While most people struggle to lose weight, some people find it hard to gain weight. Gaining weight doesn’t always mean putting on excess, unhealthy pounds. Just like being obese is a health hazard, bring under weight also has its own share of problems. A quick way to gain weight is to pump up your body with artificial supplements. This can be very dangerous in the long term. That’s why, it is better to adopt safe and natural ways to gain weight.
How Do You Know If You Need To Gain Weight?
If you have a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5, it means you need to gain weight. It is considered to be less than the body mass required for sustaining optimal health.
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BMI: A way to quantify the amount of tissue mass (bone, fat, and muscle) in a person, and then classify them as underweight, normal weight, obese, or overweight.
How To Find Your Body Mass Index
Divide your weight in kilograms by your height squared in centimeters.
If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you have a healthy weight. If it is 25.0 to 29.9, you are overweight. Anything above that is considered obese.
Also remember that males and females have different bmi’s. You can calculate your bmi on calculators available online.
Am I unhealthy if my BMI is below 18.5?
Not necessarily. BMI has its own limitations. It does not consider muscle mass. Some people are naturally skinny but healthy. Having a low BMI does not make you unhealthy automatically.
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Health Risks If You Are Underweight
Just like being overweight and obese can put you at a risk for disease, being underweight can also make you vulnerable to diseases. One research says that being underweight increases your chances of early death.
If you are underweight, your immune system wont be that strong. You will also be more susceptible to seasonal diseases like cold and flu. It can also cause bone problems like osteoporosis and fractures.
Unhealthy and underweight kids are at a risk for inhibited growth and development. They need a lot of nutrient to grow up.
If you are underweight, you might even be anemic because of lack of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 intake. This can cause fatigue and dizziness.
If you are underweight and experiencing problems like hair falls, brittle nails, and pale complexion, you need to gain weight. Lack of nutrients make hair weak, nails more prone to breakage, and complexion dull.
Why Are Some People Skinnier Than Others?
Some people cannot gain weight no matter how much they eat. Others can’t get themselves to eat enough.
Sometimes this is because of genetics. If everyone in your family is thin, you are genetically prone to being thin too. This probably explains why you have a small diet.
If you are very active physically, you are more likely to be lean and underweight. If you work out a lot, play sports very often, or are just generally on the move most of the time, you burn a lot of calories. If you are not supplementing that calorie expenditure with calorie intake, you will struggle to gain weight. In fact a lot of physical activity with a diet lacking in ample calories can actually make you lose weight.
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Underlying medical issues might also explain your weight loss and inability to gain it back. If you do not seem to gain weight even if your diet is normal, consider seeing your doctor.
Psychological issues like stress and depression can also affect your diet which affects your weight. Stress can make you lose your appetite. Negative body image can also distort your version of a healthy body and a healthy diet. Seek out a close family member or friend to talk everything through and calm yourself. If it does not seem to work, consult a medical health profession, preferably a counselor. Always remember that psychological health is as important as your physical health. Seeking health for psychological issue is not something to be ashamed of.
How To Gain Weight – Naturally!!
Gaining weight is not just about mindlessly eating food all the time. First of all, if you had the ability to eat that much, you wouldn’t probably have been thin in the first place (unless you have an underlying medical condition). Secondly, there is no point in eating either junk food or foods with empty calories. If you are underweight, you do not want unhealthy fat. You need muscle mass and healthy fat. Here are somethings you can try:
- Eat More Calories Than You Burn: If you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you will lose weight. As an underweight person, you need to have a calorie surplus i.e. your calorie intake must be more than your calorie expenditure. You can determine your calorie needs using online calorie calculators. Aim to eat 500 calories more than you usually eat a day. You can either do that by increasing the amount of breakfast, lunch and dinner you eat, or adding another meal. Of course, you can have more than 500 excess calories a day. It all depends on your appetite. The more excess calories you eat each day, the faster you will gain weight. Do not shove food down your throat in a bid to increase calorie intake, as it can cause stomach problems and hamper your weight gain process. Additionally, you can use these tools to track your calorie intake:
–MyFitnessPal: An app that lets you see how many calories you need on a day to day basis, based on your weight, food intake, and exercise.
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–FatSecret: Count calories, maintain a food diary, browse healthy recipes and maintain a journal with this app.
- Eat More Protein: The most important nutrient for gaining weight is protein. Muscle is madeup of protein. If your diet does not have enough protein, your excessive calories might get converted to fat. As someone aiming to gain healthy weight, this is not what you want. Go for 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. But make sure you do not go overboard with protein intake as this can cause health problems. Yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, eggs, whey protein, steak, ground beef, chicken breast, salmon, tuna, sardine, peanut butter, mixed nuts, and green peas are some examples of high protein foods.
- Supplement with Energy Dense Food: Energy dense foods have a high amount of calorie per bite. This mean even a small serving will give you a lot of calories. Munch on nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc through out the day. Include dried fruits like raisin and dates in your diet. Drizzle your food with healthy oils like olive oil. Include mashed potatoes and baked sweet
potato fries as well.
- Exercise: Exercising isn’t just for people trying to lose weight. Every person aiming for a healthy lifestyle should be involved in some kind of physical activity like gyming, swimming, cycling, etc. Lifting weight is a good idea to ensure your calories become muscle, not fat. Exercise under a trained professional to make sure you are doing it right. Cardio is also a great idea but do not go overboard or else you will end up losing weight. If you think you have some medical issues that might prevent you from exercising, consult your doctor before engaging in any.
- GOMAD: GOMAD stands for Gallon Of Milk A Day. It is about having a gallon of milk everyday till you reach your goal weight. It can help you gain upto 25lbs of weight in 25 days.
If you struggle with eating, GOMAD is ideal for you. It is not only convenient, but also cheap compared to other ways of gaining weight. 1 gallon is around 4 litres.
GOMAD wont just help you gain weight, but it also has other benefits. You will gain strength because of the fat and protein content. GOMAD will give you permanent gains. You wont go back to being skinny anytime soon, unless you get lazy with your diet and reduce calorie intake.
GOMAD is also a natural way to gain weight. It is better than artificial protein shakes that are harmful for the body.
GOMAD works because it has 2400 calories. Each day you will be getting 2400 calories in excess of your normal calorie intake. That is around 500 calories every 3 hours. 1 gallon of milk has around 120g of protein. As stated above, protein is an important component of weight gain program. You will also get more saturated fats, which are healthy.
GOMAD is perfect safe. What do babies feed on all day, anyway?! Moreover, you will not be doing GOMAD for your whole life. You will just have to do it for a month.
Go for full fat or full cream milk. If you are lactose intolerant, especially if you are Asian, take lactase pills.
To do GOMAD you must be consistent. Dont miss days in between. If you think a gallon is too much, start by drinking 1 litre a day. and add another litre every week. Spread your intake through out the day. Drink 1 litre with your breakfast, 1 each with your lunch and dinner, and 1 after your work out. Do not skip food as this will beat the whole purpose of excess calories. Do exercise, especially squats. This will help with muscle building. Exercising also increases appetite. Track your progress every weak to maintain a log of your weight gain. Track your calories. For a quick weight gain, you need 5000 calories a day. If you are doing GOMAD, but eating poorly, you wont be reaching your calorie level.
Avoid the common GOMAD mistakes like not drinking a gallon each day, not doing it consistently, and not drinking whole milk. Skim milk or low fat milk will not fulifl your purpose. If you give up on GOMAD along the way, and go for alternatives like soy milk, peanut butter, etc just remember it wont work as well. This is because its easier to eat liquid in large amount than to eat something like peanut butter. Soy milk has calories and it isnt advisable to drink a lot of it. GOMAD has side affects like bloating, diarrhea, and sleepiness. Don’t worry, these will go away with time and the end result is so worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize! Avoid making excuses for your failure and inability to do GOMAD. If there is a financial problem, try and earn some more. Get a part time job. Give tutions. If you found it hard the first day, and gave it up, persist. If you think you cant do it, think again. Others have done it too, so can you.
Other Tips To Gain Weight Naturally
Here are some more tips to help you gain weight naturally:
- Do not drink water before your meals. It will decrease your appetite and make you feel full even before you have started.
- Eat More Often: Add more meals to your day.
- Try Weight Gainer Shakes: But only the natural, safe ones.
- Quit smoking: smoking can curb your appetite.
- Get quality sleep: Make sure you are getting ample sleep. Lack of sleeping can make you feel tired and sick.
Here are some quick and easy recipes you can try:
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Wash the potatoes well. Pierce the potato with a fork or knife. Brush oil over the potato. Sprinkle some salt over it. Bake for 90 minutes, turning in between. Enjoy it with melted cheese for additional calories.
2. Mango Milk Shake
Wash the mango. Peel and dice it. Take some dates and deseed them. Put both of them in a blender along with a glass of milk. Blend and enjoy.
3. Egg Sandwich
Boil 2 eggs. Take off the shell. Mash the eggs. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Spread them over a bread slice. Place some spinach leaves on top. Place a cheese slice on the top.
4. Loaded Omelette
Whisk two eggs. Add chopped veggies like green onion, tomato, onions, green chilies, and wilted spinach. Add spices like cayenne paper for taste. Heat some olive oil. Pour the egg mixture. When it’s half way done, add some cheese. Eat with grainy bread t
There are many more recipes available online. It’s a good idea to do meal preps a weak in advance so that you will not run out of food in the middle of the week. Prepare a weekly or monthly shopping list and buy your grocery in advance. Planning is crucial when it comes to any goal.
They key to healthy gain weight is determination, consistency, and positive outlook. No matter how many years you have been struggling with weight gain, you will achieve it if you remain determined. The good thing is that you havent given up. Consistency is also very important. Eating 5000 calories one day and 500 the other will not help your case. You should also remain positive through out. Do not feel like the unlucky one who can’t gain weight. Be positive that you know what your goals are and you are working towards achieving them. If you do all of this, you will gain weight naturally in the near future.
Got some healthy and natural weight gain tips that worked for you or someone you know? Post it below!