Being underweight can be as bad as being overweight. While many people may not be clinically underweight but just want to gain some muscles. When your body mass index is below 18.5 you are considered to be underweight. Some people are skinny but still healthy. But underweight is still a major concern among many people in today’s world. Before we start looking at how to gain weight naturally at home, first let’s understand the problems that result from being underweight.
Problems related to being underweight
Being underweight can also represent many health concerns to an individual just as being overweight can. So even if a person is underweight, their body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to build healthy bones, skin, and hair. Some people have a genetic background or a medical illness that prevents them from putting on weight, there are interventions doctors can recommend to help a person gain weight.
- According to a study, being underweight was one of the leading reasons for early deaths, which means being underweight is even worse for your health.
- Being underweight even impairs your immune function, raises your risk of infection, it also leads to osteoporosis, fractures, and causes fertility problems.
- Underweight people are also more likely to get sarcopenia, some age-related muscle wasting and they might have a greater risk of dementia.
- When a person does not get the required nutrients in the diet, They start to display physical problems like thinning of the skin, poor dental conditions, dry skin, and loss of hair.
- When a person is underweight then he doesn’t get enough nutrients to fight off infections. They get sick more frequently than others. They suffer from a common illness like cold which tends to last longer than others.
- The energy a particular food provides to a person is measured in calories. Not getting enough calories in the food which one eats can make a person feel fatigued all the time.
- An underweight person has more chances of having a low blood count, which leads to anemia. The anemia causes dizziness, fatigue, and headaches all the time.
- A person may fail to thrive when he does not get the required nutrients to grow and develop healthy bones. They may not grow as expected when they don’t get the right amount of calories.
How to gain weight in a healthy way
Underweight people always wish to gain a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than unnecessary and unhealthy belly fat. Therefore one must essentially intake healthy food and have an overall healthy lifestyle to thrive better. So scroll down to see some of the healthy ways to gain weight.
1. Intake more calories than you burn
Creating a calorie surplus in your body will help you gain weight. You must aim, for 300-500 calories per day above your maintenance level if you want slow growth in weight. And aim for 700-1000 calories if you want faster growth in weight. Make a note of the extra calorie you are eating per day and keep on increasing it. It is one of the healthiest ways of gaining weight.
2. Intake plenty of protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient which is essential for gaining weight. It is because our muscles are made up of protein and without it the extra calories that you intake will only be seen as extra fats. So when you are making a diet, make sure to include more protein here as a high protein diet will cause the extra calories to turn into muscles. It may result in reducing your hunger and appetite and making things more difficult for you to intake calories. Aiming for 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound bodyweight will be enough. Some protein-rich foods are nuts, fish, egg, meat, dairy products, legumes etc.
3. More energy-dense foods
Make sure to eat plenty of carbs and fatty foods in your diet. Make sure to eat at least three meals per day and try to add in energy-dense snacks whenever possible. Try to emphasize energy-dense foods as much as possible. These are foods that contain many calories relative to their weight. Some energy-dense foods are dried fruits, grains, meat, nuts, high-fat dairy, fats and oils, tubers, etc. Dark chocolates, avocados, peanut butter, coconut milk, granola, trail mixes.
Here are few important thumb rules you need to follow.
- Exercise:- To make sure that the excess calories you intake go to your muscles instead of just your fat cells, it becomes absolutely crucial to lift weights. Lifting weights will make sure you are gaining muscle mass instead of just fat.
- Avoid drinking water before meals as they fill up your stomach falsely and make it difficult for the calories to do their work.
- Take creatine. The muscle building supplement ceratin monohydrate can help you gain a few pounds in muscle weight.
While eating more calories to gain weight, you can expect your body to respond by reducing your appetite and boosting your metabolism. It is majorly mediated by your brain, as well as weight-regulating hormones like leptin. So you must expect a certain level of difficulty. In some cases, you literally have to force yourself to eat despite feeling stuffed. At the end of the day, changing your weight is definitely a marathon, but not a sprint. It can take a long time, and you need to be consistent if you want to succeed in the long run. Always remember that consistency is the key to success. You may not see the results now but that doesn’t mean that you never will. Follow these steps and be determined and you will see the results yourself.
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