Weight gain is also an important issue for those thin people who have tried everything to gain a few grams.
In fact, being below normal weight can be the consequence of suffering from certain diseases and, in turn, can lead to other health problems if not treated properly.
In today’s article, I explain how to know if your weight is adequate, how to identify the possible causes of thinness and how you can start to gain weight in a natural and healthy way.
According to the World Health Organization, BMI is a simple indicator of the relationship between weight and height that is often used to identify low weight, overweight, and obesity in adults. It is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilos by the square of their height in meters (kg / m 2 ).
International classification of low weight, overweight and obesity in adults according to BMI (Source: WHO )
It is important to note that being thin according to BMI does not necessarily mean that the person is sick or has a health problem.
Why am I so thin and I don’t gain weight?
Several health problems can hide behind a thin person or continuous weight loss.
Let’s review some of them:
Hyperthyroidism, excess secretion of thyroid hormones, can increase our metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
Eating disorders (eating disorders)
The main characteristic of suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or other eating disorders is extreme and rapid weight loss.
Having diabetes, mainly type 1 diabetes, and not following the proper treatment to control it can also cause significant weight loss.
Some types of infections such as parasites, HIV / AIDS or tuberculosis, among others, can be a cause of extreme thinness.
One of the main symptoms of people suffering from gluten-intolerance is weight loss (1).
Tumors significantly increase calorie burning, which can result in considerable weight loss.
If you have experienced rapid weight loss in recent months or have noticed changes in appetite, see a doctor to identify the cause as soon as possible.
Am I in danger if I don’t have the right weight?
Although the situation varies from one person to another, being too thin can lead to a number of serious health problems.
Thinness can increase the risk of infections, cause osteoporosis and fractures, damage immune function and cause fertility problems (2).
Likewise, the risk of premature death is also higher in thinner people.
Finally, people who are below normal weight are more likely to suffer from sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of muscle mass and strength, and dementia (3).
What can I do to gain weight in a healthy way?
As with slimming diets, the best method is to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
Base your diet on natural and healthy products and try to lead a healthy lifestyle without forgetting to practice some exercise.
Never put your health in danger and go to your doctor or specialist if you have doubts or do not know where to start.
Here are some basic tips to gain weight in a healthy way:
Eat more calories than you burn
An effective way to gain weight is to control the calories you eat.
And to gain weight, it is necessary to consume more calories than the body burns.
You can know how many daily calories you need here.
How many additional calories do I have to consume to gain weight?
An optimal amount of calories to gain weight at a constant and slow pace would be 300 to 500 calories more than what your body needs to maintain its weight.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to gain weight quickly, adding 700 to 1000 calories more than what your body needs would be a good option.
However, you should keep in mind that both the calculator results and the amounts just mentioned are estimates that may vary from one person to another.
If in doubt, consult your doctor or specialist.
Consume a lot of protein
Eating enough protein is important to prevent the extra calories we consume from being stored in the body as fat.
A hyperprotein diet combined with a diet to gain weight causes the calories we eat to become muscle and not simple fat (4).
However, we cannot forget that one of the main characteristics of the protein is its satiating effect, which can reduce your appetite and hinder the task of the necessary calorie intake.
Recommendation: consume between 1.5 g and 2.2 g of protein per kilo of weight.
If you want to know which foods are high in protein, visit my article Which foods contain more protein?
Eat foods with a high energy density
Single-ingredient whole foods are an excellent option to gain weight (5) .
Foods with a high energy density contain a large number of calories compared to their weight.
Some examples of this type of food are :
- Cereals: whole grains such as brown rice or oatmeal.
- Meat: veal, lamb, chicken …
- Dehydrated fruits : grapes, dates, plums …
- Nuts: nuts, almonds, peanuts …
- Fats and oils: extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
- Fat-rich dairy products: whole milk, cheese, cream, high-fat yogurt …
- Tubers: sweet potatoes, potatoes …
- Others: avocados, coconut milk, dark chocolate …
Most of these foods make you feel satiated with a very little amount, so you may have to force yourself a little to eat more.
Exercise your muscles
The only way to make sure that the extra calories you are consuming are converted into muscle mass instead of fat is to exercise with weights.
Try to do weightlifting 2 to 4 times a week and try to add weight and volume as time goes by.
If you are a beginner, you can find a personal trainer so you don’t feel so lost
Of course, if you have back, bone or muscle problems, see your doctor before starting any type of exercise.
1. Make at least 3 meals a day and try to prepare dishes with lots of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
2. Do not eat many vegetables, as they fill your stomach and prevent you from eating other foods with more caloric density.
3. Try to eat fruit that does not require much chewing, such as bananas.
4. Drink milk whenever you can.
5. Do not drink water before meals, as it fills your stomach and encourages you to eat less.
6. Use larger plates.
7. Get enough sleep and properly, without noise that can disturb or disturb your sleep.
8. Use snacks between meals, but be careful with choosing junk food.
Check out this article: How to gain more weight
Read more: How to gain weight naturally