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8 Tips to Gain Weight

8 Tips to Gain Weight

Most of the time, we hear people talking about how difficult it is to lose weight. But, if you are on the opposite end of that spectrum and need to gain weight, it can be just as difficult. Many people laugh at the idea of anyone wanting to gain weight, but there are actually several reasons why people need to do so. For instance, there are those who are underweight and have trouble putting and keeping weight on. Then, there are those who are into body building and want to build up more muscle mass. Whatever the reason, if you are among those who have trouble gaining weight, here are eight tips that can help.

1. Consume More Calories

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    The first and most obvious tip is to start consuming more calories. However, you need to do this in a healthy way. Rather than adding a lot of unhealthy foods to your diet, continue eating as you normally do, then try supplementing with a mass gainer to get the additional calories you need at various times throughout the day.

    2. Eat Frequently

    Rather than eating two or three large meals a day, it is healthier and more beneficial to eat meals every two to three hours. This will ensure that you are able to eat a lot more calories. You may even want to get yourself a timer so you can get into the habit of eating more frequently.

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    3. Use Bigger Plates

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      When one is trying to lose weight, it is suggested that they use smaller plates so they eat smaller portions. You should be doing just the opposite. The bigger the plate, the more food you can pile onto it and the easier it is going to be to gain weight. Don’t forget to take full advantage of healthy buffets, and be sure to have all you can eat.

      4. Eat Healthy Foods

      Add more healthy foods that are high in calories to your diet. Sure, junk food tastes great and is high in calories, but it will cause you to gain fat and not muscle. Look for foods that are high in protein with lots of good carbohydrates and healthy fats to help you get to a caloric intake of about 3,500 calories per day.

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      5. Eat After Working Out

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        Most people know that it is important to eat something before working out, even if it is just a nutritional shake. But, did you also know that it is just as important to eat after you work out? Exercising burns up those calories you eat, so you need to put them back. Make sure that your post-workout meals have plenty of carbs and protein. A protein shake is a good option if you aren’t hungry.

        6. Do Compound Exercises

        These exercises are going to help you build more mass. They include bench presses, squats, dumbbell presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips. Be sure to use as much weight as you can possibly handle without hurting yourself. These exercises will work all of the muscles in your body, and they are going to grow, especially when your diet is full of protein and calories.

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        7. Rest Your Muscles

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          Your muscles need time to recover after working out, so be sure to never exercise the same muscles two days in a row. They will actually grow larger when you let them rest. A good rule of thumb is to wait 48 hours after exercising a specific muscle group before doing it again.

          8. Get Your Sleep

          We all need to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, and this is especially important when you are focussing on your weight. When you sleep, your muscles grow, but you won’t get the full impact if you are getting six hours of sleep or less at night.

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          Featured photo credit: 907572 via pixabay.com

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          Jane Hurst

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          Last Updated on October 16, 2018

          The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

          The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

          It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

          If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

          One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

          Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

          In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

          Why you can’t sleep through the night

          The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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          Stress

          If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

          Exposure to blue light before sleep time

          We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

          While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

          Eating close to bedtime

          Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

          Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

          Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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          Medical conditions

          In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

          The vicious sleep cycle

          The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

          Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

          You get a bad night’s sleep
          –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
          –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
          –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

            You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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            How to sleep better (throughout the night)

            To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

            1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

            What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

            Here are a few suggestions:

            • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
            • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
            • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
            • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
            • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

            2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

            What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

            • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
            • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
            • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
            • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

            3. Adjust your sleep temperature

            Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

            Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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            Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

            Sleep better form now on

            Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

            I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

            As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

            Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

            Reference

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