You have probably met someone who, no matter how much he eats, can’t put on weight at all. Or maybe you are this person.
And despite causing envy in many people, being underweight makes some people uncomfortable with their appearance and, in some cases, can be associated with health problems.
But how do you know if you are considered too thin?
One way to assess this is through the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measurement obtained by dividing your weight by your height squared. People with a BMI below 18.5 are considered too thin, but having a BMI below 16 indicates excessive or severe thinness.
Here are some healthy ways to gain weight when you are underweight:
Eat more often
When you are underweight, you may feel satisfied more quickly. Eat five to six smaller meals during the day, instead of two or three large meals.
Choose nutrient-rich foods
To eat a healthy diet, choose whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; lean protein sources; nuts and seeds.
Don’t fill up on diet soda, coffee, and other drinks with few calories and little nutritional value. Instead, drink healthy smoothies or shakes made with milk and fresh or frozen fruit and sprinkle some ground flaxseed into the mix.
Try drinking during or after a meal
Some people believe that drinking before meals suppresses the appetite. In this case, it may be better to have the higher-calorie beverages with or 30 minutes after a meal or snack.
Choose more calorific and healthier foods
Snack on nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruit, and avocados. Have a bedtime snack, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a sandwich with avocado, sliced vegetables, and some protein.
Watch your sugar and fat intake
Even when you are underweight, watch out for excess sugar and fat. A slice of pie with ice cream is fine if you want to gain weight. But if you want to gain weight in a healthy way, remember that most treats should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Oat muffins, yogurt, and granola bars are good options.
Don’t forget to exercise
Exercise, especially strength training, can help you gain weight by building your muscles. Exercise can also stimulate your appetite, helping you eat more.
So if you’re underweight, and you’ve tried all of this but it hasn’t worked, see a nutritionist or endocrinologist or a dietician for an evaluation. Together, you can plan on how to reach your weight goal.
If you haven’t tried these tips yet, give them a try and let us know the results!