Our expert says:
Consuming protein does help, but I can perhaps simplify this even further - the key to weight gain is to take in more energy than you burn. You may have heard that to lose weight, you must use up energy by doing exercise and then take in less energy (calories), well, the opposite is true for weight gain. The tricky part, and something that I really must warn you against is that you must not just eat more, because all you will do then is increase your body fat levels. There is absolutely no benefit in being overweight when you have more body fat. The same goes if you are currently underweight and then gain weight by adding fat mass - it's unhealthy and you must avoid it. So how do you do this? Well, the key is to eat the right types of foods, which is where the protein comes in - you can eat a diet high in energy by eating junk food and fats, or you can eat proteins, which are lower in fat (particularly the 'bad' fats). You have to do this. Then, the second thing is to exercise regularly, because this gives you the 'stimulus' to build lean muscle mass. If you can therefore get in four of five days of exercise a week that will help you to increase your lean muscle mass. In particular, doing some weight training or toning exercise is a good way to speed up the process, but even something like cycling, walking or jogging will also help. AT the very least, it will help you to remain weight stable as long as you eat well at the same time.
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