Supersize me and gain weight

Some guys simply need to look at a takeaway to gain unwanted pounds. But for those of us who'd like to add some bulk, there seems to be little to no help out there. Can it be that difficult to gain a little more junk in your trunk?

Given the choice, at least 90% of the population would choose to lose pounds to get closer to their ideal size. The fitness and dieting industries are fully aware of the demand, and have focused their merchandise around it. But what about those who want to gain weight?

Skinny men

There are an increasing number of men who''d like to have a more impressive stature; but no matter how many extra fries they eat, the scales refuse to budge. "I''m 6''4" and weigh 9.5 stones. I can get both hands to meet around my own waist". James Yates was unhappy with his weight for a number of years. The combination of an active lifestyle and a lightning-speed metabolism prevented any hope of weight gain. "I would eat at least double the portion of my peers, but even a walk to the shops would burn it off in no time. I gained some weight as I got older, but a brief stint as a bike courier meant I lost a stone from my original weight."

Most people would consider this group to be in an enviable position, but gaining weight is just as difficult - if not more so - than losing it. Unlike losing pounds, gaining them isn''t just about changing a few bad eating habits. You need to re-evaluate your lifestyle, watch every calorie you consume and, in many cases, defy genetics. It takes long-term commitment, consistency, and vigilance.

Being medically underweight (a BMI of less than 19) means you''re lacking in useful body fat, which cushions your internal organs and stores energy. It can also carry as many health risks as obesity. There''s an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and anaemia, as well as dry skin, hair loss, a weak immune system and exhaustion.

So how can I gain weight?

  • Weight gain is a question of imbalance. You need to regularly take in more calories than you burn. Keep a food diary and calculate how many calories you usually eat, then add at least 300-350 daily. This can be done by eating at least two snacks between meals rather than struggling with three super-sized ones.
  • Set yourself realistic target weights and aim to gain gradually - say around 1kg (2.2lb) a month.
  • Work large muscle groups through resistance training at the gym or at home. Use moderate to heavy weights, with low repetitions.
  • Get at least eight hours sleep a night. You''d be surprised how much a regular sleeping pattern will benefit your weight and wellbeing.
  • A common error is to rely on food high in fat content. No matter what your health requirements are, fast or fried food is bad for you. Stack up on protein: chicken breast, oily fish, turkey, lean meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Supplement this with rice, pasta and potatoes.
  • Be consistent and stay focused. Don''t lose heart and give up if you don''t see immediate results. You''ve got to stick to your plan to achieve results. As the old saying goes, good things come to those who weight.

Seek nutritional advice in order to maintain a healthy diet. Remember that any weight gain programme should be supported by a suitably balanced exercise programme to maintain and enhance the body fat to muscle ratio.

Courtesy of FitPro

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