Most people think the way to gain weight fast is through high fat food. While this will help you gain weight, it will bring you fat and not the lean muscle you crave. To build lean muscle weight you have to take a two-step approach. First eat good food then exercise. Before long, you are bound to see the healthy results you are looking for.
Top Five Foods for Healthy Weight Gain
Vegetables: Choose starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, carrots, or peas. These have more calories per serving than less starchy vegetables. Less starchy vegetables include green beans, broccoli and zucchini. A serving of vegetables is one cup of raw, leafy vegetables or one-half cup of cooked or chopped raw vegetables. Add margarine, almonds and cheese such as mozzarella for extra calories. Stir-frying vegetables with canola or olive oil will also add extra calories and healthy fats.
Breads and Cereals: Choose heavy breads such as multigrain, honey bran, rye and pumpernickel instead of lighter breads such as white bread. The healthiest breads have plenty of whole grains; learn to read the labels when shopping to see if you are buying brown colored white bread or true whole grain bread. Add peanut butter, margarine, jam, or honey for extra calories. Healthy cereals that are packed with whole grain and are low in sugar are healthy choices and have more calories per serving than puffed rice or corn flakes. The serving size of a cereal is listed on the food label. You can also add more calories to cereals by adding nuts, raisins and other fruits.
Meats: Cook chicken or fish in a canola or olive oil. Red meats such as beef, pork, and lamb have more calories but they also have more saturated fat. Saturated fat is a type of fat that may increase blood cholesterol. When you eat red meats, choose leaner cuts. Some examples of lean cuts of red meat are round or sirloin steak, ground round, fresh or boiled ham, or center loin chop.
Fruits: Bananas, pineapple, mangos, prunes, raisins, dates and dried fruit have more calories per serving than watery fruits. Some examples of watery fruits are watermelon, oranges, apples, lemons and peaches.
Beans and legumes: Lentils, lima beans, chili beans, bean burritos and other dried beans are high in calories. These foods are good choices because they also provide carbohydrates, a healthy dose of fiber, and protein but are low in fat.
Top Five Exercises Tips for Healthy Weight Gain
To build muscle mass for weight gain, lift hard for a short, intense period of time and then take time to recover until the next workout. You should focus on what are considered “big exercises” such as, bench press, bent-over rows, squats, chin-ups and dead lifts. Focus your exercise on many muscle groups but also focus on the muscles that are easiest to build up. You should also increase your strength by adding a small amount of weight each workout. If you aim to build strength steadily, size will follow. If you are uncertain what to do and how to do these exercises or employ this technique, you could get help from a professional trainer or someone at the gym with experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Doing these exercises wrong could cause injury.
Some exercise will help to gain weight like weight training where extra muscle mass adds to the body weight. Aerobic exercise like running and cycling will burn calories and without consuming extra calories you will lose weight. Weight training raises your metabolic rate, so you will require more calories daily to maintain any weight gained through added muscle.
To build muscle mass for weight gain, you need to train heavy free weights. A heavy weight is one that is challenging for you. This means that it could be 5 lbs if you have never lifted a weight in your life. You don’t want to injure yourself, so challenge your muscles, but don’t push too hard. To determine if a weigh is challenging, try the following: complete 8-12 reps and if your muscles temporarily fail after the reps, you are using the right weight. Heavy weights will stimulate more muscle fibers, and therefore more growth, than lighter weights; this leads to additional muscle stimulation and additional muscle growth.
There are some exercises you can do that don’t include heavy weights. Gaining weight with exercise works best when you target the larger muscle groups for growth. Push-ups are excellent for adding weight to the upper body. Lunges and squats work best for the thighs while standing heel raises are highly effective for building the calves; this works best on a step. Try crunches for the abs, and pull ups for the arms and back. All these exercises can add weight with muscle mass when combined with an appropriate weight gain diet if you don’t have regular access to free weights.
When you are weight training often to gain weight, the exercise puts a strain on your body. Make sure that you rest and recuperation after every workout. If you over train you are not giving your muscles enough time to repair which will make your next workout less effective. You could also injure yourself. Make sure that you approach your weight gain and your muscle gain in a paced and balanced approach and you are sure to have the results you want.
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