Although I hear more from people who want to lose weight than those who want to gain. I have been getting lots of mails from those who are looking to gain weight as well. I understand how being underweight can be just as concerning as being overweight. The premise of healthy weight loss and healthy weight gain is the same – calorie and macro balancing. Increasing your fat intake for example might lead to weight gain but this can also lead to other unwanted ailments.
When trying to gain weight, one must do so the healthiest way possible. As I laid out on page 11 of my cookbook lose it Nigerian, you first need to estimate the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis as well as calculate how much carbohydrate, fat and protein you need to maintain your current weight. For my clients who are looking to gain weight, I tell them to increase their calculation result by 1000 calories to begin with. This means if you need 2000 calories per day to maintain your weight, you add another 1000 for a total of 3000 calories per day. This will result in a 2lbs weight gain per week.
A thing to always keep in mind for weight gain or loss is that all calories are not created equal, you need to consume healthy carbohydrate, fat and protein in the right amount.
Here are my 5 top weight gain tips
1. Know your Calories!
Yes this is the baseline for anything that has to do with weight. To gain or lose, you need to understand how calories affect your weight. Use the calculation on page 11 of my Lose It Nigerian cookbook to calculate how much calories and macro nutrients you need on a daily basis. This is the most important factor in ensuring your weight gain, randomly eating without knowing how much will not yield any return. If you try this suggestion for two weeks and you dont see changes, please email me as you might have other underlying issues preventing weight gain. Remember when trying to gain weight, the goal is to create daily caloric imbalances. To gain one pound of weight per week, you will need to eat 500 more healthy calories than you burn on any given day.
2. Eat Often
In addition to the above stated point, you need to eat often in order to enure you are consuming enough calories. This means 3-5 full healthy meals per day and 3-4 healthy snacks between those meals. Your meals should be heavy on carbohydrate and protein. Think beans, rice, fish, goat, chicken, eggs etc. Your primary source of healthy calories should be protein and carbohydrate not fat!
3. Snack Heavy
A great way to increase your caloric intake is to snack often. Instead of low calorie snacks, consider eating calorie dense healthy snacks like Fresh coconut, coconut oil fried plantain chips, avocado and avocado smoothie, nut based snacks (roasted groundnut and plantain for example), low sugar granola bars e.t.c. Fruits like pawpaw, mango, cashews and bananas are also full of healthy sugars and calories. Consuming them in large amounts will help with weight gain.
4. Food Choices Matter
Don’t just go for high calorie meals, go for high calorie healthy meals. Unhealthy fat, sugar laden meals will not only lead to abdominal fat collection, long term consumption will pose serious health risks. healthy macro balanced meal choices like those in my cookbook can be used as baseline for healthy weight gain, simply increase portion consumed.
I know this might seem counter-intuitive at first but exercising can help by increasing muscle mass and fat distribution. Exercises like squats for example are known to increase the backside by increasing muscle, burning fat and lifting.
Want to eat 500plus calories fast?
See delicious smoothie recipe below.
- 1 large avocado (200g seeded)
- 1 large banana
- 2 cups whole milk (or coconut milk)
- 2 cups freshly chopped mango
- 2 cups fresh Ugu or Kale
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth. Drink up!