How to gain weight —it sounds like an absurd thing to ask for some, but for others, it’s a real issue. The term ‘how to gain weight’ yields over 46 million results in Google, and ‘how to gain weight fast’ gives us close to 20 million results.
While many people are wondering how to lose weight (full article on this topic: how to lose fat), and keep it off, many others are wondering the opposite: how they can gain weight, and some want to gain weight fast.
To most, it seems fairly simple. Eat more food, and gain weight, right? Sure, that’s the simple answer, but simple’s not always so easy.
What is weight gain?
It’s when the scale weight goes up, also known as adding lean or fatty tissue to the body via excess energy consumption. In other words, a surplus of calories (energy) is what creates the weight gain.
Want to gain weight? Eat more than you burn.
Want to lose it? Eat less than you burn. This is an elementary explanation to an otherwise complex physiological process.
The weight you gain can/will be in the form of fat, muscle, water, food in your belly, etc.
There is a stark difference between true weight gain and perceived weight gain.
True weight gain is adding lean muscle mass, or storing fat in your cells.
Perceived weight gain can come from water retention caused by excess fluid intake, or eating foods that cause water retention (starchy/salty selections).
When you hear of people gaining lots of weight overnight (typically in excess of 10 pounds), a majority of that weight is in the form of water, and glycogen (stored carbohydrates in the muscles and liver).
Very rarely is someone going to store that much fat, or build that much muscle in such a short period of time.