Eating more is not the only requirement for gaining weight; you need to do a bit more than that.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 462 million people globally are underweight. While being obese or overweight can cause problems, being severely underweight can also lead to many health complications.
To avoid all that, we have compiled a list of top five ways to gain weight naturally in a healthy way and at home.
If you want to gain some/more pounds or muscle weight, scroll down to know more!
Causes of Underweight
Some people are built to be lean. Their metabolism is so high that their tendency to gain some weight is low even if they eat large amount of food or even calorie-dense meals.
High physical activity
People who perform high levels of activities regularly, like running, swimming or playing any form of sports, tends to be underweight. Even people whose job requires high physical activity, such as labourers, also tend to be underweight.
People who have depression may experience a severe loss of appetite and lose substantial amount of weight very quickly. Such people need medical help as soon as possible.
A person who constantly lives under stress is usually occupied in their thoughts and worries, and may lose weight without even meaning to.
People with eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, are underweight. Eating disorders are mainly related to the levels of brain messengers, where weight watchers overeat for short period, followed by purging or over exercising to make up for the extra calorie intake.
How to gain weight in a healthy way
1. Take healthy carbs and fats
Taking a diet that is high in carbohydrates and fats is one of the best ways to gain weight healthily. While carbs provide energy, healthy fats are calorie dense. Together, they gradually increase weight. Some healthy source of carbs and fats are rice, whole grains, full-fat yoghurt, oats, cheese, avocado, coconut oil, whole eggs, etc.
2. Eat more calories
Theoretically, eating an additional 500 calories everyday increases your weight by a pond in one week. So, eat more calorie and nutrient-dense foods throughout the day in the form of heavy meals and snacks.
Here are some more snack options to increase your calorie count: avocado on toast, protein smoothie, bread with your choice of nut butter (peanut, almond and cashew), cereal bars, boiled eggs with toast, oatmeal with mixed nuts.
3. Eat plenty protein
This is the most important nutrient required for weight gain. Your muscle is mainly made up of protein, so eating enough protein helps you gain healthy muscle weight instead of fat.
The ideal protein intake for an underweight person should be between 1.5g and 2.2g of protein per kilogramme of your body weight. Some protein rich foods include fatty fish, red meat, whole eggs, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.
4. Improve physical strength
It is important to ensure that you lift weights at the gym or play a sport to improve your physical strength and avoid letting the excess calories in your body turn into fat. Head to the gym at least 4 to 5 times a week to increase your muscle mass.
Focus mainly on strength training instead of spending a lot of time doing cardio. Cardio is great for a healthy heart, but it also burns many calories and does not work much in your favour if you are underweight.
5. Home remedies: Potatoes
This is one of the easiest and most pocket-friendly ways to add calories and starch to your diet. Consumption of excess potatoes has been associated with long-term weight gain.
As potatoes have a high glycemic index and may spike your blood sugar levels if consumed on a daily basis, you can sometimes substitute potato with sweet potato.
However, sweet potatoes are high in fibre and resistant starch, which aid weight loss. Proper cooking and preparation can help you put on a few pounds.
Prepare sweet potato mash with butter or cheese and add some meat to make a well-balanced carb-protein snack. You can add mashed potatoes as a side dish to your meal or eat a baked potato as a snack.