The health dangers of obesity are widely known, but being underweight can also put your health in danger. If you are an adult over the age of 20 with a body mass index (BMI) under 18.5, you may be at risk of various health issues, such as weakened immunity, infertility and hormonal problems. In addition, nutritional deficiencies can lead to anemia and osteoporosis and an increased mortality risk.
What Is the Ideal BMI?
A healthy and ideal BMI weight is between 18.5 to 24.9. If your BMI is under 18.5, you are considered underweight. BMI calculations are based on height and weight.
There are some limitations to determining your health using BMI. For example, athletes have more muscles that weigh more than fat, and older adults may have lost some muscle weight.
Reasons Why You Are Underweight
Being underweight or overweight means you’re under or over the recommended weight range for your body to function correctly.
There are a variety of reasons why people become underweight:
- Unhealthy and Unbalanced Diet: Because they forget to eat or cannot afford nutritious meals, some people do not consume a healthy, balanced diet.
- Genetics: Some people are underweight because of their genetics. They are naturally thin and have a lower BMI.
- Metabolism: A fast metabolism is why some people are underweight and find it difficult to gain weight, even when they eat an abundance of calories.
- Illnesses and Medications: Some people cannot eat well because of illnesses or medications.
- Excessive Physical Activity: People who engage in excessive physical activity burn more calories than they can consume, resulting in an underweight condition.
How to Gain Weight
Add Calories and Nutrients to Your Diet
You don’t need to make significant dietary changes if you are underweight. All you have to do is add food with high-calorie content, such as nuts or seed toppings, cheese and healthy side dishes that might help you pack on the calories. Almonds, sunflower seeds, fruit and whole-grain wheat toast are all splendid options!
Popular calorie-rich healthy food choices for protein include red meats, pork, chicken with skin, salmon, beans, whole milk, eggs, cheese and full-fat yogurt. Look for potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grains and whole-grain bread for calorie-rich carbohydrates. Add some calorie-rich healthy fats from nuts, nut butter, olives, avocado, butter, salad dressings, mayonnaise and high-fat cheeses.
Take Protein Supplements
Protein supplements can help you gain muscle mass and weight, especially when combined with strength training. Athletes and bodybuilders are taking protein supplements as a common strategy to gain weight. Like meats and other animal products, they contain all the essential amino acids required to stimulate muscle growth.
You can add protein powder supplements to your diet conveniently into a smoothie, ideally for breakfast.
Eating Small Frequent Meals
Plan to eat smaller but more frequent meals throughout your day. You can add some snacks as well.
Try Some Avocado
A large avocado can provide around 322 calories, 29 grams of fat and 14 grams of fiber. This fruit is calorie-dense and ideal for weight gain. You can add avocados to your main and side dishes.
Exercise to Gain Muscle
If you’re planning to gain extra weight for your body, start exercising. Through this, you can gain weight by adding muscle to your body. At the same time, you may also help stimulate your appetite when you exercise.
Weightlifting can help you gain weight by building muscle. This isn’t the same as an aerobic exercise that will burn calories and may tend to work against your weight gain goal.
A Parting Reminder
Focus on eating healthy foods rich in nutrients and calories that will help you gain weight. Avoid unhealthy foods consisting of too much sugar and salt. Speak to a doctor or a health professional for the best ways of gaining weight and rule out the underlying cause of being underweight.