Tuesday, 19 March 2019

How To Gain Weight


I feel like there are so many tips out there for weight loss but it's not very often I see tips on how to gain weight! 

This can be incredibly frustrating for underweight people who want to gain weight like myself.

I've struggled with my weight my whole life. I always put it down to genetics and a fast metabolism. But realistically, there has to be more to it in regards to my diet. 

I still struggle with my weight now so it's not like 'I have the cure' but I definitely have tips that I would love to share in the hope it will help someone else. 

I wouldn't say I suffer from an eating disorder. I got diagnosed with anorexia once and it really really annoyed me because I am anything but anorexic. A lot of people get confused with the actual meaning of anorexia. People presume anyone under a certain weight is classed as anorexic. But the weight doesn't determine the diagnosis. Anorexia is a mental health issue where you believe you're fat and need to lose weight. I don't have that. 

I'm also not bulimic, I've never purposely vomited to lose weight or for the feeling. 

I think there are definitely more aspects to an 'eating disorder' than those two main ones. Some people eat too much, too little, and it's not always on purpose. 

I've recently been paying a lot more attention to gaining weight because I'm just fed up and I'm going to share some ways I've done this. 


My Fitness Pal

So first up, I downloaded My Fitness Pal. This is something I always download then give up on but I'm very determined this time to stick to it. 

When you download My Fitness Pal, it will ask you if you're trying to gain weight or lose weight, it asks what your goal weight is, how quickly you want to get there and it tailors a calorie goal for you to reach each day. 

You can input all the information of the foods you eat in a day by simply scanning the barcode with your camera.
This then puts all the nutrient information on screen too so you can see how much protein you've had in one day, and how many carbohydrates and fats etc. If you've added something high in sugar it will tell you, to prompt you to lower your sugar intake. 




So it's not just an app to gain weight in any way possible, it's a healthy way of doing it. It makes sure you get the right foods. 

So I started off at 42kg and set my goal weight to be 50kg and I have set it to gaining 0.5kg a week. 



Each day, I add every meal to it and it tells me how many calories to go and it wasn't until I started doing this that I realised how little I was eating. I ALWAYS tell people 'I'm eating enough' and it's true, I am, but only to maintain my weight, definitely not enough to gain. It gets to midnight every night and I still have about 800 calories to go and it's bloody exhausting but it damn well pushes me. I'll stay up late stuffing my face but I don't care because it's healthy foods that I need and it's going to work in the long run. 

I highly recommend this app to track your diet and even if just to see how much sugar, fats, and salt you're consuming on a daily basis. You would be surprised! And to remind yourself to eat! 


Dietitian Tips


When I got diagnosed with anorexia years ago (sigh) , I was shipped off to a dietitian but I was actually pretty happy about that because I genuinely wanted help and I had a meeting with a lady who gave me tips which I will also share with you! And then I will give you my experience on how that went for me. 

Please bare in mind that this was something I was recommended based on my weight and own personal situation back then so this won't apply to everybody and work the same way. But there are some generic tips for anybody really struggling. 

I was only just over 6 stone at the time so obviously I desperately needed food, no matter what it was. So this isn't the healthiest diet, just putting that out there. But if your weight is that low, the last thing they care about is which foods to consume, anything will do!

  • Eat smaller meals and more frequently.
  • Try not to drink before a meal. Have drinks between meals instead.
  • Take your time eating, don't rush.
  • Don't fill up on bulky low calorie foods like veg because even though they are healthy, it's wasted calories. Still eat them, but don't rely on them. It's not enough.
  • When you feel hungry, make the most of it, eat! 

High Protein Diet

A high protein diet is an essential for gaining weight and in particular, muscle. I personally find that strength exercises are a really undeniable way of me gaining weight. I'm always certain to get somewhere when I'm doing weights, squats, yoga etc. 

If you do partake in strength exercises, it's a a really good idea to have a high protein diet! It will help your body heal and grow stronger. 


Dairy and Meat

This is what my dietitian focused most on in my case. This is difficult if you're vegan though! 

So if you do have dairy included in your diet, whole milk is the way forward. Try and have at least a pint a day. There's also weight gain powders that have calorie content and nutrition within them. Those are great for a super quick way to gain bulk weight. You shouldn't rely on them though, they are not a long term solution. 

Meats are good for fats, calories, and proteins. I personally have Quorn substitutes which actually have more protein and means less dead animals. Sorry, not sorry. 

Cheese and eggs. I was told to grate cheese onto everything. Eat as much cheese as I possibly could. 

This is a foolproof way to gain some weight in a short amount of time, but the dairy diet is not sustainable. I wasn't warned about the downside to this and actually ended up getting high cholesterol so now I don't have it. 

So although it helps in the short run, it's not healthy to rely on it!! 

Nuts


Nuts are a fantastic way to gain weight. They are super high in fats, but healthy fats! And they are super calorific. This is definitely something to add to your diet if you're struggling with your weight. Great for snacking on and useful to take everywhere with you and just pick at. 

Beans and Lentils

Also a fab way to add extra calories and nutrition. Kidney beans, butter beans, lentils. All great to be added to soups to make them a bit more calorie full.

High calorie foods

Having a high protein diet is great but it won't be beneficial to you if you aren't getting the right amount of calories in the first place. So lots of fats and carbohydrates. I have a ridiculously high carbohydrate diet because those are the foods I like the most. Pasta, potato, rice, cereals, oats and even sugar is a good way to gain weight as long as it's kept under moderation. 

Fats and oils are high in calories too. Butter, margarine and creams can be added to lots of meals such as puddings, hot drinks, toast, crumpets, crackers, and added to pasta dishes and meats. 

Sugar was something I was reluctant to have lots of but in desperate situations it can be a good way to add a bit of timber. Jam, honey, on toast. Sugar on cereals, dried fruit can be added to puddings and cereals or have them as an individual snack. 



One of the excuses I used to find myself making was that I didn't have enough time. I was too tired to cook, I had work and it was just so much effort. 

So here are some quick snack ideas to throw together.

  • Bowl of cereal with whole milk and sugar.
  • Cheese, beans and butter on toast
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Sandwiches with various fillings with spreads like mayo and salad cream.
  • Soup with cheese and bread
  • Full fat yoghurt's and puddings
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Variety of nuts and dried fruits
  • Milky drinks.

I know this is the unhealthiest list but again, this is for people in dangerous situations where the healthiness isn't as important as the calories itself. So don't @ me.


Exercise


As mentioned earlier, exercise was a really great way for me to ensure weight gain. 
Strength exercises more so than cardio. 
I use protein powder and creatine alongside my exercise to make my muscles bigger. If you find you struggle to gain fat, you might find it a little easier to gain muscle.
That's personally what works for me.

All these tips combined is a fool-proof way of gaining weight.


Food diary




If you prefer to write things down rather than use apps then a food diary is a good idea! I have a really cute food and exercise planner from Tiger where I can document what I have and my progress. 
They also supply similar ones on Amazon which you can get on my shop here.


 So in conclusion, a high calorie diet, a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Exercise and keep track to make sure you're eating enough and the right foods. 

Please let me know if you have any other tips on gaining weight which I can add to the list! 

I hope this has been helpful to someone reading this. I'm definitely no expert but I've certainly got a lot of information I've picked up over the years and sharing is caring. 

Good luck! 






Disclaimer:- I got some of these tips from the NHS guides given to me by the dietitian. I have also used an amazon influencer link. 




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4 comments

  1. Girl, I can relate with this post so much! I'd be underweight for the longest of time. It wasn't until I started working out that I started gaining weight. I went from weighing 90 pounds to 118. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips! x
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    GABBY | www.gabbyabigaill.com

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    1. That's amazing progress! Well done girl ! I'm being super strict with my exercise to get gaining. You're now my inspo :) xx

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  2. Loving this post so much hun. Some really great and honest tips here. Personally i've never struggled to put on weight its the complete opposite for me but there really isn't enough awareness and help out there for those people who do want to put on the weight. I think even people who are trying to lose weight can take a few tips from this too. Like the high protein and nuts etc tips are great for people who need to fuel their body. And my fitness pal is incredible. Whatever your goals this is such an informative post and everyone should read this. Amazing post. Thank you for sharing hun ☺️❤️

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I definitely agree there isn't enough info out there so I'm glad if this post helps just one person!
      I'm so glad you found it informative even if it doesn't relate directly to your own goals. It's always great to hear feedback!
      All my love xx

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