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Nutrition for Weight Gain

The most important factor for anyone trying to change their body composition is nutrition; not training. This article will outline clearly and specifically how to change your body's composition through nutrition.

The following guidelines should be followed as closely as possible:

· Aim for at least 5 meals per day. 6-8 are optimal.
· Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
· Eat plenty of vegetables (3-5 servings) and fruits (1-5 servings).
· Take a multi-vitamin designed by a well-know supplement manufacturer if you are incorporating weight training and/or cardio into your program.

All food consists of macronutrients. The 3 macronutrients are (1) protein (2) carbohydrates (3) and fat. The key to altering your body's look and composition is controlling the type and amount of macronutrients you consume.

What Type of Food Should I Be Eating?


Protein is what your muscles are made of. For your muscles to grow you need to consume quality protein. Good protein sources include:

Whey Protein - Lean meat - Fish - Eggs - Low-fat dairy - Soy


Carbohydrates are your body's main energy source and transport nutrients to your muscles. The more carbohydrates you consume the faster you will grow. Be patient though. Too many carbs in to short a period will be stored as fat. The most important factor in determining which kind of carbohydrates to have in your diet, is the glycemic index. High- glycemic carbs enter the bloodstream very quickly, flooding your body with blood glucose. Unless your body can use these carbs (like after a workout or endurance activity) they are stored by your body as fat. You are soon left hungry. Low-glycemic sources of carbohydrates enter the bloodstream slowly, supplying your body with a steady but not overwhelming source of energy. In the quest for weight gain, low glycemic carbs are ideal but high glycemic sources should be consumed by individuals who have a difficult time gaining weight. Generally whole foods rank the low on the glycemic index. Refined sources of carbohydrates such as sugar or white flour rank high. You can find the glycemic rating of your favourite foods at

Here are a few low-glycemic choices of food:

- Oatmeal (non-sweetened) - Yams - Rice - Yogurt (non - sweetened) - Spaghetti

Immediately after weight training, individuals may eat moderate to high-glycemic carbohydrates.


There are 4 types of fats:

(1) Monounsaturated fats should amount for the majority of fats eaten. Examples include: - Almonds, peanut/peanut butter, most nuts - Olive oil - Avocados

(2) Polyunsaturated fats consist of Omega 3's, 6's and 9's. Omega 6's and 9's are very common in foods and should not be supplemented with. Omega 3 fats are very scarce in our diets and are essential to weight loss. The best source of Omega 3's is flax oil. Fish fats are also good and provide other health benefits.

(3) Saturated Fats should be avoided. They occur naturally in foods so it's impossible to eliminate them from your diet. Small changes like removing skin from chicken and eating leaner meats can go a long way.

(4) Trans Fats are the most evil of all fats. Stay away from fried foods and hydrogenated oils. By law, trans fats do not have to be labeled on the foods but this does not mean you can't calculate them for yourself. Add up the Mono, poly and saturated fats on the nutrition label of a food. Subtract that number from the total amount of fat and what's left over is the amount of Trans fat.

Of course eating these specific foods all of time would be very boring and difficult. The most important thing to do is READ LABELS. You can know pretty much exactly what by reading the ingredients and nutritional facts in the foods you eat.

What Amount Should I Be Eating?

Protein - Eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 150-225 grams of protein per day.

Carbohydrates - Eat 2.5-4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 375- 225 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Fat - Eat .5-1 gram of fat per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 75-150 grams of fat per day.

Note: The amounts above are for males. Females should eat only 60% of the above amounts.

Work yourself up to progressively higher amounts of protein, carbs and fat based on your body's changes. Find a level where you grow without gaining too much fat.

Also Read

Training for Weight Gain
Supplementation for Weight Gain

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