Healthy weight gain is extremely important. Underweight people feel embarrassed about their bodies just like overweight or obese people do. Your weight may change throughout your life because of poor diet, stress, or diseases. However, some people are just born this way and then suffer from it for the rest of their lives.
Statistically speaking, overweight people usually prevail over underweight people. Thereby making the underweight problem less important and discussed in society, hence the lack of information on how to gain weight healthily. What to do?
To determine whether you’re underweight or not, check out your body mass index or BMI with the help of a special calculator. If the number you get is below 18.5, then you’re underweight. However, even if your BMI is normal (18.5-25), you might still want to gain weight due to some goals.
Where to start to gain weight healthily?
Once you’ve found out your BMI, it’s recommended to go to the doctor, contact a dietician or get a consultation with a nutritionist. You may even ask your fitness trainer to help you overcome this problem. Please, don’t neglect your health. It’s better go to the doctor to prevent any unpleasant consequences of self-treatment.
However, if you don’t trust the doctors or don’t have enough money to get a consultation, use a macro calculator to learn what you need to eat daily. Simply indicate your age, gender, height, weight, physical activity, and goal. The calculator then processes your information and shows you how much calories, carbs, protein, and fats you should eat for healthy weight gain.
The main rule of losing weight is to cut calorie intake, while the main rule of gaining it is to eat more calories than you spend. With this in mind, you’re almost equipped for the journey of successful and, most importantly, healthy weight gaining!
After that, find a mentor or just a person who motivates you to make at least smaller steps towards your goal each day. You can also start a diet journal where you will put down everything you eat in a day. Yep, it’s hard but that’s the price you pay for the body of your dreams.
Another important factor in order to better and quicker weight gain is exercising. Start with something small like walking, jogging, or cycling. Another option is to buy yourself gym membership and establish a sports routine. Physical exercise is a catalyst for your weight gaining.
Forget about cardio, fall in love with strength training instead. Strength exercises like lifting weights, resistance with bands, squats, push-ups, press, bench, and others trigger muscle growth.
What foods have the highest nutritional value for healthy weight gain?
Now, let’s talk about food since your diet is the key to success. What you eat today impacts how you will look in a few months. Thus, pay attention to healthy recipes that are not only rich in calories but also good for your health.
For example, if you’ve never tried smoothies before, it’s time to check them out. Smoothies are easy to make, store, and drink. You can put practically anything you want in a blender then get a nice-smelling and tasty dish in a few moments.
Smoothies can be good source of carbs and essential antioxidants since you add many fruits, veggies, and berries. Besides, if you add spinach, your smoothie will transform into a fiber-rich monster that’ll fill your stomach and give your energy for the whole day.
A good alternative to smoothies is protein shakes. For the record, you can also add protein to smoothies. Protein shakes are usually made of liquids such as milk or water and protein powder. Get creative and add some powdered nuts for extra fats. Use almond, peanut, or other types of nut butter to increase calories amount.
You can try having healthy snacks if you prepare them beforehand. For example, cut one carrot into medium slices and grab a pack of hummus. This way, you’ll get healthy carbs from a carrot and fats from your hummus. Another option is to make healthy bites from dates, coconut flakes, powdered or chopped nuts, bananas, and chia seeds.
Instead of buying potato chips, opt for vegetable or fruit chips. Try to substitute chocolate and candies with dried fruit and nuts. You can treat yourself with your favorite sweets but do it no more than once or twice a week. We’re not here to wind up later with diabetes.
Eat more protein foods. Protein is a building block of our muscles that will help you grow muscles, but not fat. Thus, when you eat enough protein, and regularly exercise, you’ll see the results faster. Protein-rich foods are meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Yogurt is also a big source of protein. Top up your favorite healthy yogurt with peanut butter, jam, or honey in order to make it more delicious. Add yogurt to your cereal or granola so you can eat it more often. However, be careful with milk-based yogurt if you’re not tolerant of lactose. Otherwise, it causes acne, problems with digestion, and other allergic reactions.
Dietary supplements and what they do.
The first dietary supplement that comes to mind is a leader on the supplement market. We’re talking about protein powder. This supplement is especially popular among gym-goers, athletes, and bodybuilders because it helps you gain mass faster.
Another supplement is creatine. It works similarly to protein, i.e. enhances muscle protein synthesis and reduces muscle protein breakdown. Other benefits of creatine are energy production and improved exercise performance.
Other supplements for weight gain are exercise-enhancing supplements, for example, Beta-Alanine, HMB, Citrulline, Nitrate, etc. However, you should be careful with these weight-gaining supplements since your muscles stop growing and become smaller when you stop taking these things.
This is why junk food is not an option.
Do you want to jump from underweight to overweight in a few years? I guess, not. That is why stop considering junk food as the fastest and most desirable way to gain weight. Instead of healthy calories, carbs, and fats, you put saturated fats, toxins, and carcinogens inside of your body.
I know how much you love McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, and Taco Bell. No one can stop you from going there and ordering your favorite chicken nuggets or cheeseburger. But, please, don’t make any of these places your first place to go when you’re hungry, okay?
Obesity rates in the US are frightening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is around 40-45% of obese people prevalence in the States. In the UK, 60% of adults suffer from overweight and obesity. These numbers grow year. Junk food is cheap, delicious, and quick in terms of cooking. But, the risks of heart diseases, cancer cell growth, and diabetes are higher among obese people compared to underweight people.
Some tips and tricks to hack healthy weight-gain.
- First and foremost, forget about drinking water before your meals. Your stomach gets full of water and you’ll eat less than you would’ve if you didn’t drink it. It’s better to drink it afterwards.
- Secondly, have a five-meal eating routine. What does it mean? You eat 5-6 times a day instead of 1 or 3. You’re likely to eat less during one meal but you’ll eat more often. In the evening, have a snack one or two hours before you go to sleep.
- Always top up your meals with nuts, berries, or seeds. Add nuts to your salads. It’s delicious. You can also add raspberry to make a salad more tasteful. Seeds and herbs can garnish your spaghetti or soups so feel free to sprinkle some on top. And, of course, add maple syrup, honey, or your favorite jam to pancakes, homemade ice-cream, smoothies, and healthy cakes.
- In the gym, try to work with a bigger weight than you did last time. Do it regularly, otherwise, your results will plateau. Don’t forget to give your muscles time to recover. Use protein powder to help them recover faster.
- Psychological barriers are also pretty common among weight-gainers. If you lost too much weight because of stress, it’d be great to deal with it first. Visit a therapist or go to some group sessions for people with similar problems. Dig deeper and release the stress. Go for your goals with a clear head and this way you’ll get maximum gains.
If you’re underweight and thinking about ways to deal with this problem through healthy weight gain, follow these simple steps:
- Check out your BMI with a calculator.
- If it’s below normal, get a consultation with a doctor.
- If you’re on a budget, use a macro calculator to know your daily dietary needs.
- Start with nutrition and incorporate smoothies, healthy snacks, and healthy protein supplements to your diet.
- Exercise regularly either at home or in the gym.
- Forget about junk food and dangerous dietary supplements like weight gainers to prevent any health problems.
- Stay positive, smile more, and know that your results are yet to come!