Have you been diagnosed as underweight lately? Or maybe you just want to gain weight to help your workout. Maybe you feel like you’re not eating enough and you don’t have enough energy, but you don’t want to go overboard.
Being underweight can come with its own share of health issues, such as hair loss, affecting bone strength, causing fertility problems, fatigue, etc. And women are also particularly concerned with how it will reflect on their appearance.
There are ways to get around it. You need to find ways to gain weight safely so that it doesn’t become too extreme to handle. Luckily you’ve come to the right place!
Strategies to gain weight in a healthy and safe manner:
Shake it up
Start your morning with healthy green shakes and smoothies, basically like all those cool Youtubers you watch! It might even be fun. It’s an easy way to take in more calories without feeling too full. You can try putting in milk or juice and experimenting with whatever ingredients work for you; fruit is always a good option for added flavour. However, be careful you’re not overloading on the sugar.
If you get hungry in between meals, you can always go for healthy snacks rather than pulling out the chips and the biscuits (although there’s nothing wrong with unhealthy snacking every now and again!). Dried fruit mixes are a great option, you can snack on some figs and raisins with some almonds and cashews. Celery sticks with peanut butter are an oldie but a goldie. You can also try making your own granola bars and throwing some dark chocolate in there. Try and pick snacks that are mostly healthy that you actually want to eat, not just stuff that you’ll buy and it’ll sit in your kitchen for weeks being ignored.
Increase your portion sizes
This seems like an obvious one if you want to gain weight, but you can’t do it all in one go. Try to increase your portion sizes gradually, maybe just increasing them a little week by week. Soon you’ll be able to eat much more than you used to. You should hopefully see some difference when you step on the scale.
Use a calorie tracker
Unless you find it difficult to keep tracking calories (as in, it affects your mental well-being in some way), this could be a good way to make sure you’re hitting your daily targets in terms of calorie-rich foods. There are plenty of apps out there to help you do this and to track other aspects of nutrition in your life. Or you could just write it all down in a simple planner, but technology always makes things easier.
Eat a balanced diet
Stuffing yourself with all kinds of food to gain weight is not the right way. Make sure your diet is balanced and healthy. Incorporate fruits, rice, meat, legumes, fish, nuts and seeds, and whole-grain products into your meals, and drink plenty of water. Don’t just focus on calories. Eat foods that are calorie-rich and nutritionally good for you. Don’t rely on processed foods because they can cause health problems down the line, which you don’t want. Also try to focus on foods that are rich in energy, like nuts, oils, and granola.
Speak to a doctor
If you’re seriously worried that you’re underweight, you might want to make a doctor’s appointment. You might want to check whether you have some chronic health problems which might be slowing you down in terms of weight gain. Also, you could be referred to a dietician to help you plan your meals and other aspects of your life to help you gain weight in healthy way.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and just because you don’t see those numbers going up immediately or because you don’t see tangible physical effects doesn’t mean that you should just give up. It takes time for lifestyle changes to take effect in drastic ways.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to immediately gain weight. Every person is different and has a different body and functioning. Just try to keep at it and you’ll see the results eventually.