A lot of people feel losing weight is the biggest fitness challenge. You would be surprised to know that people who want to gain weight in a healthy way also have a hard time. You cannot just eat any food to increase your muscle mass and weight. It would do more harm than good and may also increase the chances of fat deposits in your body, increased sugar levels, and increased cholesterol. If you want to bulk up, then one of the best ways is to eat healthy calorie-dense foods and include premium quality supplements like mass gainer, creatine, or whey protein.
Macronutrients For Bulking
Fat and carbohydrates have a bad reputation in the fitness world. But do you know that if you measure your macros intake, it will help you with sustained bulking and also provide you energy to go through the day and smash your workout goals. Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body needs in large amounts. As compared to micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are needed in smaller amounts. Each macronutrient is important for the following roles in the body –
Fuel during exercise, spares protein, main energy source for your brain.
Tissue and muscle structure, involved in metabolism and hormonal systems, influences acid/base balance.
Protects vital organs, provides insulation and energy reserve, transports fat soluble vitamins.
When you want to gain weight and muscle mass, focus your energy on carbohydrate intake, lean proteins, and high-quality good fats. The acceptable macronutrient range is –
- 45%-65% Carbohydrate
- 10%-35% Protein
- 20%-35% Fat
10 Best Foods For Bulking
When it comes to building fitness and getting good quality protein, eggs are the first choice of most fitness enthusiasts. Eggs are considered a complete source of protein because they have all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are highly bioavailable — digested, absorbed, and utilized efficiently by your body.
2. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are the best snacks that you can include in your routine. They contain heart healthy fats, are full of fiber, and provide essential vitamins and minerals as well. You can snack on them as it is, or add them to salads and other recipes to get the goodness of nuts and seeds. For some extra calories, aim for the versions that have been oiled. Limit the ones with salt, unless you’re sweating a lot and need the extra sodium in your diet.
Beans are really good for your heart and for hard gainers with a fast metabolism. They’re packed with nutrients such as iron, potassium, zinc, and folate. They’re also rich in plant-based protein and fibre. If you are new to eating beans, take it slow, and drink lots of water because your body takes a lot of time to digest these. Some of the most popular beans that you can include in your diet for bulking are – kidney beans, black beans, white beans etc. Depending on the type of bean, one cup contains about 200-300 calories.
Yogurt is a super gut-healthy food and it is also rich in protein. You can include it in your daily diet if you want to gain weight and bulk up. Have a bowl of yogurt as a mid-meal snack, top it with healthy granola or nuts and seeds, or just blend it with fruits and your favorite fitness supplement like – mass gainer or whey protein to make a healthy post-workout smoothie.
Milk is such a universal and versatile food for bulking. It has the right balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein. The protein in milk is 20% whey and 80% casein. It also contains branched chain amino acids which can boost exercise performance. You can mix milk with your mass gainer or whey protein powder to make a shake and have it pre or post workout to get all those extra calories without any extra fat.
Cheese is a great source of calcium, healthy fats, and protein and you can include it in your daily diet if you want to bulk up. A lot of people believe that eating cheese can be risky for your heart health. But that’s not true. When you choose a healthy cheese (full-fat versions and non-processed) they provide protein for building muscle mass.
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy fats and are rich in antioxidants as well. They are a calorie dense food and provide around 300 calories. Avocados can help your cholesterol levels — lowering the “bad” low-density lipoproteins (LDL) while increasing the “good” high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Add avocados to your salad recipes, blend it with whey protein and plant-based milk to make creamy vegan smoothies, or make guacamole and spread it on your favorite whole-grain toast and have it with an egg.
No two bodies are the same, and that’s why the nutrition you require might be different from that your friend or colleague requires. Make sure you consult a dietician to know the best diet plan for weight gain and best foods for bulking if that’s your fitness goal.
Plant based oils like avocado oil and olive oil provide a lot of calories and heart-healthy fats. One tablespoon consists of around 120 calories. You can add olive oil to your salad dressings or use these plant-based oils for day-to-day cooking.
9. Dry Fruits
Dry fruits are high in calories and are rich in fiber and natural carbohydrates. They are also rich in antioxidants to prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Have a handful of dry fruits as a mid-meal snack or add them to your oatmeal, cereal, or smoothies. Due to their high natural sugar content, they’re great for gaining weight. They’re convenient, easy to eat, and can actually increase hunger for some people.
10. Whole Grains
When you choose whole-grain biscuits or bread, you are consuming complex carbohydrates that provide steady energy and are rich in fiber as well. Make sure to go through the ingredient list to ensure it is whole-grain that you are purchasing and nothing else. Have whole-grain bread sandwiches with vegetables or eggs as part of a healthy breakfast for bulking up.
It is also recommended that you create a balance between a healthy diet and the right kind of fitness supplements. Talk to your trainer to know whether you would get best results from a mass gainer, weight gainer, or a whey protein supplement if you want to bulk up. Adding creatine supplements to your fitness routine, if you already go to the gym or do intense training, is also a good idea. Browse through all these GNC supplements on the official website.