Some have a hard time losing weight, while others have a hard time gaining weight. And for anyone who has trouble gaining weight will know how stressful it can be at times.

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Being underweight not only compromises your physical health but can also make you feel self-conscious about your physique. If you have a child who struggles to gain weight or even yourself, it’s important to know how to gain weight healthily as well as doing it appropriately without risking health complications. 

Why People Struggle to Gain Weight?

Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

A person can be considered underweight if their BMI (body mass index is below 18.5. Anything over 25 would be considered as overweight so staying between those numbers is an important factor.

People can struggle to gain weight due to multiple reasons such as genetics, dietary habits, as well as mood and circumstances. Common reasons why people can be underweight are:

  • Eating disorders – Eating disorders is when a mental disorder stops you or makes it difficult for you to eat or improve your dietary habits. This often leads to anorexia which is a mental disorder that can lead to the person being extremely underweight.
  • Dietary preferences – Some underweight people prefer not to overeat either because they are used to eating little or are afraid of being overweight. Dietary preferences such as choosing junk food instead of eating nutrient-dense foods can also lead to being underweight.
  • Celiac disease – This is a disease where a person is severely intolerant to gluten. People with celiac disease cannot eat wheat products and may have a hard time consuming enough calories because of this.
  • Diabetes – Having uncontrollable diabetes can lead to severe weight loss, especially in its later stages. People struggle to find an appetite and can drastically lose weight. This is most associated with type 1 diabetes.
  • Thyroid problems – Having an overactive thyroid may boost metabolism levels so high that dropping weight becomes easy despite maintaining a healthy diet to the point that weight loss becomes unhealthy.
  • Infections – Certain infections and health complications can result in weight loss as one of its symptoms. This includes tuberculosis, HIV or parasites. 

Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

1. Increase protein intake

Eating plenty of protein will help you build muscle and strength over time. Increasing your muscle weight is important as it means you are healthily gaining weight. If you were to gain weight from relying on fat, it wouldn’t be healthy anymore.

Foods containing the natural protein are lean meats such as beef and lamb. Not only are they a natural source of protein, but they are all heart-healthy. For vegetarians, foods such as fish, seafood, nuts, hemp seeds, and tofu are also great sources of protein. 

2. Get more snacks

If you are the type of person, who prefers to have small snacks throughout the day instead of large meals, stick with it. Just make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain a good amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

On top of this, be aware that snacks are snacks. Not the main meals. So it’s okay to eat snacks but keep in mind your main meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are still essential to gaining weight healthily and safely. 

3. Get quality sleep and rest

Quality sleep towards managing a healthy weight is often underrated. The amount and quality of sleep will heavily affect our mood and eating habits. It also gives the body time to recover and replenish after the toils and strains of a long day.

Eating healthy is not enough to help you gain weight. Masking sure you’re rested well and getting enough shut-eye will serve you well in gaining a healthy weight. 

4. Focus on nutrient-rich foods

Underweight people also run the risk of malnutrition. Being malnourished can lead to a host of other concerning health complications. Focus on eating whole and natural foods. Fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables will help fuel your body.

5. Lift heavyweights

Lifting heavy weights is one of the best ways to help you gain weight. Not only do you develop strength, but it promotes the growth of new muscle tissue after tearing it through training. This also demands you to increase your protein intake to maximize your progress.

6. Don’t drink too much water

By drinking too much water, you feel fuller sooner and aren’t able to eat more. Drink just enough and avoid too much water before meals. If you do have to drink, try sticking with milk as it contains calories and can help you gain weight as opposed to water. Milk also contains natural proteins and calcium that will strengthen and grow bones and muscles.

When to See a Doctor?

Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

If you notice that you are underweight, have a hard time gaining weight despite eating a lot or notice persisting health complications, speak with your doctor. You may have a health condition that makes it difficult for you to add weight and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor.

A doctor may also be able to suggest to you medications and treatments that are unavailable without a prescription. They may also be able to give you a safe and healthy diet plan or suggest you to a nutritionist. 

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.