Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight


Last Updated June 14th, 2019

What does being underweight indicate?

You hear transformational documentaries of people who suffer from overweight or obesity at least once in a lifetime. But have you ever heard a testimonial of weight gain? Well, there are people who undergo the opposite problem of being skinny too. Several health-related pieces of research have brought to the limelight that being underweight comes with its own deteriorating health consequences.

This article gives you an idea of how to gain weight healthily and balance your healthy regime in the long run. Gaining weight may seem like putting on kilograms of weight and a big fat belly to a common man. But that isn’t it, a healthy weight gain comprises of adding muscle and maintaining a proportional body mass index (BMI).

The correct definition of being underweight

Underweight is described as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This BMI is estimated to be less than the essential body mass needed to maintain optimal health. There are conditions were skinny people do have good health, but are still categorized as underweight. Though obesity has been deemed as one of the world’s biggest health problems, conditions related to underweight can also be a major health concern.

It leads to impairment in your immune function, increases your risk of infections, can cause osteoporosis (a condition with decreased bone density) and fractures, and fertility problems. In severe conditions of underweight, it can make people more prone to develop sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of aging), dementia, and increases the risk of early death.

Conditions That Cause Someone To Become Underweight

There are several health conditions that can lead to underweight and weight loss. They include:

  • Disorders related to eating: Disorders such as anorexia can be regarded as a major eating disorder with several health concerns. This causes the affected individual to lose appetite for food and pave a way for weight loss leading to underweight.
  • Thyroid related problems: People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) have a boosted metabolism. This boost in metabolism can cause unhealthy weight loss.
  • Celiac disease: It is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an immune reaction that is caused by the consumption of gluten. Most people with celiac disease don’t know that they have it. The symptoms associated with it include diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, cramping, folic acid deficiency, and in some cases weight loss.
  • Diabetes: People with uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) tend to have severe weight loss.
  • Cancer: Cancer is one among the deadliest tumors that often burn large amounts of calories and cause the affected individual to lose weight
  • Infections: Infections caused by parasites, and certain disease conditions such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS can cause the affected individual to become severely underweight.

The Perfect Guide To Gain Weight – The Healthy Way

If you feel that you are one in the list of underweight people then it’s high time you build up your muscles in the right way. Drinking soda and junk may help you gain weight but not the healthy way. The healthy way to gain weight is a combination of gaining a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than just unhealthy belly fat. The healthy way to gain weight can kick start from the food that you eat.

Eating Healthy

Homemade Protein Smoothies

A delicious drink of homemade protein smoothies can be a nutritious way to gain the essential muscle mass. Making your own smoothie at home is the best way to rule out sugar and anti-nutrients that can be present in commercial smoothies. You are also blessed with the tendency to control your flavor and nutrient content. Here are a few tasty variants for a healthy weight gain. Each of these variants can be combined with 470 ml of milk or almond milk.

  • Chocolate banana nut shake: Combine one banana, one scoop of chocolate whey protein and one tablespoon (15 ml) of peanut or nut butter.
  • Vanilla berry shake: Combine one cup (237 ml) of fresh or frozen mixed berries, ice, high-protein natural yogurt one cup (237 ml), and one scoop of vanilla whey protein.
  • Chocolate hazelnut shakes: Combine fifteen ounces (444 ml) of chocolate milk along with one scoop of chocolate whey protein, one tablespoon (15 ml) of hazelnut butter, and one avocado.
  • Caramel apple shake: Combine one sliced apple, one cup (237 ml) of natural yogurt, one scoop of caramel- or vanilla-flavored whey protein, and one tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar-free caramel sauce or flavoring.
  • Vanilla blueberry shake: Combine one cup (237 ml) of fresh or frozen blueberries, one scoop of vanilla whey protein, one cup (237 ml) of vanilla yogurt, and sweetener if needed.
  • Super green shake: Combine one cup (237 ml) of spinach, one avocado, one banana, one cup (237 ml) of pineapple, and one scoop of unflavored or vanilla whey protein.

The smoothies mentioned above account to 400 to 600 calories on the whole.

Milk: Milk has found a place as a weight gainer or muscle builder for decades in the health industry. It doesn’t just help you gain muscle mass but also provides you with nutrients such as proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbs, and fats. The consumption of milk along with weight lifting helps you add muscles.

Rice: Rice is a convenient source of low-cost carbs that help you gain weight. It is also categorized as a fairly calorie-dense food which helps you gain high calories and carbs in just a single serving. It increases appetite and helps you consume more food. Rice combined with other protein sources are an excellent way to gain weight.

Nuts and nut butter: These two are one among the perfect choices if you’re on the road to weight gain. They are an avid hub of proteins and healthy fats. Nuts and nut butter can be added to a variety of snacks. They are also a go-to food for smoothies, yogurts, and many more. However, care should be taken not to purchase nut butter with added sugars or extra oils.

Red meats: These meats are one of the best go-to foods for muscle-building. They are also deemed as one of the best natural sources of dietary creatine. Creatine is a very popular substance that plays a vital role in increasing muscle mass, boosting strength, and enhancing physical activity. It would be a good choice to consume fattier cuts as they provide more calories when compared to leaner meat. Both lean and fatty portions of meat provide protein and calories and also help build muscle and gain weight.

Potatoes and starchy foods: Starchy foods and potatoes are great sources of carbohydrates and are one of the most cost-effective ways that help in weight gain. The healthy sources of carbs include oats, corn, potatoes, squash, beans, and legumes. Apart from providing calories and added carbs they also help increase your muscle glycogen storage. They also provide you with important nutrients and fibers that contribute to gut health.

Oily fish and salmon: As well aware, seafood are amazing sources of proteins and oily fish and salmon are no exception. They contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that play a significant role in major parts of the body. They offer numerous benefits for overall health and act as a barrier against diseases.

Whole grain bread: Whole grain bread is one of the good carbs that help you gain weight. Its making is simple and can be added to a well-balanced diet with protein sources such as eggs, meats, and cheese. The nutrient present in the whole grain bread and protein sources combine together to build muscle mass.

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Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants and nurtures a ton of health benefits. It is the most delicious and easiest way to get very high-calorie density into your system. The nutritional fact of dark chocolate proves that each 100-gram bar contains around 600 calories and is packed with micronutrients and health-promoting compounds, including fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants.

Cheese: Cheese has been a staple food in some diets for centuries. It is high in calories and fats, eaten in large quantities it can be one of the good sources of protein. It is a feast to your taste buds and can be incorporated in most of the dishes.

Whole eggs: Eggs are one of the most sort protein-rich food sources. They are one of the healthiest muscle-building foods that provide healthy fats and high-quality proteins. The egg, when eaten, on the whole, could help provide several nutrients to the body. The yolk is the major part of the egg that contains beneficial nutrients. It is one of the staple constituents for bodybuilders and athletes.

Full-fat yogurt: It is a convenient and healthy snack that helps you build your weak muscles. It portrays a great nutritional profile with a combination of a well-balanced mixture of protein, fats, and carbs. The internet is loaded with a lot many recipes with full-fat yogurt that are both nutritious and muscle-building.

Consume more calories than your body burns

The thought of gaining weight is always focused on getting your calorie intake to a higher amount. It is important to create a calorie surplus which makes you eat more calories than your body requires. Make sure to increase your calories intake gradually and steadily.

Try eating thrice a day

When you are in need to gain weight then it is essential that you load your plate with healthy fats and plenty of carbs. Always make sure that you have three meals in a day and try adding healthy snacks like smoothies and nuts whenever possible. Avoid intermittent fasting (an eating style where you eat within a specific time period and fast the rest of the time) as it helps with weight loss and not weight gain. Be sure to stock your body at regular intervals with carbs and fats in a healthy way.

Try adding sauces, spices, and condiments

Though its nutritional value is not so significant to weight gain, it still has its own role to play in making your food delicious. The tastier the food, the more you would like to have. It is always good to add single ingredients to your food as they help balance the flavor and aroma.

An active schedule of cardio

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, likewise consuming weight gain foods along with a proper workout schedule help gain the healthy weight you need. This exercise performance helps the excess calories to go to your muscles rather than your fat cells.

Finally Thoughts On Weight Gain

Weight gain is essential for people who are underweight. Healthy weight gain in underweight people helps them to eradicate adverse reactions associated with underweight. Few strategies that help in healthy weight gain include eating frequently, avoid drinking water before meals, try increasing the intake of whole milk, try eating in bigger plates to make you psychological prepared for a big meal, avoid smoking, and last but not the least have a proper quality sleep.

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