Usually, I’m asked how to lose weight–or gain control of our weight–but occasionally I really do get asked how to gain good, strong, healthy weight. Whether you are recovering from an illness and need to add back a few pounds, or are trying to build body mass for athletic purposes, the following guidelines should be useful.
First, keep in mind that putting on weight is only part of the equation. You want to make sure it’s the right kind of weight — mostly muscle, not fat. To do that, you will need to do several things:
- Increase your calories using high quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and Omega 3 fatty acids — not useless fats and high glycemic carbohydrates.
- Do some weight bearing exercise so the body uses the calories to build muscle, not store fat.
- For a good source of protein, you can use super foods such as rice protein, yellow pea protein, or hemp protein. Green foods such as chlorella and spirulina are also good sources of protein, just more expensive. These are all high bio-available proteins with one profound advantage over dairy, soy, or egg. They are all hypoallergenic.
- For fats, you can use flax seed oil, or fish oil, or krill oil — also olive oil and avocados.
- For complex carbohydrates, you can use things like oats, barley, buckwheat, and millet. For more information, review the following Barron Report on the “Shake of the Gladiators.”
And finally, don’t forget to exercise so that you can turn your weight gain into muscle, as opposed to stored fat. And, for those pro athletes, see our Athletic Page for more tips.