“Most often,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut, “people come to us to find out how to lose weight. But there is a very distinct segment of the population who wishes to gain weight.”
The reasons why people need to gain weight can be varied, he says. A person can have a very high metabolism. Sometimes we get pre-teens and teens (often boys, but sometimes girls too) who are downright skinny, and want to bulk up or fill out, because they just simply cannot keep the weight on. Then there are those folks—again, often male, but not always—who want to increase their muscle mass, either for aesthetic purposes or to do a show or fitness competition.
“Just like with clients who wish to lose pounds to get to a healthy weight,” said our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, “these people also want to get to a ‘healthy weight.’ And they require our help.”
We asked our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut if he could give us some tips for people who wish to gain weight and do it in a healthful manner.
He said that it really depends on the individual and the goal that they have. In general, however, whether you are that skinny pre-teen or that guy who is looking to compete in his first show, there are some general suggestions that you both can adhere to. Some may be more crucial depending on your end result and your end goal.
“For teens and pre-teens or people who generally don’t pay attention to their diets, we take a look to see what they are eating,” he said. “Often enough, we see that they aren’t getting the proper nutrition.”
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut first suggests looking at the quality of your food/diet. He recommends choosing calorie-dense, nutrient-rich foods whenever possible. This will include lean proteins, fruits and veggies, whole grain pastas and breads, dairy products like yogurt and cheese, nuts, nut butters and healthy fats and oils.
To fill in the gaps, shakes and smoothies can certainly help bump up your calorie intake.
“Make sure they are quality shakes, smoothies and supplements,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut. “You should look for products with high amounts of quality protein and healthy fats.” He suggests not drinking low calorie, empty nutrient drinks such as diet soda or coffee. You need to get the biggest bang for your buck when you are trying to gain weight efficiently.
“Speaking of drinking,” says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, “be careful and mindful of when you drink fluids. Sometimes, people will drink water or other liquids before their meal, and it will fill them up, so that they are not as hungry to consume the calories they need.”
Another thing our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut recommends is eating more frequently. If you are the type of person who gets full fairly quickly, you may not be able to eat much at one sitting, This should help to remedy the situation. By eating meals more frequently, you can fit in more of them, and consume more calories, but you will need to be strategic about it. That includes snacking as well.
“When snacking,” says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut, “you should, again, get the most value for your calories.” He continues, “Try to consume the most calorie-dense foods that also are nutritious and nourishing. Cheese, nuts, nut butters and avocados are all good choices.”
One of the most important things to do, which may seem counterproductive, is to exercise. This does not mean that you should go train for running marathons and do lots of high intensity cardio. Instead, strength training will help to build hardcore muscle which, if you are getting the proper protein and nutrition, and enough of it, will be a little bit easier. By no means is it easy to gain muscle, especially for some, but with guidance from people like our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, it will definitely be achievable to gain the healthy physique you are striving for.