What should I eat to gain weight?

There are three macronutrients (food consumed in large amounts to meet energy and other physiological requirements) that you must consume daily: protein, carbohydrate and fat. Bodybuilders often focus on protein (which is the largest constituent of muscle cells after water) because, after all, “you are what you eat.” However, the most critical factor for weight gain is total Calorie (one Calorie = one kilocalorie) intake.

How many Calories? Those attempting to add muscle to their frames should consume at least 15 to 20 times their body weight (in pounds – kg x 2.2) in Calories per day.

How much protein? Approximately 15 to 20% of those Calories should come from protein.. Common sources of include milk, eggs, red meat, chicken & beans.

How much carbohydrate? Approximately 60 to 65% of those Calories should come from carbohydrates. The healthiest diets usually involve a wide variety of carbohydrate sources starting with vegetables and fruits. Other sources of carbohydrates include rice, pasta, baked potatoes, oats and breads. These are common carbohydrates consumed on weight-gain diets.

I want to tone up, but I don’t want to get too big. How can I achieve this?

You should work out exactly as described above with one exception: once your muscles are as toned as you want them, stop increasing the amount of weight. Performing sets of endless repetitions with extremely light weight is a waste of time. It will not make you more toned. There are only two reasons to perform more than 12 repetitions in a set: 1) you really like to warm up thoroughly or 2) you really like the feel of the pump after a high-rep set. High repetitions will not lead to toning, or hypertrophy for that matter.

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