While being overweight is a common problem, there is a community concerned about gaining weight. The reasons for excessive weight loss are poor appetite, nausea, eating disorders, surgery, or illness. Being underweight means you are not getting the calories you need.
If you are looking to gain weight, you should understand that simply eating anything you want cannot help and can have health consequences. Eating nutritious food and maintaining other healthy lifestyle habits is necessary to gain weight safely. Here are some strategies to help you gain weight quickly and safely:
- Increase total calorie intake to about 500 to 1000 calories per day
- Eat more frequently – eat five to six smaller meals during the day rather than two or three large meals
- Consume dairy products, smoothies and protein shakes
- See that your diet includes protein-rich foods such as meat, legumes, seafood and nuts
- Consume energy – dense foods such as dried fruits, oats, brown rice, potatoes and extra virgin olive oil
- Avoid drinking water before meals, as this can fill up your stomach and make it harder to get in enough calories.
- Getting enough sleep is very important, as it can help in muscle growth
- Stop smoking – Those who smoke tend to weigh less than non-smokers
- Doing strength and weight training exercises at least three times a week can build muscle mass and promote healthy weight gain
Consult your doctor or dietitian on how you can reach your goal weight. Remember that safe and healthful weight gain can take time and requires patience and determination.