According to one UNICEF article on nutrition, 43% of Indian children under five years are underweight. This is as serious an issue as the issue of being overweight and obese. There are very many articles on how to lose weight on the Internet. We will address the opposite issue. In this article, we talk about ways you can gain weight.
- 1 What does being underweight means?
- 2 Reasons behind weight loss.
- 3 How being underweight effects?
- 4 How to gain weight the right way?
- 5 THE MAGIC NUMBER 3:
- 6 Pro-tips – Habits that will ensure that good results stay.
- 7 Note to keep you on track.
What does being underweight means?
Body mass index (BMI) is a metric that determines the capability of a person to sustain a healthy life based on body mass.
If BMI is under 18.5, then the person is underweight. Similarly, the person is overweight if BMI is above 25.
Here is a chart you might want to look at and check for your ideal weight.
Reasons behind weight loss.
Weight loss can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional weight loss can happen because of dieting and exercise. But we are not concerned about it because intentional weight loss depends on a person’s will. Unintentional weight loss is a serious problem. Reasons include:
- Hyperthyroidism: The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism and growth of the body.
Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition where your thyroid gland is secreting too many hormones resulting in body changes.
Symptoms include sleeping problems or feeling hot all the time.
- Cancer: Cancer or tumor in your stomach, small intestine or esophagus (pipe connecting throat or stomach) destroys the digestive system of your body.
As a result, food absorption fails and this results in weight loss.
- Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disease. If you have celiac disease, your small intestine freaks out when you ingest gluten.
The small intestine has hairy linings called villi which absorb nutrients as food pass through it. Eating gluten-rich foods can trigger a harmful reaction which hampers the ability of the lining to function properly. In other words, celiac disease can cause severe weight loss.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a condition in which your immune mistake attacks healthy tissues by mistake.
Also, it can cause some type of infection which can knock off the sufferer’s appetite.
These conditions can cause inflammation in the gut which hampers in the nutrient absorption process leading to unexplained weight loss.
- Diabetes: Type-1 diabetes can cause severe weight loss in the early undiagnosed period. You will be thirsty, always running for water. Also, you may notice that you are peeing all the time.
Diabetes causes glucose to excrete out of the body along with urine.
As a result, the body sucks nourishment from the muscles resulting in weight loss.
- Depression and other clinical problems: Loss of appetite is a common side effect of clinical depression and one that can promote unexplained weight loss.
If you’re unaware that your mood swings are something a bit more serious. Irritability, heavy drinking, indecision, and problems sleeping are other common symptoms of depression.
How being underweight effects?
According to an open-source article, the underweight population had a 19.7% greater risk of cardiovascular diseases than did the normal-weight.
Being underweight poses a greater threat to men than women. The increased mortality in underweight men was mainly attributable to early mortality and especially lung cancer mortality among smokers.
Underweight adults suffer from osteoporosis – a condition in which bone mineral density reduces too much. This causes brittle bones which lead to fractures.
Also, this study shows how underweight men may also suffer from fertility problems.
What’s more, people who are underweight are much more likely to get sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting) and may be at greater risk of dementia.
How to gain weight the right way?
Gaining weight has a simple formula.
Eat more calories. Burn less. If daily intake of calories is greater than the number of calories you burn, you will gain weight.
This certainly doesn’t mean that you eat anything and everything you get your hands on. Eating junk food like pizzas, burgers or fries will add pounds to your body. Sadly, the pounds add up to your belly.
Fats from junk foods invite cholesterol leading to heart diseases. Type-2 diabetes, depression, obesity, and mental decline are other symptoms of unhealthy fats in our system.
Our goal is to accumulate muscle mass and subcutaneous fats instead of unhealthy and stubborn belly fats.
THE MAGIC NUMBER 3:
Taking 3 meals a day rich in the following 3 constituents is the success mantra for people looking to gain weight.
The Obvious One: Fats
High-fat foods are incredibly nutritious and healthy.
Yes, that’s true. Fat is now considered a “superfood” and is regaining it’s lost glory. The latest research show that consuming unsaturated fats can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Also, there is no evidence that saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Super healthy high-fat foods include:
Avocados, Cheese, Whole Eggs, Fatty Fish, Nuts, Chia Seeds, Coconut or Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Full Fat Yogurt.
The Important One: Carbohydrates
Not all carbs are unhealthy.
Likewise fats, carbohydrates are considered ‘evil’. They have been blamed to cause an obesity epidemic.
We would like to bust this common myth. Carbohydrates are essential of two types.
Ones that are high in sugar content (found in junk foods) and refined grains — Incredibly unhealthy.
Ones that are found in whole fiber-rich foods. — Incredibly healthy.
High-carb foods that also happen to be incredibly healthy include:
Chickpeas, Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Quinoa, Kidney Beans, Grapefruit, Blueberries, Oats, Beetroot, Sweet Potatoes, and Buckwheat.
The Most Important One: Proteins
The name itself is enough to indicate good things ahead.
As the common definition goes, “Proteins are the building blocks of the body.” We won’t cover how protein does its magic because there is plenty of content on the Internet.
Proteins help you increase muscle mass while decreasing belly fat. It also controls blood pressure and fights diabetes.
High-protein foods include:
Eggs, Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Almonds, Lentils, Oats, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Milk, Broccoli, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seeds, Tuna, Shrimp, Sprouts, Peanuts, and Soybean.
Pro-tips – Habits that will ensure that good results stay.
All the above foods will work but the results are not visible for a long period of time.
For faster results, you need to put in an extra effort. There are many things apart from eating which you can do to ensure the weight gain process occurs quickly and safely.
Lift Weights: Hitting the gym is the best thing you can do during your weight gain regime. Lifting heavy weights will ensure you build up muscle mass rather than just fat.
Get Adequate Sleep: If you are lifting weights, your muscle tissues bound to breakdown before they build up. Sleeping ensures muscles get enough rest for growth to happen.
Quit/Reduce Smoking: Smoking’s effect on body weight could lead to weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, decreasing metabolic efficiency, or decreasing caloric absorption (reduction in appetite), all of which are associated with tobacco use.
Avoid drinking water before meals: Water drinking fills up your stomach and reduces hunger. That’s why weight-loss programs include drinking too much water.
Note to keep you on track.
The body tries to fight any change you are bringing to it. If you are increasing your calorie intake, you may expect your body to increase the metabolic rate or reduce the appetite.
The brain secretes weight-regulating hormones called leptin when you are eating too much. So, you have to be psychologically strong to get past the period of resistance coming from inside the body.
It’s hard to change your body. Whether you are trying to gain weight or lose weight, you will require a lot of effort, heart, time and patience.