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How To Gain Weight Fast And Remain Healthy

How To Gain Weight Fast And Remain Healthy

If you want to gain weight and be healthy doing it, do yourself a favor and read this article.

“You’re wearing 2 suits.” That’s what I tell my clients. On top of your skeleton, you wear a suit of muscle first, then a fat suit on top of that.

You don’t want to get fat, but you do want to gain weight. This leaves one place to go—muscle!

So to gain weight fast, but to do it in a healthy way, we need to build up our muscle mass.

While there are a gazillion “muscle gurus” on the net all contradicting each other, I have always stuck to the research and science. I’ve been blogging since 2006 and my readers have produced some remarkable results. Now I’ll share with you, in 8 steps, how they gained weight (muscle) and became healthier than they ever were before.

1. Consume the correct amount of calories.

Since you want to gain weight, you could simply eat 5000 Calories a day to get the job done. However, we said we wanted to do this in a healthy manner.

Since we are training in a way that is stimulating the body to build more muscle (see point 2 below), we need a little extra caloric intake. Some trainers recommend an extra 500 Calories above maintenance. As a trainer I have never seen this work and not make people fatter. 500 Calories above maintenance comes to an extra 3500 Calories per week; this is just too much in my opinion.

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Shoot for 200–300 Calories above maintenance levels. They say the average man needs, 2500 Calories per day. Therefore shoot for 2700–2800 on a daily basis. For a more accurate assessment, I have a free calculator that will estimate how many calories you need to build muscle here.

2. Train with resistance and to a high intensity.

Obviously aerobic work doesn’t build muscle. Resistance training is needed. Simply put, this means lifting weights.

Furthermore, you need to know how many reps you need to complete per set in order to produce the result you want—maximum gains in muscle size (called muscle hypertrophy).

  • 1–5 reps Per Set: 85-100% Neural Strength But Only A Little Hypertrophy
  • 6–8 reps Per Set: 75-85% Neural Strength & Some Hypertrophy
  • 9–12 reps Per Set: 70-75% Metabolic & Neural Hypertrophy (optimal) Plus Strength Gains

The sweet spot here is training in with 8–12 reps per set. What that means is that in each set, the weight you lift should be heavy enough so that you can’t get more than 12 reps, but light enough to allow you to get at least 8.

Now, I have a free training system I give away called ‘Targeted Hypertrophy Training‘ (THT) that optimizes all the factors that lead to muscle growth. But to get you started right away, here’s 3-day lifting plan. You’ll train your whole body on 3 non-consecutive days e.g. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but you can change the days to suit your own lifestyle.

THT Training 3 Day Weight Training Plan

    3. Eat more protein.

    Dietary Protein is ESSENTIAL for building muscle. Muscle tissue IS protein. To build more of it, you need to eat more of it.

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    How much more? Easy–here’s a good rule of thumb:

    Consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight.

    So if you weigh 160lbs, consume 160g protein per day

    4. Eat your fat.

    Thankfully the old “fat is bad” paradigm is dying a death. The science just never showed up. As far as those of us wishing to gain weight, we have to know that dietary fat is required for the production of testosterone. Therefore, it is most desirable for those people wishing to gain muscle weight.

    Here are fantastic sources of dietary fat:

    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Seeds
    • Nuts and nut butters
    • Olive Oil
    • Avocado
    • Red meat (low-carbers can have more of this than high carbers)
    • Real butter (throw out your margarine)
    • Coconut oil (contains an abundance of medium-chain triglycerides)

    5. Supplement with Vitamin D.

    Testosterone will help you gain muscle weight—no doubt about it! However, we want to be healthy and do it naturally. This is where supplementing with vitamin D can help us.

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    A study [1] of 165 participants (males aged 20–49 years) took either 3332 IU of vitamin D or a placebo.

    Compared to baseline values, significant increases in total testosterone levels (from 10.7 ± 3.9 nmol/l to 13.4 ± 4.7 nmol/l; p < 0.001), bio-active testosterone (from 5.21 ± 1.87 nmol/l to 6.25 ± 2.01 nmol/l; p = 0.001), and free testosterone levels (from 0.222 ± 0.080 nmol/l to 0.267 ± 0.087 nmol/l; p = 0.001) were observed in the vitamin D supplemented group. In contrast, no significant change was measured in the placebo group.

    6. Get enough sleep.

    Insufficient sleep will actually hamper your attempts to gain weight (in addition to making you feel lousy and irritable).

    How much do you need? 7–8 hours per night, every night.

    This comes from a study [2] conducted by the National University of Singapore which found that those who slept 4 or less hours per night had 60% less total muscle-building hormones, and 55% less bio-available muscle building hormones than those who slept 8 hrs or more. The study was conducted on 531 healthy men aged between 29 and 72. So get your sleep!

    7. De-stress.

    A hormone called cortisol can mess up your efforts to gain weight healthfully. It is a “break-down” hormone, whereas we want those “anabolic” or “build-up” hormones.

    The relationship between cortisol and anabolic hormones isn’t good. As cortisol levels rise, muscle-building hormone levels decrease [3] [4].

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    Stress causes levels of cortisol to rise. As some examples, you can start a practice of meditation (mindfulness), take regular walks in nature, spend more time with loved ones, and get more sleep. But there are many other ways to take control of your stress. Search Lifehack for more articles on this.

    8. Drink less alcohol (or none at all).

    Following on from my last point, alcohol also lowers levels of those anabolic hormones we’re after. Additionally, it also raises cortisol levels.

    It has been shown that anabolic hormones will remain depressed for 24 hours after alcohol is consumed, while catabolic (break-down) hormones will increase for the same duration peaking at 12 hours after consumption [5]. So drink sociably at best. No binge drinking.

    I wish you all the best with your weight gain efforts. (I’ve been there!)

    References:
    [1]Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.
    [2]Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activities, and aging in Asian men.
    [3]Testosterone, gonadotropin, and cortisol secretion in male patients with major depression.
    [4]The relationship between high and low trait psychological stress, serum testosterone, and serum cortisol.
    [5]Sex hormones and adrenocortical steroids in men acutely intoxicated with ethanol.

    More by this author

    Mark McManus

    Mark is a personal trainer who specializes in coaching people on how to build muscle the scientific way.

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    Last Updated on January 11, 2021

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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    2. Stress Relief

    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Improved Sleep

    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

    4. Appetite Control

    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

    7. Mosquito Repellant

    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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    8. Pain Relief

    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

    9. The New Anti-Viral

    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

    10. Improved Cognitive Function

    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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    11. Money Saving

    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

    Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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