Google's Most Searched Questions about Gaining Weight and Muscles
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Contemporarily, when everyone is obsessed with losing weight, we tend to completely disregard the fact that people out there are struggling to gain weight too. Losing weight has become such a priority that an equal attempt to gain some muscle and mass is taken lightly and ignorantly. One's weight and muscle mass are governed by several factors such as genetics, diet, training and hormones. And in a culture like today, a question such as "Can you gain muscle or gain weight just by doing" still stands. And therefore, I have some science for you.
1) Can you gain weight by just drinking water?
No - Usually, drinking a fair amount of water is associated with reduced calorie intake resulting in weight loss. But what is more concealed is the fact that the body can handle only a limited amount of water, and anything that exceeds the capacity can become burdensome, even for the body. Outside of its ability, the body can no longer flush out the excess water, which leads to temporary weight gain, also known as water weight. But this is not long lasting and will go when you pee.
2) Can you gain weight by just eating fruit?
Yes - Fruits generally help you in losing weight as they are high in fibre (and volume) and low in calories. Still, certain high-calorie fruits are explicitly eaten for gaining weight naturally as they are high in fructose level, which makes it high in calories, carbs and healthy fats. Some of these fruits are mangoes, bananas, coconuts, avocados and dried fruits. Dry fruits are another great option to include when looking to gain weight. Try consuming high calorie smoothies to help you get there.
3) Can you gain weight by just working out?
No - There are several ways to gain weight by working out, and one of them is strength training that specifically helps you build muscle mass and strength. Strength training can take a while to show good results, but it is quite useful. But along with that, adequate calorie intake is essential to gain some weight too. If you are underrating but still continue to train, you will lose weight instead of gaining.
4) Can you gain weight by just drinking protein shakes?
Yes - Every human body is different, and so is the level of protein tolerance of each body depending on your gender, diet and activity level. Your body can digest only a certain amount of protein, and anything over it will be stored as fat. But regardless of the bodies digesting capacity, protein shakes are dense in calories and drinking the same will lead to weight gain. This does not necessarily mean you will gain quality muscle mass (unless you are also following a good training routine), but can definitely gain some fat.
5) Can you gain weight by just eating vegetables?
Yes - Though you might have to eat a lot of them because vegetables are naturally very low in calories. I would suggest consuming these in liquid form (less chewing) and adding nut butters to them for extra calories. High fat soups are a great option. Vegetables are also low in protein content and high in fiber, meaning, you will get fuller, faster and might not gain all muscle mass, but some fat too.
6) Can you gain weight by just eating protein?
Yes – Surfeit protein in a diet leads to excessive consumption of calories which may help in individuals gaining weight. If protein is consumed in an amount more than advised, it is stored as fat, while the excess amino acids are excreted. This fat can lead to gradual weight gain.
7) Can you gain weight just by looking at food?
Looking at pictures of delicious food posted online or on a table next to you while you are sipping on green tea may have a psychological effect on your brain. The outcome may make you want to eat, regardless of your actual hunger level, and you may end up ordering the food, which may contribute to your weight gain.
8) Can you gain more weight in just a month?
Yes – it is possible for you to gain weight in just a month by consuming the right food with high levels of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Along with that, it is also necessary to follow a good exercise regimen to gain quality muscle mass and not just fat (yes, you will gain fat by consuming excessive proteins too).
9) Can you gain weight just before your period?
Yes – Hormonal changes that take place in your body right before you get your period can lead to some weight gain. This weight gain is caused by increased water retention in the body. The weight gain that you experience right before you get your period is called the Premenstrual Syndrome weight gain. Watch the below video to understand more:
10) Can you gain weight just from stress?
Interestingly, yes - Stress is a principal factor in gaining weight. Although stress leads to a loss of appetite in the early days, chronic stress can lead a person to binge eat by boosting your hunger leading to weight gain.
11) Can you gain muscle by just protein shakes?
No – Even though your muscles are made up of proteins, and your body requires an adequate amount of protein to build those muscles, protein alone will not help you gain the desired muscles. It takes more than protein to build muscle such as the right amount of carbohydrates and dietary fat. Besides, carbs and fats help in the uptake of proteins by the muscle fibres.
12) Can you gain muscle by just doing pushups?
No– Pushups result in increased muscle mass, strength and endurance in the chest and triceps, and also increase muscle activity in the arms, shoulders, core and legs. However, by staying in a caloric deficit, you might actually lose weight instead of gaining any.
13) Can you gain muscle by just lifting weights?
Yes – If you want to gain weight just by lifting weights, you can. It is a gradual process and does not necessarily require heavyweights. You can just as effectively gain weight by lifting lighter weights and higher reps. If anything, you nutrition plays a role. Staying in a caloric surplus will add on pounds and staying in a caloric deficit will lead to weight loss.
14) Can you gain muscle by just flexing?
Yes – Although flexing won't be enough to give you the desired body structure and physique, it surely helps you in gaining muscle. Flexing is an isometric exercise under strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Your food intake still matters here.
15) Can you gain muscle just by running?
Yes – Running can help build your lower body muscles, but it also depends on the intensity and duration of your runs. Running could be a part of high intensity interval training or moderate intensity cardio. High intensity, short duration runs can benefit muscle growth provided you replenish with enough calories.
16) Can you gain muscle just by walking?
No – Walking is a cardiovascular exercise and can help in losing weight and building lean muscle. It boosts strength and endurance in the body and is the most straightforward exercise for the same. Unless you are eating enough calories, you will not gain weight.
17) Can you build muscle just using bodyweight training?
Yes – it is possible for you to build muscle without access to fancy gyms and expensive equipment. Apart from building muscle and burning fat, bodyweight exercises also help in improving athletic performance and build speed and strength. Try forms like calisthenics, ashtanga yoga, animal flow and plyometrics.
18) Can you build muscle with just resistance bands?
Yes – Resistance bands alone can help you in building muscle because to build muscle, you need tension, adequate recovery, and muscle adaptation & progressive overload. And therefore, resistance bands help a lot.
19) Can you build muscle with just a barbell?
Yes – the barbell is the most versatile and iconic piece of equipment found at the gym. With the help of a barbell, you can do plenty of full-body exercises that will help you in muscle gain targeting your chest, biceps, back, quads and abdominals. Try compound movements that target multiple muscle fibres such as back squats, military press, snatches etc.
20) Can you build muscle with just creatine?
Yes – Creatine is the most fundamental supplement in increasing muscle mass and is very popular in the bodybuilding and fitness communities. Creatine is supposedly more effective than training alone and can help in increasing your strength and gaining lean muscles. This is provided you actually go lift weights after supplementing creatine.
The principles are the same for both who are clinically underweight and the ones who are struggling to gain weight. There are different ways and strategies to trick your body into gaining the weight and muscle mass that you have been longing for, which is inclusive of both diet and exercises and one rarely goes without the other.
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