Weight is an issue everyone struggles within their own way. There’s a massive amount of conversation online surrounding the negative impact of being overweight, but there’s an under-representation for those of us who struggle to put weight on. Being underweight carries underlying health risks and complications, but is, unfortunately, a body type which isn’t considered to be unhealthy — if anything, it’s encouraged, despite the very real health risks that come with it. A person is underweight if their body mass index (BMI) is below 18.5, which is less than the required mass of a healthy body. Being underweight exposes us to fluctuating blood pressure, osteoporosis, increased risk of various infections, a damaged immune system, and may even contribute to fertility issues and an irregular cycle. Gaining weight can be as challenging as losing it — these tips might come in handy though!
1. Have A Meal Every Four Hours
Much like an engine that needs fuel to work, your body requires necessary nutrition to function properly. Naturally underweight women often cite accidentally skipping meals as a reason for their inability to put on weight — but this can lead to several health problems. Increasing portion sizes at meals may be a challenge for you, so instead, you can increase the number of meals you have per day. Try eating a small meal after every three to four hours.
2. Avoid Drinking Water Before Meals
Drinking lots of water is an essential part of a healthy diet, but drinking water (or fluid) before a meal can significantly reduce your appetite. It’s better to sip on your drink during a meal, or some experts say to put it off entirely until thirty minutes after you have eaten.
3. Consume More Calories Than You Burn
Creating a caloric surplus is one way to gain weight. This means you need to consume more calories than your body burns in a day. You can use a calorie calculator to count your daily intake and adjust accordingly. A target of 300–500 is the most suitable, but it’s better to set a goal with the consultation of a nutritionist. In any case, make sure you burn less than you consume.
4. Have A Protein Rich Diet
If you’re striving to put on some pounds – increase your nutrient intake, especially with added protein. It is the most important nutrient for healthy weight gain. Protein helps in building muscle. Increase your intake of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
5. Go For Liquids
If you’re unable to eat huge quantities of food, then liquids may be a better option for you. Liquids aren’t as filling as solid food, but can still manage to pack in twice the amount of calories if done right. Make yourself three smoothies a day filled with peanut butter, different fruits, and even vegetables hidden in there. Fat rich milk like coconut milk can also go a long way in bridging the gap between how many calories you need to consume in a day.
6. Lift Heavy Weights To Strengthen Your Muscles
While consuming the excess calories, you’ll find yourself with more energy than usual — which is a great thing! Put it to use and build your muscle tone at the same time. Strength training such as lifting weights can do wonders for you. Start by lifting 2–4 times per week, and gradually increase the weights and volume over time. Exercising can also help stimulate your appetite!