Intentionally changing your body weight can often be a difficult proposition. Whether you are trying to gain or lose weight, chances are you are facing an uphill battle against your ingrained physiology, lifestyle and dietary decisions. Every body is different. Whether due to a high metabolism or another factor, some people have more trouble gaining weight than losing it. That's not to say change is impossible. For those trying to gain weight there are a number of concrete actions that can help you bulk up.
Things You'll Need
See your doctor to test for hyperthyroidism. While most people assume that thinness is a product of a high metabolism, the truth is often more complicated. Metabolic problems are likely to be due to a glandular disorder. Thyroid can often be tested with a blood sample and remedied with a daily prescription pill, typically a brand-name thyroxine, such as Levoxyl or Oroxine.
Start weight training. One reason people may have trouble gaining weight is a lack of fat and muscle cells in their body. People typically have a static number of fat and muscle cells, which expand and contract when people gain or lose muscle and fat. While you can't change the number of fat cells in your body, it is possible to add muscle cells. Intensive, strength-based workouts will do the trick. It's best to focus on your upper body, where muscle mass can be developed more quickly. Some good exercises include bench presses, military presses and bicep curls, with a focus on bigger weights and fewer repetitions.
Get more sleep. Variations in your metabolism can often be attributed to stress. People who are frequently nervous or stretched to their limit may have trouble gaining weight. Stress can also negatively affect your appetite. Streamline your life and try to get a full night's sleep in order to bring your diet and metabolism back in line.
Drink your way to success. An easy way to add calories is to consume more in liquid form. Rather than wasting your time with soda, however, drink blended fruit juices. Make your own smoothies by blending frozen fruit with some orange juice and yogurt. Otherwise purchase juice blends with natural fruit juices, such as V8's line of Splash fruit drinks. That way you'll get a complex mix of nutrition, in addition to a jolt of calories and sugar.
Eat more complex fats and proteins. Not all fat is the same. Picking foods that are high in HDL, often called "good" cholesterol, can help you gain weight without adversely affecting your health. Avocados, nuts and fish are all excellent sources of good cholesterol. Eggs are also an easy source of cholesterol, calories and protein. Other foods that help include flax, walnuts, sunflower seeds and beans.
Be systematic. Simply binging on food is unlikely to help. Instead you need a consistent increase in your daily calorie load. Consume normally for a few days, counting your calories all along. Once you have a sense of the number of calories you typically consume, make an effort to add an extra 500 daily.