According to WHO statistics, 1.9 million adults are overweight. Similarly, 462 million adults are underweight. And I bet you’re among the 462 million. Being underweight can be as harmful to your health as being obese.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve tried to put on weight, but you have seen no results. You’ve eaten more foods and lifted heavyweights, but still no results.
Whether you are clinically underweight or you want to gain muscle weight, ensure you are doing it safely. This article outlines a simple strategy on how to gain weight fast and healthy.
When Are You Underweight?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your body fat. It uses your height, weight and age to give you a range. To find out your BMI, use this scale. If your BMI is below 18.5, you are considered underweight and you need to put in some work. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.5 is a healthy range, while a BMI above 25 is considered unhealthy.
However, BMI is not a good measure of weight. It doesn’t account for muscle mass proportion and fat distribution. Use other factors like waist circumference and body fat percentage to determine your weight.
What Are the Risks of Being Underweight?
If you are underweight, there is a possibility that you are not eating enough food. And this is likely to cause malnutrition. With time, malnutrition may expose you to these risks:
- Irregular periods among women: If you’re underweight, you may not have regular periods. Irregular or absent menstruation may cause infertility problems.
- Decreased immune function: Being underweight exposes your body to immune-deficiency conditions like anaemia.
- Skin, hair, or teeth problems. Lack of enough nutrients may lead to dry skin, hair loss, or poor dental health.
- Getting sick frequently. If you don’t get enough nutrients from your diet, you are likely to get infections. Your body may lack the energy to fight common illnesses.
- Feeling tired all the time. Not having enough calories makes you feel fatigued most of the time.
Why You Are Not Gaining Weight?
Despite consuming a lot of calories, you may still struggle with weight gain. Here are reasons you do not see positive results;
- Eating disorders people with eating disorders such as bulimia have trouble gaining weight.
- Genetics helps determine your body type, which is a significant factor in your weight gain journey. For instance, ectomorphs have a difficult time gaining weight.
- Fast Metabolism means your body processes food fast.
- Medication and treatment make it difficult for you to gain healthy weight. You are continually battling nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Underestimating your calorie amount. Eating low-calorie foods doesn’t help you gain weight.
- Overdoing cardio won’t help you gain weight. Instead, you keep burning more calories.
How to Gain Weight Fast and Safely
If you want to gain weight fast, it is vital to do it safely.
Eating fast foods may help you gain weight, but at the same time exposes you to chronic diseases. Remember, you not only want to gain unhealthy belly fat but healthy weight.
The most proper way on how to gain weight fast is to focus on good nutrition and muscle building. Thus, eat healthy foods and focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Follow this guide on how to gain weight fast, and you’ll soon see a positive result.
Review Your Current Diet
Does your current diet support weight gain? Are you eating food healthy? Maybe you are eating unhealthy foods which are calorie-empty. Or you are eating in a calorie deficit or calorie maintenance. Or your calorie intake is way below the required amount to support weight gain.
The most essential step on how to gain weight fast is to create a calorie surplus diet. A calorie surplus means eating more food than your body burns.
Follow these steps to come up with an ideal calorie surplus plan.
- First, determine the amount of calories you need for weight gain using this online calorie calculator. Other factors such as age, gender, and physical activities will play a role in determining your calories.
- Second, head over to your journal and write everything you need to eat.
- After that, download MyFitnessPal and login in calories from each food you eat.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates and with time you’ll get it right.
Best Foods to Help You Gain Healthy Weight
The best way to increase your calorie intake is by adding 300 to 500 calories to your normal calorie intake. If your aim is to gain weight fast, increase the calories from 700 to 1000 calories.
These high-calorie foods will help you gain weight fast and safely.
Eat Plenty of Proteins
Proteins are the most essential nutrient for weight gain. Your muscle is made up of protein, and without it, most of the food you eat ends up as body fat. A high protein diet helps your body convert the extra calories into muscles.
Some of the best protein foods include whole eggs, lean meat, black beans, milk, nuts, fish, etc. However, protein is high filling and may reduce your appetite. You may fail to hit your daily calorie needs.
Eat Enough Healthy Fats
Fats are essential in your weight gain diet. They are the easiest way to add extra calories. Not only are they calorie-dense, but they also help in digestion and other functions. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, which are twice both carbs and proteins. Focus on quality fats like; nuts, butters, healthy oils, seeds, avocadoes, etc.
Fill Your Plate with Carbohydrates
Carbs are the primary fuel source of your body. Most carbs contain high calories, which makes them the right food choice for weight gain. If your goal is to gain weight fast, don’t restrict carbs from your diet.
When choosing carbs to include in your meals, go for healthy carbs like whole grains, healthy cereals, potatoes, legumes, bananas, rice, etc.
Get Enough Vitamins and Minerals
A fast metabolism means you burn more calories quickly. Taking foods rich in vitamins and minerals boost your metabolism. In return, you eat enough foods hence weight gain. They may also boost your appetite, especially if you have a low appetite.
The best source of vitamins is fruits and vegetables. Foods like milk, dairy products, fish and cereals contain minerals and vitamins.
Be Creative with Your Weight Gain Foods Ideas
No single food group can help you gain weight fast. When putting together your recipes, ensure you add fats, carbs and proteins. Tweak your recipes as per your needs. For instance, you may choose snack on fruits, vegetables, whole foods or salads. You may also use sauces, spices and condiments to make your food tastier.
Here are some creative food ideas on how to gain weight fast and healthy.
- Adding milk to smoothies instead of water.
- Spreading peanut butter on your bananas.
- Sprinkling chia seeds into your fruit salads.
- Adding olive oil to your vegetable salads.
- Add cream to your coffee.
How to Gain Weight Fast with Exercises
Did you know you can gain weight by exercising? Strength training is one of the best weight gain routines. According to the American Cancer Society, strength training helps build muscle mass, strength and endurance. Additionally, it gives you balance and flexibility. It also helps you convert the excess calories into muscles instead of fat.
When you are working on gaining weight fast, ensure you are training 3-4 times a week. You can either do bodyweight workouts in your bedroom or living room or at the gym.
To maximize your potential at the gym;
- Focus on big lifts such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, deadlifts, hip thrusts, back row, etc. These lifts target big muscles groups giving your gains.
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions, sets and weight in your routine. This challenges your body, which makes you grow strong.
- Give yourself time to rest between sets. Rest is important because it gives you time to catch a breath as well as muscle recovery.
- Increase your protein intake to facilitate muscle growth.
- Have a recovery day. Include a recovery day in your routine enables your muscle to grow and heal.
- Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep may interfere with your body’s recovery ability; hence it inhibits its ability to build maximum muscle strength.
- Follow a workout routine and program that aims to increase muscle mass and gains.
If you are new to the gym, seek the help of a certified fitness instructor. A gym instructor will ensure that you are doing right exercises and in proper form.
Extra Weight Gain Tips
Having a high-calorie diet and heavy weight lifting are some weight gain techniques. However, there are more ways on how to gain weight fast.
Follow these 8 tips on how to gain weight fast, and you’ll see results.
- Eat your protein fast, then vegetables last.
- Use big plates. However, if you are struggling with low appetite, use small plates. But ensure you snack between meals.
- Eat 4-6 times a day.
- Don’t drink water before meals. Water may fill your stomach, making it difficult for you to get enough calories.
- If your aim is to build muscle mass, take creatine.
- Make homemade protein smoothies or weight gain shakers. Protein smoothies are calorie-dense and nutritious, hence support weight gain.
- Have a weight gain partner. If a friend will gain weight or train, join her or him. Both of you will stay motivated, therefore achieving your goals.
- Track your progress. It helps you know how far you have gone and shows you where you need to improve.
There is no proven method on how to gain weight fast and safely. However, by combining good nutrition and exercise routines, you can gain weight. Always consult a doctor or a qualified dietician before you begin a weight gain plan.
Weight gain is a gradual process. Take your time, listen to your body and make necessary changes as per your body needs