While being lean is mostly viewed as being healthy, being underweight may raise many concerns. Using your BMI (body mass index), you can determine whether you’re underweight. You’ll be considered underweight if your BMI is less than 18.5. However, before you go looking for ways to boost weight, consult a doctor to rule out any possibility of a medical condition being the cause of your weight loss. Being underweight may also result from family history, high metabolism, frequent physical activity, and mental illness. If not addressed, this may lead to health risks. In addition to following your doctor’s advice, here are a few healthy ways to gain weight.
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1. Eat nutrient-packed foods
Nutrient-dense foods are vital when looking to gain weight. Choose high-protein foods like meat, dairy products, fish, and seafood to build muscle. For nutritious carbohydrates, consider whole-grain foods like brown rice and others. While it may not be possible to constantly meet your daily nutrient needs, you can consider dietary supplements essential for gaining weight to cover any unmet nutrient deficiencies. Sufficient nutrient intake ensures your body is nourished even experiencing a low appetite.
2. Eat more calories than your body burns
Creating a calorie surplus is one way to gain weight. It means eating more calories than your body needs. Consider using a calorie calculator to determine your calorie requirements. Depending on whether you want to gain weight slowly and steadily or fast, calculate the number of calories your body will need each day to help you meet your needs. You can incorporate 300 to 500 calories (beyond your maintenance level) into your diet to gain weight slowly, or 700 to 1,000 calories for fast weight gain.
3. Lift heavy weights to boost your strength
Strength training helps you ensure the excess calories in your diet go to your muscles. Consider lifting weights at least two to four times a week. As you become more comfortable with weights, increase them over time to boost strength and endurance. Consult the doctor to ensure you have no skeletal issues. While cardio is good for overall health, you should avoid it so you don’t lose the extra calories you’re consuming.
4. Eat more carbs and fat
People restrict fat and carbs intake when trying to lose weight. However, eating more fat and carb-packed foods helps you gain more calories, making it easier to gain weight. Ensure each of your meals is packed with healthy carbs and fat.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, consider eating many smaller portions and snacking in between so you gain as many calories as possible. This is especially helpful if you get full faster or your appetite is low. Snack on things like protein bars, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, or almonds.
5. Consider drinking your calories
When trying to gain weight, your goal is to take in as many calories as possible. Avoid beverages like coffee, tea, or soda, and reach out for more calorie-packed drinks such as milk or a smoothie with fresh vegetables or fruits and full-fat dairy.
The main secret to gaining weight is ensuring that you always have a calorie surplus. Lifting weights is also essential, as the additional calories in your body help build muscles. Consider using the above tips if you’re looking to gain weight the healthy way.