If you’re looking to learn how to put on weight in a healthy manner through your workout and diet plan, there are some important points to know. One big mistake that many people make who are trying to gain muscle mass is they just adopt a ‘see-food’ diet. That is, they see it, and they eat it. Sadly though, this is likely to leave them with a little more fat than they wanted, and more than likely not enough muscle. If you want to maintain a leaner body composition as you learn how to put on weight, there are some important tips that you need to be keeping in mind at all times. If you plan the process properly, you can definitely see the results that you’re after. Let’s look at how to put on weight properly.
Track Your Calories
The very first thing that you must be doing is tracking your calories. If you thought calorie counting was only for those who wanted to lose weight, this isn’t the case at all. Tracking your calories as you aim to put on weight will make sure that you aren’t eating too much over, which is what will cause that fat gain to take place. Remember, your body can only build so much muscle tissue at once, so if you’re eating far more calories than you need to build this muscle tissue, the body is going to have to do something with those excess calories. That something will be converting it to body fat. For best results, you want to aim to eat only 250-500 calories above your maintenance level. As soon as you start going higher than this, you can expect some fat gain to occur. The only except to this rule may be those guys who are classified as ‘skinny guys’ as they have metabolisms that tend to speed up right up with a higher intake of food. For everyone else though, staying on the more conservative side is a very wise move.
Time Your Carbs
The second thing that you should be doing in order to avoid gaining excess fat as you go about the process of learning how to put on weight is to time your carbohydrates properly. Now, since your calorie and carb counts will already naturally be higher, you’ll likely be eating some carbohydrates with each and every meal that you serve. But, you generally will want to put even more carbohydrates on the days you workout as well as right before and after that workout session. This is when your body is going to be in its most anabolic state, so when those carbohydrates are most likely going to be used to build new lean muscle mass and not just get deposited as body fat storage. If you’re eating carbohydrates to a high degree all throughout the day, you’ll maintain higher insulin levels, which can increase the conversion of those carbs to body fat. Post workout however, high insulin levels are actually a good thing because it will mean faster glycogen replenishment after that workout session – which is precisely what you want.
Next, its’ going to be a must that you are also focusing on lifting heavy at all times. Some people will think that if they just do standard workouts sessions and eat more, they will build lean muscle and look great. While you may build some muscle mass using this approach, if you really want to push the barrier, get leaner muscle mass, and get stronger, you must overload your body. Use more weight than you’ve been using before and push yourself with each rep that you do. This will provide the overloading stimulus that the body needs in order to start building more lean muscle mass. If that stimulus isn’t there, you haven’t really given the body much of a reason to build more muscle, therefore you are more likely to see those calories going to excess body fat stores.
Sleep is another part of the equation when it comes to building lean muscle mass. Many people do not realize just how important sleep is, but if you aren’t getting enough, this can actually put you at a higher risk of accumulating abdominal fat. When you aren’t sleeping well, you’re going to have less insulin sensitivity, meaning that when you do eat those carbohydrates in your diet plan, your body will be primed to start converting them to body fat storage. This is precisely what you don’t want. Not to mention lack of sleep means you won’t be recovering from each workout session you’re doing, which means you won’t be able to provide that overloading stimulus that we just talked about. When you want to learn how to put on weight properly, make sure you are taking sleep very seriously. If you aren’t, you’re making a big mistake.
Choose Quality Foods
Finally, the last thing to remember as you learn how to put on weight is to choose high quality foods. You want to eat similar foods that you ate during the process of fat loss, only now you’ll be eating more of them. Far too many people come to believe that just because they are aiming to put on weight they can eat whatever they like. Cheeseburgers, pizza, chips – anything goes as long as it provides calories. If you do this, you may still gain some muscle mass if you are on a good strength training program, but rest assured you will gain some excess body fat as well. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be putting your health in jeopardy as well, which is very important to consider. Some people don’t realize just how much their day to day food choices influences their health states, so it’s not something to take for granted. Choose wholesome, natural foods and you will see far better results. So there you have the most important points to remember about how to put on weight. Be smart and you will be satisfied with the results that you see.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.[/stextbox]