Most of the people I meet ask for my advice about how to lose weight, but some of my clients are actually trying to pack on pounds, and it’s not as simple as it may seem. Every once in a while I’ll read about an actor who had to gain weight for a role, and they talk about how awesome it was to down pints of ice cream, pasta, bread, cheeseburgersand donuts. That is one way to gain weight, but it’s not the best way.
I sometimes work with clients who’ve lost weight due to dental surgery, a digestive problem, stress, or an illness, and are trying to get back to a healthy weight. And as a sports nutritionist, I also work with pro athletes who tend to lose weight over the course of a grueling season. In all of these cases, the goal is to gain weight while optimizing health, and there’s a science to it. After all, the old phrase, “You are what you eat” is absolutely true – nutrients from food are literally the raw materials your body uses to construct new cells. A junk food-filled diet devoid of nutrients doesn’t give your body much to work with – I always say it’s like constructing a house with cardboard and tape instead of bricks and mortar. In other words, it’s not just about calories.
Here are five “good gain” rules I share with my clients: