While some people find it easy to gain weight, others have to go through a lot of processes to achieve this. But, at the end of the day, it comes to calories. So how many calories to gain a pound of weight? Let us discuss.
People want to gain a healthy weight, without going through stress. Just like weight loss, weight gain requires a certain approach to nutrition and exercise.
To achieve weight gain, you need to get the right amount of calories every day.
What Are the Health Implications Of Being Underweight?
Much emphasis is being placed on getting slim, but less attention is paid to weight gain.
Being underweight can be as bad as being too fat. A study revealed that being underweight was associated with a 140% risk of early death in men and 100% in women.
Being underweight can harm the immune system, lead to osteoporosis, cause fertility problems and increase the risk of Infections.
How many calories can you take to gain weight? And, how many calories to gain is a pound?
Here is all you need to find out about your daily calorie intake to increase your muscle.
Weight gain can be achieved by eating more calories than your body burns constantly. Your body burns calories by digesting food as fat or muscle. Losing stored fat or muscle releases the energy you need to perform activities.
This is why you need enough calories before weight gain is achieved. You’ll need to increase lean mass while controlling an increase in body fat. Keep in mind that muscle is beneficial to excess fat which is associated with several unwanted health issues.
How Many Calories Make a Pound?
In 1958, a scientist named Max Wishnofsky researched to determine the number of calories that make a pound. After the studies, he concluded that one pound of weight loss or gain was equivalent to 3,500 calories.
Even though Wishnofsky used the available resources as of then for his research, the results received recognition in the media and scientific literature.
Now that it has been established that one pound of fat contains 3500 calories, you need to monitor your daily calorie intake.
How Can You Gain Weight In a Healthy Way?
If you want to gain weight healthily, it’s important to follow the right process. Consuming junk foods and soda regularly can affect your health negatively.
Therefore, it’s essential to eat a balanced meal and adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent health complications.
Here is what you can do to gain healthy weight:
1. Eat More Protein-rich Foods
Protein is the most important nutrient for gaining healthy weight.
As you know, muscle is made of protein and without it most of those extra calories may end up as body fat.
Studies have proven that during periods of overfeeding, a high-protein diet causes many of the extra calories to be turned into muscle.
But keep in mind that protein works in two ways. It’s highly filling, which may reduce your hunger and appetite significantly, making it harder to get in enough calories.
If you’re trying to gain weight, consume up to 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You can even go above that if your calorie intake is very high.
Highly proteinous foods include meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, legumes, nuts, and others. Consider protein supplements like whey protein, if you struggle to get enough protein in your food.
2. Increase Your Calorie Intake
You must create a calorie surplus, which means you eat more calories than your body needs.
If you want to gain weight slowly and effectively, consume diets that contain 300 to 500 calories more than you burn every day.
And If you want to gain weight fast, aim for around 700 to 1,000 calories above your maintenance level.
There are ways to monitor your calorie intake, which include the use of a calorie calculator.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to count calories forever, but it helps to do it for the first few days or weeks to determine how many calories you’re eating. Many great tools have been made for this purpose out there.
We all know that exercise burn calorie. So in the quest of knowing how many calories to gain a pound you will ponder why I am discussing exercise here?
To gain you know, you need to be in a state of excess calories. But, during this process you also need to ensure that this calorie is not stored as fat. And therefore, you need to transfer these calories to your muscles. And the best way to do so is exercise.
Visit the gym and lift 2 to 4 times per week. Start slowly and steadily. Lift heavy and try to increase the weights and volume after a few weeks.
You can hire a professional trainer, if you are new to training, to help you get started.
Consult with a doctor if you have skeletal, postural problems, or any medical issue.
4. Consume More Carbohydrates
If your goal is to gain weight, consume more fat and carbohydrates, as it will enable you to gain more calories.
Consume more high-carb and high-fat foods as it’s proven to be effective. It is advisable to eat plenty of protein, fat, and carbs at each meal.
Also, avoid intermittent fasting. It is useful for weight loss and health improvement but can make it much harder to eat enough calories that will help you gain weight.
Try to eat three meals per day and include energy-dense snacks whenever possible.
Other tips that will help you gain weight include:
1. Drink water after each meal, not before meals to prevent feeling full.
2. Don’t skip a meal, and eat a snack at bedtime.
3. Drink milk regularly.
4. Get quality sleep as it is very important for muscle growth.
5. If you have a mix of foods on your plate, eat the calorie-dense and protein-rich foods first before the vegetables.
Joshua is a certified diet planner. He has been researching extensively in nutrition, pain, obesity, and diabetes. He joined our team in February 2021 as an author.