Weight gain is well known in the bodybuilding world, it allows you to build a lot of muscle in a limited period of time. They are also used in other sports, especially in combat sports, to gain strength and weight.
However, while the goal is to build muscle, increasing mass inevitably leads to fat gain. However, this phenomenon is not without consequences and can affect health. This is why it is best to refrain from rapid weight gain and prioritize healthy weight gain.
What is mass gain?
Weight gain is the period during which an athlete increases their calorie intake. – above the needs of your body. Along with an intense training program, the body will receive enough nutrients to build muscle mass.
Typically, a rapid increase in mass requires an increase of more than 500 kcal over basic needs.
This high value will result in rapid weight gain. Therefore, it will be composed of muscles, but not only. The body will also store most of the excess as fat. The more calories, the greater the proportion of stored fat. At the end of this augmentation diet, the athlete reverts to a more stable diet and then begins “lean”. That is, a low-calorie diet for weight loss. This phase will also result in the least possible loss of muscle mass so that at the end of the mass / dry cycle the athlete will gain muscle mass and lose fat.
Rapid weight gain problem
As I said, a rapid increase in mass causes an increase in fat. Since this is removed during drying, you might think there is no problem. But it’s not that simple.
First of all, you should know that a poorly performed dry exercise will lead to such a large loss of muscle mass that a increase in mass The strong previous one will be useless. At best, there will be muscles, but this total mass may not be very large.
Then, when the body stores fat, it fills cells that are specially designed for this. They are called fat cells . But these cells have limited capacity. However, when this capacity is exceeded, the body creates new storage cells that never die, even when they empty their fat. They remain present throughout life.
This phenomenon is not trivial because, with more adipocytes, the body stores fat more efficiently. This means that a person who has an increased number of adipocytes runs the risk of gaining weight faster at the slightest difference.
And it doesn’t stop, as these fat cells influence the production of certain hormones, including those that control hunger and metabolic rate. In other words, creating a lot of fat cells can destroy the body and create conditions for weight gain. The body is forever marked by an increase in mass, and the subsequent may be less and less successful as the accumulated fat becomes more important.
My advice is to take your time to gain healthy weight
Successful weight gain is weight gain without gaining too much fat. And you shouldn’t rush for this. Indeed, even if the basis of muscle building is an increase in calorie intake, this increase should not be too dramatic, because your body only has a limited ability to produce muscle.
The desire to gain 20 kg of muscle in 2 months is impossible. The body will move at its own pace, even if you eat it with calories. Anything beyond its capabilities will be put into adipocytes.
The first rule for healthy weight gain is to eat a little more than you need and watch your weight, which should only increase slowly.
Therefore, you must find your balance point and provide your body with enough nutrients to achieve maximum muscle building ability, without going beyond those needs. Overall, increasing your daily intake from 250 to 500 calories is more than enough to achieve this goal. Each one will be different, so it will be necessary to adapt according to the knowledge of your body. The goal is to gain as much muscle as possible while minimizing fat accumulation. Thus, when it comes to fat loss, dryness is short and muscle loss is limited.
Obviously, in order to gain muscle mass, it is necessary to provide the body with the ideal amount of protein. 20 to 30% of total calories. It is also necessary to provide it with enough lipids so that hormone production remains at normal levels. To do this, 25 to 40% of the calories consumed must come from lipids. As for carbs, they will fill the rest of your calorie intake and will be primarily responsible for providing energy. It is on the amount of carbohydrates that you need to play if the weight gain is insufficient. In this case, it should be increased. But if the increase in mass is too fast, it is necessary to decrease this value.
Some rules for healthy and effective weight gain
Even if building muscle without gaining fat is nearly impossible, you can minimize fat gain by following these two principles when choosing foods to consume:
1. Avoid unhealthy food
To gain weight, you need to eat. But not only how. If fast food, pizza, and industrial meals seem like a good idea because they provide a lot of calories, it’s actually the opposite. And this is for several reasons: their glycemic index is systematically too high, their richness in fats and their poor nutritional quality.
High GI foods cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels, causing the body to produce large amounts of insulin. This has two perverse effects. The first is the storage of nutrients, most of which are in the form of fat. And second, by repeating these bursts of insulin, you run the risk of becoming resistant to this hormone and, therefore, developing diabetes. Therefore, it is better to opt for low GI foods for weight gain.
Even if fats have their place in our diet, they should not be over-consumed with the risk of increasing cardiovascular risks. Industrial food and fast food are full of fat. They may even contain trans fats that are harmful to the body.
Another disadvantage is that these fats contain too much omega-6, which can cause a general inflammatory condition. This is another reason to avoid these types of foods.
To gain weight, you need to consume adequate amounts of unsaturated and saturated fats and be careful to absorb enough omega. -3 compared to omega-6.
Food designated as junk food usually contains substandard nutrients and even substances that are not needed by the human body, chemical additives that can be harmful to health. So it’s best to avoid these foods and give your body what it needs to gain a healthy weight .
2. Don’t forget fruits and vegetables
When you want to gain weight, it’s easy to focus on calories and nothing else. This is logical, since it is thanks to them that muscle growth will begin. However, we often forget that when we pay so much attention, we do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, because they are low in calories and take up space on the plate.
However, these plants allow the body to replenish its stores of vitamins and minerals and also help regulate the body’s acidity. This last point is important, as a massive gain diet tends to acidify, which can lead to many health problems.
Therefore, you must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for healthy weight gain.
When to Lose Fat & Build Muscle?
In very rare cases, it is possible to build muscle mass while reducing the amount of fat accumulated in the body.
These are two special cases: a beginner athlete and an obese person.
- In the first case, beginners do not need to increase their calorie intake. Often he just needs to adjust his diet, eat healthier and higher protein. His body is not used to the effort, he will have to quickly adapt to this “shock”. Thus, he will lose some of his fat while building muscle. Obviously, muscle gain will eventually slow down once the body adjusts. Then the beginner must increase his calorie intake, like everyone else, and therefore runs the risk of gaining fat.
- The second case is somewhat similar, as the obese person rarely plays sports. On the other hand, he is more likely to strive to lose weight by consuming fewer calories than necessary. However, because his body has a lot of energy, he can use his reserves and build muscle. As with a beginner, this phenomenon gradually disappears when an obese person loses a certain amount of fat.