I think from the point of view of most people in this world, anybody who is dealing with their desire to gain weight has what we call nice life problems! It’s not that straight-forward though – it’s in fact a real issue for people referred to as ectomorphs, meaning they have the body types of people who find it hard to gain weight. It’s common amongst the late teen and early adult years males in particular as puberty comes with certain expected bodily changes such as your chest filling out and your muscles getting a bit bigger and a little bit more defined.
So the burning issue then is how do you gain all the weight you want to put on safely?
What you should NOT do is stuff your face with any and all food your eyes come into contact with. That’s perhaps something you can get away with if you’re still a teenager and are entering early adulthood, but it’s still not a great approach to take. Yes it is indeed true that if you want to gain weight you have to feed your body with more calories than what it can dispose of before you feed yourself again, but there are “good” calories and there are terribly bad calories – dirty calories. A Big Mac for instance is an example of loading up on some really bad calories, while good calories would perhaps come in the form of something like a grilled fish fillet with potato wedges!
And that swiftly takes us into the fundamentals of safe weight gain. 3,000 to 3,500 calories daily will do if you want to gain weight and this applies generally to the hardest-gaining of ectomorphs. That magic number of calories is more than anyone’s body can dispose of within a period of 24 hours, whether through the synthesis of energy or through passing the food through the digestion process and eventually getting rid of it.
That’s not where it ends however because that’s where the question of how to gain weight “safely” comes into play. Safe weight gain requires you to effectively train your body to make use of the surge in calories it now has to deal with and by “train” I mean that quite literally. You have to exercise, otherwise there is only one place around which you’ll visibly see signs of weight gain and I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s around your gut!
Your stomach is the go-to place for any extra weight you’ll be putting on, so you’ll need to target your core as part of your exercise regime. If you’re only going to be doing one exercise then it’ll have to be your core, otherwise it’s good practice to show your body where you’d like for it to “send” all the extra weight by exercising those specific body parts.
Don’t focus on isolation exercises such as biceps curls, but rather on compound exercises like squats, barbell curls, dead lifts (if you want a bit of muscle definition in your legs) and bench presses.
One last thing – stay away from foods associated with heart-attacks!