If you are underweight and looking to change that, it’s important to gain weight healthily. Being underweight has health consequences and can be caused by many things. However, there are safe and healthy ways to gain weight, and this article will discuss them. We have seven ways to gain weight safely, from using the best wellness supplements to support your weight-gain journey to foods packed with nutrients. But first, let’s take a look at why folks might want to gain weight in the first place.
Why Gain Weight?
What does being underweight really mean? According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a body mass index (BMI) under 18.5 is considered underweight. But BMI isn’t always an accurate reflection of health. There are several things BMI does not take into account that can affect results. For example, it doesn’t differentiate between muscle mass and fat mass. It also doesn’t account for people who are taller or shorter than average. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you think you may be underweight. They can help you assess your health and make recommendations about improving it.
There are health consequences to being underweight. Because your body needs certain nutrients to function correctly, not getting enough of them can lead to problems. For example, you may have trouble fighting off infections, experience irregular periods or have difficulty getting pregnant. You may also be at risk for problems like osteoporosis and anemia.
Many things can cause someone to be underweight. It may be due to a medical condition, such as celiac disease or hyperthyroidism. It could also be due to an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa. Or it could be a side effect of certain medications. If you are underweight, it’s important to work with a medical professional to find out the cause.
Sometimes, people may want to gain weight for aesthetic reasons. For example, maybe they feel too thin and want to fill out their clothes better. Or, perhaps they are athletes who need to gain weight to compete in their sport. Whatever the reason, it is possible to gain weight safely and healthily.
How to Gain Weight Safely
1) Focus on High-Energy, Nutrient-Rich Foods – When you are trying to gain weight, it is crucial to focus on high-energy, nutrient-rich foods. These foods will give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak. In addition, they will provide you with the calories and nutrients you need to gain weight safely.
Some examples of high-energy, nutrient-rich foods include:
- Whole milk
- Nuts and nut butters
- Beans and legumes
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
2) Make Sure You’re Eating Enough Calories – To gain weight, you need to be in a caloric surplus. This means you are eating more calories than your body needs. How many calories you need will depend on your activity level, age, weight and other factors. You can use an online calculator to get a good idea of your base caloric intake. Then, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to eat about 300 to 500 more calories than your body needs.
3) Eat Plenty of Protein – Protein is an essential nutrient when trying to gain weight. It helps build and repair muscle tissue, and it can also help you feel fuller longer. When trying to gain weight, aim to eat about one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 125 pounds, you would need to eat 125 grams of protein per day. Remember: As you gain weight, increase your protein intake. However, sometimes people have trouble getting enough protein in their daily routine or digesting it. In these cases, grabbing a plant-based protein powder as a midday snack is a fantastic way to add an extra 23 grams or more of protein in a more digestible format.
4) Don’t Forget Healthy Carbs and Fats – When most people think of gaining weight, they immediately think of carbs and fats. And while it’s true that you need these nutrients to gain weight, you want to make sure you are eating the healthy versions. Complex carbs and healthy fats will help you gain weight safely and healthily.
Some examples of healthy carbs include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Fruits and vegetables
And here are some examples of healthy fats:
- Olive oil
- Nuts and nut butters
5) Eat 3+ Times Per Day – When you are trying to gain weight, it is important to eat often. This doesn’t mean you should graze all day long, but you should aim to eat three meals and two to three snacks. This will help increase your caloric intake, ensure you are getting the nutrients you need and help keep your metabolism going. It will also give you time to properly digest your food without making you feel overly heavy or sleepy.
6) Do Resistance Training – While you don’t want to focus solely on weightlifting when trying to gain weight, it is important to do some type of resistance training. This will help build muscle mass, which will help you gain weight. And if you’re trying to put on weight for aesthetic reasons, your new muscles will help fill out your clothes better.
7) Avoid Foods Your Body Doesn’t Do Well with – Finally, when you are trying to gain weight, you want to make sure you are avoiding foods that your body doesn’t do well with. This could be anything from dairy to gluten to sugar. Eating food that doesn’t agree with you could lead to bloating, gastrointestinal issues and keep you from gaining the weight you want. Natural probiotics may also be something to add to your diet if you’re struggling with certain foods or have difficulty digesting certain nutrients. Probiotics will help promote a healthy gut, which can aid in digestion.
You Got This
So, if you’re struggling to gain weight, don’t worry – you’re not alone. And more importantly, there are ways for you to do it safely and healthily. Just remember to focus on a caloric surplus, eat plenty of protein, don’t forget healthy carbs and fats, eat often, do resistance training and avoid foods your body doesn’t do well with. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be on your way to a healthy weight in no time.