Written By Anjali Goel
Being underweight is as unappealing as being overweight. It can decrease your confidence and give you body-image issues. But what does being underweight actually means?
According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), a person who lies below 18.5 on the BMI Scale is termed as ‘Underweight’. But, BMI only takes weight and height into consideration and not muscle mass. That’s why it can give false information too. Only you can tell if you are underweight or not. And if your answer is yes, here are some tips to hack the process of gaining weight.
- Eat more calories than you burn
The title speaks for itself. Any type of work, even lifting a hand utilises your body’s energy. And when energy is utilised, calories are burned.
When we talk about being underweight or overweight, the reason behind them is one’s calories’ intake. If you are underweight, your primary goal should be to consume more calories than you burn. The extra calories that you’ll consume will add up in your body as fat. This fat will help you in seeing a satisfying double-digit number on your weighing machine.
There are numerous calculators available on the internet that’ll tell you about the amount of your calories’ consumption by entering your per day diet data. You can also calculate how many calories you burn in a day. This will give you an estimate of the calorific value that you have to add in order to gain some weight. If you want to increase weight slowly and steadily, add upto 500-600 calories in your diet. And if you want to choose the faster way, add 700-1000 calories to your daily diet.
- Eat energy dense foods
One should consume single-ingredient whole foods that are rich in energy and other nutrients. They provide your body enough energy to sustain or spend in a single day. The only problem with these food items is that they contain less amount of calories, which means that they will fill your tummy, but you won’t meet your calorific value goal.
To cancel out the above mentioned disadvantage, you can add various things along with your diet such as toppings to increase the calories of that particular plate of food. These are energy dense foods. You can add various spices and condiments that will add extra calories in your plate to help in your weight gain journey.
Other energy dense foods that you can add in your diet are – Dry fruits (raisins, dates etc.), healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil, various nuts that your tongue likes (almonds, macadamia, walnuts, peanuts), dairy products that are high in fat (cheese, cream, full fat milk). You can even add chocolates as they are beneficial in gaining weight.
- Practice Strength Training and Avoid Running
Exercising is extremely crucial in the weight gain journey. However, your main focus should be on strength training. Strength training is a great way for muscle growth and weight gaining. You can also use weights while strength training. In order to gain weight, it is important to incorporate more weights and put less emphasis on repetitions. A few exercises that can come handy for the people trying to gain weight are — push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, bench press, etc.
On the other hand, running can hinder your weight gain journey. It’s true that running is important for one’s physical and mental health, but it can be a setback for the people trying to gain weight. Running is best suited for weight loss because it burns a lot of calories at a rigorous rate and does not stimulate muscle growth. But in this case, the body can lose the extra calories it needs to put on weight, which can make your growth go in vain.
- Make Protein Your Best Friend
Protein is the most important type of nutrient when it comes to weight gain. Protein is added to your muscles and without it, most of your calories will end up as fat, which will just increase the size of your belly and not the whole body. The edibles that you can add to your diet to increase your protein intake are meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, legumes, nuts and others. You can also try whey protein if you find it difficult to eat heavy food items.
An average person should consume 1.5-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of their weight. But, protein has some disadvantages too. It is highly filling, which means that protein intake will fill your belly. This will make it difficult to eat the extra calories that are also required by your body to gain weight. That’s why, a proper diet chart should be your topmost priority before beginning any sort of fitness journey. You can consult a professional nutritionist, or a friend who has the knowledge of nutrients or you can simply learn the basics by yourself.
- Consistent is the key to Success
As the saying goes, “Consistent actions create consistent results,” it is important for a person to stick to their diet and exercise routine to see visible results. No improvement can be seen overnight, be it anything, weight loss or weight gain.
Gaining weight is a process and every process takes time. One must be willing to overcome challenges and stay dedicated throughout their journey, else it will be of no use. If you want to see long-lasting results, you’ll have to stay focused and keep pushing yourself daily to do better. One must set a goal and strive to achieve it. Only those people who can stay consistent can achieve their goal and their dream weight.
There are less or equal health threats of being underweight as compared to being overweight. If you don’t meet the calorific value that is needed by your body as per your age, weight and height, you’ll simply lack energy. This will affect your personal as well as professional life. Gaining weight will provide you energy and confidence to live a healthy life. We hope you found the article helpful.