What Does it Mean to be Underweight?
Being underweight means your Body Mass Index ( BMI), derived based on weight and height, is below average.
Less than 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 Normal Weight
25 to 29.9 Overweight
Greater than 30 Obesity
In addition to BMI, other signs of thinness include low stamina, poor immunity, change in menstrual cycles for women, and excessive exhaustion and weakness.
Cause for Being Underweight
A person may be underweight due to several factors. These include
● Genetic factors
● Hormonal deficiency
● Excessive physical activity without proper dietary supplements
● Poor appetite due to chronic illnesses, anxiety or depression.
● Drug addiction
● Anorexia nervosa- an eating condition marked by a meager body weight
Is it Healthy to Gain Weight Fast?
Our bodies are built to work in a particular manner. Overeating for weight gain can have negative repercussions. The risk of diabetes and heart disease stands out among these.
Thus, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a dietitian before beginning any weight gain regime or diet.
How to Gain Weight Fast?
You may be underweight for a variety of reasons. Some people don't eat enough. Others lack the desire to eat due to a sickness, a low appetite, or nausea.
If you are looking for a fast way to gain weight, follow these tips:
1. Plan your Meals and Snacks
To maintain a healthy appetite, eat small, frequent meals. Each day, schedule three meals and two to three snacks.
● Ideas for Quick Meals
Hard-boiled eggs, tuna or egg salad, yogurt with fruits, peanut butter toast, fruit and nut mixtures.
● Simple Meal Ideas
Baked potato topped with tortilla, bean soup, chicken sandwich, and stir-fried rice and vegetables.
Make eating enjoyable. Eating is more enjoyable in a cheerful and laid-back environment. Whenever possible, have meals with family members. During mealtimes, try to avoid distractions like TV and cell phones.
2. Drink Water Between Meals
Don't fill up on small meals all day. Between meals and snacks, sip some water. Limit your intake of sugary beverages, cake, cookies, and candies. These foods don't have many nutrients and can make you feel satiated.
3. Have an Occasional Treat
Even underweight, watch out for too much sugar and fat. Ice cream and pie are acceptable now and then. But the majority of treats have to be nutritious and calorie-dense.
4. Make Nutrient-dense Dietary Choices
Pick whole-grain items like bread, pasta, cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, and seeds as part of your daily diet.
5. Ideal Foods for Weight Gain
Make your meals and snacks calorie-rich with these ideas:
Understanding Calories for Weight Gain
Calories tell us about the energy content of food and beverages. If you want to know how many calories should I eat to gain weight, you need to understand how a calorie is related to your weight.
Our bodies store extra calories as body fat when we consume more calories through food and drink than we burn. If this keeps happening, we might eventually gain weight. To maintain a healthy weight, a person needs about 2,500 kcal (10,500 kJ) per day.
It is ideal to consume more calories than your body uses to gain weight fast. Aim for 300–500 extra calories daily for slow weight gain or 700–1,000 extra calories for quick weight gain.
How much Weight Should be Gained?
Increasing calorie consumption in a reasonable amount increases weight by 1-2 pounds per week. A pound of muscle mass can be gained with an excess of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per week, while a pound of fat can be gained with an excess of 3,500 calories per week.
Foods To Avoid During Weight Gain
Avoid relying on high-calorie, high-saturated-fat, and high-sugar meals and beverages to gain weight, such as chocolate, cakes, and sugary beverages. These foods promote body fat rather than lean muscle mass and raise your risk of having high blood cholesterol levels.
Mistakes to Avoid During Weight Gain
Mindless eating is a big mistake. There is a widespread misconception that inactivity and weight gain are inherently linked. While somewhat accurate, this is wholly dangerous and unhealthy.
Even if you want to gain weight, you must exercise regularly. Your metabolism will remain active, and you will also feel more hungry. Remember to spread your workouts and avoid doing any cardio since this will prevent you from gaining weight.
As added tips, here are some mistakes you should avoid to gain weight fast:
● Avoid falling prey to a junk food binge. Burgers, fries, and other foods contain a lot of processed fat, salt, sugar, and other substances that help people gain weight by storing the food as fat.
● Avoid skipping meals. It changes your metabolism, causing your body to go into preservation mode to preserve some of the calories from your next meal.
● Avoid drinking water before or with meals because it makes you feel full by filling your stomach.
Risks of High Weight Gain
You are at a higher risk of several minor and major health issues if you are overweight or obese. These illnesses include less specific disorders like gout and gallstones, as well as the top killers: heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The correlation between overweight and depression is also equally high.
You can gain weight fast, either in muscle mass or fat.
If you are gaining muscle mass:
● Your metabolic rate will rise
● You'll get stronger and more healthy.
If you are gaining fat:
● You will have a higher risk of obesity.
● You will appear older than your age
● You will have poor immunity
● You will have issues related to heart, cholesterol, and anxiety
Always Keep Tracking
Keeping track of your weight can be a great motivator. It can provide valuable feedback on your weight-gain efforts, including what's working and isn't.
For best results:
Measure your weight at the same time(preferably morning)
Use a reliable scale that is configured correctly.
For each weight measurement in the same outfit.
To Sum Up
If you want to gain weight fast, go slow and steady. It is best to gain weight gradually over at least six months. This enables your body to adjust gradually to your increased calorie intake. Additionally, ensure you consume foods high in nutrients and develop lean muscle mass instead of pure fat.
It's crucial to consult a doctor or nutritionist if you're having trouble gaining weight despite following the tips mentioned above. Sometimes an underlying undiagnosed condition may be the reason for being underweight. Consult an expert first will help you identify the cause and healthily gain weight.
Get in touch with the best nutritionists and health experts near you with Kayawell. Search now!