Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health. It is necessary to prevent and control many diseases and conditions. Both overweight and underweight have serious health risks. So, you need to maintain a standard weight. If you have underweight than standard, you should gain weight. We are here with tips and tricks to gain fat in safe and natural ways.
Risks of being underweight
You may know a lot about the health effects of being overweight, but do you know about the effects of being underweight? Check below certain health risks related to being underweight.
- malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, anemia
- osteoporosis for want of little vitamin D and calcium
- decreased immune function
- increased risk for complications from surgery
- fertility issues caused by irregular menstrual cycles
- Surgical complications.
- growth and development issues
However, being overweight is not healthy at all. Obesity can develop serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, and certain cancers.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a standard weight for long and healthy living.
How do you know whether you’re underweight or not?
You can know from your body mass index (BMI). Besides, your doctor will identify if you’re underweight. BMI is the measure of your body fat depending on your height and weight. Being underweight means having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This is evaluated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimal health. On the other hand, over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.
How to gain weight fast and safely
If you wish to add some pounds, eat more calories than your body needs. Make sure you take an additional 3,550 calories to safely gain one pound of body weight. That means you need 500 additional calories a day if you wish to gain a pound a week.
Remember, you must discuss with your doctor before following the weight gain formula as weight gain differs from person to person. A weight gain of about half or one pound in a week is safe according to Jaime Gnau. She is a biomedical science clinical instructor. So, you can follow this formula.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is considered the single most important nutrient for gaining a healthy weight. Muscle is made of protein and without it, the body loses extra calories as body fat. So, you need to keep in mind that protein is a double-edged sword.
Besides, it is great to reduce your hunger and appetite significantly. However, take 0.7–1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight if you want to gain fat by taking high-protein foods such as meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, nuts, and others.
Intake Energy-Dense Foods
Put emphasis on energy-dense foods as much as possible. Check the list below of energy-dense foods that are perfect for gaining weight.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc.
Dried fruit like raisins, dates, and others.
Dairy that is high in fat such as whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cheese
Fats and oils- extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
Grains like oats and brown rice.
Meat- chicken, beef, pork, lamb, etc.
Tubers-potatoes, sweet potatoes
Besides, dark chocolate, coconut milk, and granola.
To increase your weight you need to eat frequently. When you're underweight, make sure you eat five to six smaller meals rather than two or three large meals during the day. Frequent eating of small amounts will help to put on weight as well as keep you healthy.
Take high-calorie fruits and vegetables
You may take fruits and vegetables frequently. But when you are planning to gain weight, you must take a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains to get ample amounts of vitamins and minerals.
-Dates (66 calories per date)
-Raisins (120 calories in 1/4 cup)
-Black beans (220 calories in 1/2 cup)
-Bananas (112 calories per fruit).
Drink your calories
You can intake beverages for example smoothies or protein-packed shakes to add calories to your daily intake.
Check below the high-calorie beverages:
- Smoothies with peanut butter, chia seeds, fruit, yogurt, and whole milk.
- 100% fruit juice which has more calories than whole fruit.
- You can add unsweetened protein powder to drinks, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Avoid Junk Food
Make sure you avoid junk food with added salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. These foods will increase weight but not in the right way. They are always bad for your health whether you are overweight or underweight.
Top Your Soups
You can add on top your soups -cream, yogurt, cheese, and powdered milk: They are great to add calories as well as flavor. You will enjoy it much. Besides, you get something extra delicious and healthy in each bite.
Dress Up Your Salads
Don’t give up nutrition-rich foods-salads from the menu thinking that they are low in calories. of course, you can increase calories in your salad by adding healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado, cheese, nuts, and seeds. Moreover, you can add apples, pears, and berries for a little zip.
Always keep track although it is tough to remember everything you eat from day today. You can follow a food journal that can show you areas you might need to work on. Besides, consult with your dietitian who can make sure that you are getting the right nutrients.
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Drink at the Right Time
Remember, drinking anything before taking a meal can minimize your hunger. So, make sure you don't drink water or others drink before taking meals. If you need to take it, wait 30 minutes afterward to have a beverage. You can follow various approaches. It would be better if you track them in your food journal.
Exercise to Build Muscle
Exercise offers huge health benefits besides helping weight loss. Some exercises like yoga, push-ups, pull-ups, weight training, and other activities can help you add weight. They burn calories as well as make you hungrier to eat more. You can talk to your doctor about the exercise for weight gain if you experience difficulty in breathing.
Like obesity, underweight health conditions can pose a health threat to you. Being underweight creates diseases including malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, etc. Therefore, if you are underweight you need to consult a dietitian and follow the necessary steps to reach a standard weight level. So far, we have discussed some effective ways to gain weight in natural and safe ways. Hope it Helps!
Source: United News of Bangladesh