Gaining weight seems easy, right? Most people drink protein shakes to gain muscles and bulk up. However, not everyone is fond of protein shakes, which often lead to bloating, headaches or indigestion. If you are looking for ways to gain weight without taking protein shakes, we tell you exactly how! These home remedies to gain weight will help you bulk up in a healthy manner.
1. Set attainable goals
Start by assessing how much weight you wish to gain. You want to look proportionate and not like those men/women appearing on the cover of Fitness magazines. Understand that gaining weight in a healthy manner, without taking protein shakes, is a slow process –one that will take time and patience. So try and set attainable goals based on your genetics, lifestyle etc.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast
Never skip breakfast. Eat some yogurt with some fruits, a smoothie or some cereal, eggs etc. You might not like protein shakes but protein in some form or the other is essential for the body- unless you are allergic to it. You can try a wholegrain bagel sandwich with eggs, cheese and butter. You can also take some heavy cream in your coffee. At the same time limit your simple carbohydrate (sugar) intake. This way, your body will produce Ketone bodies and burn fat instead of glucose. This will help you gain lean muscles.
3. Eat balanced diet
Many fad diets claim that just drinking milkshakes and protein shakes will help you gain weight in a healthy manner. This is not true. The best approach to gaining muscles is to eat fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy complex carbs and essential fatty acids. Eat lean meat like chicken and fish which will give you proteins. Drink milk and go for cheese based snacks. This way, you can meet your daily calcium intake which is essential for strong bones and healthy weight.
4. Choose calorific though healthy foods
Here are some tips to add calories in a healthy manner without using protein shakes:
- Choose calorific beverages-fruit juices, milk, buttermilk, coffee and tea with cream
- Add cream cheese to your soups, stews etc
- Add unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter) to your dishes-pastas, vegetables, rice, hot cereals etc.
- Add mayonnaise and yogurts to make dips and spreads, to add to sandwiches or eat with veggies.
- Use heavy cream, whipping cream, unsalted butter and half-n-half in place of milk for baking and in desserts.
- Replace sugar with healthy substitutes. Honey, Agave Nectar, maple syrup and molasses are calorific yet a lot healthier than regular white sugar.
- Add heavy cream to bowl of fruits or dessert such as pudding.
- Eat hard boiled eggs for snacks
- Snack on low sodium cheese and whole grain crackers.
- Use dried milk or evaporated milk in soups, stews, meatloaves etc
- Snack on nuts and berries. Add nuts and berries to hot and cold cereals, to your desserts, pancake batter etc
- Instead of protein shakes, drink eggnog and chocolate or vanilla flavored milk.
- Eat an apple with half a cup of peanut butter, or go for some low sodium canned tuna, non instant pudding etc to add proteins.
- Add breakfast powders to milkshakes- they are also rich in proteins and minerals but not overwhelming like protein shake recipes.
5. Add healthy unsaturated fats
Do not underestimate the role of healthy fats. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds like flax seeds, sunflower seeds etc. They are packed with essential fatty acids. Eat an avocado every day. Also cook your meals in Olive oil or coconut oil.
6. Add resistance training in the mix
Resistance training is one of the best ways to gain weight and muscles. Aim for 2-3 weeks of resistance training to convert all those extra calories into muscles as against fat.
7. High protein recipes for healthy weight gain without protein shakes
Try these high protein recipes for breakfast:
- Blend together whole milk, fruits, wheat germ powder and /or oat bran for a protein rich drink.
- Add peanut butter to muffins/bagels/wholegrain toast. Add half a banana and spread jelly or jam of your choice for a delicious and calorific sandwich. You can also use these toppings on whole wheat Graham crackers.
- Bake a potato and add some cheese, veggies and canned chili to it for a hearty snack
- Take a bag of raisins, nuts, seeds etc to work for a healthy mid-morning snack.
- Heat up some corn tortillas with butter and add leftover veggies, tomatoes, boiled eggs, leftover chicken, some beans etc for a healthy and satisfying burrito.
8. Try weight gain the Ayurveda way
Ayurveda has many natural remedies for gaining weight in a healthy manner without protein shakes. These are as follows:
- Mix mango pulp in milk and drink this milkshake three times a day. Mango has healthy sugars, fiber and antioxidants. It helps increase appetite and stimulates metabolism. The natural sugars add healthy calories. Diabetics must not use this remedy for weight gain.
- Take Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng powder in milk. You can easily get this herb at Indian stores or online.
- Eat figs and raisins daily.
- Take Shatavari or Asparagus powder in milk. This healthy weight gain remedy without protein shakes is also prescribed for lactating mothers to increase milk production. It is readily available in health stores.
- Practice SuryaNamaskar or Sun salutations. These 12 yoga postures help strengthen the chest and shoulder muscles to increase overall weight bulk.
The best natural ways to gain weight is to eat 5-6 small protein rich meals. If you aren’t too fond of protein shakes, or are allergic to them, then do try the methods of healthy weight gain described above. Good luck!