Generally, having a lean body is healthy, but underweight is something unhealthy that occurs from malnutrition, over-exercise, underlying health condition, or family history. It’s important to keep checking weight every week or twice in a month to track your weight. Managing a healthy weight is essential for good wellbeing.
If you are underweight, then take your doctor’s advice to know the hidden health condition. If you do not have any major problem, then you can follow the natural ways to gain weight.
What is Underweight Mean?
The underweight refers to reduce weight than the healthy weight. The Disease Control centers recommend that body mass index (BMI) should determine to know if you are underweight or overweight or have a healthy weight. You can use the BMI calculator for calculating your weight. Women with lower than 18.5 BMI are considered underweight.
They are many reasons for underweight, which are psychological and physical.
Causes Of Underweight
Some people are naturally lean. They have metabolism with a high level that prevents gaining weight even if they eat high calories or a large meal.
Some people have family history and kind of genes that keep them naturally thin with low BMI.
More Physical Activity
Performing regular high physical activity levels, such as running, jogging, swimming, and other sports may cause your underweight. Continued physical activity burns more calories and keeps metabolism active all the time. Even in the resting phase, they burn calories.
Suffering from any one or more health problems causes temporary weight loss. They also have a frequent spike in metabolism and lose weight. Some health condition includes cancer, hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, and diabetes.
The thyroxine hormone generated by the thyroid gland, which is often called a conductor or orchestra of the body. If the hormone thyroxine levels stay normal, then the metabolism, weight, and height stay within limits. Having disturbance in the thyroid gland causes to interfere with the heartbeat, metabolism, and temperature, which results in weight loss. If you have more active thyroid, you will burn extra calories and result in underweight.
Having kidney disease cause to affect the normal urination. It causes you frequent urination without the feeling of complete relieved. You will suffer from nausea, fluid retention, fatigue, vomiting, itching, and skin rashes accompanied by a metallic taste in your mouth. Your breath also feels like ammonia. The appetite loss with fever cause weight loss.
Inadequate insulin interferes with glucose from the blood to enter cells of the body for using energy. When this happens, the body begins fat burning and creating energy for muscles, which lower the overall weight of the body. Having weight loss in diabetic people causes the breakdown of the muscles and dehydration.
If your stomach wall does not secrete enough digestive enzymes, which is important for digestion and nutrient absorption for physical growth, it will result in weight loss.
Malabsorption causes diarrhea and vomiting, which results in poor nutrient absorption. It also happens because of long-term laxatives that cause weight loss.
Tuberculosis is characterized by weight loss, night sweats, coughing, and extreme fatigue. If the drastic weight loss is because of tuberculosis, you need prompt treatment.
People suffering from depression may cause severe appetite loss and quick weight loss. These people should take medical help as soon as possible.
Stress is another harmful condition that attacks slowly on weight management. Some people lose weight, and some people gain huge weight.
Certain eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder cause underweight. Eating disorders mainly linked with brain signal levels where the weight watcher overeats for a short time or over-exercising to burn extra calories.
How To Gain Healthy Weight at Home?
Healthy Carbs and Fats
Include healthy fats and carbs in your diet. Healthy fats contain dense calories and carbs to promote energy levels. Combining both helps to increase your weight. Here are the healthy sources of fats and carbs.
Avocados contain healthy fats, and it is a calorie-dense fruit. Therefore, it is the best fruit for increasing weight. A large avocado contains 29 grams of fat, 322 calories, and 17 grams of fiber. It also provides minerals, vitamins, and beneficial plant synthesis. Adding avocado in the main meal like sandwiches, and omelets are the best idea.
Rice is easy and convenient food. It provides low carb, but healthy for weight gain. One cup of cooked rice offers 43 grams of carbs, 190 calories, and a little amount of fat. It is also a calorie-dense food. It helps to eat more for treating poor appetite, and the one fills quickly. Combining rice, protein, and healthy fats are best for gaining weight.
However, do not consume it in a large amount, which may cause toxicity from phytic and arsenic content.
Adding whole-grain bread in your diet helps in weight gaining. It provides healthy carbs. You can prepare a well-balanced meal by combining high calories in bread with proteins like meat, eggs, and cheese. If you are buying readymade bread, then do not forget the check the nutrition list.
Consuming full-fat yogurt is another option to increase healthy weight. It provides great nutritional profiles that are a combination of carbs, protein, and fats.
There are other snack ideas containing yogurt.
Yogurt and fruit:
Mix one cup of yogurt with dried or fresh fruits. You can also include honey, seeds, nuts, honey, coconut flakes, and granola.
Chocolate-peanut butter pudding:
Combine one cup yogurt with pure cocoa powder, any nut of peanut butter and a sweetener like stevia. You can also use whey protein.
Combine some granola and 1–2 cups of yogurt. You can also add some berries in layers to prepare a well-balanced and tasty breakfast.
Yogurt is the best source to make smoothies to increase protein in your body.
Another way to gain healthy weight is by adding healthy cereals. Try to avoid using processed or added sugar cereals. Choose healthy cereals like oatmeal, which is the best source of carb. Whole grains also contain healthy antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.
White purchasing cereals, make a healthy choice of following foods.
Cheese is another staple food for centuries. Similar to dark chocolate, it also contains fats and calories. If you consume large quantities, it also provides a good amount of protein. As the cheese is tastier, you can combine it in different dishes.
Milk is another healthy option to consider for weight gain. You can drink a glass of milk every day without any problem. It provides a healthy balance of carbs, proteins, and fats. Additionally, milk is a primary source of calcium, minerals, and vitamins. People who are looking to increase muscles can use whey proteins and casein. Research also tells that adding whey protein with milk also helps in weight lifting.
Milk naturally contains high calcium and vitamin D. These both nutrients are essential for bone development and body growth. Milk is the best food for children underweight. Milk also provides vitamin A, which helps to boost eye health and immune system. It also manages your cholesterol levels and lowers high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease.
Eat Lots Of Protein
Protein is an important nutrient for gaining weight. Naturally, the muscles are made up of protein. Therefore, consuming enough protein helps to gain healthy weight. The ideal protein consumption for underweight people should be between 1.5gm to 2.2gm of protein per kg of body weight. According to the study, following a high protein diet helps increase calories in your muscles.
Add the following protein foods in your weight gaining diet.
Eggs are the best source for weight gain. It helps in muscle building. Adding eggs in your diet provides the best combination of healthy fats and good protein. It is also essential to consume whole eggs to get all benefits from yolk and white. You can eat at least two eggs in the day.
Albacore tuna is an oily fish that can be eaten 1-2 times a week. A serving of 3.5 ounces of cooked fish depends on your body weight. Using canned tuna also helpful and fresh tuna good.
Salmon is another heart-healthy fish. It contains high levels of omega-3s. They are also much cheaper.
They’re far beyond the stinky, skinless salt strips that your idiosyncratic cousin gets on a pizza. The Spanish marinate them with their gleaming skins in oil and vinegar for a tapa known as Boquerón’s and eat them with bread. Like herring, these minor folks provide large numbers for omega-3s.
Sardines are another skinny yet fatty fish. You can also buy them and roast for eating. They come in a smaller size and contain less mercury than other large fish.
Red meat is another healthy protein source for increasing weight. It contains more iron than suppresses the leptin, which is an appetite-suppressing hormone.
Beefsteak comprises 3gm of leucine in every 6-ounces (170gm). Leucine is the main amino acid in the body to stimulate your muscle protein compound and generate new muscle tissue.
Additionally, red meats are a natural source of dietary creatine, which helps in muscle building as a supplement.
You should choose fattier cuts, which give more calories than the leaner meats. It helps to provide extra calories and increase weight.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts are another healthy choice for gaining weight. You can also use nut butter. Consuming a handful of almonds provides 7gm of protein and 18gm of healthy fats. You can include nut butter in snacks, smoothies, and much more. Make sure to choose pure nut butter without added sugar.
Increase Physical Strength
Make sure to perform regular physical activities and workouts. Lift the weight at the gym or home according to your strength level. Play sport to build your physical strength and let the extra calorie in your body become fat to gain weight.
Try attending the gym at least 4-5 times in a week to improve muscle mass. Add intensity training to your exercise routine to do cardio.
Cardio is another heart-healthy workout, but it also burns more calories so, avoids doing it more if you are underweight.
Drinking enough water is helpful for weight loss as it lowers the amount of food consumption. Hence, avoid drinking water before having a meal or with a meal as it causes you to feel full quickly. Drinking water may not help in weight gaining but prevent dehydration. Water also flushes out the toxins from your body. You can add protein smoothies in the diet to keep yourself hydrated to gain healthy weight.
Potatoes and Starches
Starchy foods like potatoes work effectively for adding more calories. Choose healthy sources of different starchy carbs such as
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans and legumes
- Winter root vegetables
Adding potato and all starchy foods add extra calories and care, which helps to gain more weight and include glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the primary fuel source for activities and sports.
Many of these car foods provide essential fiber and nutrition, which helps to nourish your gut bacteria.
Eating protein supplements is a popular procedure of bodybuilders and sportsmen for weight gain. Whey protein is a reliable source of protein for mass gainers, which available easily at an affordable cost. You can merge it with strength training. Whey protein is made of dairy products and helps to improve your health by a lower risk of diseases. As you do strength training, your body will raise the protein need.
Like meat, whey protein also contains amino acids that help to activate muscle growth. You can consume it before a workout or after a workout.
Dried fruit provides high calories and rich antioxidants with micronutrients. You can consume different types of dried fruits, which are ideal for weight gain diet as they provide high sugar. They are also convenient and easy to eat with better taste. Dry fruits also provide more fiber, minerals, and vitamins that support overall growth.
Try to add multiple fruits with a protein source such as whey protein shake or meat. You can also mix fruits with milk or yogurt to make full protein food or snack.
Consuming pure dark chocolate offers more antioxidants and health benefits. Most people are recommended to get dark chocolate with cocoa of 70% presence.
Like other fatty foods, dark chocolate also contains high calories. Every 100 gm of dark chocolate provides 600 calories with micronutrients and health-boosting compounds including antioxidants, and magnesium.
Weight gain does not mean that you have to gain fat but lean muscle mass. Having lean muscle mass provide a toned and well-defined body. Try doing the following workout for weight gain.
- Twisting Crunches
- Shoulder Shrug
- Seated Dumbbell Press
- Ab Roller
- Leg Press
- Leg Curls
- Arm Curls
- Triceps Push Down
- Leg Extension
- Barbell Squats
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Side Lateral Raise
- Weighted Crunches
- Dumbbell Lunges
Have A Food Journal
Maintain a food journal if you have a goal of weight gain. Track your foods, activities you perform on an entire day. Keeping a food journal will make you understand how you eat and what you eat. It will motivate and encourage you to have a healthy diet.
Gaining or losing weight always linked to stressful life situations. Stress is one of the hidden and major hurdles for weight management. Therefore, it is essential to stay stress-free while doing a workout to gain healthy weight.
You can try to take a relaxing bath or listen to soothing music to make your mind calm. Make habit of yoga, meditation, and breathing for lowering stress.
Get Enough Sleep
Good sleep is another major part of weight management. Resting for enough time make the body to perform its functions properly. According to experts, sleep is important for wellbeing. Apart from physical activity and nutrition, sleep is also an essential part of good health. One should take at least 8-hours of sleep every night. Good sleep also helps the body to repair the damaged muscles and cells during sleeping hours.
Banana is a perfect and portable snack for weight gain. A large banana provides 135 calories, 4gm fiber, 35gm carbohydrates. It also provides vitamin B6 and 16% potassium. Banana can add extra nutrients and calories to the bowl of oatmeal and toast with nut butter.
There are two types of oil, such as healthy and unhealthy. Both oils are available in the market, and you have to choose healthy oils. For healthy weight gain, choose olive or coconut oil, which nutrient-dense, which protects kidneys, cholesterol, and heart. It also provides anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and boosts the immune system. Olive oil work best for the Mediterranean diet, which helps to protect the heart. One tbsp of olive oil provides 119 calories and 14 gm of fat.
Coconut milk is another good option for increasing your calorie intake. According to Harvard-Medical-School, more chewing helps to signal your brain properly. Consuming energy-dense drinks helps fill up quickly and increase calories. You can also swap your regular milk with coconut milk to gain more weight. It is because 1-cup of cow milk contains 146 calories, and coconut milk provides 552 calories with 5gm protein.
What number of Calories to Consume?
Your calorie consumption will depend on BMI. Expert says that slow weight gain is always recommended, and the raised 500 kcal every day leads to 0.5 kg every week to increase your weight.
How much time Will It Take to Gain Weight?
You will need at least three months to see obvious outcomes. Expecting results too early will diminish motivation. Practice the tips by wellness specialists to gain healthy weight.
Expert Advice For Weight Gain
Try making a smoothie with nut butter and avocado. It will provide a boost of vitamin C and a healthy dose of good fats. Consume full-fat milk in liquid form to promote calories and calcium intake. Adding Greek yogurt also make your recipe more delicious.
Choose Liberal Fats
If you are trying to gain weight with liberal fat use, for example, oils on f mixed vegetables salad, and coconut oil for cooking can support calories with no concern. Ensure you make a serving of mixed greens dressings as enjoyable as could be expected tasty dressing and finish any remains in the base of the plate of mixed greens bowl with some crispbread – delicious!
Diet For Weight Gain
Before breakfast at -7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
- Consume one cup cappuccino or tea with sugar and full-fat milk.
Breakfast – 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
- Eat bread(multigrain) with an egg omelet or low-fat butter.
- Substitute with:
- Eat corn flakes(1-bowl), porridge, or oats.
- Consume Umpa, Poha, or Daliya with veggies.
- Consume 2-chapattis with veggies or stuffed parantha.
- Take fruits or fresh juice.
After Breakfast: (10 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
- Drink 1-glass of milk(full-fat) or
- whey protein.
Lunch:(12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
- Include two chapattis or eat rice (1-bowl) and vegetable curry (1/2 cup)
- Consume 1-cup pulses (chana, masoor, moong)
- Eat 3-ounce of cottage cheese/chicken /egg/fish/ tofu.
- lastly, eat sweet curd
Evening snack: (5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
- Eat a sandwich containing Vegetable and cheese
- Make avocado dip and eat with baked potatoes
Dinner: (8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
- Consume brown rice(half a cup) and kidney beans(one cup) or mushroom curry.
- Make a salad of carrot, cucumber, and tomatoes.
Before bed: (10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m)
- One glass of milk
Avoid doing more cardio as it will burn more calories. But doing some amount of cardio workout is still important. You can perform cardio 1-2 times a week.
Do not eat junk foods to gain weight, which can cause unhealthy weight gain and leads to health problems.
Keep patience, and do not give up. Healthy weight gain also depends on your health.
What happens if you are underweight?
People with underweight generally suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition refers to not getting enough minerals and vitamins. Underweight causes your risk of following health problems.
Children and teens with underweight have reduced growth as this age requires more nutrients for the growth of the overall body.
Underweight may have a reduced intake of calcium and vitamin D, which makes your bones weak and contribute to osteoporosis.
Week Immune system
Reduced nutrients cause to lower the energy storage and cause weak your immune system. A weak immune system finds difficulty to fight with illness and delay in recovery.
Underweight also cause you anemia due to the deficiency of iron, folate, vitamins, and B12 vitamin. It also causes fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.
Women with underweight may experience irregular periods, infertility, and no periods.
Underweight also cause you to thin your hair that eventually increases hair fall. It also causes thin skin, dry skin, gums, and teeth problems.
Have A Regular Eating Schedule
You may not count the number of calories in the starting, but you should consume three meals per day and try snacks in between the meals. You can also eat 6-times every day and eat in every 3-hours said by Nancy Farrell. Try consuming 100-200 calories and a meal of 500 calories.
Try to make small snacks, which is helpful in digestion. Avoid quick filling snack and try a smoothie.
I hope you find the above knowledge helpful to gain a healthy weight. Remember, vital points to follow are healthy food, more meals, and snacks, avoid junk foods, get adequate sleep, stay hydrated, lessen stress. Healthy weight control is not easy, and it is like weight loss. Get expert or doctor advice to stop side effects. Make sure to find the cause for your underweight.