Nowadays, a large portion of the world’s population is struggling to tackle the problem of being overweight or obese. With this problem comes diet fads and trends rising quickly for fitness nuts to achieve that lean body that most health standards require.
However, there’s another percentage of the population that is suffering from weight problems, except the other way around. These people are those who are underweight or being overly skinny. Although having a lean body is a good thing, being too thin can have a negative impact as being obese does. Here we dig into solutions of gaining weight but in a safe manner.
What does it mean to be underweight?
When a person is underweight, the body mass index is under 18.5, which is below the normal level to be considered healthy. Some skinny people can still be healthy. However, there are also others who are not.
Some data also shows that the problem of being underweight is seen in a lot of women or girls than men. About 2.5% of American women who are below 20 years younger are underweight, and only 1% are men.
What happens to your health when you are underweight?
Although most of the focus on weight problems in the world right now is obesity, being underweight can also be damaging to the health. Some studies have shown that underweight is significantly linked to deaths in men and women.
Why? It is because being below your normal weight levels can weaken your immune system. Not only that, your risk of getting infections is high and you can also be prone to bone fractures and fertility problems.
What are the common causes of being underweight?
There are several reasons why a person can become underweight. These reasons are mostly because of certain medical conditions. They include:
- When a person suffers from eating problems
- When a person is suffering from diabetes
While diabetes can be a result of weight gain, having an uncontrolled one can often lead to extreme loss of weight.
- When a person has cancer
Generally, tumors from cancers can burn massive levels of calories. As a result, too much calorie that is burnt than taken in leads to an unhealthy weight loss.
- When a person has thyroid problems
A person with a thyroid that is overactive or is suffering from hyperthyroidism can speed up metabolism at abnormal rates. When this happens, weight is also quickly lost.
- When a person is suffering from celiac disease
A kind of severe gluten intolerance, having this disease can also lead to extreme weight loss.
- When a person is suffering from serious infections
Severe infections in the body like tuberculosis, parasites, and HIV or AIDS viruses can also cause a person to become extremely underweight.
If you know you are underweight, make sure to check with your doctor so they can rule out whether you are suffering from serious medical issues.
How to gain weight back effectively and safely
Of course, when wanting to gain weight, it is important to do so correctly and in a healthy manner. For skinny people, it can be easy to binge on junk food and soda. Although eating unhealthy foods can help, it can also jeopardize your health at the same time.
It is important to know that if you’re underweight, you need to achieve a balance between the muscle and fat mass in your body. That is why eating the right type of foods is necessary and living a lifestyle that is healthy and active. Below are seven safe ways to quickly gain weight.
- Consuming more calories than when your body burns them
Gaining weight means eating more foods high in calories. The ideal amount of calories to consume to gain weight slowly but consistently is around 300 to 500. To gain weight faster, the ideal amount of calories to consume is around 700 to 1000. While doing so, ensure that you are eating healthy as well.
- Load up on healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats
When a person is trying to lose weight, they would usually limit their intake of carbohydrates. For people who want to gain a significant amount of weight, consuming more complex carbs and fats are the way to go. The common foods to eat is rice and pasta. Moreover, it is also important to eat three meals a day. You can also squeeze in some healthy snacks in the middle like fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Eat more (and more) foods with healthy protein
Consuming more protein is also a good way to gain healthy weight and muscle. When you eat more protein, adding more calories would then add more mass to your muscles. Make sure to stock up on high-protein foods like fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products. You can also opt for protein supplements or make high-protein shakes at home.
- Exercise by lifting heavy weights
Being active is also another healthy way of gaining weight. However, when you exercise, concentrate more on improving strength and muscle mass by lifting weights and doing more resistance workouts. Before doing so, make sure to consult with a health specialist just in case you may have an underlying skeleton or muscle problems.
- Avoid drinking water before meals
Although water is healthy, it does not contain any caloric value. To make the most of your weight gaining methods from eating, make sure not to drink any water first before meals.
- Opt for weight gaining milk or shakes
There are weight gaining milk or shakes available for purchase over-the-counter. There are also some recommended ones you can find online like Amazon.
When you want to gain a normal weight, try to avoid the habit of puffing in a cigarette a day. It is reported that people who smoke consistently can lose weight as it can also gain.
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