The Truth about Gaining Weight

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Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

This year I set a weight goal of 180 lbs to reach. Before that, I’m weighing at around 160 lbs so I needed another 20 lbs to reach my desired weight goal. I want to improve my physique body because I see myself as a skinny tall guy and I feel like I’m not that strong physically! My goal is not about external gratification rather it is an internal gratification. It is about improving yourself and being the best version. With that, let me share with you what I did and help you reach your desired goal.

Plan and action

Before we achieve something we need a plan. I planned to achieve my desired weight goal by calculating my daily calorie intake. To achieve that goal our road map would be like this:

Road map:

  • Get the definition of calorie intake
  • Installing a tracking app and setting up your demographics
  • Tracking calories on a day to day basis
  • Tracking weight on a day to day basis
  • Weight chart progress

Defining calorie intake

What is calorie intake?

Caloric intake is simply the number of calories an individual consumes on a daily basis. — fitnesshealth101

Basically, it is just the accumulated or sum of all the food that you eat on a specific day. Calorie intake is the total amount of the food you eat or drink on a specific day. Calorie intake can be computed by weighing with a weight scale, or by a scoop. Which we’ll talk about in a different section.

Installing a tracking app and setting up your demographics

Now that we know the definition of calorie intake. Let’s get your recommended daily calorie intake by using a tracking application. Daily recommended calorie intake is based on your demographics and activity level.

Activity level means how active you are per day. It ranges from sedentary (no activity/exercise) to very active (hard exercise). It is needed because imagine you want to increase your weight but you are very active. A person who is very active will burn a lot of calories. Knowing that you will burn a lot of calories you will need to have an extra calories to stay on your body. It is important to have extra calories because your goal is to increase your weight. On the other hand, if your goals is to decrease your weight then extra calories is not needed. Another example, if your activity level is sedentary and you eat a lot then you will increase body fat. That is why activity level is an important variable in terms of getting your daily recommended calorie intake.

The tracking applications I have with me are the Samsung Health (which comes by default for Samsung phone users) and MyFitnessPal (available for both Android and iOS users). I do recommend MyFitnessPal as it contains a large data set of food compared to Samsung Health. That is the reason I switch over to MyFitnessPal.

Tracking calories on a day to day basis

On this part, you should now have your daily recommended calorie intake based from the tracking applications we’ve talked awhile ago. Since we now have the recommended calorie intake. We have to evaluate again our weight goal. Do we want to gain or lose weight? Currently, we have the recommended calorie intake and that amount is only for maintaining. What I mean by maintaining is that it will help you maintain your weight not increase nor decrease.

Let’s break it down

To maintain your current weight — reach your daily recommended weight.

To decrease your weight — go below your daily recommended calorie intake. If your maintaining calorie intake is 2800, you can be around 2500 or 2600. This is called a calorie deficit. Here’s a definition of calorie deficit:

A calorie deficit is a state in which you burn more calories than you consume. For example, if you burn 2,500 calories per day but only eat 2,000, you have created a deficit of 500 calories per day.

To increase your weight — go above your daily recommended calorie intake. If your maintaining calorie intake is 2800, you can be around 3000–3200. That is called a calorie surplus. Here’s a definition of calorie surplus:

A calorie surplus is a state in which you eat more calories than you burn. If you eat 3,000 calories per day and burn 2,500, you’ve created a surplus or excess of 500 calories per day. When you create a calorie surplus, your body either uses the extra energy to build muscle or store fat.

Our next step is to track the food intake on a daily basis. This is actually the best part.

Tracking your food intake is definitely challenging at first. It is challenging because you need to check and get the nutrition facts of every food you will eat. Luckily, it is really easy doing it with MyFitnessPal. Since MyFitnessPal contains a rich data set of food ready for you. Most of the food that you need is already there. The only thing you need to do is search and select for the food and adjust the serving size.

The serving size may vary from time to time. This is the part where I’ve failed a lot during my phases. The serving size from different food is difficult to get especially if it’s soup food or home cooked. I don’t have a food weighing yet but I plan to get the following days. But if you have, it is useful and helpful. Most of the time I don’t get the serving size correct and that’s OK. We can get it next time.

To summarize this part, after you set up your application and profile. Start evaluating if you need a calorie deficit or surplus. After that, you can now start tracking your calories. Gaining weight doesn’t mean that you will have a big tummy with a lazy ass. No, not really that! Remove that false fallacy. Gaining weight will definitely increase your tummy but not in a way of not proportional. Look at those who are competing for bodybuilding they stand out at like 200+ lbs and yet they have this proportionate and symmetric body. It depends on your lifestyle. Change and adjust your lifestyle to meet your goal.

Tracking weight on a day to day basis

Since we are now tracking our daily calorie intake. Let’s talk about tracking your weight this time.

Do you know the perfect time to weigh yourself?

The perfect time to step on the weight scale is in the morning after you jump out of the bed. This is the first task you should be doing not checking your phone! I feel guilty over there.

Why in the morning? The morning is the state of our body where it is “empty”. You’re not eating while sleeping right? That is why it is the perfect time to do it! No food was taken from the night and will give you a plain and absolute weight. Logically speaking this is only the time where you are really empty, therefore, weighing on this state will give you the true weight.

My chart progress over the course

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I attached the chart progress of my weight over the course. You can see that I’ve started from 160 lbs and go over to 180 lbs in a year. You can also see that sometimes my weight goes down and go up again. I visualize it as a minor setback with a major comeback. I feel discouraged but I realize that it is not yet over and I still have a lot of days to get back on it. There will be days even if you reach your daily calorie intake then you wake up in the morning you lost another pound. Always think that it’s OK too and normal. It takes a lot of progress and effort. Do not be discourage.

Bring it all together

Tracking weight is difficult at first but it is worth it. You can see your body changing and reaching your goal. I set out this goal because I feel that my previous body is not aligned with myself. My height is around 5’9 to 5’11 and having a weight of around 160 lbs for me is not a good size. As a big man, I feel like I needed to have a heavier and bigger size. As I said at the beginning of this article, I want to improve my physique body and I want to be strong.

It’s not enough to eat when you feel hungry rather eat in a timely manner to reach your goal. It’s up to you how you will shrink the amount of your calorie intake on a day to day basis. I believe it’s ideally to fit it to your lifestyle rather than other people’s lifestyle. Customize and personalize it to your needs. We all have different ways to achieve our desire.

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I hope this serves as an inspiration for those who want to improve weight. I attached too the completion photo from MyFitnessPal after I reached my 180 lbs weight goal. Be consistent and always trust the process. Don’t be discouraged by a minor setback but be fueled by it as it will be part of your major comeback. Build your legacy and be grateful for everything.

May you reach your dreams.

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Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

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