Having a naturally or hereditarily thin body is alright if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) needed for your height and weight. However, when it comes to our health, being underweight (Body Mass Index is below the recommended level) is just as bad as being overweight or obese.
It can lead to problems like infertility, weak immune system, osteoporosis, malnutrition and even complications during surgery. Hence it is essential to gain a healthy weight.
This article will provide easy steps to gain weight healthily. These steps can also be used by those who want to gain extra muscle weight. Let us look at some of these strategies in detail.
What Does it Mean to be Underweight?
In simple terms, if you have a BMI below 18.5, you are underweight, and BMI of 25 and 30 are considered overweight and obese, respectively. However, this BMI calculation is not always accurate as it only considers the height and weight of the person, not the muscle mass. The equation to calculate BMI is
|BMI = weight in kilogram/ height in square meter|
There are several reasons why a person becomes underweight, like hyperthyroidism, celiac diseases, diabetics, eating disorders, etc. It can lead to numerous problems like higher infection risks, more chances of osteoporosis and bone fractures, infertility, sarcopenia, dementia and even cause early death in men and women.
Generally, underweight problems are mostly found among the female sex rather than the males. According to a survey conducted in 2019, about 15% of the women were underweight. This is why it is essential to gain weight healthily to avoid gaining unhealthy belly fat.
How Can Women Healthily Gain Weight?
Given below are a few strategies that one can follow to gain weight in a healthy manner.
1. Eat more calories than you burn
The best way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you burn. Calories can burn quicker due to reasons like high metabolism rate, overactive thyroid, irregular, unhealthy meals, stress, etc.
If you want to gain calories at a slow pace, then have 300 to 500 calories more than you burn. However, if you want to gain weight quicker, then have 700 to 1000 calories more than what you burn.
To gain more calories, consume calorie-rich food like nuts, almonds, seeds like sunflower seeds, dried fruits, dark chocolate (do not consume too much as it can lead to cavities), cheese, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
2. Proteins are your best friend
Apart from calories, protein is another healthy weight-gaining technique. It not only increases your weight but also helps build muscles and increase muscle mass. So, have a well-balanced diet with a propitiate combination of calories, proteins and other nutrients.
For your daily dose of protein, consume fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products like milk and cheese, meat, fish, egg, and so on.
If you think you will not get the necessary proteins from your daily diet, you can opt for protein supplements.
Some of the best protein powders for weight gain are Optimum Nutrition (ON) Serious Mass Gainer, GNC AMP Mass XXX, MuscleBlaze Super Gainer XXL, MuscleTech Performance Series Mass Tech Extreme 2000, etc.
3. Eat thrice a day
Never skip a meal, especially your breakfast, as you are eating food after 10 hours approximately. Ensure that you eat a meal packed with high carbs, fat, proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
At least eat three whole meals per day but if you feel full after consuming three meals, then switch strategies. Opt for small meals but increase the number of times you consume your food.
Try to include rice in your daily diet as it contains about 200 calories which help with weight gain. Between these meals, you can also consume healthy protein-rich snacks like nuts, protein bars, drinks, whole wheat bread with peanut butter, etc.
4. Exercise to improve your strength
In their quest for weight gain, most people forget that overeating can lead to being overweight. This is why there should be a proper balance between the food you eat and exercise.
Exercise at least two to four times a week but start slow as the initial days of exercise can lead to body pain. So, exerting yourself can be dangerous. Instead of focusing on cardio workouts, focus on strength training as it helps to build your muscles.
5. Avoid drinking water before your meal
This is one of the tactics used by people to help with weight loss. When we drink water, our tummy is full as a result of which, we eat less.
However, if you want to gain weight, opt for the reverse technique – avoid drinking water thirty minutes before a meal so that you can consume more carbs, fats, proteins and other nutrients.
Consume water towards the end of the meal, but if you feel thirsty during the meal, or you feel it’s hard to swallow, drink water!
Gaining weight is not a tedious process, but it is a slow process which means that you should not expect results in days or even weeks as it might take months to show beneficial results.
Some ways to gain a healthy weight include avoiding drinking water, regular exercise to strengthen muscles, and consuming food rich in carbs, fats, proteins, etc. However, there are more ways to gain a healthy weight like good quality sleep, avoiding smoking, protein supplements, etc.
Do you know any other methods to gain a healthy weight? Would you mind sharing it in the comment section below?