Obesity is a global epidemic, but the incidence of underweight people is also a major public health concern. Women are more likely than males to be underweight as a result of inadequate diet or an underlying health problem.
Hair loss, dry skin, reproductive difficulties, and poor oral hygiene are among health hazards connected with being underweight. Underweight persons may have weaker immune systems4 or develop osteoporosis in extreme situations. Underweight is connected with an increased mortality risk, similar to obesity.
A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered underweight, while a BMI of higher than 30 is considered obese; a BMI of 18.5–24.9 is regarded normal.
It’s important to remember that being underweight (or overweight) isn’t always determined only by BMI; there are other factors to consider.
8 Some people are naturally thinner than others and may appear underweight due to their low BMI, but they are otherwise healthy. The same is true for people who have a BMI that indicates they are overweight or obese. As a result, it’s important to consult with your doctor, who will be able to give you an exact diagnosis.
If you’re underweight and your doctor determines that you’d benefit from gaining weight, your doctor will likely advise you to consume more nutrient- and calorie-dense weight-gaining foods to help you gain weight.
To gain weight quickly and safely, you must consume more calories than your body burns, preferably from nutrient-dense meals. Some meal choices are more healthy than others, and not all calories are created equal.
Stock up on mass foods that are both healthy and convenient
Regardless of whether you’re underweight, overweight, or your weight is deemed normal, it’s critical to consume nutrient-dense meals. For optimal nutrition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests consuming a range of healthy foods in your diet, such as protein, fruit, vegetables, grains, and dairy products.
On Nutrition Facts labels, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a 2,000-calorie diet as an example.
10 Consumption of 2,000 calories is not always a good idea. The quantity of calories your body requires varies depending on your age, gender, and degree of exercise.
If you’re underweight, you should aim to ingest an extra 500 calories each day. You might achieve this by eating more meals or increasing the size of your regular meals. Adding fats to your cooking avocado, nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils can also help you get more calories and good fats.
If you don’t have much of an appetite, modest calorie-dense snacks throughout the day can likely help you lose weight. If you don’t have time to prepare additional snacks, simply increase the portion sizes of the meals you usually consume.
While reaching for a bag of salty chips or a tub of sweet ice cream may seem like an easy answer since these foods are high in calories, they are low in nutritious value. Sugar and salt-rich foods might make you feel bloated and lethargic. Furthermore, eating certain items often and in excess may raise your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Processed foods are linked to weight gain and obesity, but they can also cause chronic health problems including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), autoimmune illnesses, colorectal cancer, and mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
Instead, begin a healthy weight-gain diet by following the guidelines below to consume more nutritious, nutrient-dense meals.
Breakfast with an extra slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter
Start your day off right with a full breakfast with a slice or two of whole-grain bread with peanut butter, which is calorie-dense and high in fat and protein. Peanut butter has around 200 calories in two teaspoons. Natural peanut butter brands are preferable to those with added sugar. Almond butter and other forms of nut and seed butters are also good for weight growth since they’re high in protein and include a lot of beneficial fats.
Dietary fibre may be found in abundance in whole grains. Select a whole-grain bread with a minimum of 100 calories per slice. A loaf of bread with nuts and seeds often has more calories and good fats per serving.
Whole milk, 100% fruit juice, or vegetable juice are all good options
Drink a glass of whole milk with your nut butter toast for additional protein, calcium, and vitamin D. If you don’t like or don’t want to drink cow’s milk, try a nut-based milk substitute. It will be lower in calories, but it should still be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are essential elements for weight gain.
Throughout the day, pick 100% fruit and vegetable juices that are free of sugar and additives. Read the Nutrition Facts labels carefully to make sure you’re eating actual, easy-to-pronounce foods—the fewer ingredients mentioned, the better.
Sugary drinks are enticing, yet despite their high calorie content, they provide little nutritional value. They’re high in sugar, which has been linked to an increased risk of chronic illness.
To receive your daily dosage of vitamins and minerals, select whole milk or fruit and vegetable juices as a beverage.
Use an extra egg and add more cheese to an omelette
Omelets are often cooked with two or three eggs, cheese, and a variety of other ingredients, making them already high in energy. Increase the calories in your omelette by adding a bit additional cheese and an extra egg. Save room, though, for some nutritious vegetables like spinach, peppers, and onions, as well as mushrooms and tomatoes.
Use a spoonful of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil to cook your omelette. This will increase the number of calories and monounsaturated fat in your diet. For even more calories and richness, stir in a dash of whole milk or half-and-half to the egg mixture. For a healthy fat boost, serve with a slice of whole-grain bread topped with avocado.
Add an egg to your avocado toast
Avocados are commonly regarded as a superfood since they are high in healthful fats, fibre, and protein. They’re an excellent option for a weight-gain diet. For a double dose of protein and extra calories, top your avocado toast with a fried or poached egg.
Cut an apple into slices and serve with nut butter
Many individuals don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and while they’re lower in calories, you shouldn’t exclude them from your diet because they’re still an important element of a well-balanced diet. Spread almond, peanut, or cashew butter over apple slices to increase your snack calorie intake. Along with your calories, you’ll get lots of nutrients to help you gain weight.
Yogurt with chopped nuts, oats, fruit, and honey
Add a liberal amount of walnuts, almonds, or pecans to your Greek yoghurt, along with oats or granola and your favourite dried fruit. With a teaspoon of honey on top, you’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy snack or dessert.
Yogurt has helpful bacteria that keep your gut healthy, while nuts include healthy fats and provide the energy you need to build weight.