Research showed about two third of people are overweight alongwith some people struggling with the problem of being too skinny.
Being underweight can be as bad for your health as being obese and so it is a matter of concern.
A lot of people who are not clinically underweight still want to gain some muscle.
Whether you’re clinically underweight or struggling to gain muscle weight, the main principles are just the same.
Here’s the simplest strategy to quickly gain weight — the healthy way.
Exploring the underweight
Underweight is a person having body mass index (BMI) below 18.5 . This BMI estimated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimum health.
Body mass index over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.
So there are many problem with the BMI scale which only looks at height and weight. It does not take muscle mass into consideration.
You can be naturally very skinny but still healthy. Being underweight according to this scale does not always mean that you have a health problem.
Being underweight is more common among girls and women as compared to men.
So a person having BMI ( BODY MASS INDEX) below 18.5 is considered underweight. Its very common in women and girls.
Health consequences of being underweight-
Obesity is known as one of the world’s biggest health problems.
But it is possible that being underweight may be just as bad for your health. According to a research, being underweight was associated with greater risk of early death in men and women.
In comparison, obesity was associated with a 50% greater risk of early death, which shows that being underweight may be even worse for your health.
Being underweight can also degrade your immune function and raise your risk of infection.
What are the causes of being underweight?
Many medical conditions may cause unhealthy weight loss, including:
- Eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental disorder.
- Thyroid problems: Overactive thyroid which is known as hyperthyroidism can boost metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
- Celiac disease: Most of the people are not aware that they are suffering from Celiac disease which is most severe form of gluten intolerance.
- Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) can lead to severe weight loss.
- Cancer: Cancerous tumors often burn large amounts of calories which can cause someone to loose a lot of weight.
- Infections: Certain infections like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS can cause someone to become severely underweight.
If you’re underweight, you should visit doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.
This is Specifically important if you have recently started losing large amounts of weight without even trying.
Gaining weight in a Healthy way
It’s very important to do it right if you want to gain weight.
Binging on soda and donuts can potentially help you to gain weight, but it can destroy your health at the same time.
If you’re underweight , your goal is to gain a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than a lot of unhealthy belly fat.
There are ample of normal weight people who suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
So basically the consumption of healthy food and an overall healthy lifestyle is essential.
More calories intake than what body burns :
The best thing you can do to gain weight is to create a calorie surplus by eating more calories than your body needs.
You can calculate your calorie needs using calorie calculator.
Intake of around 300-500 more calories than what you burn each day is fine if you wish to gain weight slowly and steadily.
Focus on intake of 700-1000 calories above your maintenance level if you wish to gain weight fast .
Don’t ever forget that the calorie calculator only provide estimates. Your calorie needs may vary by some hundreds per day – give or take.
Counting your calorie intake everyday is not a compulsion but it helps it helps to get a feel of how many calories you are eating. There are a number of tools that assist you in this task.
More protein, More weight
The one and only nutrient for gaining healthy weight is protein.
Protein makes the muscle.Without protein,most of those extra calories may end up as body fat.
Aim 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if you are trying to gain weight. You can try higher if your calorie intake is very high.
Meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, legumes and nuts are high protein foods. Protein supplements like whey protein can contribute to your protein intake if you struggle to get enough protein in your diet.
Intake of Energy – Dense foods and trying out sauces, spices & condiments:
It’s important to eat whole and single-ingredient foods.
The issue is that these foods tend to be more filling than processed junk foods, making it harder to get in enough calories.
Using plenty of sauces, spices and condiments can be the solution for this. The tasty food is easier to be consumed
Try to emphasize on energy-dense foods that contain many calories relative to their weight.
Here are some ideal energy-dense foods that are best for gaining weight:
- Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc.
- Dried fruit: Raisins, prunes and others.
- High-fat dairy products: Whole milk, full-fat yoghurt, cream , cheese etc.
- Fats and oils: Avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil
- Grains: Oats, brown rice and other whole grains.
- Meat: Chicken, beef, pork, lamb etc.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes etc
- peanut butter, coconut milk, granola, trail mixes.
Most of these foods are very filling, and sometimes you will force yourself to keep eating even if you feel full.
Its definitely a good idea to avoid eating tons of vegetables if gaining weight is of utmost importance for you. It simply leaves less space for energy-dense foods.
Try to emphasize a fruit that doesn’t require too much chewing like bananas.
Most of people try restricting either carbs or fat when trying to lose weight.
That’s a bad idea if your goal is to gain weight, as it will make it harder to get in enough calories.
We recommend intake of plenty of high carb and high fat foods if weight gain is a priority for you. The best way is to eat plenty of protein, fat and carbs in each meal.
Fasting is also a bad idea if you wish to gain weight. This is important for weight loss and health improvement but can make it much difficult to eat enough calories to gain weight.
Ensure that you eat at least three meals per day and try to add in energy-dense snacks whenever possible.
Lift heavy weight to improve your strength :
It’s essential to life weights so that you can ensure that excess calories go to your muscle instead of just fat cells.
You can go to the gym and start lifting 2-4 times per week . Increase the weights and lift heavy over time.
Consult a doctor whenever you face any medical issue .
Cardio is the easiest start for beginners.
Perform cardio to ensure your fitness but don’t do so much that you end up burning all the extra calories that you eat.
More Tips for weight gaining :
A rich combination of heavy strength with high calorie intake are the two most important factors.
There are a lot of strategies that help to gain weight even faster :
1) Avoid taking water before meals. It fills up your stomach and makes it harder to get in enough calories.
2) Eat more frequently . Add some snack or meal whenever possible .
3) There is a huge variety of weight gained available in market. You can try weight gainer shakes which are high in protein, carb and calories.
4) Eat your meals in bigger plates so that you eat more and your calories intake is increased.
5) Milk contain high quality protein and calories which are really beneficial. Drink milk to enrich your health with its goodness.
6) Sleep well and have quality sleep because it is very important for muscle growth.
7) Give priority to protein than vegetable in your meal. When you have mix food on your plate, eat the calorie-dense and protein rich food first.
8) Be a Non Smoker – Smokers tend to weigh less than non smokers and quitting smoking usually leads to weight gain.
9) Adding Cream to your coffee can add more calories to your drink.
10) You can try creatine as it’s intake can help you to gain few pounds in muscle weight.
Gaining weight might look difficult but consistency is the key to Long-term success and happiness.