Weight loss is always a hot topic, with a wide variety of people feeling like they’d like to lose a little weight to feel better. But an increasingly popular topic is how to gain weight, and specifically build muscle. So, here’s a quick guide from Healthy Cave to cover the basics and break down the process.
How does weight gain happen?
In very simple terms, long term weight gain is typically caused by consuming more calories than the body uses. Every day, depending on many factors, your body will use a certain amount of energy (calories). If you consume less energy than your body uses, then it will take that energy from stores throughout the body. If you consume more energy than your body uses over a period of time, some of this energy will be stored within the body in different forms, and you have weight gain.
How much energy do I use each day?
The total energy (calories) that you will use each day depends entirely on you and your lifestyle. You can use a simple calorie calculator to see roughly how many calories you use each day. To gain weight, figure out how much weight you want to gain per week and adjust your calories accordingly. A good benchmark to start with is to consume 500kcals more than your total daily requirements.
Do I need to track calories?
As with most things, there is no absolute right or wrong method to achieving your goals. With that said, it can be very beneficial to track calorie intake and log your food (even for a short period of time), so that you can clearly see whether you are in a sufficient calorie surplus (more calories than your body burns in a day) to gain weight and build muscle.
Now more than ever, this is easier than it has ever been. Foods have all the nutritional information you need to accurately track this. Meal plans like Healthy Cave can be really helpful, because it makes sure that you have the food you need with the nutritional information clearly in front of you to make sure you hit your targets and make tracking easy.
What should I eat?
The most common mistake of someone looking to gain weight or build muscle is to eat as much as possible without any regard for the finer details of nutrition. It is still vital that you get in all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body. Nutritionally dense foods will certainly help you achieve a calorie surplus but remember the eat those fruits and veggies at the same time.
Building muscle vs gaining weight
It is important to make the distinction between these two and explain how they walk hand in hand. When we consume more energy than our body burns, we mentioned that it can get stored within the body, over time resulting in weight gain. To simplify the process into a few words, when we exercise and provide the body with the stimulus to trigger muscle building at the same time as consuming a calorie surplus, we create the conditions for the body to increase muscle mass. For many people, this can be a seemingly slow process, so consistency is key. It is important to understand that in a calorie surplus, muscle mass increases will also go hand in hand with some increases in body fat as the body stores excess energy. But this is something that can be managed rather than avoided and is part and parcel of the process.
How can Healthy Cave help you gain muscle?
Healthy Cave have a range of meals to suit your calorie and nutritional requirements. Our meals and snacks make sure that you have the right nutrition to hand to allow you to hit your goals. Our meal prep and snacks can be added to your diet as part of your efforts to gain muscle, whilst also providing you with a nutritionally balanced meal full of minerals and vitamins to maintain a healthy body.