How to Gain Weight if You Are Underweight
Not for all of us losing weight is a problem. Actually, a large number of people face difficulties in gaining weight. No matter what they eat or do they stay thin and suffer from this. So, what are the reasons for that condition and how to gain weight when you are underweight?
Being underweight can lead to many dangerous medical conditions. If you’re underweight, it may not be your fault. Some people are naturally thinner, while others may have genetic or medical conditions causing their lower weights. Doctors generally recommend you to maintain a healthy weight, meaning too much, or not enough can be equally dangerous.
Why some people don’t gain weight
The rate at which your body digests food and burns calories is determined by a combination of both lifestyle choices and genetics. Some people are naturally predisposed to having a quick metabolism. Others have medical conditions that can cause either weight loss or difficulty with gaining weight.
Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism causes your thyroid to release excess thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism. This causes your body to burn calories quicker, causing weight loss.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD describes inflammation in the intestines. Commonly, they cause diarrhea, causing weight loss.
Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes causes the body to destroy the pancreas’s insulin-creating cells. Without insulin, the body excretes glucose instead of metabolizing it, causing weight loss.
Medications. Some medications, such as chemotherapy, and antibiotics cause gastrointestinal effects that may cause weight loss. Others may suppress the appetite.
Caloric deficit. It is one of the main reasons for weight loss. If you daily consume less calories than you gain, for fuel your body starts to burn energy stored in your body. Even if you eat tons of food with low calorie after a workout or some daily tasks you may end up with burning more calorie that will lead to caloric deficit.
The wrong workout routine. Aiming building muscle mass many people mistakenly follow the wrong workout routine. As a result, they willburn out fat and lose even more weight. Before chose the right weight training program you need to consider your body, health condition, experience level and your preferences.
Stress. Mental problems are directly connected physical problems. Therefore, people who have stressful job, or do not sleep enough or get stressed for a long time due to some circumstances may have difficulties in gaining weight. Constantly worrying cause losing weight even if you eat at normal amount.
The problems with being underweight
Being underweight can be hazardous to your body and overall health condition. Your body is designed to operate under certain parameters: healthy bones, enough muscle mass, and enough fat mass.And typically, being underweight interferes with functioning because the body lacks the support needed. Some of the biggest problems with being underweight include:
1. Suffering from malnutrition, which can influence your entire body and interfere with functionality. If the reason for being underweight is not eating enough or eating low calorie food, this may lead to vitamin deficiency or anemia. Also, be extra careful with diet to follow and avoid unhealthy diets to prevent unpleasant outcomes.
2. Not healing as well or suffering from surgical complications. Your body will not have the support it needs to stay healthy and may not have the resources to use to heal after surgery or injury. To recover after surgery or some wounds your body needs huge strength and energy. And as we know the source of that energy comes from burning fats which are not enough in underweight people.
3. Infertility can be caused due to amenorrhea. Women who are underweight may have irregular menstruation or even may stop ovulating entirely, leading to infertility.Moreover, even after getting pregnant they will face difficulties carrying a pregnancy to term.
4. Developmental delays are possible in children who are underweight before the age of 3. This is when children see most of the brain’s development, and without the right nutrients, they cannot develop normally. Compared to adults, children will suffer from being underweight more since not getting enough nutrients causes falling behind in physical and mental development.
5. The immune system may not function properly, causing underweight individuals to get sick or suffer from infections more often than their healthy-weight counterparts. Because of low immune system you not only get sick more often, but also for recovery you will need more time than others.
6. In severe cases underweight people may suffer from osteoporosis. Not getting enough minerals and nutrients causes loss of bone density. As a result bones become weak and brittle to that degree that they may break from a fall.
Ways of gaining weight healthily
Do you want to start gaining weight? You’re in the right spot. While some people just struggle more than others to gain weight, there are some tried and true lifestyle changes you can make to help you start putting the weight on.
Muscle building exercises
The recommended amount of daily calorie to take in is 2000 and for underweight people it’s extra 500 calories. And of course, to gain weight the calorie you take out should be less than what you take in, so be very attentive when doing exercises. When exercising, prioritize weight training to begin building up muscle. The extra muscle will add you weight. It is better to consult with fitness instructor to choose for you the best workout program. In case if you do it by yourself there is a high risk that you may lose weight instead of gaining.
Eat more frequently to try to sneak in some extra calories around the clock. Never skip the breakfast – it is the most important part of your daily meal. Add an extra egg and cheese or slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter to your breakfast to fill you up with fuel from the morning. Egg, cheese and peanut butter are already calorie-dense products, with whole grain bread is a good source of fibers. Besides eat more avocado and nuts as they both are rich in healthy fats.
Furthermore, carry in your bag trail mix or protein bar for a convenient snack. Trail mix you can buy in a grocery store or prepare yourself by mixing dried fruits, nuts, seeds and cereals. The same goes for protein bars, you may buy or make your own bars and eat them during breaks to provide your body important energy for the whole day.
More protein (meat and alternatives)
Prioritize eating healthy fats and carbs instead of fast-effect unhealthy food. These are both full of more calories than lean meats or veggies.When you start weight-gaining diet don’t be carried away by fast food, potato chips or cakes. They will definitely help you gain weight in a short time, but not in a healthy way. Instead pay more attention to protein-rich food like steak, ground beef, chicken, fish, cheese and nuts. For vegetarians there are plenty of plant-based meat alternatives like legumes. Starchy vegetables like potato are also good source of calorie. Differentiate your ration with sweet potato, squash and sweet corn as well.
Extra oil – extra calorie
Add condiments made with mayonnaise or oil bases to sneak in some extra calories. While eating salads with fresh veggies add some mayonnaise or olive oil. This way your salad becomes tastier and you also may take in more calories. Also, from healthy oils you may consume canola oil, walnut or grapes seed oil as well. Adding extra fat to your food is the best way of making your meal more calorie-dense. Try also eating more avocado as it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
Try adding supplements and protein shakes to boost your caloric intake. Besides high calorie food appetite stimulants will help to gain weight. In certain health conditions doctors may prescribe antidepressants, steroid medications or oxandrolone (for cancer patients). Additionally, fish oil supplements, zinc and vitamin B supplementation facilitate healthy weight gain by stimulating hunger. Your doctor may recommend you the best treatment depending on your health condition.
Don’t drink too much water. For sure, drinking more is not harmful, but it won’t help you to gain weight. Especially, when you are hungry don’t drink too much water. It will fill you up and leave less room for food.
So, we can conclude that the fast and the safest way to gain weight is to balance your working and resting time, eating more healthy nutritious food and training muscle building exercises. Don’t be careless to your body and love yourself more.