If you’re like me, then you may find it difficult to put on bodyweight and get bigger. However, losing bodyweight comes naturally. Through my experiences of putting on weight, I have come across a few tips and tricks that can help you if you struggle in this department. The general idea is to do the opposite of what you would do to lose bodyweight (funny that).
1) Add Olive Oil to your meals
This was one of my go to options a few years ago. For lunch and dinner I’d add 1 or 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to my meal. Each tbsp contains 119 calories making it an easy extra 100-500 calories a day depending on how much you use.
2) Drink your calories
Sometimes it’s difficult to stomach more food. However, sipping away on liquid even if you’re bursting full isn’t as daunting as convincing yourself to keep eating. Using smoothies or milkshakes or even just juice will help get more calories in.
3) Adding junk food on heavy training days
You may be struggling through the week with your increased training volume to get extra food in around your work schedule. The solution? The weekend takeaway. 1 or 2 nights a week on your heaviest training days, you could smash a whole pizza or whatever you fancy which will help bump up your average weekly calorie count. Not only this, the extra food on those large training days will aid in your recovery for you next training session. If your weight is already tracking in an upwards trend nicely, there is sadly no need to smash pizzas during the week. This isn’t an excuse to eat only junk food, sorry.
4) Eat fattier cuts of meat
Let go of the chicken breast and fish. If you are gaining weight, you need the calories. 1g of fat has 9cals compared to 1g or protein or carbohydrate having 4cals. This means cuts of meat such as most red meat, chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings, pork and salmon are all good options to increase your calorie count. Not to mention the extra variety of food and flavour!
5) Eat foods that are more calorie dense
This follows on from eating the fattier cuts of meat. Same can be done for choosing more calorie dense versions of carbohydrates. As laid out in our nutrition tips for fat loss article HERE, kumara (sweet potato) and potatoes have a relatively low calorie value per 100g compared foods such as rice and pasta. Potatoes will also fill you up very quickly compared to the equivalent in rice or pasta.
Make sure you pick all the toppings with your pizza, and add olive oil if you really need calories
6) Eat when you are not hungry
This is something you are going to have to live with for a while. Even though you are still full from your last meal, to get your calorie requirement in for the day is most likely going to require you to eat again when you aren’t hungry. The easiest way to stay consistent with this is to work your meals around your training time. If you know you train late afternoon, then you may need 3 or 4 meals before you train. So planning your last meal an hour before training, you can plan to have your other 3 meals spaced out beforehand regardless of you being full.
7) Consume calories while you are training
This is a helpful trick that will not only help you consume more calories, but also boost your training performance. The general rule here is making sure the calories are in liquid form and are fast digesting carbohydrates and protein (e.g. sugar and protein powder). Don’t finish the whole drink in one sitting, sip at it between your sets of lifting. A general guideline to start but not limited to would be 30-60g carbs with 15-30g protein depending on your bodyweight.
Try some of these tips if you are looking to gain weight and let us know how you go!