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 at the same number no matter what, when you just want a few extra kilos on?
As simple as it may seem, it is not just a matter of eating what you like, whenever you like, to increase good weight. 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.
Here are a few things to consider which might help push you over the line.
- Aim to eat something every two hours – if you don’t have access to food then consider beverage options like milk, Powerade or juice
- You must eat something before early morning training sessions – if you can’t tolerate food then consider beverage options, as above
- Include a protein and carb type food at each of your meal and snack times
- Try to eat an additional balanced snack in the 30-60 minutes before a training session
- 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. You want to avoid that so the body doesn’t burn into the current stores you are trying to build on
- In training sessions longer than 60 minutes consume a sports drink or gel
- Occasionally carb choices should be low fibre to reduce the feeling of fullness and encourage a more frequent intake of food, especially around training times
- 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
- You can’t 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
- Have a Musashi protein shake (consult your sport dietitian before purchase) or a snack ASAP after training even if a meal is close to follow
- Include some good fats at meal or snack times (not as much directly post training) including avocado or margarine on sandwiches, nuts or nut spread in a snack or olive oil on salads, pasta or vegetables
- 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 develop a structured plan.