You often see articles, programs, camps, and medications encouraging you to lose weight, but you rarely see any encouraging weight gain for people who need it.
Being too skinny is as rough as being obese, and it is not any easier to gain weight than to lose weight. Being underweight is unhealthy because your body lacks essential nutrients, and you become prone to anemia, decreased immune function and possible fertility problems. In light of this, we decided to help you gain the right amount of weight while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. Know the Reason Why
In order to solve the problem, one needs to identify it first. If you are a person who is naturally skinny, the reason could be your genes or high metabolism, but don’t freak out -there are multiple solutions.
If your weight loss is sudden, then it might be a reaction to certain diseases by extreme weight loss, so you need to check with your doctor to know whether there are any physical reasons behind it such as enzyme deficiencies, diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Other reasons might be being on certain medications, having bad eating habits, psychological dysfunctionalities or stress.
2. Add More Calories to Your Diet
Your body gaining or losing weight is determined by the amount of calories you eat versus the amount of calories you actually need. You can check out the amount of calories you need to consume daily by using calorie calculator websites or apps. The results can be customized based on your gender, height, level of exercise and the target weight. Keep in mind that these calculators only give estimates.
You don’t need to follow a calorie calculator for eternity; just use it for a few days or weeks to get a feel of the amount of calories you are consuming.
Add cheese, olive oil and eggs to your daily menu. Replace your skimmed milk in coffee with whole milk. Snack on nuts, corn, potatoes and dried fruit rather than candy bars or chips.
Eat from different food groups all at once, because every food group has a certain nutrient that your body needs.
3. Eat More Frequently
One main reason why skinny people feel full earlier than others is that they have tiny stomach capacities. So instead of fighting your stomach capacity, it is easier and better to increase the number of meals you eat daily and go for snacks in between meals. Go for five or six small meals per day instead of three large ones and try to have a maximum gap of four hours before your next meal. Having more meals per day gives your body the chance to adapt to that change, so you’ll prevent your body from having any negative consequences -such as a surprise acne outbreak, high cholesterol, high blood sugar or any allergic reactions.
Instead of having a huge plate full of low calorie food, replace that with high calorie food while still maintaining small portions.
4. Don’t Skip Dinner
Our bodies exert so much effort during sleep to regenerate, heal and repair, so instead of giving your body access to your stored calories, enjoy one last meal before sleep. Eat one small protein-rich meal that wouldn’t make you feel stuffed; go for a tuna pasta salad or chopped grilled chicken with veggies.
5. Drink More Fluids
Drink beverages that are high in calories, such as smoothies or healthy shakes, in between meals and snacks. Add flavors that are both healthy and tasty to your coffee such as cinnamon or vanilla. Drinking throughout the day helps increase your calorie intake while still having capacity to eat enough food. Make sure that you don’t drink any beverages shortly before any meal to avoid filling up on drinks right before mealtime.
6. Adjust Your Exercise Routine
Yes, exercise! Many people have a misconception that playing sports is only associated with losing weight, which is incorrect. When trying to gain weight, you are trying to gain muscle weight as well. Focus on strength training such as weightlifting or yoga rather than aerobics or stretches, because the latter focuses more on burning calories rather than building muscles.
7. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Wanting to gain weight doesn’t give you a free pass to follow an unhealthy lifestyle. Don’t eat junk food in hopes of gaining weight fast. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy and nutritious meal. Get enough sleep to support muscle growth, and avoid smoking, because tobacco suppresses your appetite, which leads to weight loss rather than maintaining or gaining weight.
8. Be Consistent
Know that it will take time to reach your goal because change doesn’t happen overnight. Try to be as patient as you can. Track your weekly progress in a journal while wearing the same outfit at the same time of day to see whether you made progress or not.
At first, your body will try to resist because it takes time for the human body to adapt to change, but it’s important to be consistent even if no results show right away.