Quick and Easy Ways to Gain Weight

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Although weight-loss strategies are ubiquitous in the fitness industry, not every person in the world has that goal. In fact, questions about the best ways to gain weight pop up more often than you might think. Skinny teenagers, underweight adults, and hardgainers of all stripes scour the Internet for ways to put on muscle.

Here are the most effective ways to put on muscle!

THE REAL STORY
The reason you keep hearing the same advice is because putting on some pounds is really a simple matter of consuming more calories than you burn. Now, we all know at least one person who has made the mistake of eating a lot more than necessary, not exercising, and packing on lots and lots of excess fat. That's not what we're here to do. We want to give you the tools so you can eat just enough calories to put on some muscle, but not enough to put on a lot of excess fat.

Be aware, though, that increasing the calories you eat in order to increase your muscle mass will also bring some extra fat mass. Don't panic. With the right type of exercise, the fat gain can be minimal. And remember, if you've been struggling to gain weight, it's highly unlikely that you'll put on 20 pounds of unwanted fat.

BE CALORIE SMART
Do your best to consume nutrient-dense, calorie-rich food. Fats and oils, nuts and seeds, avocado, red meat, whole eggs, full-fat dairy, and oily fish are great choices for getting a lot of calories without having to fill your stomach to the brim. Don't waste your time trying to fill up on gummy bears or saltine crackers—they just don't provide enough calories or nutrients to be worth the effort.

That said, it's also important that you let go of the mindset that you need to eat 2-4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. No scientific evidence suggests that eating all that extra protein will increase muscle mass—plus, that kind of diet can get pretty expensive. The 40/40/20 bodybuilder split just may not be the right choice for you. Carbohydrates can offer the same calorie count per gram as protein, but they are less satiating. So, don't be afraid to add some extra carbs to your meals. As you do, though, choose carbs that have lower fiber content so you don't fill up as quickly. We like noodles, white rice, bread, and fruit.

And watch out for fruits and veggies with a high water content. While they may be a great source for vitamins and minerals, all that extra water can leave you feeling full and lessen the chance you'll be going back for seconds. If you're worried about coming up short on your micronutrients, we recommend a daily multivitamin.

HAVE FUN WITH FAT
Fat is a smart choice for your weight-gaining diet because it has twice the number of calories per gram than protein and carbs. Also, fat has the lowest thermic effect of food compared to carbs and protein. In other words, your body burns anywhere from 5-30 percent fewer calories digesting fats than it does the other two macronutrients. An easy way to up your diet's fat content is to cook your meat and vegetables in olive, coconut, or other calorie-rich oils. In a pinch, add a little oil to your protein shake.

You can also sneak in some extra fat with your selection of protein. Opt for 80/20 ground beef, chicken thighs over chicken breasts, and look for a little more marbling in your steaks. Good options include rib-eye and T-bone.