Eating schedule: that’s how you make it!
Eating schedule is not as easy as it seems for everyone! Because how can you ‘just eat a little more’ if you simply don’t have such a big appetite? Or if you already have to get rid of enormous amounts of nutrition every day because you exercise a lot? At such a time, a good eating schedule for gaining weight is the way to still get enough calories. But how do you make such a schedule? We share our best tips with you in this blog!
Why gain weight on an eating schedule?
At first glance, many people dislike eating schedules. And that is understandable: it may quickly seem that with such a schedule you no longer have any freedom in what you want to eat and when. Not necessarily an attractive idea!
Fortunately, you don’t have to treat an eating schedule like some kind of iron law. Instead, it is rather a support that takes as much thinking work out of your hands as possible.
Many people fail to gain weight because they don’t have the time and motivation to think about what to eat and what not to eat every meal. Logical, because that also takes a lot of effort! However, if you plan to gain weight, you always have a good guideline at hand.
Do you always have to do exactly what your eating schedule says? No: if you have time and energy to spare, you can also improvise for a day to fit new meals within your macros. But thanks to an eating schedule, you don’t have to invest time and energy in planning every day.
How do you arrive on an eating schedule?
Our advice is therefore: do you have trouble gaining weight? Put a few hours into making an eating schedule once so that you can do it for the rest of the time. For some variation you can of course also plan several weeks, with which you then alternate.
How do you make an eating schedule? We list the steps for you!
Step 1: calculate your calories
To create a weight gain eating plan, you first need to know how many calories you need to gain weight. Fortunately, that is easy to calculate!
Don’t feel like doing the math yourself? Then you can also use the free calculator with which you get your calories and macros in your inbox within two minutes. That way you always have them at hand.
Please note: every body is different, which is why no formula is able to calculate your exact calorie requirement. The results of the above methods are therefore good estimates – but still estimates! It is possible that your body uses slightly more or less energy.
The best way to check your calculation is to simply try it out. If you find yourself gaining weight too quickly, eat a little less. Are you not gaining weight or are you arriving too slowly? Then increase your calorie intake a bit. This way you end up with your ideal amount!
Step 2: calculate your macros
The amount of calories is especially important for gaining your weight. However, if you want to be healthy in addition to being heavier, you will also have to pay a little attention to where you get those calories from! A good balance between fats, proteins and carbohydrates is important.
If you prefer to calculate it yourself, you can use the following clues:
- You need about 1 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight.
- Every gram of fat provides 9 kcal. Calculate how much kcal you get from fat.
- Calculate how much protein you need. We recommend 1.6 grams per kilo of body weight for non-athletes, 1.8 grams for endurance athletes and 2 grams for strength athletes.
- Every gram of protein provides 4 kcal. Calculate how much kcal you get from proteins.
- Subtract the calories from fats and proteins from your daily calorie requirement.
- Divide the remaining amount of calories by 4. That is how many grams of carbohydrates you should eat (because every gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal).
A calculation example: Lisa, a strength athlete, needs 2200 kcal a day. She weighs 70 pounds.
- Lisa eats 70 grams of fat. That’s 630 kcal from fat.
- Lisa eats 2 x 70 = 140 grams of proteins. That is 560 kcal from proteins.
- Then 2200 – 630 – 560 = 1010 kcal must come from carbohydrates. That is equal to 1010/4 = 253 grams of carbohydrates.
Step 3: determine eating times
Well, you now know approximately how much to eat. The question then is: how are you going to distribute that throughout the day?
Especially when you have to gain weight, three main meals are not always ideal. After all, it is not that easy to eat an extremely large amount of food in one go. That is why many people choose to include an extra lunch, for example , or even eat six small meals. Extra snacks can also be a good option.
Decide what is most convenient for you. Don’t forget to take your daily schedule into account! For example, if you only have one lunch break at the office, many healthy snacks may be more convenient than two large lunch meals.
Then check how much you will eat at any given moment. The following also applies here: take your personal preference into account. Do you like a big breakfast? Then plan for extra calories. Do you not get a bite through your throat in the morning? Stick to a smoothie, for example, and make the other meals a bit bigger.
Step 4: choose recipes
Then you look for recipes that roughly match the calories you have in mind per meal. Choose sources that indicate the nutritional values in the recipe that will save you a lot of calculations!
For example, some blogs with recipes do this by default. Also the meals in magazines of the supermarket often have nutritional values.
It is most useful if you have a good stock of recipes that you enjoy cooking. This way you avoid eating too one-sided. And in addition, it is useful in the next step if you have a wide choice of macros ratios. For example, if you are looking for a recipe with extra protein, then the chances are greater that you have it in your collection.
Step 5: start puzzling!
Finally, comes the step that often takes the most time: the actual puzzling. Using your recipes from the next step, you should create daily menus that roughly match your daily goal in terms of both calories and macros.
Good to keep in mind, the match doesn’t have to be exact. But you certainly don’t want to deviate too far from it! Are you still a day well off your target value? Then make sure you sit on the other end of the line another day. That way, on average, you just get all the substances you need.
And otherwise the motto is just… try, try, try. Those who don’t like mental arithmetic can, for example, use Excel to quickly see how the different recipes turn out together. Even then, there is a good chance that you will be sliding around for a while before you have found a menu that you are happy with.
Step 6: minor adjustments
Have you finally put together an eating schedule? Congratulations! Then you can now possibly carry out the last step: perfecting the menu.
This way you can often adjust some things to save money (and food waste). Do you use many different types of vegetables? Often you can vary quite a bit with vegetables, so you don’t have leftovers.
And are you still looking at vegetables? Also check whether you reach that 250 grams (or preferably more!) Every day. If not? Often you can add a lot of vegetables to a meal without making much of a difference in calories, so just consider throwing an extra bell pepper through your pasta.
Also a handy tip: see if you vary with your protein sources. For example, it is advisable not to always use meat and fish, but sometimes also to opt for vegetable proteins. Is chicken on the menu every day now? Replace it with vegetarian chicken, tofu, legumes or similar products. That is a lot healthier.
With these kinds of small adjustments you create an eating schedule that not only helps you gain weight, but also allows you to eat healthily and economically!