In what might be shocking to some, there are people who want to gain weight. There are a variety of reasons. They range from people recovering from an eating disorder to body builders who want to “bulk” to people who just feel they are too slender.
But this shouldn’t mean simply scarfing down twinkies and loading up on onion rings. You’ve got to be smart, safe and measured about your weight gain.
Step One: Find the Cause
Maybe you’re healthy as a horse, but you just want to add muscle to look like the folks on the magazine covers. If so, we’ll get to you later.
But for those of you who are underweight, you’ve got to figure out why. It might be an autoimmune condition. It might be a parasite that’s stealing your nutrients. It might be small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). It might be hyperthyroidism (the lesser-known cousin of hypothyroidism). If you’re not sure, you would do well to get tested. There are tried-and-true methods to figuring out what’s going on with you.
To get that process started, Request a Consultation with me. We’ll get to the bottom of it.
The cause of your condition will determine the path toward changing it. It’s possible that if, for example, you have an autoimmune condition, we could clear that up and your weight issue will resolve itself naturally as a consequence.
Nevertheless, here’s how to safely gain weight.
How you eat
Your diet should consist of roughly 60% healthy fats:
- Raw grass fed butter
- Raw grass fed cheese
- Wild caught fatty fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, etc.
- Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil
- Dark chocolate (70% and above)
Then roughly 30% clean proteins:
- Grass fed beef
- Wild caught fish
- Free range poultry
- Free range eggs
- (Avoid pork and shellfish as they tend to be high toxicity meats)
Then 10% dark green, leafy vegetables:
- Mustard greens
- Dandelion lettuce
- Bok choy
For the purposes of weight gain, you can slowly and moderately add in starchy root vegetables, such as:
- Sweet potato
- Taro root
- (Avoid regular potatoes as they are more starch than anything else, spike blood sugar and generally don’t help anything)
Also, don’t be afraid to eat! If you’re not eating sugar and carbs, eat as much as you’d like–just keep it all in proportion. And by that, I mean don’t overdo the proteins. Your body can really only absorb about 30 grams a day of protein. After that, it starts turning it into sugar. But fats and green veggies. Consider them a guilt-free all-you-can-eat buffet.
How to exercise
This is where things may get a bit scientific. When it comes to putting on muscle, you’ve got to leverage your hormones–particularly testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). To do this, the standard ideas of what constitutes good exercise don’t generally apply.
For example, DO NOT jog at the same pace for several miles a day. Yes, this will help your lung capacity and tone your leg and butt muscles, but it won’t put on muscle. Notice the physical difference between long-distance runners and sprinters. Long distance runners are lanky and extremely skinny. Sprinters are bulky and broad.
Burst training is the best way to stimulate HGH and testosterone. This involves two-thirds “burst” and one-third cool-down. You can split these thirds by time or distance or repetitions.
For example, you can sprint for two minutes and jog for one. Or you can do 40 pushups as fast as you can, then do 20 more nice and easy. Or you can sprint for the length of two telephone poles and then jog to the third. Just repeat this for about 20 minutes a day, every day.
A note on attitude
Stress is a big deal. It can make you gain weight. It can hinder you from gaining weight. It can put strain on your cardiovascular system. It affects your cognitive abilities, your sleep, digestion, mood and more. Manage your stress and you’ll simply be healthier.
- Meditate daily
- Pray in whatever way suits you
- Pursue hobbies you enjoy
- Get outdoors
Furthermore, don’t think of your weight or the way your body looks in comparison to others. Your body is unique. It has its own unique look. If you are healthy–meaning your nutrition, exercise, neurological function, mental state and toxicity levels are in good shape–you will be your ideal weight. And that looks different for everyone.