It is an effective tool to make you understand the relation between calorie intake per meal and gaining weight in a healthy way.
Eating random calories will not serve you to gain healthy weight. How much calories you need depend on your height, weight and BMR along with activity level.
In relation to your activity level calorie requirements also changes. If your calorie input is less than expenditure you need to work on more calorie intake.
If your calorie intake is more than expenditure then focus should be cut down more calories from your plates.
How Many Calories Do You Need Gain Weight?
It depends on your BMR and activity level. More you expend in exercise the more you need to consume. Adding 500 calories a day helps to gain 250-500 gm per week or 1lb, a standard way to gain weight. If you want fast weight gain then adding 700-1000 calories per day will help to increase 1kg per week if combined with exercise. Based on this set your expectations and goal.
Different Kind of Calories and Their Effects
There are a lot of ways to increase total calorie intake. Unhealthy sources and healthy sources.
Unhealthy sources are calorie dense and immediately increase your demand but they are rich in saturated and trans fat mainly which though increase your weight but the fat mass not the muscle mass. Some of them are:
Concentrated sources of calories as well as carbs. Taking more of these in forms of cakes, pastries, doughnuts will no way to lead you metabolic disorders.
Better to replace these refined sources with whole grains to get plenty supply of fibre, resistant starch and well as fuel from carbs.
They are loaded with trans fats, processed sugar which are not a healthy option to boost up calorie intake.
They are very tasty as deeply fried in reused oil and easily can increase your calorie content of meal but if you want a healthy choices this is not a good option to include. You can swap your unhealthy french fries or pizza with some healthy varieties.
Healthy Sources are always better to opt for though it from complex carbs or protein or from healthy fats. They will greatly increase your muscle mass which is actually important to gain weight in a healthy way.
1 gm of carbs on oxidation provides 4 kcal of energy. So try to get these calories from complex carbs like whole grains and cereals, replace normal potato with sweet potato, doughnut buns with whole grain buns to get not only energy but also fibre to make your body healthy.
Very important macros to build up mass. Muscles are made up of proteins for which we need high biological value protein. As per RDA healthy adult persons require 0.8 gm protein/kg body weight which is important to meet basic requirements (1). To build lean muscle mass you need to increase intake as 1.5-2.0 g/kg body weight or 35 % of total calories based on your activity level. Include lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses and legumes, nut protein in your plate (2).
Fat is not always bad what you need to choose healthy options and 1 gm of fat on oxidation gives 9 kcal of energy which is quite high. Include health oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil, healthy nuts or nut butter, lean meats, dairy products.
Macros Ratio to gain Weight
To build muscle and gain weight macronutrient distribution should be:
Protein : 30% of total Calorie
Fat: 30 % of total Calorie
Carbs: 40 % of total Calorie
General Health Tips To Gain Weight
Exercise is one of the best methods to bulk up your muscles along with proper balanced diet. Do not try out strength training activity almost everyday but aim for 3 times in a week balanced with some cardio and warm up sessions.
Divide your activity regime part wise like keep a day for leg muscles, one day for chest and hand, other day for abs along with cardio.
This is an extremely important factor to recover your muscle wear and tear. Proper sleep for 7-8 hours boost up your metabolic rate, make you fresh for next activity as well as promotes muscle healing process.
The most common cause for being underweight
Family History: Heredity plays a common role to determine your physique whether you are obese or underweight.
Eating disorders : People with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa may have lower BMI.
Stress: Often stress is related to undereating which could be one of the reasons to lower your BMI.