What's A Good Way To Gain Weight If You're Underweight? Healthy Ways To Gain Weight

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Some people are sad about being underweight. They feel sick and are tired of being labeled as slim or thin due to their stature. So, they start eating junk foods that contain high calories, fat, and sugar to gain excess weight.

While these foods can give them the weight they are looking for, it has an adverse effect and even cause obesity. Besides, just because you're slim doesn't mean that you're underweight. For instance, your body mass index (BMI) must be below 18.5, and other factors to be underweight. 

What Would Make You Underweight? Healthy Ways To Gain Weight If You're Underweight

Many factors can make one underweight. For instance, some individual's genetic makeup has high metabolism that burns calories faster than others. The calories come from the food we eat and are used by the body for energy. Since the body also needs calories to maintain or gain weight, there won't be any of it left since the high metabolism has burnt it.

Do you know that when you're also suffering from certain medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption issues, and chronic illnesses, you stand a higher of being underweight? Even having cancer or HIV/AIDS also makes one underweight.

Malnutrition is another factor that can cause underweight because your body needs a certain amount of food to function properly and maintain your body weight. When you don't eat much, your body will start feeding on itself to survive. Let's not forget that stress, depression, etc., can make one not value food and end up underweight.

Moreover, the kind of job you're doing can be physically demanding without proper nutrition to compensate for weight loss on the job. These jobs can include factories, construction sites, etc. Even excessive training as an athlete can also affect your weight because exercise burns fat and calories.

Now that you know some of the causes of being underweight, let's explore the best ways to gain weight.

Healthy Ways To Gain Weight

The Best Ways To Gain Weight

1. Consuming Healthy Foods

Since food is necessary for the survival, growth, and development of every part of the body, eating the right food will give you the ideal weight. First, ensure that you're consuming more calories than your body burns. Try consuming 300-500 calories daily for a start. To get these kinds of calories, your foods must be nutritious so that you can gain weight and also get vitamins and minerals.

Proteinous foods like lean meats, dairy, eggs, and plant-based options like beans and tofu will help you build your muscles. Don't stop there, also include health diets in your meals such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil for calorie intake and other health benefits. Your body also needs sustained energy and that's where complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes come to the rescue.

Just because you're now aware of these foods, it doesn't mean you should take them as three square meals daily. As an underweight individual, 5-6 smaller meals will do more good than harm, however, don't overfeed yourself.

2. Consuming Healthy Drinks

Getting hydrated is one way to keep your body functioning properly even if you're not eating. Drinking clean water is a great option because it's cheaper and available in most places than beverages. However, drink it when necessary.

For instance, don't drink too much water before meals because you will be too full to even eat. Besides, drinking too much water will make you uncomfortable. You can also take a few sips occasionally just to keep you hydrated when you're not hungry. 

Drinking water isn't enough. You can make high-calorie smoothies by blending ingredients like milk, yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, and protein powder. You will enjoy the sweetness of these different flavors in your mouth, belly, and overall body.

Do you know that drinking whole milk or a milkshake daily also increases your body's calories and is a great source of protein and calcium? Moreover, the kind of juice you take should be whole fruits without added sugar. That means you can blend fresh apples, paw paw, strawberries, etc., to get nutritious fruit juices.

3. Lifestyle Changes

Some daily habits are making you underweight and unless you stop them, consuming healthy foods or drinks will not be very effective.

For instance, engaging in unprotected sex can cause deadly sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV/AIDS that not only damage the immune system but cause significant weight loss. Therefore, if you must have sex, ensure you use contraceptives like condoms to reduce your chances of contracting the virus.

There is another method that can be used for proper weight gain, which is known as strength training. You can easily differentiate between someone who goes to the gym and one who does not. While gym activities can help burn fats, they can also enhance the muscles.

The muscles need to be developed and weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance band workouts, can be effective. At first, it can be painful and discouraging, but with the right technique and patience, you'll be like those muscular men you admire, however, do it in moderation.

Regular exercise shouldn't be neglected because it's a great way to keep the body in shape and ensure proper functioning of the body system. If you must exercise, ensure it is mild because it excessively burns fats and calories. You don't want to consume the right food and drink, only for it to be wasted by burning all those accumulated calories to an extreme exercise schedule. So, moderation is the key in this case.

Lastly, learn to get enough sleep for 7-9 hours at night because it helps your muscles recover and keeps you healthy. It's one underrated method for weight gain so try to remove any distractions or stress that will affect your sleep quality.

Lifestyle Changes For Weight Gain

Final Words

Being underweight can be a traumatic experience for some people. While some have embraced it with optimism without extreme lengths to gain weight, others are desperately using the wrong method to gain weight. After learning that factors like genetic makeup, hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders, cancers, HIV/AIDS, stress, depression, etc., can cause it, you can follow the right methods to gain weight.

They include consuming the right foods and drinks, proper lifestyle changes such as practicing safe sex to avoid HIV/AIDS, strength training, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Don't forget to consult a healthcare provider or nutritionist for more guidance.

References:

  1. About adult BMI. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2023.
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Calculate Your Body Mass Index
    https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
  3. National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Body Weight
    https://medlineplus.gov/bodyweight.html

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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