Are you one of them who struggle to gain weight? Don’t worry; you have reached the right place. This blog will provide a basic understanding and quick dietary tips for gaining weight to help achieve your health goal.
Weight gain is a common concern faced by many people. A person is viewed as underweight when the BMI is less than 18.5 kg/m2. Being underweight is not considered healthy for the body, and it is associated with several health risks.
There could be various causes of being underweight. Let’s discuss some of them.
- Genetic pattern: Some people are underweight due to hereditary reasons, and gaining muscle is a huge challenge. They are often referred to as ectomorphs or hard gainers having lean and skinny body types.
- Hyperthyroidism: A medical condition where the body excessively produces the thyroid hormone, resulting in a high metabolic rate and unhealthy weight loss.
- Dietary inadequacy: Lack of proper diet and nutrients is one of the common reasons people find it hard to gain weight.
- Infections: Poor gut health, increased susceptibility to infections and conditions like leaky gut or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are common reasons as they interfere with the better digestion and absorption of the nutrients.
- Stress: Stress is indeed a prevalent cause of obesity, but some people also lose their appetite during stress resulting in weight loss.
- Medical conditions: People who have type 2 diabetes, blood pressure or heart diseases might also experience weight loss. The solution lies in an exact diagnosis, expert medical advice and treatment. Avoid self-medication to prevent any side effects.
Weight Gain Foods
Total calorie intake plays a significant role during both weight gain and loss. And weight gaining does not mean simply loading up on calories. One must carefully plan a weight gain diet considering the requirement of all the major nutrients – carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vitamins and minerals.
Before you begin your weight gain journey, it is advisable to determine your daily calorie intake based on BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and energy expenditure. A good diet plan for weight gain must provide calories more than everyday needs to create a surplus. The diet must include healthy high-calorie foods for weight gain and not junk or unhealthy stuff.
If you want to gain weight, it is essential to do it right. Here is the weight gain foods list that one can easily include in any weight gain diet.
- Protein Shakes: Protein powders for weight gain are an excellent choice. A healthy weight gain means muscle gain and not excess fat accumulation. Protein powders support a healthy weight gain and help meet daily protein needs.
- Nut Butters: Nut butter like peanut butter, almond or cashew butter contains high levels of good fats like MUFA and omega-3. They are delicious, healthy, make you feel full, and you can enjoy them in multiple ways. Nut butter can be a part of shakes, smoothies, sandwiches as spreads or high-protein bars.
- Oats with Yoghurt: Oats with yoghurt is another calorie-dense food that can aid weight gain. You can also relish it with dried fruits, nuts and berries to make it yummier and nutrient-rich.
- Starchy Vegetables: Vegetables like sweet potato, potatoes and yam are rich in complex carbs. They are calorie-dense foods, help increase weight and muscle glycogen stores.
- Whole Eggs: Eggs are packed with good-quality proteins and healthy fats. They contain vitamin D, A, choline, iron and folate. You can add eggs to salads, sandwiches, muffins and desserts.
- Fruit Smoothies: Smoothies are an excellent way to gain muscle mass. You can use milk or greek yoghurt as a base and blend it with fruits like banana, apple, mango, cheeku or pineapple. To increase the calorie load, one can also add honey, nut butter, nuts or seeds to the smoothie.
- Meat and Chicken: Meat and chicken are protein-rich and contain leucine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis. In addition, meats are naturally rich in creatine – the best for muscle building.
- Cereals: Carbohydrates play a vital role during weight and muscle mass gaining. A healthy weight gain diet must include healthy grains like rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat, pasta, buckwheat, bajra, ragi and jowar.
- Full-Fat Dairy: Full-fat dairy products like milk, paneer, curd, yoghurt, cheese are other healthy and convenient food options to gain weight healthily. They have a great nutritional profile and a well-balanced mix of protein, carbs, and fat.
- Avocados: Avocados are super healthy, high in calories and loaded with vitamin C, K, A, and E nutrients. In addition, they are packed with good fats that promote heart health. You can have it simply raw and add to salads, shakes, and smoothies to reap the benefits.
Apart from having a well planned calorie-dense diet, it is advisable to stay physically active. Regular exercise, especially strength training, promotes muscle building and a proportionate weight gain.
A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet may result in fat gain and increase the risk of metabolic disorders like obesity and high cholesterol. Moreover, it can also cause nutritional deficiencies and other health disorders.
The key to memorize here is that weight gain should only happen healthily and safely, not by some addictive habit of gorging on junk food.