The internet today, is flooded with tips that may help you lose weight. The recent obsession with having a zero size body has shifted the focus of health on weight loss only. Little light is shed on ways on how to gain weight. Little do people realize that being underweight is almost as unhealthy as being overweight.
If you have a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5, you are classified as underweight and you need to gain weight in order to sustain a healthy body and life. Although BMI alone can never be an indicator of overall health, it can give you a vague idea regarding your health. Your overall health depends on body type, waist circumference, and lifestyle, etc. To get a deeper analysis of your overall health and devise personalized plans to gain weight, it is wise to consult a dietitian.
Being underweight can put you at the risk of malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, decreased immune function, fertility issues, growth and development issues, and early death. If you are underweight, it is vital for you to gain weight. This can be done by following some general tips to gain weight.
How to gain weight?
1. Eat more than you burn
As the key to weight loss is to eat less than you burn. The key to weight gain is simply the opposite of it. If you take in more calories through your diet than you burn, the extra calories will be stored in the body. Calorie-surplus is the most important thing in gaining weight. This can be achieved by eating calorie-dense foods. Food for weight gain include potatoes, cheese, banana, nuts, milk, ghee, butter, etc.
2. Pump up the protein
You are likely thinking of adding more fat to your meals to increase the calories. But the most important nutrient that can help you healthily gain weight, is protein. As your muscle is made up of protein, so you need more of it to increase your muscle mass. Additional calories with an insufficient amount of protein might end up increasing your body fat only.
One thing to keep in mind is that protein can be extremely fulfilling, decreasing your overall food intake. To maintain a balance is the key here. The rule of thumb regarding protein intake for weight gain would be to eat at least 0.7-1 g per kg of body weight. However, going beyond this will help you more, in weight gain.
3. Eat more frequently
Eating at least three times a day, preferably even more can show you drastic results. Science suggests that only a certain portion of the meal is absorbed into the body and the rest is excreted out. In order to get more food absorbed into the body, you need to take calorie-dense foods frequently. Not eating for long periods can lead to weight loss, so to go counter you need to eat more.
4. Lift the weights
Exercise is often associated with weight loss only. But the same weights and cardio can help you gain weight. To make sure that the excessive calories you are taking go to your muscles and not your fat, it is important to do weight lifting, This will not only help in gaining muscles but will give you a more desirable body shape. Limited cardio exercises and focusing on weight training can do wonders for you. If done properly, you will soon be seeing a heavier and muscular version of yourself.
5. Snack on calories
Apart from main meals, you need to go for calorie-dense snacks too. Snacks like a banana milkshake or peanut butter with bread should be your go-to options. The GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) approach is the most effective way to gain weight fast. Drinking a gallon of milk apart from regular meals, provides excessive calories, proteins, carbs, and fats, all necessary for gaining weight.
Although these general tips can help you in your weight gain journey, these can never be as effective as guidance by a professional. Consulting a nutritionist will put you at ease. A professional can assess your needs and devise a customized plan for you. If you really want to gain weight and put your health in safe hands, it is time for you to consult a nutritionist.