Sustainable healthy weight gain – this is how it works

Sustainable healthy weight gain - this is how it works

That it is not necessarily beneficial for our health in the long run to have several pounds too much on the ribs, every child knows. But what about underweight?

While some of us are concerned with why the scale shows a few extra kilos after a caramel dessert, often particularly slim people struggle to get every extra gram on the scale. With this blog entry we would like to be of help to all those who have been trying to gain weight ever since.

How do you actually define "thin" or. "too thin"?

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), people with a BMI below 18.5 are considered underweight. BMI (body mass index) is a ratio to estimate the weight of a person and to evaluate it superficially. Superficial because BMI simply relates weight to height. The body composition (fat, muscle, water, etc.).) is not taken into account. With the help of the following calculation you can determine your BMI and see if your BMI corresponds to the norm. Remember that it is a superficial result. Calculation: weight (kg) : height squared (meters).

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Before we help you find solutions for your situation, one thing is important: First and foremost, it is important that you are healthy and free of symptoms. Possible signs of being seriously underweight may include:

  • Noticeable paleness
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue and listlessness despite adequate sleep
  • Circulation problems
  • For women also cycle disorders
  • The prominence of ribs and pelvic bones
  • etc.

If you recognize yourself in some of these points, you should simply visit a doctor you trust and talk to him openly about your situation. It is important to us that you normalize your weight in the long term and do not overload your body, but also do not underload it.

The basic rule for gaining weight is: Permanently add more calories than you burn through exercise and other physical activities.

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Every person has an individual energy requirement. Energy requirement roughly means: what your body needs in food to function without problems. This means that each person uses a different amount of energy or. Food needed to get through the day in good health. Some of us need more, others less. If we overeat our energy needs (we take in more food than our body needs) for a longer period of time, we gain weight. In the same way, we lose weight when we underprovision our energy needs for a longer period of time (we take in less food than our body needs).

"Consistently add more calories than you burn through exercise and other physical activities." What sounds like a hackneyed phrase is actually the only reliable key to really gaining weight. So just like losing weight, gaining weight is all about energy balance.

The energy balance includes on the one hand the input, that is what comes into our body (in the form of food). On the other hand the output, what goes out of our body (in the form of movement) goes out.

At this point, imagine two pillars right next to each other. The left column is the input (energy intake in the form of food). The right hand column is the output (energy output in the form of exercise).

So that we can compare the two columns, we measure the columns in terms of calories. We take in calories through food intake and we consume calories through exercise and other processes in our body.

If now as much calories come in as go out, then you have a neutral (balanced) energy balance. This means that you will not gain or lose much weight. Of course, this does not mean that you have to track how many calories you eat at all times. However, you should be roughly aware of what food goes into your body and what goes out again.

When gaining weight we now need POSITIVE ENERGY BALANCE. You have two ways to achieve this:

  1. Eat more / eat better quality food (more energy in the form of better nutritional values).
  2. Move less.

The second option we would not recommend. Exercise is important. We also want to convert the energy we take in not only in the form of body fat, but also in the form of muscle. And this is what strength training does. So it makes more sense to optimize the first point. Often I get to hear in the gym: " Jan, I can eat what I want, I feel like I can’t gain weight. I eat oatmeal, fruit and not infrequently huge pizzas every day and it just doesn’t do anything on the scale. I think I will never manage to gain weight!"

Remember: Gaining weight, like many other things in life, is about one thing in particular. About DURABILITY.

People who are very slim and have a hard time gaining weight usually eat huge portions frequently. Often even real fatteners. Why do these people still not gain weight?

Eating a huge pizza now and then or 5 hamburgers in one evening is of course quite an achievement, BUT it is not enough to gain weight permanently. Fast food and other fattening foods do not provide the body with the healthy nutrients it needs. It’s also important to eat a LOT of food qualitatively during the day to keep your body nourished. What is important in the future to gain weight, we have summarized for you in the following 8 rules.

1) Exercise more

It is important that you use the extra calories wisely. After all, we do not want our body to store the excess energy exclusively in the fat depots. That would be very unhealthy! It is quite sufficient to do a full body workout (strength training) 2-3 times a week. By doing this, you build muscle, which visually helps you gain mass. Disadvantage: Muscles are a real calorie burner. So you need to eat more so you don’t lose more weight.

2) Exercise less

Rule number 2 is at first sight the absolute opposite of rule number 1. Well – not quite. Of course, it is important that we use the extra energy wisely and build up muscles. But in the end the project "gaining weight" is always a kind of tightrope act. Of course it is important that you exercise. But what you should keep in mind: Moving always means energy, i.e. burning calories. For people who are naturally good "calorie burners", a lot of exercise is not entirely unproblematic. Why?

  1. You have to reach the positive energy balance (you will reach it mainly by eating more).
  2. In point 1 I advise you to train regularly. Exercising means moving. Moving naturally means that you burn even more energy.

In conclusion, you should not overdo it with the training in any case. 3 times a week is absolutely enough. Anything else would make it much harder for you to achieve your positive energy balance. You should also stay away from pure endurance training and focus on strength training.

3) Quality and quantity

The most important thing is that you change the amount of food you eat from today onwards. You have to eat more. We need to get your energy balance into a positive range. Of course, this should be done in the most health-friendly way possible. Your energy intake should not only consist of convenience food and fast food.

4) Durability

Maybe you have the problem of eating very in very different intervals. We have to change that. It’s not necessary that you endlessly exceed your energy balance every day. A slight increase in calories is sufficient to gain weight in a sustainable and healthy way. However, we must achieve this permanently. Otherwise you will be treading water and every gram will be a struggle. What really matters is how well and how ambitiously you pursue your goal over several weeks, not how superbly you eat today or tomorrow! An increase in calories on one day does you no good at all if you don’t manage to eat nearly as much the days after. Imagine a racing driver who sets the fastest lap of an entire race. This driver does not necessarily win the race. It is crucial that you perform consistently. Only then is there a good chance of success!

5) Eat regularly

If you are looking for excuses, you will find them. I can’t eat right now because someone is calling me, because I’m up to my neck in work, because because because… Your body knows no birthdays, no stressful days and no motivation holes either. It is enormously important that you take your life in your hands FROM TODAY on and proceed with a clear system.

6) The building blocks

Our diet consists of three components. The carbohydrates, the proteins and the fats. Whenever the topic of gaining weight comes up, I hear the word "protein" mentioned very quickly. But the reality is this: The body pulls the protein it needs from food for various processes, such as muscle building or immune defense. Any unusable protein is then excreted naturally. It is therefore important that you always supply your body with enough protein, BUT protein is only one of the three important components that you need to consume in order to gain weight. Carbohydrates and fats can be easily stored by your body. Therefore, these two components of food in moderation are at least as important for you.

  • Fat-free meat
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Curd cheese
  • Grainy cream cheese
  • Tofu
  • ..
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Bread
  • ..
  • Avocado
  • Oils (flaxseed oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil…)
  • Nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts,…)
  • Fish (especially fresh)
  • ..

7) High quality food

Low quality products such as fast food or convenience foods are often high in trans fats. This type of fatty acids is not healthy for our body in the long run. Among other things, they are responsible for various cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart attack). In the short term, of course, these products also provide you with energy. In terms of a long-term healthy eating style, however, you should see to it that you consume these products only rarely, even if your goal is to "gain weight". Make sure to eat as much unprocessed and natural foods as possible, pay attention to the freshness of your food, and start cooking.

8) The big one

What counts is the "big picture! You won’t be successful in the long run if you follow some points very strictly while slacking on other points every now and then. It is completely understandable that you cannot implement all points perfectly overnight and integrate them into your everyday life. But always try to keep all the listed points in mind.

These were the basics. You have surely heard some of these before. Finally, however, is not decisive what you already knew. It’s more a matter of whether you can make it happen and, more importantly, whether you want to make it happen. I maintain that the process of gaining weight is at least as difficult as the process of losing weight. Both require enormous discipline and absolute dedication. To make it a little easier for you to apply it in reality, we now give you a sample diet plan for the period of one week.

Monday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk and fruits

Snack: Brazil nuts (about 100 grams)

Lunch: Piece of chicken with imperial vegetables and ciabatta bread

Snack: Bowl of curd cheese with milk and fresh fruit

Dinner: Wholemeal pasta with Bolognese sauce

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Whole grain bread(s) with turkey breast, egg and some fruit

Snack: 1-2 apples or pears

Lunch: Chili Con Carne

Snack: walnuts

Supper: Vegetable casserole, served with avocado dip and baguette

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Curd cheese with honey and dried fruits

Snack: 1 banana, plus a handful of almonds

Lunch: Oatmeal mixed with muesli Turkey cutlets

Snack: Macadamia nuts

Dinner: Wholemeal pasta in salmon cream sauce

Thursday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal mixed with muesli

Snack: A handful of cheese cubes with grapes

Lunch: Chinese stir-fried vegetables

Snack: A bowl of fruit curd with kiwi

Dinner: Stuffed peppers with whole grain rice

Friday:

Breakfast: Whole wheat bread(s) with fried eggs and cooked ham

Snack: Chashew nuts

Lunch: Jacket potatoes with quark

Snack: 2-3 tangerines

Dinner: Tofu with noodles and grilled vegetables

Saturday:

Breakfast: Large fruit smoothie

Snack: Brazil nut kernels

Lunch: Kebab plate

Snack: Semolina pudding

Dinner: Meatballs with kohlrabi, gravy and potatoes

Sunday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh fruit

Snack: Trail mix (small bag)

Lunch: Lasagna

Snack: 2 apples

Evening meal: Hearty potato salad with sauteed chicken breast fillet and whole grain roll

*Snacks: Snacks with a high energy content are especially suitable as snacks between meals. My absolute secret tip is nuts and dried fruits in all varieties. Also recommended are almonds. Alternatives would be energy bars, granola, fruit yogurt, cheese cubes, cottage cheese or fruit.

Drinks: For drinks, you should like to resort to fruit juices from time to time. These usually have a high proportion of carbohydrates.

The aspect of nutritional supplements (shakes and co.) is a very important one.) while gaining weight

In the end, gaining weight is all about energy balance. If the energy balance is permanently in the positive range, you will gain weight. Of course, you can use supplements at this point. The use of supplements, however, is a means that does not necessarily HAVE to lead to success. Without an adapted diet, no long-term success will be achieved even with two mass shakes a day. The important thing is: supplements are always a help to reach one’s goal.

Here you can find our favorite "Massegainer- Shake"

  • A handful of raspberries
  • A few dates
  • Half a handful of nuts or almonds
  • Half a handful of oatmeal
  • Some curd
  • Some milk
  • Sweeten with honey as needed and add water to change consistency

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Conclusion

The important thing is to take the time you need to change your eating habits. Your goal requires the highest level of discipline and perseverance. Nevertheless, we are sure that YOU CAN DO IT! It is important that you listen to your body and you notice successes and stagnations and react accordingly. If you notice that you do not gain weight, it is your task to increase the amount of energy bit by bit – until you gain weight. We hope that we could help you with this blog entry and that you can apply what you have just read as soon as possible. The Fit Trio fitness blog wishes you much success on your way!

Sustainable healthy weight gain - this is how it works

Louisa Dellert. Curious, adventurous and very emotional. How this fits in with sustainability, politics and self love? Sometimes I don’t really know. But read for yourself! Have fun on my blog

19 Comments

I find the exemplary plan and the examples for the snacks very helpful.
Finally something about the topic of gaining weight, thank you Jan for the very detailed post,

Thank you for your lovely feedback&

This post is really very good! I wish I could have read it when I needed to gain weight.
Healthy weight gain is not easy but definitely possible.

I’m sure it will help many:-)!

Thank you for your feedback dear Janin&

Really a great post. Personally, I have the opposite problem, but find it very interesting to read tips for gaining weight. Since one gets immediately a bit of a new look at the topic of nutrition. I also like the weekly plan

Thanks for the great post I think it’s great how you respond to everything that is asked and how much sweat and blood you put into your "project" (if you can still call it that). Keep up the good work .

Glad you liked the post& Have a great weekendeeee

Glad you were able to take something interesting from the post&

Great blog entry!!
I will definitely try to implement the points, because for about half a year I no longer get my period and the doctor also thinks I should gain weight.
Could you upload a video on your You Tube channel about the full body workout, because I have absolutely no idea how that could look like?

You wanted feedback – you get feedback.. & as expected, I can only say positive things about this article. You knew some of the basics, but the motivating words in between are great! I like the weekly plan best, because I never come up with enough ideas on my own for 6 delicious meals 7 times a week .

Finally a German blog that deals with this topic. Unfortunately it has not yet arrived in society that some people feel uncomfortable in their very slim body. Nobody says "don’t eat that you are so fat" to an overweight person. But "eat more, you are so thin" is standard.
I would like to know if you know any other blogs that deal with this topic? Are there bloggers on Instagram who show a zunehm transformation? Am constantly looking. Maybe you or the other readers here know someone. Would be happy about a tip! Thanks :*

A very good and helpful blogpost! & I find, however, that in the example diet plan is a little too often meat included. I also know the advantages of meat, but twice a day meat consumption is too much in my opinion. I think it would even be enough to eat a piece of meat once a week. I eat vegetarian myself and train 4-5 times a week and have also managed to gain weight without meat and still healthy.

A really great post. I read it with great interest, even if I don’t want to gain weight myself. I think it has become clear that not only people who want to lose weight have it "hard", but that also people who want or need to gain weight have to be really disciplined! I think it’s great that you started with the basics and then went into more detail and the motivation from the text is really clear and spurs on. I believe that this text will help people and motivate them to gain weight! Love thanks to both of you<3

The full body workout would also interest me.
How useful are home workouts in gaining healthy weight?? Or does it have to be the heavy weights at the gym?
Thank you for your feedback.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for addressing this issue as well!

Personally I find it mega annoying when people say to me "but you are skinny", "eat something, you can use it" or "Waaaas, you go to the gym, why that then?"The horrified look is then the icing on the cake. Exactly what you would never say the other way around to a fatter person. Because that would be an insult.

You are really great and a great role model for so many people. I wish you much success with your projects. The whole world should listen to you. I’ve been following you silently for a while and am grateful for your daily motivation. Keep it up!

I love your posts& Can you maybe times a post about food supplements, bars, etc. make ?
Or maybe there is already one I don’t know about ?

Thanks in advance !

Hello!
Great contribution. To stay on topic, I would have a suggestion for you guys. Skinny fat" – many slim girls suffer from it. Maybe you have training tips?
Thank you and best regards!

Hello Lou and Jan,

I would be happy if you could talk more about the topic of "gaining weight". Here in the comments are still a few questions left open.
Also your way of gaining weight would be interesting.

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