Like anything else in life, changing your weight is something that requires consistent hard work. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain it, you’ll most likely encounter some obstacles along the way. Often times, these come in the form of plateaus, weight spikes in the wrong direction, and stress. The most important thing to do when you encounter these bumps in the road is to keep trying new solutions. Eventually, if you stay persistent, you will find out what works best for your body. In this article, we’ll go over different methods you can use to get the most out of your cut/bulk phase so you can smash through any plateau you face and reach your ultimate goals!
As the warmer months approach, many people try to lose weight, and many people fail. It’s not always because they lack the effort though—sometimes it’s because they lack the knowledge of how to lose weight the right way! It would be a shame to put in the effort, only to see your body stay the same, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything right, and not committing any of these weight loss sins.
If you don’t measure foods on a scale, it can be incredibly easy to underestimate how much you’re eating. The difference between 2 tbsp of peanut butter and 4 is hard to spot, but your body will certainly notice the 200 calorie difference, coming from 15+ extra grammes of fat! It’s the same thing with fruits too. While it’s good to have fruits in your diet, like apples, bananas, and avocados, not knowing the difference between a small fruit and a large fruit can cost you hundreds of calories.
The easiest way to learn portion sizes—and really, the best way—is to invest in a kitchen scale. You don’t have to use it forever, but it can be really helpful for visualizing portion sizes and learning for the future. By using a scale, you’ll start to understand how much a serving size really looks like (most of the time, it’s smaller than you think!) and how to choose the right amount of food you want to eat for your calorie goals. Another thing you might want to do if you’re dealing with plateaus is to increase the amount of cardio you do.
Coming to a plateau means your body has adjusted to the number of calories you eat, and your weight is going to stay the same for the time being. You don’t want this, so you have to increase the caloric deficit, either through cardio or eating less. But if you’re already eating in a deficit, it may be easier to add more cardio. Simply adding 30 more minutes of steady state cardio a day, or adding an extra HIIT session per week can make a huge difference in a number of calories you burn and help you smash through a plateau! For me, personally, I’ve found that cardio is also a great way of getting me to stick to my diet. By walking fasted for an hour every morning, I’m able to prevent myself from falling off by thinking, “If I cheat now, I will have wasted all the effort in getting up early to walk for an hour before I start my day, and I don’t want to do that.” This keeps me on my diet and keeps my weight loss consistent.
By using either of these methods, you can optimize your cut for the long term and break through the rough spots, allowing you to earn the body you’ve always wanted. On the opposite side, if you’re really skinny, it can be hard to gain weight! You’ll hear people say things like, “Oh, you’re so lucky. You can eat whatever you want and stay the same weight!” but the reality is that you want to gain weight, and quite frankly, having to eat 4000 or more calories a day sucks. If you’re in this position, here’s what you can do to start packing on the pounds. Unlike cutting, where it’s usually better to underestimate calories, if anything, so you stay under your goal when you’re trying to bulk, but you’re not gaining any weight, it can be best to overestimate.
To easily get in more calories, you can look towards high-fat foods like peanut butter and oils. Adding more of these into your diet is an easy (and cheap) way to get a couple hundred more calories of healthy fats every day. Another thing you can try is a gallon of milk a day (GOMAD). If you like dairy, whole milk can be the perfect way to gain weight. It’s got the right optimal balance of protein, carbs, and fats, and at 2400 calories/gallon, you’ll definitely gain weight. If you don’t need that many calories either, you can do a half gallon and still see the same results!
Lastly, if none of these options seem appealing to you, then a weight gainer shake might be what you need. Myprotein has recently come out with an updated weight-gain shake, and it’s formulated with the perfect blend of carbs and protein. With both fast and slow digesting protein, as well as simple and complex carbs, you’ll get the energy you need and the calories you need to build the muscle you so desire! In addition to not eating enough, if you’re not gaining weight, it may be because you’re too active.
If you’re a swimmer, for example, you may be burning off hundreds of calories in the pool that eliminates your surplus for the day. If you’re trying to gain weight, it’s important to consider the amount of cardio you do and compensate for the extra calories getting burned. Both of these methods should help you up the number on the scale in no time and get you closer to the physique you want to build.
Take Home Message
Losing weight and gaining weight both come with their respective challenges along the journey, but both goals are attainable. If you keep these points in mind, it will be easier to see where you may be slipping up and how you can get back on track to reach your goal. As long as you keep the target in mind and force yourself to take the actions required to modify your weight in either direction, you will eventually get to where you want to be, and you will develop a deeper understanding of how your body works along the way.