About two-thirds of US adults are either obese or overweight, according to statistics. It might be a common thing, but it’s unhealthy, nonetheless.
Most of us dream of eating all our favorite food and not gain a single pound. The thing is that there are some people who don’t get fat no matter how much they eat.
However, there are always two sides to a story. For one thing, there are a lot of individuals who have a voracious appetite but still are stick-thin. However, it’s not always a good thing.
Gaining weight is not as easy as you think it is – at least for some people who have been slim for all their lives. Nonetheless, gaining weight can also be frustrating for a lot of people.
The truth about being skinny
Just because there are people who do not gain weight at all doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. For one, you won’t have any problems shopping for clothes because you can easily fit through them. However, being underweight can be as bad as being overweight.
For starters, being underweight means having a lower body mass index (BMI). A normal BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI of below 18.5 means you are underweight. You are considered overweight if you a BMI of around 25 to 29.9, and obese if your BMI is 30 and above.
But sometimes, computing your BMI can be unreliable. For one thing, BMI is mostly based on height and weight and not consider muscle mass.
There are also some people who are naturally slim but considered healthy. That said, being thin does not mean you are not already healthy.
Still, there is still a health risk when it comes to being underweight. In fact, one study revealed that there is a 140 percent risk of death among males and 100 percent on females due to being underweight. This is way greater a risk than being obese in terms of early death which is only at 50 percent.
Being underweight can also lead to health issues. Some of these include the risk of osteoporosis, fertility issues, infections, sarcopenia (muscle deterioration), and dementia.
Why people find it hard to gain weight
There are some people who are simply “blessed” with a fast metabolism that is why they don’t get fat. However, you might not know the real reason why their weight does not budge a bit.
One major reason is due to health issues. Some of these health problems that cause weight loss include the following.
- Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, etc.
- Celiac disease (a severe type of gluten intolerance)
- Hyperthyroidism (causes fast metabolism)
- Infections (ex. tuberculosis, parasites, HIV/AIDS, etc.)
Having a fast metabolism can also be one reason why there are those who don’t gain weight no matter how much they eat. However, it is most likely due to a health issue although it can be a “blessing” for some. It depends on how they look at it. Nonetheless, you should still consult a doctor if you have problems gaining weight.
How to gain weight safely and effectively
Planning for a weight gain plan? Seems exciting, eh? Well, not so fast.
There are those within the normal BMI but are not actually healthy inside. There may also be some who are a little overweight but are considered generally healthy.
This does not mean you can go ahead and eat donuts and soda every day. Instead, gaining weight means eating a balanced meal and aiming for muscle gain instead of fat. Yes, it is possible to gain weight safely without compromising your health in general.
Eat more protein.
When we burn protein through physical activities, it turns into muscle. Muscle, in return, can add up to your weight. It is healthier to gain weight through muscles than fat. However, the downside of it is that protein can make you feel satiated faster. This means you might tend to eat fewer foods than usual.
Eat at least thrice a day.
Make sure to eat a balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fat in every meal. A lot of people avoid carbs if they are aiming for weight loss. However, this is the opposite care if you want to gain weight. As for carbs, make sure to eat healthy carbs like whole-wheat bread, rice, corn, or potatoes.
Eat energy-rich foods.
There are foods appropriate for weight gain. Among this food include the following:
- Nuts (macadamia, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
- High-fat dairy products (cheese, whole milk, yogurt, etc.)
- Healthy oils and fats (avocado oil, olive oil, etc.)
- Whole grain (brown rice, oats, rye, etc.)
- Potatoes, yam, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Meats (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, etc.)
Build your strength.
Go to a local gym and sign up for weight training. You don’t have to worry about those excess calories turning into fat. Instead, it will be converted into muscles and help in weight gain. Ideally, you should weight train about 2 to 4 times weekly. Consult your doctor first if you have back or knee problems before weight training.
Other ways to gain weight include the following.
- Eat small but frequent meals in a day.
- Make it a habit to drink whole milk. You can also try protein shakes.
- Avoid drinking water before mealtime. It might feel fuller and not be able to finish your meal.
Have a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking, avoid eating junk and have enough sleep.
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