In a world where more than half of the population is obese or over-weight, being skinny seems like enjoying absolute bliss. However, being too skinny or under-weight may be harmful for health; just the way being over-weight is harmful. Moreover, being too much skinny might also impact your looks, making you look like a zombie. Now being under-weight means falling in the range of BMI (body mass index) below 18.5, while being over-weight means having BMI more than 25. However, BMI is not the only thing to consider as it excludes the muscle mass. Being under-weight increases the death risk, weakens the immune system and is responsible for the increased risk of infertility, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, dementia, etc. Unusual weight-loss is mainly associated with medical conditions like thyroid disorder, eating disorders, some sort of infection, diabetes, celiac disease and cancer formation. If you are suffering from unexplained weight-loss, it is best to consult your doctor to diagnose any underlying cause. Moreover, there are some effective ways of gaining weight and it is important that you do it the right way.
1. Increase The Frequency Of Eating
If you are under-weight, you may feel satiated for longer and while eating, you may feel full, midway. Therefore, instead of eating a few meals in large portions, try diving them into several smaller meals. This will improve your appetite and help your body absorb more nutrients from the food.
2. Eat Nutrition Based Foods
Being under-weight also means you might be malnourished. It is important that your body absorbs maximum nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber from whatever you eat. Choose a meaningful diet keeping in mind, your overall health. Go for whole-grain and wholesome food, nuts, legumes, seeds, cereals, dairy and poultry products. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits, even those which are seasonal.
3. Go For Liquid Meals
Instead of drinking low calories beverages like tea, coffee, diet coke, go for healthy and calorie-loaded smoothies and shakes. Use ingredients like milk, fruit juice, and calorie-rich fruits like banana, mango and pineapple. Sprinkle flaxseeds or chopped almonds to turn your beverage into a full-course liquid meal, which will help you gain weight the healthy way, without resulting in excessive weight-gain.
4. Eat Calorie-Rich Food
Eat foods that have low volume and are rich in calories. Wherever possible, use some add-ons for calories like garnishing you regular dish with some extra cheese or putting avocados in salads and sandwiches, having an extra boiled or scrambled egg for breakfast.
5. Eat Snacks That Count
Nuts and dry fruits are healthy snacking option and are tasty as well. They contain calories and other nutrients in higher concentration. Always keep some nuts like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, raisins or a piece of cheese or dark chocolate handy and munch them when hungry. You can put peanut butter, your favorite fruit jelly or sliced vegetables or a piece of avocado or lean meat between your whole-grain bread pieces as a bed-time or morning snack.
6. Give Yourself A Treat
You should keep a tag on sugar or fat intake even when you are under-weight. Consuming unhealthy fats might help you with weight gain, but having good fats will ensure overall good health. However, it is sometimes okay to pamper yourself with the food you love.
7. Try Flax Meal
Flax is high on calories and also contains omega-3 fats, and both are effective in gaining weight. Mix it with wheat germ to make a complete meal. Wheat germ is enriched with folic acids as well as dietary fiber. Moreover, it is high on calories. You can add some milk, honey, nuts or fruits to the mixture to enhance its caloric value.
8. Eat Dense Fruits
Fruits like mangoes, bananas and avocados contain considerable amount of calories. Avocado, which has an oily texture, is also a rich source of healthy fats. All these are dense fruits and can also replace a portion of regular meal. So, when you are hungry the next time, treat yourself with a juicy and succulent mango or eat a banana to beat the hunger. Prepare a nice smoothie or add milk or yogurt to them and prepare a shake.
9. Eat Starchy Vegetables
The vegetables that are high on starch like potatoes have more calorie content. However, these vegetables also contain other vital nutrients other than starch and can work like fillers.
10. Do Effective Exercise
Strength training helps in building up muscle mass. This is an effective and healthy way of gaining weight. Moreover, exercise and physical activities help you increase your appetite as well as hunger. The healthier and calorie rich food you eat, the faster it helps you gain body weight.