The off-season is the perfect time for you to increase weight. Gaining muscle mass requires an increase in energy intake, and a good time for this is when your energy expenditure (training) is not so great. Even though the off season is a time for relaxation, you will have to be a little more diligent and aware of what you are eating.
Even though your main aim may be to increase lean body mass, your skinfolds will more than likely increase slightly as well. Your skinfolds will come down as pre-season is launched with an increase in training volume.
Achieving a high energy diet to enhance weight gain is not about ‘pigging out’ on nutrient-poor foods at every opportunity. You should consider quality as well as quantity, as excessive energy intake without considering the right nutritional balance will promote fat storage.
Tips for increasing energy intake and gaining weight:
- Increase the number of times you eat while keeping the size of your meals up
- Plan to eat 5-6 meals/snacks per day
- ‘Value adding’ to the food you currently eat is a useful way of increasing the energy content of foods without filling you up too much
- Add fruit spreads, peanut butter, honey or jam to breads
- Include yogurt and honey in fruit smoothies
- Use a nutrition supplement (Up & Go or Sustagen)
- Try skim milk powder in milk drinks
- Enjoy high energy drinks which contain compact forms of energy and nutrients
- Fruit juice, low fat flavoured milk, sports drinks and cordial are suitable choices
- Avoid too many high fiber foods, so you can fit more in.
- Choose low fiber types of breads, cereals and grains
- Drink juices and eat soups for your daily fruit and vegetable options