Every time I visit the gym, I see a lot of people doing really well trying to lose weight. However, the real strugglers are those who are looking to build muscles. Unfortunately, most are unable to gain muscles as they indulge in variety of foods and workouts to increase their appetite and gain weight.
Let’s see what is it that most do wrong in a weight gain program?-
I) Proteins– Gym trainers and dieticians often suggest including more proteins, some in the form of powders and others suggest natural sources such as egg, sattu, curd, cottage cheese and the likes. However, calculating the right amount of protein required is often missed. One requires around 1.25g/kg ideal body weight proteins, to build up muscles. For example if you are 60 kgs then the required amount of protein required by you on a daily basis to build muscles is 75g.
If you aren’t having enough or the required amount of protein then you will not see a difference. Hence, take out time and consult professionals who can help you calculate.
For building muscles you also need to take care that you have enough carbs, antioxidants and workout properly.
(i) Carbohydrates- While focusing more on proteins, maximum people lose focus off carbs. Don’t forget if approx 60% of your diet isn’t from carbohydrate sources, your body will utilize proteins to supply energy, hence you will lack proteins for tissue building.
(ii) Antioxidants– Fruits and salads are often flawed to be used as a weight loss diet. Vegetables and fruits are the best source of antioxidants that help in tissue repairs, prevent injuries and inflammation. So include selenium, zinc, vitamin C and Vitamin E on a daily basis.
(iii) Workout- Your workout should focus more on strength training however,make sure you still do some amount of cardio for better functioning of your heart and lungs. This will prevent you from falling ill during your program.
Foods that will help in building muscles-
- Dates – They are loaded with iron, natural sugar and antioxidants. Have 4-5 dates before the workout as datescan provide you with instant energy and prevent muscle damage.
- Sweet Nuts or Pulse balls (Chikkis)- These is a sweet dish made up of pulses, nuts or seeds. It isnothing but roasted whole gram, peanuts or sesame seeds and jaggery. It’s a perfect combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Munching on them as mid meal snacks would be an energy booster.
- Nut shakes – A big serving of dry fruits is difficult to consume at a time, hence having them in a powdered form with milk will help provide a large serving of proteins.
- Fruit smoothie – Adding a fruit to curd will help add on some antioxidants to your protein dose.
- Combination of cereal and pulse – Just having a pulse at a time will really not help as it doesn’t provide us with good quality proteins but, when combined with a cereal, it will not only help us with gaining the benefits of proteins but also supply the required carbohydrates. Hence, options like dal Paratha (Pulse Flat Breads), PuranPoli (Sweet Jaggery filled flat breads), khichdi (mix of pulses and rice and vegetables cooked together) and idli (steamed rice pan cakes) should be considered.
- Adding vegetables to meat – Having a separate serving of vegetable becomes difficult .The meal size may exceed if we have 1 serving of vegetable for vitamins & minerals and 1 serving of non-veg preparation for proteins. The best option I feel is to combine a non-vegetarian source with vegetables. For instance, Spinach (Palak) chicken, tomato omelet and capsicum stuffed with mince.
- Peanut butter- Many often overdo with regular butter and get major changes in lipid profile but no change in weight. Ideally one should apply peanut butter on their bread slice for the right fats and protein combination.
The key rule for healthy weight gain is to go fornutrient dense meals. These healthy compact meals do not require an extreme appetite boost. Focus on healthy weight gain and be patient while you are in a weight gain program as it’s easy to cut on fats but takes time to add on muscles.
Remember, it took 9 months to give you around 3 kgs of weight while birth.