Let’s be honest here, every one of us skinny women who wish to gain weight, don’t look to grow a big belly. We want stronger arms, a perky peach, female curves, legs that don’t look like sticks, all that by keeping the belly as flat as possible, maybe even having abs, am I right? The popular hourglass shape doesn’t come with a muffin top, so how do achieve that?
This is a common issue that many women face on their weight gain journey and one of the most frequent questions I get asked on a daily basis.
Since I have dealt with this problem myself, but also found a solution to avoid that from happening, I’m able to give you the best advice on how to gain weight equally around your body.
So here’re my top three proven tips on how to gain weight all over your body:
Don’t over increase your caloric intake. If you are too eager to gain weight as quickly as possible and you intake more than 500 calories over your caloric maintenance, it’s highly likely that the surplus will be stored as fat in your body. Many of us do need to gain some fat, so to begin with it’s smart to have a high number of calories, however, once the body has regained most of the body fat, it’s advisable to then lower the intake. A good amount to help your body gain weight and muscles is to be in an approximate 300 calories surplus. With will be enough for most women to not lose the regained weight and avoid too much fat to be stored around the belly and waist area.
Have a sufficient protein intake. Eating enough protein will help your body gain lean muscle mass, which is very important when you’re doing some sort of resistance training. A lack of protein will make you lose muscle mass, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. Furthermore, it can also lead to anemia (when your cells don’t get enough oxygen) which makes you tired.
Avoid highly processed foods, trans fats, and high-sugar foods. Even though these types of foods are calorie-dense, they’re also considered “empty calories”, meaning that they don’t provide many micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). That’s not all, they also don’t provide long-lasting energy and don’t satiate much. The most sustainable way of gaining weight isn’t by filling your calories with whatever, but to fuel your body with wholesome, nutritious foods.
If you’re asking yourself when the time has come to lower your caloric intake from a high surplus, I’ve got some tips for you. It’s very different for everybody and you have to evaluate your outcome depending on your unique situation. For me, it was when my body weight was going up, and at some point, most of the surplus was going to my waist area. Your body can only build so much muscle, which can be quicker in the very beginning. But it’s not a linear journey, muscle growth can take some time. So if you notice that you’re eating more than enough for your muscles to grow, it might be a good point to look at your journey from a wider perspective.
When you feel like you’re in too big of a surplus, cut down a small amount (around 300 calories) and see after one week if you’re still getting enough to make gains. If that’s the case, you can keep that new number to prevent your body from storing too much fat.
An important thing to keep in mind is to get enough sleep and rest. If your body is under too much stress, you might be struggling with either a) gaining weight or b) losing body fat. Both aren’t ideal for lean muscle growth, so make sure to keep your stress levels as low as possible.