Today, there are huge numbers of people who try to lose weight. What is much rarer are those who actually want to gain weight. Still, there are legitimate reasons to gain weight. Some people are actually underweight, while others want to become more muscular. It might seem that gaining weight should be a straightforward process with no health risks, but that isn’t so. If you want to gain weight, you must do so the right way. Follow the seven following rules.


  1. Don’t eat indiscriminately. You might assume that wishing to gain weight means you can eat whatever you want, in whatever amount. However, eating indiscriminately will always harm your health. Foods that are unhealthy remain unhealthy no matter your weight goals. Wanting to gain weight is no excuse to down lots of chips, cookies, or other junk foods.


  1. Prioritize high-quality protein. Even if gaining strength is not one of your primary reasons for adding pounds, at least some of the weight you gain must be from muscle. Adding only fat would be very unhealthy. Protein forms an essential part of the structure of muscle, and consuming plenty of protein is needed to grow muscles. Prioritize high-quality, nutritious proteins such as chicken, tuna, beans, nuts, and eggs.


  1. Eat high-quality fats and carbohydrates. As important as protein is, you will also need to consume plenty of fats and carbs. The key is to ensure those fats and carbs come from healthy sources. Some of the best fat-rich foods to eat include olive oil, nuts, peanut butter, and dairy products. As for carbohydrates, some of the top nutritious options include oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, and beans.


  1. Limit intense aerobic exercise. Cardio workouts, like all exercise, are good for you, and there’s certainly no sense in giving up aerobic exercise entirely. However, intense cardio workouts do burn up a lot of calories. Since gaining weight depends upon maintaining a caloric surplus, doing lots and lots of demanding aerobic workouts can get in the way of your goal.


  1. Eat dense foods. If you eat mostly light, insubstantial foods, you will have to consume enormous amounts of food to actually gain weight. Instead, opt for lots of energy-rich, calorically-dense foods — anything that has a lot of calories for its size and weight. Some of the most nutritious options include nuts, meat, oils, and dairy products.


  1. Eat often. It’s easier to consume a lot of food if your food consumption is spread out over time. Consuming just one or two large meals a day while trying to gain weight probably won’t work. Have at least three meals a day — no skipping. Eating smaller snacks or meals in addition isn’t a bad idea either. Sneaking in extra calories whenever possible can help a lot.


  1. Practice strength training. The biggest risk in putting on weight is that the extra pounds will manifest primarily as fat. Strength training is necessary to ensure you are adding significant muscle as well. Even if strength workouts have not previously been a part of your exercise routine, you should start practicing them at least three times a week.


A desire to gain weight can’t be taken as a license to eat without discipline. You need to make sure the pounds you are adding on are healthy pounds. Exercising the right way is similarly crucial to ensuring your weight gain is healthy. Follow the seven rules from this article and you will be sure to gain weight properly.