Did you know you know being underweight can be unhealthy as being obese? Since your body has a lesser body mass required to sustain your optimal health, you are prone to infections, fertility issues, early deaths, impaired immune system, and higher risks of Dementia.
Most people are naturally skinny but healthy. Before gaining weight, you need to visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause of your weight loss or being underweight.
Gaining weight is not as easy as eating junk foods regularly. It is challenging as the kind of food you eat, including junk and fatty foods, may negatively affect your health. To gain a balanced amount of muscle and subcutaneous fat without resulting in unhealthy belly fat, you need to do it right.
It is important to change your lifestyle into a healthy one to get the best results.
What causes underweight?
Being underweight does not mean you are unhealthy. Various conditions may cause drastic weight loss. They include:
- Genetics– Some people have a naturally low BMI due to their family’s physical characteristics.
- Poor mental health– Issues with mental health such as stress, depression, and anxiety can affect an individual’s appetite and ability to eat. Eating disorders such as Anorexia can influence your body’s image and eat.
- Medical conditions– some diseases causing diarrhea and vomiting make it hard to gain weight. Chronic illnesses such as Cancer, Diabetes, Digestive Issues, and Thyroid disorders decrease a person’s appetite leading to massive weight loss. Infections including HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis make it challenging to add some pounds.
- Prescription– Certain medicines can cause nausea and affect appetite. Treatments such as Chemotherapy tamper with your eating regime, worsening weight loss.
- Hormonal imbalances– An attack on your hormones may affect your appetite and metabolic rate leading to weight loss.
- Physical activity– Too many activities such as frequent exercises and workouts may burn lots of calories, working against your weight gain aim.
Why is Underweight a danger?
While being underweight does not mean unhealthy, there are issues associated with having less weight and body mass to support your health.
- Impaired Immune System– Since your body does not have enough nutrients to store energy, it lacks the strength to fight off infections and illnesses, leading to falling sick regularly. It may also affect your immune by slowing its recovery after being sick.
- Nutritional Deficiencies– Being underweight mostly means you do not have enough nutrients in your body required for proper functioning. For example, lack of calcium may lead to weaker bones leading to Osteoporosis, while iron deficiency may cause Anemia.
- Anemia– This condition is likely caused by a lack of enough Vitamins, Folate and Iron. You will experience dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.
- Hair loss– Being underweight can cause your hair to thin and fall out. It can also thin your skin, leaving it gloomy and dry and weakening the gums and teeth.
- Increased risk of Dementia
- Increased fertility issues in women
- Bone weakness
9 Tips to gain weight fast
Gaining weight is not simple and may require consistency in lifestyle changes and diet. It would be best if you chose what you eat correctly to receive better results instantly.
Aim to gain weight gradually until you reach your required consequence. During this period, do not rely on sugary, high-calorie foods full of saturated fat, including sugary drinks, cakes, chocolate, and chips, as they will negatively affect your health.
However, for the tips to be effective, you may need to see a doctor know the reason for your condition or a dietician for the best meal plans and diet.
Consider the following for extra pounds:
- Double your food Intake
Starting to get more food into your system may not be easy. However, it is necessary to add extra portions to what you are used to taking for your weight gain aim. For instance, if you take 3 meals per day, you can increase the quantity of food by eating 5 to 6 times a day, each meal in equal portions.
It may be challenging during the first weeks, but you will be amazed by the results as taking extra calories may add an extra pound each week.
Ensure you add five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
2. Eat plenty of protein.
Protein is among the single most important nutrient for gaining healthy weight and building muscle.
Muscle is made up of protein, and without it, most of the extra calories we eat end up as body fat.
Eating high protein foods, including meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and protein bars, helps you gain weight without adding fat by boosting muscle mass.
To do it right, aim for 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight 1.5-2.2 grams of proteins per kilogram. You can go above if your calorie intake is high.
3. Drink lots of water
Water is an important part of a healthy being. You may be wondering how water may aid in weight gain or what role it plays in adding an extra pound, but the fact is, dehydration is one of the top causes of fitness challenges. Having the required amount of water each day helps you with the energy needed to get to the extra weight you need.
Drinking at least 8 glasses or more daily will help you gain weight. However, ensure you avoid drinking water before your meals which leaves you eating little food.
4. Have snacks before bed
Eating a snack or a small meal before getting to bed is ideal for your weight gain. That’s because your body will miss the chance to burn it before sleeping. Having whole-grain and high protein snacks with higher calories is ideal for extra pounds.
Since your body builds muscle during sleep, having a snack before dozing off supplies your body with nutrients that help it build enough lean muscle.
You can snack on dessert, ice cream, nuts such as raisins and almonds, cereal bars, peanut butter, yogurt, and bananas.
Exercises are effective for keeping you fit and healthy. However, in excess, they will burn more calories that may lead to weight loss. To gain extra pounds while engaging in activities and workouts, you can include strength training and resistance exercises. Incorporate weightlifting and Yoga to gain lean muscle and bound fat gains.
Moreover, exercises such as Squats, Deadlifts, Twist curls, military press, bench press, and Dips greatly increase your weight with consistency.
6. Have enough rest and sleep
Sleep is a vital part of your brain, metabolism, and performance, including weight gain. When at rest, your muscles have all the time to renovate, rebuilt, and strengthened. Having an 8-hour sleep every day and a break for rest will help you profit from your weight gain diet.
7. Eat more calories
The number of calories you take every day will guarantee you extra or fewer pounds. If you need to gain weight, you need to increase the calories you take daily. For instance, if you consume 1000 calories, you may need to add 500 more calories than the body burns to gain weight easily. That would mean 1500 calories per day.
If you need to boost your calorie intake, it is important to select high-calorie and nutrient-dense foods, including avocados, nuts, nuts, butter, soups, potatoes, and seeds.
8. Get treatment for underlying conditions.
If you are underweight, it is ideal to find out what is causing your condition or why you might be losing weight. There are various medications, treatments, and diseases that may affect your weight gain process. Talking to your doctor to rule out any issue may help you get started more healthily. Visiting a dietitian can give you insights into the right diet plans you can use to achieve your goal.
9. Choose your foods wisely.
Getting the right food is an important part of any weight gain process. Since it is a gradual process and involves the whole body growing a few inches, there is a need for healthy and nutrient-filled foods. Ensure you limit fiber-rich foods high in salt, added sugar, processed food, refined oils, refined grains, and processed meats.
On the other hand, you should increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, legumes, eggs, fish, poultry, seeds, dairy products, rice, and extra virgin oil for a healthier weight gain.
Adding weight is not an easy process taking days or weeks. Depending on your body’s metabolism, you will require several months or years to reach your healthy weight. You need to commit and follow daily diet routines and exercises for best results. It is not a walk in the park, but you need to remain motivated.
Changing your lifestyle starts with you for a healthier you. It is a gradual process, and you should not expect miracles. You must eat the right foods, especially increasing your calorie intake, doubling your food intake daily, snacking, exercising, choosing your food, drinking water, and eating more protein.