g per kg body weight. For the same 80kg person, the target would be 80g fat. This fat should be a mixture of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fat, give the trans fat a miss. A few of the best fat sources include:
– Olive oil
– Coconut oil
– Full fat milk
Once you’ve hit these two targets, the rest of our calorie intake will come from carbohydrate, ideally fibrous, complex ones. Lots of pasta, rice, quinoa, spuds, grains, colourful veg and fruit.
Aim to eat regularly, snacking where possible. Every time you eat is another opportunity to bump up your calorie intake. Here’s a few handy snack ideas:
-handful of nuts (plain peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts)
-fruit such as apples/blueberries/strawberries/blackberries/bananas added to natural/greek yoghurt with whey protein
-whey protein shake
– beef jerky
-packets of cooked ham/chicken/turkey/beef
>> Get the calories in.
>> Make sure food quality is good.
>> Eat regular meals and snacks.
>> Ensure sufficient protein intake.
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