Weight Gain Myths Debunked

If part of your New Year’s resolution was to increase your body mass and fitness levels, it is important that your new training regime also includes a weight gain nutrition plan which you follow religiously, otherwise all the hours you spend in the gym will go to waste because you will not be providing your body the sufficient nutrients which are required for recovery and muscle growth.

A key component to gaining weight and building muscle which is applicable both at home and in the gym, is having a varied and balanced eating plan. Unfortunately, when it comes to gaining weight in the form of lean muscle, there has been a lot of misinformation produced regarding how much protein, carbohydrates and fats one should include in their weight gain diet. Here are a few tips that will clear up some of the weight gain nutrition myths floating around.

  • The more protein you eat the more muscle you will build. False! If you are adding excess protein to an already balanced diet, your body will store this excess protein as fat. A balanced weight gain diet should derive approximately 10-15% of its calories from protein. Remember, 1 gram protein = 4 calories, therefore a person wanting to gain weight who is eating 3,600 calories/day would need approximately 125 grams of protein per day.
  • Carbohydrates are bad. False! Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your muscles and brain to function properly. Carbohydrates should make up at least 60% of your diet. Focus on complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals, breads and pastas, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Drinking water before working out will upset your stomach. False! Proper hydration is essential before, during, and after weight training. Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before working out, ½ cup ten minutes before, and ½ cup every 10 minutes during your workout. After training, consume a whey protein shake to replenish muscle glycogen.
  • The weight gain diet should not differ greatly from a regular, balanced diet. True! Read this weight gain diet and nutrition article to help achieve a balanced diet that works for you.
  • You can not gain weight on a vegetarian diet. False! It is possible to build lean muscle and bulk up eating a strictly meat free diet. Research has shown that weight training and supplementation of soy protein will result in an increase in muscle mass. Other protein sources for vegetarians include legumes, nuts, whole grain, and cereals. Read the how to gain weight on a vegetarian diet article.