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9 healthy habits to help you gain weight faster

Lifetsyle changes to gain weight

Whatever your reasons for wanting to gain weight, these 9 lifestyle changes will help you gain weight both faster and safely.

For effective, healthy, and lasting weight gain aim for a combination of nutritionally dense food and building lean muscle mass. As a rule, you should eat more calories than you burn, and stimulate muscle growth

–       Eat more often: Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals during the day, rather than 3 large meals. Feel free to snack on healthy foods and smoothies or shakes between meals.

–       Increase your calorie intake: Calculate how many calories you currently consume each day and then aim to add at least 300 to 500 calories a day to your diet. To gain weight you need to take in more calories than you burn

–       Consume nutrient-rich foods: Focus on both quality and quantity of calories in and pack your diet with lots of calorie and nutrient-dense foods. Salmon and oily fish, red meats, oats and whole grains, avocados, nuts, whole dairy, full-fat yoghurt, sweet potatoes, are all examples of quality calorie dense foods. 

–       Support muscle growth with high protein foods: High protein foods support lean muscle growth. Yes, carbs and fats are important for weight gain, but make sure your diet also includes plenty of legumes, white meat and fish, whole eggs, Greek yoghurt, and cottage cheese. 

–       Avoid junk food: Burgers, chips, fries, ice cream, cookies may fill you up for now … but all those sugars and fats supply no nutritional benefit and will only lead to bad eating habits and unwanted tummy fat in the long-term.

–       Drink strategically: Drink between meals, not during meals. And get some of your calories in liquid form by adding healthy dairy-based shakes and smoothies to your diet.

–       Exercise regularly: Strength and resistance training builds lean muscle mass which is key to healthy weight gain. Resistance training includes squats, press-ups, bench-presses, resistance bands, strength training with free weights, and weight machines. Pilates and yoga count as resistance training too.

–       Sleep! You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Rest is essential for all healthy growth and safe weight gain with lean muscle growth is no exception.

–       Be consistent: Track your progress. Focus on both quality and quantity calories, do your regular strength-building exercises, get lots of rest, and you will see healthier long-term results.

We’re giving you lifestyle tips to gain weight quickly and safely. It can take a while to gain weight and building lean muscle is easier for some than for others. Depending on your personal body type it can take months before you see lasting change in your weight. 

Discuss a healthy weight gain plan with your doctor

Talk to your healthcare team before you start on a weight gain program. It may be that there is an underlying cause for your weight loss or for your difficulties in putting on weight. A doctor can help you identify any health conditions and recommend a suitable treatment plan for healthy mass gain. 

Work with an exercise professional to support lean muscle growth

And if you haven’t done regular exercise in a while, or if you are new to strength and resistance training, consider working with a qualified physical trainer or exercise physiologist. 

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