7 tips to gain healthy weight Safely and Naturally If You Are Underweight

Are you struggling to put on some pounds? Do you feel like you are too skinny for your height and age? If so, you are not alone.

Many people around the world are underweight, which means their body mass index (BMI) is below 18.5. Being underweight can have negative effects on your health, such as increased risk of infections, osteoporosis, infertility, and poor wound healing.

That’s why it’s important to gain weight in a healthy and natural way, without resorting to junk food or supplements.

In this article, we will share with you some tips and tricks on how to gain weight safely and naturally if you are underweight. We will also explain the causes and consequences of being underweight, and how to determine your ideal weight range.

By following these guidelines, you will be able to achieve a balanced and nutritious diet that will help you gain weight and improve your overall health and well-being.

What Causes Underweight?

There are many possible causes of being underweight, such as:

  • Genetics: Some people are naturally thin and have a fast metabolism that burns calories quickly. This can make it hard for them to gain weight, even if they eat a lot.
  • Medical conditions: Certain diseases or disorders can affect your appetite, digestion, absorption, or metabolism, and cause weight loss or difficulty gaining weight. These include thyroid problems, diabetes, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, infections, and eating disorders.
  • Medications: Some drugs can reduce your appetite, increase your metabolism, or cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, which can lead to weight loss or difficulty gaining weight. These include antibiotics, antidepressants, stimulants, and chemotherapy.
  • Stress: Stress can affect your hormones, appetite, and mood, and make you lose weight or have trouble gaining weight. Stress can also cause digestive problems, such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, or gastritis, which can interfere with your nutrient absorption and weight gain.
  • Lifestyle factors: Some habits or choices can prevent you from gaining weight, such as skipping meals, not eating enough, being physically active, smoking, drinking alcohol, or drinking too much caffeine.

What Are the Consequences of Being Underweight?

Being underweight can have serious consequences on your health, such as:

  • Weakened immune system:

Being underweight can make you more prone to infections, as your body lacks the energy and nutrients to fight off germs and viruses. This can also delay your recovery from illnesses and injuries.

  • Osteoporosis:

Being underweight can reduce your bone density and increase your risk of fractures and osteoporosis, especially as you age. This is because your body needs enough calcium and vitamin D to maintain strong bones, and being underweight can impair your absorption and utilization of these nutrients.

  • Infertility:

Being underweight can affect your reproductive system and hormones, and cause irregular periods, amenorrhea (absence of periods), or infertility in women.

In men, being underweight can lower their testosterone levels and sperm quality, and cause erectile dysfunction or infertility.

  • Anaemia:

Being underweight can cause anaemia, which is a condition where your blood has a low number of red blood cells or haemoglobin. This can make you feel tired, weak, dizzy, or short of breath, as your blood cannot carry enough oxygen to your organs and tissues.

  • Hair loss:

Being underweight can cause hair loss, as your hair follicles need enough protein, iron, zinc, and biotin to grow and maintain healthy hair. Being underweight can also cause dry, brittle, or dull hair, as your scalp lacks the moisture and oils to nourish your hair.

How to Determine Your Ideal Weight Range?

One way to determine your ideal weight range is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height.

You can use this online BMI calculator to find out your BMI and see if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the normal BMI range for adults is between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI is below 18.5, you are considered underweight and may need to gain some weight. If your BMI is above 25, you are considered overweight or obese and may need to lose some weight.

However, BMI is not a perfect indicator of your health, as it does not take into account your muscle mass, body fat percentage, bone structure, or age.

Therefore, you should also consult your doctor or a nutritionist to determine your ideal weight range based on your individual factors and goals.

How to Gain Weight Safely and Naturally If You Are Underweight?

Being underweight can have negative effects on your health, such as increased risk of infections, osteoporosis, fertility problems, and fatigue.

If you are underweight, you may want to gain some weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Here are 7 tips to help you achieve that goal.

1. Eat more calories than you burn

The most basic principle of weight gain is to eat more calories than you burn. To do that, you need to track your calorie intake and expenditure.

You can use online calculators or apps to estimate your daily calorie needs based on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.

Then, you need to add about 300 to 500 calories to that number to create a calorie surplus. For example, if your maintenance calories are 2000, you should aim for 2300 to 2500 calories per day to gain weight.

2. Choose nutrient-dense foods

Not all calories are created equal. Some foods are more nutritious and beneficial for your health than others.

When you are trying to gain weight, you should choose foods that are high in calories, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some examples of nutrient-dense foods are:

  • Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds
  • Dried fruits, such as dates, figs, apricots, and raisins
  • Avocados, olives, and coconut
  • Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines
  • Eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk
  • Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and pork
  • Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soy
  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes
  • Fruits, such as bananas, apples, oranges, berries, and mangoes

3. Eat more frequently and don’t skip meals

One of the reasons why you may be underweight is that you have a low appetite or a fast metabolism. To overcome this, you need to eat more frequently and don’t skip meals.

Aim for at least three main meals and two to three snacks per day. Try to eat every three to four hours and don’t go longer than six hours without eating. This will help you increase your calorie intake and prevent muscle loss.

Some examples of healthy snacks are:

  • A handful of nuts and dried fruits
  • A slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and honey
  • A cup of yogurt with granola and berries
  • A smoothie with milk, banana, and protein powder
  • A hard-boiled egg and a cheese stick

4. Drink high-calorie beverages

Another way to boost your calorie intake is to drink high-calorie beverages. Water is essential for your health, but it doesn’t provide any calories. Instead of drinking water, you can drink beverages that are rich in calories, protein, and healthy fats, such as:

  • Milk, soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk
  • Fruit juices, such as orange juice, apple juice, or grape juice
  • Smoothies, such as strawberry-banana smoothie, mango-pineapple smoothie, or chocolate-peanut butter smoothie
  • Protein shakes, such as whey protein, casein protein, or plant-based protein
  • Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with milk and sugar

However, you should avoid drinking beverages that are high in calories but low in nutrients, such as soda, energy drinks, alcohol, and sugary drinks. These drinks can harm your health and cause unwanted fat gain.

5. Lift weights and do resistance training

Eating more calories is not enough to gain healthy weight. You also need to exercise, especially lift weights and do resistance training. This will help you build muscle mass and strength, which will improve your appearance, health, and performance.

Muscle is more dense and heavier than fat, so you will gain weight without looking bulky or flabby.

Some tips for lifting weights and doing resistance training are:

  • Start with a beginner program that covers all the major muscle groups, such as chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and core
  • Do three to four sessions per week, with at least one day of rest between sessions
  • Do eight to 12 repetitions per set, with two to three sets per exercise
  • Increase the weight, intensity, or volume gradually as you get stronger and more experienced
  • Use proper form and technique to avoid injuries and maximize results
  • Eat a high-protein snack or meal within an hour after your workout to enhance muscle recovery and growth

6. Get enough sleep and rest

Sleep and rest are crucial for your health and weight gain. When you sleep, your body repairs and grows your muscles, hormones, and immune system.

When you rest, you reduce stress and inflammation, which can interfere with your appetite and metabolism. To get enough sleep and rest, you should:

  • Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night
  • Follow a regular sleep schedule and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and screens before bed
  • Create a comfortable and dark sleeping environment
  • Take naps during the day if you feel tired or sleepy
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them

7. Be patient and consistent

Gaining weight is not a quick or easy process. It takes time, effort, and consistency. You may not see noticeable changes in your weight or body composition for weeks or months.

You may also experience plateaus, setbacks, or fluctuations in your progress. Don’t let these discourage you or make you give up. Instead, be patient and consistent with your diet and exercise plan.

Track your weight, measurements, and performance regularly, but don’t obsess over them. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they are.

Seek support from your friends, family, or professionals if you need it. Remember that you are doing this for your health and happiness, and that you are worth it.

Conclusion

Being underweight can have negative effects on your health, but you can gain healthy weight by following these 7 tips:

  • Eat more calories than you burn
  • Choose nutrient-dense foods
  • Eat more frequently and don’t skip meals
  • Drink high-calorie beverages
  • Lift weights and do resistance training
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Be patient and consistent

By applying these tips, you will be able to increase your weight, muscle mass, and strength, while improving your health, appearance, and confidence.

You will also be able to enjoy food and life more, without feeling guilty or deprived. Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and that you can always reach out to me for more help or advice.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you for reading and good luck with your weight gain goals.

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