Do you keep getting unwanted weight loss from high training loads? Are you trying to increase good weight through increases in muscle mass? Does your weight stay the same no matter what, when you just want add a few extra kilos of muscle?
Its not just a matter of eating whatever you like, whenever you like, to increase good weight and benefit from the functional weight gained through muscle mass.
Gains require a structured training plan which will promote muscle turnover and strength, and you need to give your body the right type of fuel so it can use it effectively to then build muscle and maintain it.
Here are a few things to consider which might help push you over the line:
1. Aim to eat something every two hours – if you don’t have access to food then consider beverage options like sustagen, milk, Powerade or juice
2. You must eat something before early morning training sessions – if you can’t tolerate food then consider beverage options, as above
3. Include a protein and carb type food at each of your meal and snack times – this might mean having a more substantial mid meal than just a piece of fruit
4. Try to eat an additional balanced snack in the 30-60min before a training session
5. You have to try to eat something regularly even if you don’t feel hungry – hunger can be a sign you are already in a negative energy balance and losing weight and you want to avoid that so the body doesn’t burn what you are trying to build on.
6. In training sessions longer than 60 min consume a sports drink, gel or banana
7. As weight increases you also need to keep adding more meals/energy to hold on to that weight, as it takes energy to keep that new muscle and to keep increasing weight
8. Occasionally carb choices should be lower fibre to reduce the feeling of fullness and encourage a more frequent intake of food, especially around training times
9. Don’t always eat till you are completely stuffed, you want to encourage eating again in a short period of time rather than having a long gap till the next meal
10. You cant skip any meals – skipping a meal or going 6-7 hours without food will undo the hard work you have done by eating more food
11. Have a protein shake or snack ASAP after training even if a meal is close to follow
12. Include some good fats at meal or snack times (not as much directly pre and post training) including avocado or margarine on sandwiches, nuts or nut spread in a snack or olive oil on salads, pasta or vegetables
13. Have a lower fibre supper before bed which includes a protein and carb source like a drink of milk, milo, custard, smoothie or yoghurt
If you are diligently doing all of this and still can’t put weight on then you should contact an accredited sports dietitian to review your intake and that it matches your training and energy demands to develop a structured plan.