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We define being underweight as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. It’s much more common in women or young girls. It considers a body mass index range between 18.5 and 24.9 as healthy. It’s a body-weight to height relationship. As obesity is a disease, staying underweight isn’t healthier either. If you are under-weighted, I will tell you how to gain weight easily and quickly.
Why am I underweight?
Lets answer this question by outlining the things that are making you not gaining any weight. These factors can be
- High metabolism rate
- If a person has a high metabolism, they may not gain much weight even when eating high-energy foods.
- Several Medical conditions
- Eating disorders
- This includes anorexia nervosa, a serious mental disorder.
- Thyroid problems
- Having an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can boost metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
- Celiac disease
- The most severe form of gluten intolerance. Most people with Celia disease don’t know that they have it.
- Having uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) can lead to severe weight loss.
- Cancerous tumours often burn large amounts of calories and can cause someone to lose a lot of weight.
- Certain infections can cause someone to become severely underweight. This includes parasites, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Health risks associated with under weighted body
- Weighing too little can contribute to a weakened immune system, fragile bones, and feeling tired.
- Malnutrition, Vitamin deficiencies, or anemia.
- Osteoporosis from too little vitamin D and calcium
- Increased risk of complications from surgery
- Fertility issues caused by irregular menstrual cycles
- Growth and development issues, especially in children and teenagers
How to gain weight? let’s see!
- Take More Calories Than Your Body Burns
- Eat Plenty of Protein
- Fill up on Plenty of Carbs and Fat and Eat at Least 3 Times per Day
- Eat Energy-Dense Foods and Use Sauces, Spices and Condiments.
- Lift heavy weights and improve your strength.
- Use bigger plates.
- Get quality sleep.
- Sleeping properly is very important for muscle growth.
- Don’t smoke.
- Smokers weigh less than non-smokers, whereas quitting smoking often leads to weight gain.
Go Hard or Go Home
Foods for quick weight gain
Here are some energy-dense foods perfect for gaining weight:
- Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc.
- Dried fruit
- Raisins, dates, prunes and others.
- High-fat dairy
- Whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cheese, cream
- Fats and oils
- Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
- Homemade Protein Smoothies
- Chocolate, banana, Vanilla berry shake, Chocolate hazelnut shake, Caramel apple shake.
- Milk is being used as a weight-gainer or muscle builder for decades
- It provides a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats and is a good source of calcium, other vitamins and minerals.
- Red meat
- It is probably one of the best muscle-building foods available. For example, steak contains around 3 grams of leucine per 6 ounces (170 grams). Leucine is the key amino acid your body needs to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and add new muscle tissue.
- Breads contain carbohydrates
- They are a good source to help you gain weight.
- Nature loads avocados with healthy fats
- Unlike other whole fruits, avocados are fairly calorie dense and therefore a great food to help you gain weight.
- Healthy Cereal
- They can be an excellent source of carbs, calories, and nutrients
- Avoid processed, high-sugar cereals
- Healthier forms like an oatmeal can be a great carbohydrate source to add to your diet.
- Grain-based cereals and oats
- also contain beneficial nutrients like fibrous diet and healthy antioxidants.
- High-quality dark chocolate provides a ton of antioxidants and health benefits.
- Whole eggs
- Full fat yogurt
- Salmon and oily fish
- Protein supplements
- Peanut butter
Being underweight is a serious health risk because of poor dietary habits, improper lifestyle, and improper personal care. We should maintain our body weight because it is necessary for maintenance of regulatory functions of our body. Under weighted bodies leads towards malnutrition and its side effects, which is fatal. By following a few healthy tips that I wrote for you guys, you can gain weight with no side effects.
Ayesha Ashfaq is a nutritionist by profession and food blogger by passion.