Being lean can often be healthy but being underweight can be a serious concern. Being underweight can also represent as many health concerns to an individual as being overweight can. But how do you know you are underweight, and if you know then what will you need to do to gain healthy weight? Well don’t worry; we are here to help you. Keep reading this blog to know about the risks and causes of being underweight, plus how to identify if you are underweight, what type of symptoms you may experience, and what are the best ways to gain a healthy weight.
Are you Underweight?
This should be the first question that comes in your mind, when you want to gain healthy weight. And to know the answer of this question, BMI can help you. BMI refers to body mass index that helps you to determine whether you are underweight or not. BMI gives an estimate of your body fat based on your height and weight. You can calculate your BMI by using the BMI calculator.
Ranges for BMI include:
1. Underweight: If your BMI is less than 18.5
2. Normal/ healthy weight: If your BMI is between 18.5 – 24.9
3. Overweight: If your BMI is between 25 – 29.9
4. Obese: If your BMI is 30 or higher
- Athletes usually have muscular builds and muscle weighs more than fat, In this case, BMI may overestimate body fat.
- Older adults may have lost muscle so sometimes BMI may underestimate body fat.
Causes of Underweight:
- Stomach problems: nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Nutritional: inadequate food intake, malnutrition, poor eating habits.
- Diseases/ physical illness: chronic infections, hormone imbalance, malabsorption, diabetes, eating disorder, thyroid, etc.
- Biological: Genetic factors like lean body frame, and high metabolic rate.
- Psychological: stress, depression, anxiety, dementia.
Risks of being underweight:
If you are underweight, you may suffer from various type of health related problems, including:
- Decreased muscle strength
- Lowered Immunity
- Feeling tired all the time
- Slow or impaired growth
- Skin, hair, or teeth problems.
Best Ways to Gain Healthy Weight
1. Eat more frequently:
Eat at least small five to six meals frequently during the day rather than two or three large meals to gain healthy weight. This is especially true as many people who are underweight don’t have much of an appetite or get full quickly, which can lead to being underweight. So eating more frequently can help you to get more calories in, and gain weight.
2. Choose nutrient-rich foods:
Choose nutrient-rich foods like whole-grain breads, cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; lean protein; healthy fat, and nuts & seeds. Not all vegetables and fruits are low in calories. Take dense calorie fruits like dates, mangoes, bananas, avocadoes, or starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, etc. Not just that, you can try eating lean meat and fatty fish, like salmon to get healthy protein into your diet.
3. Try smoothies and shakes:
Don’t drink diet soda, coffee, and other unhealthy drinks with little or no nutritional value. Instead of that try drinking healthy smoothies or healthy shakes made up of full-fat milk and fresh or frozen fruit, and sprinkle some chia seeds or ground flaxseed. You can take this liquid meal as a snack or meal replacement.
4. Watch when you drink:
Many of you know that drinking water or any other fluids before meals blunts appetite. In that case, it may be better to not drink any fluid along with a meal or snack. However, you can drink anything after 30 minutes but not with a meal may work.
5. Don’t forget your snacks:
You can munch on whatever healthy snack you like. This may include dried fruits, seeds, and nuts, peanut butter, cheese, almond butter, and avocados. You can have a bedtime snack too like a banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or just a wrap sandwich with avocado, sliced vegetables, and lean meat or cheese. To add extra calories in your dishes, you can top up casseroles and scrambled eggs with cheese on it, and fat-free dried milk in soups and stews.
6. Have an occasional treat:
Some underweight people might think they can eat whatever they want whether it’s junk food or any other unhealthy high calorie food to gain weight. But let me remind you, even when you’re underweight, you should be mindful of excess sugar and fat. Having an occasional treat is totally okay but taking regularly will affect your health.
7. Exercise to build muscles:
Try to do strength training in order to gain weight by building up your muscles. It may also help in stimulating your appetite. You can do yoga, push-ups, pull-ups, weight training, and other physical activities that can help you add weight. Not just it will burn calories, but also make you hungrier so you can eat more.
8. Try Herbal Supplements:
You cannot gain weight only by just eating right diet or doing exercise. But consuming the right diet along with herbal weight gainer supplements and doing exercise can help you to gain a healthy weight easily. You can use detonutrition’s lean mass gainer kit for faster and safe results. Our products are 100% plant based and chemical free without having any withdrawal effects.
Extra Tips for Healthy Weight Gain
- Drink nutrient-dense beverages like milk, juice, and smoothies in between your meals.
- Try healthy snacking like munching nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
- Topping up your salads and soups with grated cheese, full fat milk cream, nuts, or beans.
- Spreading nut butters on bread, crackers, or muffins
- Use healthy fats like olive oil or avocado
- Replace tea or coffee with milky drinks
An underweight person’s body does not contain enough nutrients to maintain their bones, skin, hair, and other vital organs health. However, with the help of herbal supplements, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, it is easy to achieve healthy weight.