We’ve put together some hints & tips to help guide you along your way…
Exercise is a great way to get fitter and healthier, whilst also gaining those extra desired kilograms.
What type of exercise should I do?
To gain weight, you require a higher amount of calories through food than you burn off through exercise. However, continuing to exercise will increase fitness and muscle mass for healthier weight gain. There are many different forms of weight training that can help build muscle mass and increase your weight. There is no perfect training, but doing just one of these will help you reach your goals.
- Circuit training
- Olympic lifting
- Body weight exercise
- Free weights
- Machine weights
Build up your daily activity
For some it can be difficult on a daily basis to achieve the required activity to meet your weekly goals; however there are some simple tricks to help you burn more calories.
- Take the stairs – rather than riding the escalator. Walking up and down stairs are a quick and easy workout to increase your daily activity levels.
- Do you usually drive to work? If you live close by, why not walk or cycle. Alternatively, walk to the nearest public transport if you live further away.
- Walk more - Taking a stroll or joining a walking club is a simple and cost effective way to increase your activity.
- Going swimming - a great way to increase your activity levels and something you can do with the whole family.
You should aim to do approximately 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Activities could include:
11 minutes of fast walking twice a day whether this be down the street or on the treadmill at the gym.
Cycling for 21 minutes per day, either on an exercise bike or you could try riding to work.
Why not both? Combine 10 minutes on the treadmill with 11 minutes on the exercise bike.
Activities like yoga, weights or bodyweight exercise twice a week will improve muscle strength.
If your aim is to gain weight then the calories you consume in your diet needs to be greater than the energy you expend through daily activities. Here are a few important ways to do this in a healthy way:
- 1Eating higher fibre foods in every meal such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta or beans and pulses, satisfies your hunger for longer so you are less likely to want snacks between meals.
- 2Avoid eating too many foods with saturated fats and sugars as they raise your cholesterol levels and are extremely high in calories.
- 3Snack in between meals on wholesome foods high in carbohydrates.
- 4Eat multiple meals throughout the day. The main goal is to increase the amount of calories you are eating, therefore eat more often!
- 5Try shakes and weight gainers. They are easy to consume on the go, getting in those extra calories.
Even if you want to gain weight you should have a balanced diet in life but eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or boring.View
- Eat your 5 a day – they’re loaded with fibre and low calorie foods.
- Base your meals of starchy foods to keep yourself feeling full.
- Enjoy health benefits of dairy foods. Swap your skimmed milk for whole or cottage cheese for hard cheese.
- Swap your saturated fats for unsaturated lowering your cholesterol.
- Avoid fizzy drinks that are loaded with sugar and unwanted calories.
Manage Your Alcohol
Did you know that there are 7kcal in 1 gram of alcohol and not the good kind of calories, these are extra useless ones! Try these simple drinking techniques to lower your alcohol intake.View
- Try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. You are more likely to snack while drinking if you’re hungry and give in to salty high calorie foods.
- Avoid binge drinking - drinking in moderation frequently is far more beneficial for your health than drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time.
- Be aware of your drink choices. Simply swapping a Pina colada for a mojito saves 326kcals.
Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy and are essential for physical activity and your daily functions, however not all carbohydrates are good for you.View
- Unhealthy sources of carbohydrates include white breads, fizzy drinks or pastries; these foods can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and raise your blood sugar levels promoting diabetes.
- To provide more healthy sources of carbohydrates try changing your diet to include oats, wholegrains, fresh fruits & vegetables and beans & pulses.
- Introducing healthy sources of carbohydrates into your diet can improve energy levels for longer, keep you feeling full for longer and provide you with healthier natural sugars.
When you hear the word fats you automatically think they are bad for you, but that is not the case. Fats are important part of providing vitamins to help in your body function normally.View
- 1g of fat = 9kcal. That is a lot, so it’s important you eat the right types of fats.
- Replace the saturated fats in your diet for unsaturated options to help lower your cholesterol.
- Eat more fish. Salmon can be added to salads or eaten with eggs in the morning and is packed full of omega 3.
- Try eating avocados. They are loaded with monounsaturated fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol.
You may be eating all the right foods but are you eating enough of it? Monitor and increase your portion control to manage your food to maintain a healthy diet:View
- Weighing your foods. It may take more time but you’ll know exactly what you are eating and ensure your meals are the appropriate portion size.
- Cover a portion of your plate with carbohydrates, they’re high in calories and will provide you with extra energy and help gain weight.
- Trick your eyes. Try using bigger plates and bowls, this will trick your eyes into thinking it’s a small portion when it’s actually bigger.
Manage Food Cravings
Even when you’re motivated to gain weight, food cravings can be counter-productive if you are adding unwanted unhealthy calories. Fight cravings with these food tactics.View
- Clear out your cupboards and fridge of high calorie snacks and replace them with healthier alternatives so you’re not tempted to snack on things you know you shouldn’t.
- Don’t go hungry - Keep yourself feeling full by having fibre in your meals.
- Allow yourself a snack. Snacks can be a great way to keep you going until your next meal but choose healthy snacks instead.
- Drink a glass of water - Water can fill you up tricking your body into thinking it’s full and satisfied.
Protein is the building block for our bodies and muscles. Every time we exercise, our body needs protein to repair itself. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t skip on protein.View
- Protein helps satiety; which is the feeling of being full. Protein is great for this, reducing your cravings and calories.
- Protein helps with slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates in your diet. This makes your blood sugar absorption slower, reducing the risks of diabetes
- Whey protein is perfect for repairing your muscles after a workout giving your body the correct amount of nutrition.
- Casein protein is typically used prior to going to bed to keep your body supplied with nutrients whilst it repairs itself in your sleep.
Setting goals is the perfect way to keep your activity levels high and remain feeling motivated whilst eating healthy foods. Here are some simple tips to help you with your goal settingView
- Set realistic goals. Aim to lose 1kg per week rather than 10kg in 4 weeks. Small steps are the way to achieving your weight loss goals.
- Plan the exercise you going to do by writing them down. This simple act increases your motivation to actually get up and go for a jog.
- Give yourself a time limit. Rather than just saying 'I am going to run as far as possible', tell yourself you are going to run well for a set period of time.
- Record your results. If you’ve gained 3kg in 3 weeks write it down. Reminders of previous achievements will keep you motivated if your weight gain does begin to slow down.
Your Exercise Barriers
Exercise is an extremely important factor in getting healthy, but sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to go on that run or get to the gym and left those weights. However there are some things you can remind yourself to help you keep focused.View
- 'I’m too out of shape' - Many people believe that it’s impossible to get fit, but everyone has to start somewhere to achieve their goals.
- 'I’m too tired' - Exercise can actually boost your energy levels and make you feel better about yourself. Getting out of the door is the hardest part, but once you have got started you will feel more energized.
- 'It’s too hard' - exercise can be hard work, but by building up the activity levels slowly over time you will find your stamina, health and confidence will grow.
Weight Loss Pitfalls
There are many reasons you may not achieve your diet goals. Here are some common pitfalls; however these can be easily avoidable.View
- Don’t skip meals. You may think this will lower your calories but you will be more likely to give into cravings and eat unhealthy foods.
- Not counting your calories. We know it is boring to do but if you really want to know how much you’re eating, counting your calories is the only way.
- Don’t weigh yourself too often. Weighing yourself everyday can become frustrating if nothing is changing. Weigh yourself once a week instead.
- Eating unhealthy snacks. It is OK to snack in between meals; just make sure it’s healthy with fibre and within your allowed calories.
The Weight Control Plateau
Unfortunately, we are all likely to hit a wall when it comes to our diet and it seems we just can’t seem to gain those extra few kilograms. These tips will help you get over that plateau.View
- Be patient. Even though you may not be gaining weight as fast as you might like, you will put on extra kilograms eventually! Stay patient with your body to start working its magic again.
- Stay strong. Don’t give up on yourself because of a few bumps in the road. Just look back at the hard work you have done to get this far; don’t throw it all away and keep going.
- Change it up. If you have maintained the same diet for a period of time your body may have become accustomed to it. Change to new healthy foods you haven’t tried before.
- You still want to gain more weight. Why not try the BMI calculator again. You might find the result has changed and you require a different amount of calories now.
A little help from your friends
Maintaining your weight is more fun with friends.
Invite your friends to share your journey, they’ll also receive great hints and tips to help them along.
Before you begin a weight loss program be sure to consult your health care professional and/or a registered dietician. Your doctor will help determine if there are any health issues you should take into consideration while changing your eating habits. A registered dietician will give you all the information, support, accountability and tools you need in order to develop a healthy eating plan.
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