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Huel Guide to Gaining Weight

There’s a lot of focus on weight loss but a good number of people are not happy with their weight because they feel they’re underweight. If you feel you’d like to be heavier, you need to ask yourself if you:

  1. Want to put on some body fat?
  2. Want to gain muscle?
  3. Want to gain muscle with some body fat?

Whichever of the above you’re looking to do, you will need to eat more calories than you’re burning up during the day; if you want to build muscle, you will need to do some weight training too.

How to gain weight

To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than your body uses. When your body doesn't have enough calories for energy, it uses the energy stored as glycogen in your muscle first, then your fat stores. You need to increase your calorie intake and eat enough food to cover these requirements. If you want to gain some body fat, then to increase by 1lb per week you need to add 500 calories to your daily calorie intake.

How many calories do I need per day?

The amount of calories you need depends on your gender, age, height, weight, and activity. Use this calorie calculator to calculate the amount of calories you need per day. Then add 500kcal to gain 1lb per week.

How do I count calories?

Most foods today have the calories printed on them so you can keep a running total during the day. There are also some apps out there help, such as myfitnesspal, which makes tracking calories over the day a bit easier. Huel makes it even easier by providing all the nutrients in one product, and you can easily see what you’re getting.

Which foods should I eat?

It’s important that you get all the nutrients you need; don’t just stick to a few high calorie foods. There’s more information about what each nutrient does and what you need in our article The Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition.

You need to consume a balance of protein, carbs and fat and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals. Include protein sources and carbohydrates in your weight gain meal plan at each meal and snack. Fats, as long as they’re healthy fats, are more calorie dense than other nutrients, so can be a great way to obtain more energy in a smaller volume of food. This can include high-calorie foods like nuts and dried fruit, olive oil, and peanut butter.

What should I drink?

We advise you to drink plenty of fluid every day. This can be in the form of water, tea, coffee, green tea, diet sodas or sugar-free cordial. Include at least seven or eight cups of fluid per day.

How often should I eat?

If you’re trying to gain weight, you may have to eat quite a bit of food. This can be hard to take in at one sitting. It’s therefore useful to spread your eating over 5-6 smaller meals and snacks per day, rather than three huge meals. Don’t miss meals; get a meal plan and stick to it. Eat your planned meal even if you’re not hungry.

What about exercise?

If you want to bulk up, it’s useful to increase muscle mass. To do this, a good nutrition program should be accompanied by a suitable weight training program. If you’re new to weight training, a routine doesn’t have to be complicated and you can achieve muscle growth training just 2-3 weights sessions per week. There are plenty of weight training routines for beginners on the internet; here’s one: Initial Basic Hypertrophy Guide.

Exercise does, however, burn calories so you’ll need to eat more to compensate for calories burned. It’s also useful to stay active and keep fit, so some cardiovascular exercise is advised.

Can Huel help me gain weight?

Huel is high in protein with good amounts of fat and carbs, so can be a convenient way of helping your calorie intake, especially as it also contains all essential vitamins and minerals. Having 3-4 scoops of Huel 2-3 times per day, as well as other good food, will help you gain good quality weight.

Summary:

  • Calories are key - you need to eat more food than you're burning up. Eat for the body weight you want to be.
  • Ensure you get all essential nutrients - your health is vitally important.
  • Don’t miss meals - draw up a meal plan and stick to it.
  • Optimal health goes beyond just nutrition - ensure you’re exercising, sleeping well and drinking enough.
  • It will take time - expect only small results; consistency will help you achieve your target. So your focus shouldn't be to gain weight fast. Always focus on the long term.
  • Consume 500kcal per day more than you need - get to understand calories and the amount each food and drink contain so you can adjust if you need to.
  • Exercise appropriately - seek credible advice on workout plans.

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