Some Major Reasons That Lead to Being Underweight
A Physical Illness or a Chronic Disease
One of the main reasons for being underweight is various physical illnesses and chronic diseases. For instance, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach problems do not let you gain weight according to your body requirements. These diseases cause the person to lose appetite and hunger, resulting in poor nutrition and various deficiencies.
In addition to all that, common viral and bacterial infections, such as flu and gastroenteritis, are also known for appetite loss. Thus, symptoms typically subside quickly and lead to decreased appetite. Chronic diseases that lead to underweight are chronic liver disease, liver failure, and kidney diseases. However, a person's appetite returns when they start to recover.
Various studies have shown that aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, brisk walking, and swimming reduces appetite levels by altering the balance of hormones that drive our state of hunger. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that is suppressed after intense exercise.
Furthermore, overdoing the exercises for a longer period limits the production of Ghrelin. It increases levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin, which leads to decreased hunger, resulting in underweight. Besides, if your body is not in the habit of getting food right after the workout, you might get accustomed to that routine and lose weight along with your appetite and become underweight.
A Mental Illness
For many people, mental problems can have direct effects on their weight. Anxiety may cause missed meals and unhealthy food choices and ultimately cause people to lose the desire to eat. Stress triggers emotional and mental changes in the body to help people deal with the tension.
Stress causes cortisol levels to increase, which raises acid production in the stomach, resulting in decreased hunger levels. Depression changes the generation of stress hormones and the GI system, causing alterations in appetite and metabolization. These alterations often impact the stomach and digestive tract and can cause them to lose their appetite.
How to Increase Weight: Foods To Help You with Your Weight Gain Journey
Homemade Protein Smoothies
Protein is an essential element for weight gain. Getting the required amount can increase your metabolism, improve your appetite, and help your body gain weight and muscles. Protein smoothies are an easy way to extra protein to your diet and have been proven to help with weight gain. Various studies have shown that protein shakes give amino acids that are easily absorbed by the body and help to bulk up. With the increased amino acid levels in the bloodstream, the body starts to make more muscle, resulting in increased weight.
To make protein smoothies, you will need one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, one scoop of vanilla whey protein, one cup of vanilla yogurt, and sugar according to your taste. Add all the ingredients in the blender and mix well. You may also add some ice cubes. It will provide you almost 400–600 calories, with a high amount of protein and other essential healthy vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes And Starch-rich Foods
Potato is one of the most beneficial ingredients for gaining weight and building muscle. Not only do the potatoes and starches provide you with carbs and calories, but they also strengthen your muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen is an essential component for carrying out most sports and activities. Potatoes contain a rich amount of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content. All these things support the overall wellbeing, particularly heart health.
Additionally, Potatoes contain significant amounts of fiber. Fiber helps reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of heart strokes. Adding enough amount of potatoes to your diet will aid improve your body weight. One of the best ways to eat potatoes and other starches is by boiling, grilling, or baking them with butter. However, you may also make french fries to add additional flavors and satisfy your craving.
In case you are struggling with gaining weight, give healthy cereals a try. Cereals are a rich source of protein, a significant of B group vitamins, including folate, and many minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. Cereals also are a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals that helps you to decrease blood cholesterol levels. Also, some cereals contain a rich quantity of sugar and numerous healthy carbohydrates. Cereals made up of nuts and whole grains contain enough amount of calories, fiber, and other nutrients required for gaining weight.
If you are trying to gain weight, you must start with high-calorie cereals. This is so because these cereals in breakfast give you enough calories to do physical activity and increase your appetite. Granola bars are a rich source of all the vital nutrients that are required to increase weight. You can eat granola bars as a healthy snack at any time of the day. You can buy these from Amazon for Rs. 360 only.
If you are looking for healthy foods to gain weight, white rice is one of the best options available. A single serving of white rice carries almost 200 calories and is also a rich source of carbohydrates, which help you gain weight. Incorporating rice into main courses along with meat and vegetables is very effective in gaining weight. White rice is a good, low-cost carb diet with a rich source of calories. Rice also serves as a good source of B vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin along with iron.
Additionally, it is also a great source of manganese and magnesium. Thus, it will help you to obtain a high amount of carbs and calories from a single serving. The best way of cooking rice is by steaming or boiling them and serve with as it helps in the elimination of any high-fat vegetable oils. Also, you can add blanched or stir-fried high-fiber veggies to make your course more delicious and healthy.
Nuts & Nut Butters
All types of nuts contain an excessive amount of calories that help you to gain weight. They are rich sources of fat, fiber, and protein. Most of the fat in the nuts is monounsaturated, omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, and omega-6 fat. But, they also contain some saturated fat that helps to gain weight faster. Nuts also contain numerous vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamin E. They are a protein-rich source that aids sustain energy levels throughout the day. Nuts are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin B1.
From walnuts to almonds and sesame to cashew, seed and nut butter are packed with rich, healthy nutrients and have been extensively used as a spread for sandwiches or in smoothies. Additionally, they contain a high amount of healthy fat that is good for the heart, cholesterol, and help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who eat avocados tend to be healthier than people who do not. Avocados are packed with healthy fats and also contain a high amount of calories. Unlike other whole fruits, they are highly calorie-dense and, thus, excellent food to help you gain weight fast. One large avocado is loaded with about 322 calories, 29 grams of fat, and almost 17 grams of fiber.
Avocados contain a rich source of vitamins, essential minerals, and numerous beneficial plant compounds. Various studies have shown that avocados may help you to gain weight faster and more healthily. Furthermore, they also provide several other health benefits. For instance, they help regulate blood pressure and improve digestion and are also a rich source of folate. They are also packed with healthy fats and dietary fiber. The most nutritious and simplest way to eat avocados is by sprinkling a dash of salt and pepper on them.
Red meat is very helpful if you are trying to gain weight and build muscle. The heme iron in red meat is efficiently absorbed by the body and helps in strengthening muscles. Red meat is packed with rich amounts of vitamin B12, which aids to make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy, and zinc, which supports the immune system and makes the digestion process work properly. Red meat is loaded with proteins and essential nutrients that are necessary to build bones and muscles.
Various studies have shown that eating red meat help with building muscle and gaining weight. Consuming it in steak form provides both leucines as well as creatine, which significantly boost muscle mass. Additionally, red meats comprise of protein and fat, which help in gaining weight. A single serving of red meat steak contains about 250 calories that help in attaining weight quicker.
Milk contains a rich source of calcium to boost immunity and certain other nutrients like zinc and vitamin D, vital for maintaining healthy bones. It is also good for your heart; having a glass of milk a day can improve your body functioning by maintaining good cholesterol levels in the blood. Moreover, it is rich in healthy fats that have particular importance in promoting the overall metabolism of the body.
Milk is loaded with the right quantity of proteins, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. Other nutrients like phosphorus, B vitamins, and potassium prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures and even aid you in maintaining a healthy weight and overall well being. Also, it is the best source for calcium, required to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The protein found in milk helps in improving muscle growth, thereby enhancing your weight.
Additional Tips to Help You Gain Weight
Lift Weights More Often
As of now, you must have believed that exercising and other related activities help reduce weight rather than help gain it. Now, this is true still, but not for all the activities. Lifting weight, for instance, help build muscles, which, in return, makes you look healthier and bulky. By doing this, you will also be able to make sure that the excess calories you gain do not turn into fat but instead help build muscles, helping build more strength.
When lifting weight, you should make sure that you do not overdo it right from the beginning. For this reason, you are suggested to being by lifting weights for only twice or thrice a week. You may also consider hiring a trainer initially because, if you do not do it correctly, you'll end up hurting yourself rather than benefiting from this excruciating exercise.
Do Not Eat Junk Food & Choose Your Meals Carefully
Another thing that you will have to remember is not to eat junk food. Now, even though eating junk food helps gain weight, it does not do this effectively and will only make you look unhealthy by raising the cholesterol level and also boosting up your blood pressure. This type of "unhealthy fat" will also increase the risks of various medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, heart strokes, and hepatitis, among many others.
They will also add to your "empty calories" that can harm your health and lead to chronic diseases. So, instead of gaining weight from these unhealthy ways, you are recommended to look towards healthier food for gaining weight like salmon, fruits, dairy, fatty fish, meat, and vegetables.
Track Your Progress And Set Goals
Another thing that we highly suggest you do is to track your progress. This does not mean that you get onto the weight machine every day, because, though this process can be fast, it is not that effective. This way, you will only start to lose hope and stop putting in as much effort. Instead, you should check your weight and all after once every week or maybe even two weeks.
Other than checking your progress now and then, you should also set your aims and make sure that you achieve them on time as well. This way, not only will you be able to gain weight quickly but also feel a sense of accomplishment. To begin with, you should aim to gain about half a kg every week and gradually increase this number.
Eat at Least Three Times Every Day And Snack Healthy
Another practical tip to help you gain weight quickly is to increase your everyday meals to at least three times a day. Now, this number does not include the snacks and the mini-meals. This only includes the main courses that you should eat every day. For the snacks, you should try eating them after every couple of hours or even after every hour, perhaps.
This way, you will be able to bring in a lot of calories, which will then help gain weight quickly. You can give various condiments a try along with your snacks like nuts with nut butter, nachos with salsa, mozzarella sticks with dips, etc. All these snacks are incredibly delicious and also effective in helping to gain weight.
Continuously Monitor Your BMI (Body Mass Index)
BMI or Body Mass Index, helps measure the metabolic activity of our body indirectly. There are a lot of sources available that provide you with simple formulae to check your BMI. For someone who's going through a weight gain journey, BMI can prove to be a significant measure in calculating their progress!