Nutrient Guide for 17-Year-Old to Gain Muscle and Weight

If you want to gain muscle and weight, what you eat is just as important as the exercises you perform. You will want to make sure you are giving your body what it needs to be healthy and grow, as well as to help you reach the right weight for you. However, be sure to check with your doctor before you make any changes, and discuss your weight, goals and concerns with him.

A teenager spooning granola out of a jar. (Image: Multiart/iStock/Getty Images)

Still Growing

Before you begin trying to pack on the pounds, keep in mind that at 17, your body is still growing. Girls often do not begin puberty until 12 or later, and boys do not begin until 14 or later. Even after you have hit puberty, it might take your body up to four years to fully develop the weight and muscle you will have as an adult. Most teens have no medical reason to gain weight, so instead of eating fatty foods and trying to bulk up, focus instead on eating healthy items and exercising regularly to take care of the body you have.

Healthy Eating

Nutrient-rich foods and regular meals are the cornerstone of any good diet, whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or just be healthy. Your diet should include a large amount of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy, lean protein and whole grains. Limit the amount of processed, nutritionally poor foods you eat, such as chips, soda and cookies, and choose dried fruit, nuts and carrot sticks as snacks instead. You can still have treats, but go for items that have some amount of nutrients, such as yogurt with granola.

Additional Food Tips

If you do not have a large appetite, you might find that breaking your meals up into six small ones throughout the day will better enable you to get all the nutrients your body needs. You should also be sure to eat breakfast, which gets your metabolism going and helps keep up your energy levels. Even if you are not hungry in the morning, a slice of whole wheat toast with some peanut butter and a piece of fruit will be enough to keep you full until lunch or your mid-morning snack.

Dangers of Supplements, Pills and Drugs

You might be tempted to take a pill or consume a drink that promises to help you bulk up with minimal effort, but these do not typically work. Moreover, they can be very damaging to both your physical and mental health. If you want to gain muscle, do so by eating healthy foods and performing strength-training exercises a few times a week. Always check with your doctor before you take any supplements, even if they are just vitamins.

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