There is a smaller proportion of the population that struggles with being too thin for a variety of reasons. Illness or injury can cause extreme weight loss, while some people simply want to increase their physical presence or size, perhaps as an athlete trying to develop a physical edge. As is obvious all around us, gaining weight to become obese is quite easy, but healthy weight gain is a bit more of a challenge (1).
Our bodies require a certain amount of calories and nutrient intake, and if we have too much or too little of it, then we become either obese or underweight, respectively. However, lifestyle choices also play a major role in how our body stores fat, metabolizes nutrients, and manages our weight (2).
A healthy balance of lifestyle and dietary choices can help you healthy weight gain mass without lowering your overall health with the chronic problems associated with unhealthy weight gain and obesity. Sometimes loss of appetite may also cause weight loss (3).
Best ways to gain weight (healthy weight gain)
Many underweight people are healthy. Low body weight is due to a variety of causes, including:
- If you’ve been thin since high school and it runs in your family, it’s likely that you were born with a higher-than-usual metabolism. You also may have a naturally small appetite.
- If you’re an athlete, you probably know that frequent workouts can affect your body weight. However, high physical activity also can be a part of an active job or an energetic personality. If you’re on your feet a lot, you may burn more calories than people who are more sedentary (inactive).
- Being sick can affect your appetite and your body’s ability to use and store food. If you’ve recently lost a lot of weight without trying, it may be a sign of disease, such as thyroid problems, diabetes, digestive problem. Talk to your doctor about sudden weight loss (4).
- Certain prescription medicines can cause nausea and weight loss. Some treatments, such as chemotherapy, can reduce appetite and worsen weight loss from illness.
- Our mental well being affects every part of our lives. Things like stress and depression can disrupt healthy eating habits. Severe body image fears and distortions can lead to eating disorders. If you’re suffering from damaging emotional issues, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you get the care, assistance, or counseling you may need.
Ways for healthy weight gain
One of the first steps toward healthy weight gain is eating every three hours. If you go for too long without eating, you metabolically start to slow down, which is unhealthy as well. When you eat every couple of hours, you’ll eat more calories and prevent your body from losing lean body mass.
Increase protein intake
One of the tips to gain weight includes increasing protein intake. Never let your protein intake go lower than 1g/lb of body weight when you are aiming to add long-term muscle. It’s the building block of muscle, and your body is going to be starving for it.
Drink Less Water
Water may be the elixir of life for human beings, but it is also very good for filling you up and even ruining your appetite at times. While a certain amount of water is essential for health, try not to overdo the water intake between meals while trying to bulk up, as water won’t contribute to your weight in a permanent way, only as temporary water weight before urination.
Exercises to increase weight
Exercise is the best method for people looking to increase weight in a healthy way. Exercise results in hypertrophy of the muscle and results in increase in body mass. Weight-training is another method to build muscle mass and increase weight. During this phase, the body needs more proteins and amino-acids.
Increase Calorie Intake
The foods your teen eats play a critical role in their weight management. Eating high-calorie foods is important to healthy weight gain body mass (5).
Sleep to increase healthy weight
You need to be getting at least 7 hours of sleep, but 8-9 hours of sleep every night for maximum gains. Your body is doing nothing but lying there and building muscle while you’re sleeping. If you are only getting 6 hours or less, you’re not going to get all the benefits of your exercising and diet.
Don’t Try to Gain Too Fast
This is one of the biggest mistakes by people who are trying to gain weight in a healthy way. Gaining more than a pound or two a week can lead to a dangerous instability in your metabolism and often results in crash dieting and constant weight fluctuations.