Table of Contents
- What Does it Mean to be Underweight
- How to obtain more kilograms?
- Eat calorie-dense foods
- Use exercise to gain weight
- Don’t drink water before your meals
- Take creatine to gain weight
- Find your ideal macronutrient ratio
- Drink caloric dense smoothies
- Try inserting Brewer’s yeast into your diet
- Rule out any medical conditions that might prevent you from gaining weight
- Summary of healthy weight gaining tips
Most of the people these days struggle with weight issues.
A big number of people are either obese or overweight.
Yet, not so small number of people have the opposite problem – the problem of being too skinny or underweight.
For overweight people this issue might not seem like a real one, but for people struggling with this condition it is a very vivid problem.
It often depends on the person’s metabolism, body structure and genetics.
Sometimes little tips and tricks can help you gain weight.
But whether you are clinically underweight or you are just a “hard gainer”, principles of obtaining more kilograms are basically the same.
What Does it Mean to be Underweight
It means that your body doesn’t inquire the minimum amount of body mass needed to obtain optimal health.
Even though obesity is number one health problem in the world today, being underweight can also be bad for your body.
One study showed that there is a big chance of an early death because of this condition.
Being underweight is also bad for your immune system.
Your body does not receive the needed amount of vitamins, minerals and other healthy substances.
They are required for performing regular bodily functions.
You are more vulnerable to immune diseases, for example viruses, osteoporosis and infections if you lack a sustainable amount of kilograms.
There are several reasons why somebody has lost weight or struggles with gaining weight.
Most common conditions are eating disorders.
One of the most serious eating disorders is anorexia nervosa, a serious mental disorder.
Other reasons may include different medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, infections or even cancer.
If you are experiencing some symptoms that pinpoint to some of these diseases, contact your doctor immediately.
How to obtain more kilograms?
There are plenty of ways to do it, but we recommend you to do it in the right and healthy way.
If you want to gain weight, presumably you don’t want only belly fat.
You shouldn’t throw yourself right into doughnuts and coke.
Starting to build your body in an unhealthy way, can lead to serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes or heart diseases.
So, it is a must that you try to obtain your kilos in a healthy and nutritional way.
How to know if you are underweight?
You should calculate it by using a tool for measuring your body mass index.
Also, your doctor can determine it.
Based on your height and weight, how much you eat and how high is your level of activity, your family doctor or nutritionist can tell you whether you have kilograms problem.
Eat calorie-dense foods
If you are trying to eat a lot, but that is not working out very well for you, you should try eating more calorie dense foods.
If a normal diet for maintaining your weight consists of around 2500 Kcal for males and 2000 Kcal for females, you should increase it by 20%.
It means that women should input 2400 Kcal per day, and men around 2900 Kcal.
Most common foods that will help you put on some weight are also the tastiest ones.
- Lean red meat has a lot of protein and iron. You should try to choose the slices with fatty cuts where meat is marbled. Although red meat can help you gain kilograms, it is not recommended that you have it more than a few times per week. This meat is very tasty, but it contains high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Another choice is tropical fruits. Fruits such as papaya or avocado are full of natural sugars. Half an avocado has 140 calories and high levels of chloric acid, E & B vitamins and potassium. If you don’t like the taste of tropical fruits, you can always use them to create a delicious smoothie.
- Swap your regular skin milk with whole fat milk. One cup of whole fat milk adds 60 more calories to the glass. It is rich in vitamins D & A. You can put fat milk in a variety of foods, use it in your coffee, cereal, sauces or oatmeal. If you don’t like the taste of milk, you can always eat a variety of milk products, such as yellow cheese. One slice of yellow cheese contains average of 67 Kcal.
- All types of nuts, especially almonds, are excellent choice for more calorie dense foods. Plate mixed with all types of nuts has high nutritional benefit and it gives you many varieties in one snack. It can also keep you full for a long period of time.
- Other types of food that you can use is peanut butter. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains 100 calories and 4 grams of protein. When you choose the brand of peanut butter, it should be natural, meaning it shouldn’t consist sugar or similar additives.
- Salmon and tuna will help you increase your protein collection. Tuna fish contains healthy fats, which not only help you gain weight, but are also beneficial for your health.
- Whole eggs are also a great idea. They contain the good type of cholesterol, as well as A, D & E vitamins, and protein.
Use exercise to gain weight
Exercising is the best way to stay healthy and fit.
It is also possible to gain weight while doing your favorite workouts.
You only have to be careful about how you are doing it and which exercises you are performing.
There are two primary concerns when it comes to increasing lean muscle mass.
First, how is it possible to stimulate some muscles to grow while preventing other to lose mass and second, how to maintain the weight after you stop with the workout session?
The answer to the first question is relatively easy: strength training.
To gain weight, you should avoid cardiac exercises and focus on strength training.
Cardio exercise burns calories, so all of the weight you have put can be easily wiped out by this type of training.
Therefore, lay off cardio, it will destroy all of the hard working calories that you injected in your body.
Strength training on the other hand, induces muscular contractions.
It builds strength and grows the size of the muscles.
This type of training can be hard and demanding.
Yet, lot of people who start doing it on a regular basis easily get addicted.
If you don’t know where to start, it is always a good idea to ask a personal trainer to help you shape the workout program according to your body needs and possibilities.
You can also sign up for some strength focused sports, such as: lacrosse, bodybuilding, football, weightlifting or basketball.
The second point that you have to be careful about is what to do after the training.
Our bodies are naturally designed to lose weight when we exercise.
To avoid this problem, you have to balance your workout with your meals.
Eat regularly, no less than three meals per day, accompanied with two snacks in between.
Remember that your muscles grow when they are resting.
Try to work out different parts of your body every day.
Let a group of muscles relax at least one day.
The process of regeneration happens mostly at night, but the muscle tissue needs more than 12 hours to feel the workout that you had done.
Don’t drink water before your meals
It is commonly known that water lessens your chances of overindulging in a particular meal.
Water is excellent for those trying to lose weight, but not so good for those who are trying to gain weight.
The main reason behind this is because water pumps up your stomach and makes you feel like you have lost your appetite.
Even if you drink water during your meal, it still can give you the sense that you don’t want to eat anymore.
When we eat, our stomach has a natural feeling that the process of digestion starts, and it begins to release digestive fluids.
Drinking water at this point means diluting them and therefore hindering them from breaking down the food.
Not drinking water before your meals, actually helps with digestion.
Water does not interfere with stomach acid, but it somehow suppresses gastric secretions.
Thus making an imbalance of electrolytes, condition known as hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia can lead to digestive problems, which should be 100% avoided by people who want to gain weight.
Worst case scenario for this condition is causing muscle fatigue and irregular heartbeat.
If you are a water addict, minimize the fluids injected into your body.
Drink water at least one hour before your meal – it will help your body to adequate water in order to produce digestive fluids.
If the food you eat makes you drink more water, try making it less salty.
Also, try not to eat in a hurry and take half an hour to enjoy your meal.
The less you chew, the more water you will want to drink.
Instead of drinking water, try to replace it with this simple recipe: take a small piece of ginger root and cut it in even smaller parts.
Put the ginger in a cup of boiled water and let it stay for 20 minutes.
After the water has absorbed the flavor, drink it with your meal.
Take creatine to gain weight
Typically bought in flavored powders and mixed with liquid, creatine is the type of chemical substance that we usually see in sports such as bodybuilding.
It makes the organism produce energy more quickly.
Creatine is a dietary supplement.
It is common for athletes or other sportsmen to use it.
Creatine enhances their performance.
Creatine itself works in a very particular way around the muscles.
It increases the water amount in them.
In this way, the body retains more water and you get from 1 to 3 pounds weight gains in just one week.
By absorbing the liquid in the muscles, creatine boosts your strength.
It is also an “osmotically active substance” which means that it enables faster and better muscle contraction.
The downside of using creatine is that you have to be careful with the dosage.
The usual amount is 5 grams per day, but it is better to consult an expert before you decide to take more or less.
If you start taking creatine, make sure you drink a lot of liquids because otherwise it can lead to dehydration.
The last and the most important point for people who want to gain weight, is that creatine creates increase of the metabolic rate.
Combining this substance with a big caloric meal after your strength workout, will definitely lead you to your ideal weight.
Find your ideal macronutrient ratio
After you determine the daily calories your body needs to gain weight, next thing that you need to do is to find your ideal macronutrient ratio.
It means to divide the calories into the right ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fat.
Everyone has a different body type and therefore everyone needs a different way to create their ideal body.
There are few steps that you have to take when you determine your macronutrient ratio:
- Determinate what you want to achieve with your diet. Probably everyone who reads this article wants to gain weight. For an increment of mass, you should always choose the higher carb ratio. Higher carb ratio means that your calories should be made of 40-60% carbs, 25-35% protein and 15-25% fat. This type of macronutrient ratio stimulates muscle growth.
- The second step is to determinate your body type. There are three main body types. Almost everybody is either one of these types or a mixture between two types.
These people are slender and have a delicate bone structure.
They have a small chest and small shoulders.
Their metabolism is fast and they have hard times gaining weight or putting mass.
If you are an ectomorph, your ideal diet should consist as much as carbohydrates as possible.
High end range for these calories, in between 30-60% from all of the calories you input, is the perfect way to obtain mass.
Also, 25% from all the calories should be protein calories.
These types of body are strong and muscular, with well defined shoulders and very athletic.
The perfect macronutrient ratio for gaining mass for these people would be high-end carbohydrates.
They should be present in 40-50% from all calories imputed.
These people have soft and round body, much like a pear-shaped body type.
They usually have slow metabolism.
Unlike ectomorphs and mesomorphs, endomorphs should not stick to high end carbohydrates for mass gain.
This type of bodies needs low end carbohydrate range with 30-40% from all calories digested in order to gain weight and build up their muscles.
Most commonly, females tend to burn calories faster.
If you are a female, you should focus your diet towards high-end carbohydrates.
But, this fact can change from one type of person to another.
For example, to gain weight, an ectomorph male still needs more carbs than mesomorph woman.
It also depends on the metabolism of the person.
Drink caloric dense smoothies
You can’t eat more?
Three meals and two snacks are not working out for you?
There is another way to absorb calories.
Try drinking them!
A lot of people struggle with the problem of five meals per day.
When you can’t chew no more-make yourself a nice delicious smoothie.
Here you have some tips if you have problems drinking caloric smoothies:
- Drink the shakes as fast as possible
- Don’t wait for the ingredients to spoil or ferment
- Add things to make the flavor better. You can add almonds, cinnamon, vanilla or whatever you find tasty.
- If you have problems absorbing smoothies, try drinking half a shake the first 4 days, then start drinking the whole amount
- If you experience malabsorption, try drinking avocado-based shakes.
Here we offer some tasty recipes full with calories:
- 1 medium or large avocado, 2 medium ripe bananas, 1 cup SCD yogurt from whole milk & 4 large raw eggs. Total amount of calories = 1022
- 1 cup of SCD yogurt from whole milk, 1 cup coconut milk, 6 tablespoons of whey protein, 3 tablespoons of honey, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 6 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Total amount of calories = 1575
- 1 cup coconut milk, 2 medium ripe bananas, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 4 large raw eggs. Total amount of calories = 1005
- 1 cup sweet cooked potato, 3 tablespoons of honey, 6 tablespoons of whey Protein, 4 large raw eggs. Total amount of calories = 905
- 1 medium to large avocado, 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 medium ripe bananas, 1 cup of sweet cooked potato. Total amount of calories = 1283
Try inserting Brewer’s yeast into your diet
Yeast is a clarification of special types of microbial fungi that are often used in nutrition and food preparation.
Even though they are used for different purposes, there is one special type of yeast, called Brewer’s yeast, that helps gain weight.
You can buy it in the form of pills in any regular pharmacy.
Brewer’s yeast is a nutritional supplement full with vitamin B.
It also contains high levels of carbohydrates and protein.
3 tablespoons have 95 calories.
According to some studies, adding 95 calories per day without changing your diet can help you gain 10 pounds in one year.
Brewer’s yeast is considered as a safe supplement, but it might not be appropriate for everyone.
If you are a diabetic, you should consult your doctor before deciding to add this ingredient to your daily diet.
Rule out any medical conditions that might prevent you from gaining weight
Last, but possibly the most important point.
Before you start working on gaining weight, you first have to rule out any possible medical conditions that might be preventing you from doing so.
There are several common diseases that lead to the inability of increasing your body mass.
The thyroid gland affects your metabolism using your hormones.
This gland is responsible for the production of thyroxin.
If more thyroxin is produced – the metabolism speeds up and burns the calories faster.
Even though your appetite might increase, you will not be gaining weight.
Symptoms for this particular condition include: hand and finger trembling, irregular or rapid heartbeat, anxiety or nervousness.
Woman can also experience change in menstrual patterns.
This type of disease makes your body unable to properly absorb the food that you consume.
Many people who have gastrointestinal issues also suffer from malnutrition.
This condition can be expressed through numerous different disease such as: bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, vicars and celiac disease.
Symptoms include: blood in the stool, abnormal bowel movements, pan and gas in the abdomen.
Type 2 Diabetes
Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 can be diagnosed later in adulthood.
This condition makes your body resistant to insulin.
Insulin is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose the body has.
Glucose on the other hand, is responsible for weight and appetite.
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes consist of: fatigue, blurred vision, often urination.
Although this is not an actual disease, it is bad for your health.
Smoking prevents you from gaining weight, because nicotine has anorectic effect.
It is widely known that nicotine raises the metabolic rate.
It also suppresses the appetite.
Smokers have been known to lose around 200 calories daily just because of the ingredients in a cigarette.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact your doctor immediately.
Summary of healthy weight gaining tips
- Be dedicated to your purpose. You might not see the results right away but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. The process of gaining weight is as hard as the process of losing weight. If obese people need at least a year to see noticeable results, it can be the same case with underweight people as well.
- Eat calorie dense foods. Exceed the number of calories you need to maintain your weight at least by 20%. The meals you consume should be fattening.
- Don’t try to get fat by eating junk food. Your diet should be balanced.
- Eat before you exercise. If you start a strength workout, it is important for your muscles to have enough energy to withstand throughout the whole practise session. If you do your workouts before you eat, it might make you even skinnier.
- Don’t work out the same group of muscles every day. Your muscles mostly grow when they are resting, so try to give them at least a day of rest.
- Your exercise should consist of 6-8 reps for around 5 sets. Between the sets, take a 3 minute rest and drink water.
- Drink enough water, just don’t drink it before you eat. Drink your water at least one hour before your meals.
- Be aware of the amount of calories you put in your body and make sure you don’t put a big percent of “bad” calories, for example, bad cholesterol.
- Calculate the number of calories you waste by exercising. Avoid cardio, focus on strength.
- Don’t spend more than 4 hours without eating.
- Try to eat right before you go to bed. Most of the regeneration and repairing of the mussels happens while we sleep, so eating before sleeping will always activate your body.
- Do not overeat. It can cause serious side effects: cramps, stomach ache or vomiting.
- If you increase your weight in a fast period of time, it may cause skin damage like stretch marks.
- Do not eat one same meal all the time. Your diet has to be balanced and, filled with fruits and vegetables. Stick to tropical fruits that have lots of natural sugars in them. Eating too much from one same type of food can be extremely unhealthy.
- Be careful not to exaggerate with your gained kilograms. If you become overweight it might lead to serious illness.
- Before deciding to get on a weight gaining diet, make sure you consult with an expert. If you are suffering from some medical condition, a regular caloric diet is not going to change it.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. Try to understand your body. It knows what it wants and needs. In your defence, it is not entirely your fault that you have a skinny body. It is mostly genetics. But anyhow, you should not get discouraged. Some parts are out of your control, but you can try to fight against genetics and teach your body how you want it to look.
- Try to mention your goal to your friends and family and get all of the support you need. You will see that people will start noticing that your body is transforming and they will start asking questions. Just be persistent and you will see that all of your hard work will pay off eventually.
- For people trying to gain weight it is not always easy and fun thing to do. We often hear about actors who gained 10 pounds just for a movie role. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you want to do it in “the healthy way”. It is going to be easy.This culture is obsessed with thinness and many times it might seem strange to you or the people around you that your numbers are going up instead of down. Maintaining a healthy diet and proper exercise requires a lot of hard work and dedication.