There are various reasons why people are skinny, underweight or are naturally thin. Amongst the reasons are eating disorders and genetics. A lot of theories have been developed around the reason why some people are naturally skinny. There isn’t any concrete proof that naturally underweight individuals have eating disorders. Anyone having a Body Mass Index below 18.5 is considered as being underweight.
It is interesting that studies involving dieting and bodyweight mainly focus on weight loss. It is very rare to find anything on weight gain. This is probably because being skinny is viewed as a good thing and there are fewer people in the underweight category. Research shows that only about 2.5 percent of women and 0.7 percent of men are underweight in the US.
If you’re thinking of starting a weight gain diet, check out these 20 simple tips for gaining weight, which could prove more insightful and helpful.
1. Understand Your Body
There is a myth that gaining weight is a lot easier than actually losing it. This is true only if you’re trying to gain unhealthy fat that will expose you to various diseases. Gaining weight the healthy way is a lot more challenging, that is why it is important to understand your body before committing yourself. There is probably a reason why you don’t gain weight, regardless of how much you eat.
The immediate reasons can be stress, eating disorders or problems with your thyroid function.
If you know how your body works or responds to certain foods, it will be very easy to stick to a healthy diet for weight gain. Also of importance is to start slowly and move gradually with the changes. Drastic and rapid changes can have a negative impact on the body. But, implementing consistent healthy alterations will eventually give you the good results you want.
2. Keep A Food Diary
Planning is also essential for gaining weight in a healthy way. You can do this by keeping a food diary. This will help you know what type of food you are having for different meals, to avoid excessive consumption or under eating certain foods. There is no better way of keeping track of your calories than using a diary.
It is very common for people to eat without measuring the calorie intake in the food. This is because they just estimate the food portion size. This will definitely give you the wrong results. Foods have different calorie counts and portion sizes are different depending on the type of food and calories they contain. Logically speaking, a diary will help you to keep all the calorie information. When preparing a meal, you can safely refer to your diary on the calorie count. This way you will consume the recommended amount of calories.
3. Eat Breakfast
This is the most important meal of the day. If you have difficulties eating in the morning, try adjusting and start to have breakfast. Breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism for the day, making your body aware that it is daytime and it needs to start functioning. It basically fuels and prepares you for the day.
Research shows that people who eat breakfast become energetic the whole day and they eat frequently. Remember that you will need to eat as frequently as you can in order to gain weight in a healthy way. Consider having a protein-rich breakfast.
Starving the body causes it to get into a mode whereby it stores all the fat to keep it going. But, if you continuously supply it with food, it burns all the unwanted fat and only keeps the good one for healthy weight gain. Breakfast can prompt you to eat throughout the day.
4. Have Snacks
Snacking has always been linked to weight gain, but not in a good way. That is why some people who are on weight loss programs often include less calorific snacks in their diet. What they don’t understand it that weight can be gained and lost depending on the types and sizes of the snacks they eat. Both in weight loss and weight gain, nutritionist recommends the intake of healthy snacks in small portions and frequently in order to keep the energy levels up.
Nutritionist’s instructions also elaborate that snacking should be in form of healthy small foods or drinks. However, most people do not follow this definition of snacking, this leads to unhealthy weight gain as excessive portions will just be stored as fat. Even though your aim is to gain weight, consider the following nutritionists’ definition of snacking. Anything different would result in fat accumulation in the thighs or hips without even distribution.
5. Increase Water Intake
Of course, water is not the answer to gaining weight. This is because it does not contain any calories to increase body fat. However, it is as important as taking it for weight loss. Water flushes out toxins from the body, leaving it refreshed and ready to absorb nutrients. It is recommended to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water on a daily basis. The number of glasses increase or decrease depending on the weather or extreme body exercise, to stay hydrated.
Unlike in weight loss, do not drink water before meals because it will make you eat less, thereby making you lose instead of gaining weight. Rather, take it after meals. This way it will help the body to digest the food faster. If you have an efficient digestive system and increase your water intake, you will quickly feel the need to eat again.
6. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Just like water, fiber is considered as a weight-loss nutrient because of its ability to increase the rate at which digestion takes place. Effective digestion allows the body to quickly absorb necessary nutrients and flush out toxins. If the system has problems with digestion, the unabsorbed nutrients turn into unhealthy fat that is difficult to get rid of. For effective healthy weight gain, you should consume high fiber foods to get your digestive system working. This will increase the absorption rate of the nutrients you need for gaining weight.
For effective results, fiber should be consumed in moderate portions and drink enough water. This is because foods rich in fiber cause constipation. Most people who have included whole-grains, vegetables, and fruits in their diet have complained about this problem. To avoid this, always drink enough water. The problem often goes away when the system gets used to the diet.
7. Do Not Skip Protein Foods
This is one of the ways that most people use to gain a little bit of weight in a healthy way. Proteins are very healthy and are the essential nutrient needed for the body. When contemplating gaining weight, this is the best nutrient to incorporate into your diet because of its high-calorie count.
Remember, in order to gain weight you have to increase the calorie intake. What’s good about protein is that it does not only make you gain weight but also helps to keep your body intact and lean. That is why most bodybuilders consume a lot of protein-rich foods. With proper workouts and a protein-based diet, you can easily have a stunning, fit and lean body. Most common protein sources include lean meat, poultry products, fish and dairy products. The amino acids found in these foods will make you get the bodyweight you want.
8. Reduce Soft Drinks
Even though soft drinks can easily make you gain weight faster, they are not good for the body; not a healthy way to lose weight. This is because they have no nutritional value, yet they are so high in calories. Properties found in soft drinks cause medical conditions such as diabetes and tooth decay. Also, the artificial sweeteners present in soft drinks stimulate body inflammation. This also applies to diet or ‘zero sugar’ soda.
Research shows that diet soda has actually more sugar in it than what its name suggests. But, people think that there is totally no sugar in diet sodas. When mixed with other foods, especially with high protein, soft drinks promote the excessive production of glycan end products. These are not good for the body as they disturb blood sugar levels, making you prone to conditions like diabetes. Instead of consuming soft drinks, try to stick to water.
9. Have Food Replacements
Instead of gulping down on the unhealthy sodas, try to stick to filling liquid food supplements. These have the high calories you need for weight gain and are also healthy. Make your skills useful by preparing home-made shakes and smoothies. These can come in handy when you get fed up with eating solid food or are lazy to stand behind the stove for long, trying to make yourself a healthy meal.
Protein smoothies have a high nutritional value and calorie count necessary for weight gain. In this case, more emphasis can be put on making your own smoothies at home because commercial ones have artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Also, making your own will allow you to play around with different nutritional ingredients found in your home. A few flavor suggestions include chocolate hazelnut, chocolate banana, vanilla berries. The trick is in mixing a flavor with your favorite fruits or vegetables.
10. Drink Plenty Of Milk
Milk can be easily incorporated into any diet in order to gain weight. You can always include it in cereals during breakfast, coffee when having a mid-morning snack or drinking it in the morning or before bedtime. It has been used by people for many decades to gain weight and build muscles. The number of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats contained in milk makes the process of gaining weight in a healthy way a lot easier.
For skinny or underweight people who want to gain weight or build muscle in a healthy way, milk is the answer. The whey and casein proteins make it excellent for gaining muscles. It works efficiently if the diet is combined with exercising or lifting weights. Compared to other types of proteins, whey and casein promote huge mass gain when used concurrently. For quick results, make sure to drink milk at least 3 times a day.