Are you faced with the challenge of a fast metabolism?
Weight gain is not a simple process as there could be many factors that are causing a hindrance in reaching your healthy target body weight. In medical terms a person (adult) is underweight if a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 18.5 whereas the normal weight is between 18.5- 24.9.
- Eating unbalanced diet (low in calories)
- Eating well but your body is not assimilating it properly like worm manifestations esp.in growing kids, intestinal diseases like Crohn's disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
- Medical disorders like hyperthyroidism, stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), sleep disorders.
- Poor gut health leading to poor absorption.
Not reaching your ideal weight is as harmful as being overweight although many people find it normal to be thin but it is not. Every individual should maintain his normal weight within acceptable limits according to age, sex and height.
Why Is Being Underweight Harmful??
An underweight individual can suffer from —
- Nutritional Deficiencies like anemia (iron deficiency, b12 deficiency), scurvy (vitamin C), osteoporosis, protein deficiencies like marasmus, kwashiorkor, just to name a few and many more can occur depending on lack of nutrients.
- Deteriorated Immunity
- Delayed Healing and Recovery
- Irregular periods
- Fertility issues especially in women
- Retarded growth
- Low immunity
- Low muscle mass.
How To Gain Weight In A Healthy Way At Home ?
Well the most crucial step to gain weight in a healthy way begins with your diet.
Let’s now discuss in detail what one can incorporate in day to day life to gain weight with dietary changes. But before that remember these key points:
- The biggest mistake usually people make while trying to gain weight is that they indulge in calorie laden unhealthy food options like ice-creams, aerated drinks, pizzas, burgers, candies, cakes, etc. A healthy weight gain needs a well-balanced diet as per requirement of an individual.
- The process of introducing a new diet should be gradual, not a drastic one.
- To begin with calculate your BMR. Numerous BMR calculators available online. NOW create a caloric surplus basis your BMR.
- One of the key components is the addition of proteins, whole carbohydrates and healthy fats in gaining weight.
- A typical diet should for gaining weight should be 50% carbohydrates+ 30% proteins+20% healthy fats basis the BMR calories. Eg. if your BMR caloric requirement is 1800 calories and you have added 500 additional calories then, 1150 calories should come from carbohydrates, 690 calories should come from protein and 460 calories should come from healthy fats. This should be divided into 4-5 meals a day which may include three meals and two shakes.
- Set small and achievable targets i.e. 300-500 calories extra/ day
- Add around 300 - 500 calories extra a day to your daily food intake. Measure your weight after a week. In case it has gone up this means you are in a caloric surplus. In case the weight has not increased, try increasing the calories by an additional 200. In such cases a quality weight gainer or a mass gainer with quality carbohydrates, proteins and MCT and less sugar such as Corebolics Epic Mass gainer can work extremely well to get the additional calories.
Dietary Changes To Gain Weight:
- Include Protein in all meals. This will maintain a constant level of amino acids in your blood, which will promote muscle recovery post workout. The common sources of protein are fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and for vegetarians it would be tempeh, mushrooms, yogurt, nuts, soy, beans and pulses. You can add protein supplements in your diet like whey or casein or a quality mass gainer.
- Include whole cereals like white rice, oatmeal buckwheat, etc.
- Include healthy fats as they are calorie dense and are essential too for a well- balanced meal. These healthy fats also aid in gaining muscle mass. Examples are nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, high protein peanut butter, etc.
- Do not forget to eat fruits and vegetables. This adds the much needed antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in your body along with great taste and variety. They are easily available and cost friendly too. Example banana, sweet potato, mango, orange, potato, spinach, peas, etc.
Gaining weight in a healthy way is a slow and steady process. This includes both dietary changes as well as lifestyle changes too. So, plan your goals (in terms of diet and exercise) and then execute them to see wonderful results. Do consult a physician and experienced gym coach or a personal trainer if you have any underlying disease or injury or dietary restrictions or health conditions.
Dr. Sonia Solanki