Gaining weight can be difficult for those who have a very fast metabolism. People often want to add some definition to their frame but not necessarily gain weight in areas that might cause health problems or detract from their overall appearance. Because muscle weighs more than fat, if you build muscle, you will gain weight without getting fat. If you want to add a few pounds but only gain weight in the right places, here are some ideas.
Eat more calories, but be sure they are healthy calories. If you are a woman, the FDA recommends a caloric intake of 2,000 to 2,500 per day. For men, daily caloric intake should be in the 2,500 to 3,000 range. Keep track of your caloric intake for a week and figure out your average daily intake based on your totals. If you are falling below the recommended caloric range, increase your intake by eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber. If your fat intake is below 10% of your diet, increase your intake of unsaturated fats, such as sunflower oil, olive oil and nuts. This will help you gain healthy weight as opposed to fat.
Work out with heavy weights for the upper body. Shoulder presses using a weight that will only allow you to lift for 8 to 10 repetitions will increase the width of the upper body. Upright rows, incline bench presses, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and back presses will also increase the tone and width of the upper body. This will contribute to a V-shape look that works for both men and women by making the waist appear slimmer and creating curves.
Do squats for an overall body exercise that contributes to a leaner and more shapely body. Work with dumbbells or a weight bar to add muscle to your frame. Wall squats work to shape the legs and lower body as well. Squats are performed by holding the weight at the sides, on the shoulders, or squatting with the back against the wall. Bend your knees and squat down and come back up to starting position. When using weights, do two sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. For wall squats, get into position and hold for 30 seconds or more. Increase the duration to increase musculature in the legs and contribute to overall body shape.
Take a yoga or pilates class to develop lean muscles that will contribute to increased musculature and weight gain. Yoga and pilates work to strengthen the body and bring out natural curves by stretching and lengthening the muscles.
Drink milk to help build strong bones and musculature. In addition, drink a weight gainer protein drink daily until you reach your optimal weight. Protein will contribute to muscle growth and weight gain. Finally, check with a doctor to ensure your hormones and thyroid are in balance.