How to Gain Weight for Football Freshmen


If you are a football freshman and you are trying to gain weight, it is important to do it safely and correctly. Double cheeseburgers, french fries, and nachos are filled with calories, but they are also filled with saturated fat. This type of fat is unhealthy and will leave you feeling tired and sluggish. A diet with the right ingredients is the key to having a successful year in football. Learning how to eat the right kinds of foods and increasing your calories will help you to gain weight so that you can be strong, energized, and alert for freshman or any type of football.

Gaining weight for high school football.

  • Increase your carbohydrates. An ideal diet for freshman football players requires 55 percent of calories come from carbohydrates, 15 percent from protein and 30 percent fat. In other words your diet should be about 2/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein.

    Choose carbohydrates with a lower fat content--bagels over doughnuts, mashed potatoes over fries, grilled chicken over fried, frozen yogurt over ice cream. More carbohydrates equals more energy, which is especially important during practice and games.

    Be careful with your protein intake. Too much protein can have negative side effects. If it displaces carbohydrates in the diet, you may find less energy for workouts and daily activities, and you may even experience muscle loss. Research has also linked excess dietary protein to increased risk for lower bone density, dehydration, and kidney stress.

  • Don't miss your meals. Start out with a healthy breakfast every morning before school and continue to eat up to five meals a day plus snacks. When you are in school, pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. Granola bars, nuts, bagels, whole wheat crackers, cheese, fruit, and protein bars are some of the great choices to keep you fueled during the school day.

    Keep track of your calories and what you are eating. You need to take in more than you are burning, which can be difficult during the football season. Begin by increase your calories per day by 500-1000, which should help you to gain one to two pounds per week. Freshman football players looking to gain weight may need to consume 5,000 or more calories per day for optimal fueling. This is the recommended amount for weight gain for high school football. Gaining the weight too quickly raises your cholesterol and is hard on your heart, so it's not advisable.

  • Gain muscle mass by resistance training. Talk to your freshman coach to find out what is recommended for strength training. Lifting weights is a great way to turn fat into muscle, which weighs more. Strength training will help you increase your energy levels as well as get you stronger on the field.

  • Get enough sleep. Take care of yourself mentally as well as physically. You want eight hours of sleep at the very minimum, especially during the week when you are in school. Not only will it help you with your school work, it will keep you focused on the football field.

  • Stay away from nicotine and alcohol. Not only are they bad for you but they will wreck your performance on the field. They also contribute to bad eating habits which will hurt your plan for gaining weight for football. Being a freshman in high school, you will have many temptations that are not healthy. Stay strong and focused on your plans for gaining weight for football.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your water. Drink it with every meal as well as during the day at school. Always have it ready at practice and your games.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can't eat during your freshman classes then do it between. Nuts, protein bars, or anything else you can get your hands on between classes will be beneficial.
  • Get enough sleep and find time to workout. Weight training creates more muscle mass, cardio training is usually for losing weight.
  • Lean sources of protein include egg whites, lean beef, chicken breast, and fish. Other sources include legumes, milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Add extra carbohydrates such as fruit, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, quinoa, couscous, whole grains, and whole wheat pasta.
  • Healthy fats include nuts, avocados, olives, nut butters and oils such as flax, olive and coconut.
  • Increase your water intake during football season.

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  • Photo Credit football huddle image by sparkia from
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