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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 March 24, 2021

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

    On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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    Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

    1. Smart Door Locks

    A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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    2. Smart Kitchen Tools

    Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

    3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

    If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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    4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

    These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

    5. Nest Thermostat

    This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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    6. Smart Lighting

    Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

    7. Google Chromecast Ultra

    Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

    8. Canary

    This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

    Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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