Whether you are burdened with work or your studies, it can be quite tough to stay healthy. Things can get quite complicated when you have to plan your meals and take care of your nutrition as well. And if not taken care of, you may gain weight or lose weight at extreme levels. And while people are generally aware of overweight issues, people need to know more about underweight issues.
Being underweight can have serious implications in the long term leading to a weakened immune system, poor bone health, fertility problems, nutritional deficiencies, and more! Apart from a poor lifestyle, certain medical conditions can be responsible for making you underweight.
People try out a lot of different remedies to reach their ideal healthy weight range like working out in the gym and other diet forms hoping that it would help. But, in most cases, they miss out on the right strategy suitable for them and are unable to see results. In this article, we will understand more about the harm of being underweight and how you can gain weight in a healthy way.
How to Check if you’re Underweight?
In the current day and age, all of us see the crazy glorification of being skinny on the internet. Thus, it can be hard to determine whether you are skinny with a healthy BMI, or you are dangerously close to being underweight. The most common way used by the majority is to calculate one’s body mass index or BMI. It is a measure that considers your height and weight and gives out a number through which you can determine if you lie in the healthy weight category or underweight.
A BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be a healthy weight range. But if you have a BMI less than 18.5, then it means that you are underweight. If you fall into this category, it’s time to make changes in your lifestyle for the better.
Why you can’t Gain Weight?
If you aren’t able to gain weight, the chances are that you have already tried stuffing yourself with food. You may have even gone for hours of exercise without seeing any progress. This indicates that there is something you are not doing right. While there are various factors at play, it is your daily calorie intake that will help you with gaining weight. This basically means that without consuming enough calories, you won’t gain weight no matter what you do. To be more specific, you need to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight in a healthy way.
However, there might be a few cases where you are already in a calorie surplus but still cannot gain weight. This can happen due to various other reasons some of which include the following:
Factors Affecting your Weight Gain
- Fast Metabolism: A fast metabolism means that your body burns all consumed calories at a very fast rate. Thus, the current calorie surplus you are in may not be sufficient to gain weight.
- Intense Physical Activity: Since regular and intense physical activity burns a lot of calories, you may not be eating enough calories for the same. In other words, you might not be in a true calorie surplus and unable to gain weight.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, PCOS, and others can affect your appetite and metabolism. And for many people affected by these, it can cause unintentional weight loss. If you have disturbed hormones, that too can affect your weight.
- Mental Health Issues: In case you are unfamiliar, both your mental health and gut health affect each other due to the gut-brain connection. If you are going through any kind of mental health issues, then it can definitely affect your gut health and metabolism. And hence, it can affect your current weight.
- Family History: According to recent research, your weight might be affected due to genetic mutation. However, usually, families with a history of a low BMI tend to be underweight because of their common lifestyle habits.
Healthy Tips to Gain Weight
While there might be multiple reasons for you being underweight, you can still overcome them by making the right lifestyle changes. You simply need to make the right lifestyle changes and essentially get into a healthy calorie surplus. Some of the simple changes that you can make in your lifestyle to gain weight in a healthy way include the following:
1. Calorie-rich Food to Gain Weight
Your daily food intake plays the most important role in both weight gain as well as weight loss. When it comes to gaining weight, you can either start eating more or replace your current food meals with other calorie-dense options. Such calorie-rich food meals will allow you to increase your calorie intake without increasing your meal portions. However, it is highly important to make sure that you are also taking care of your nutrition intake for a healthy weight gain. For starters, you can try adding things like dates, nuts, smoothies, full-fat yogurt, eggs, meat, potatoes, and others to your diet. With the right combination of these and other food items, getting into a healthy calorie surplus will be fairly easy.
2. Regular Eating Intervals for Gaining Weight
Even with calorie-dense food options, you may have to eat a lot of food. And depending on your calorie surplus food intake, you may have to eat large food portions. Because that is not possible for everyone, you can simply eat at regular intervals instead of eating in large portions. Even if you have a small appetite, managing multiple meals in a day is much easier than eating large portions of food. In other words, try having multiple meals in a day instead of three major meals with extreme portion sizes.
3. Avoid Junk Food for Healthy Weight Gain
The other thing to keep in mind is that all calories are not equal. Since you would want to go for a healthy weight gain, choosing calories dense but healthy food is quite crucial. This is due to the reason that getting calories from unhealthy fats or refined sugar can result in chronic diseases. So, avoid junk food and processed food and instead go for whole grains, more fruits and veggies, and natural food sources for healthy weight gain.
5. Track your Weight Gain Progress
Even with the right diet and a healthy lifestyle, you won’t get results until and unless you are consistent with your efforts. Hence, keeping track of your progress and diet through a food journal can help you in the process. This way you can find out the areas you are lacking and make further changes in your lifestyle accordingly.
6. Exercise Regularly to Gain Weight
While we have already discussed that how highly intense physical activity will burn too many calories, you should still exercise regularly. This is due to the reason that by staying physically active, you will feel more hungry and your appetite will increase. And since this will make you eat more, you will still be in a calorie surplus despite burning extra calories.
If you want healthy weight gain, it is actually easier than you think. And for the same, we have already discussed how to gain weight in a healthy way up above. We have suggested some ideas that you can easily incorporate into your daily life to achieve your body goals. Apart from all the various factors causing underweight issues, we have discussed the best ways to get in a calorie surplus for healthy weight gain. But if you still have any kind of questions or thoughts, make sure to leave them in the comments section down below!