When you tell some people you need to gain weight, they say you’re lucky. However, if you’re underweight or need to gain weight for another reason, it doesn’t always feel so lucky. Putting on weight can be difficult, and you often need to put in a lot of effort to make it happen. When you’re busy or struggling with other things, putting on weight might be hard to do. Just finding the time to eat enough and making sure you get enough calories is tricky, and even that might not guarantee that you actually gain the weight that you need to.
If you need to gain weight, there are various things that could help you. You can explore lots of healthy ways to gain weight that will help you to reach your target weight.
See a Doctor
First of all, it’s smart to start by seeing a doctor if you think you’re underweight or if you have been losing weight without trying. If you’re rapidly losing weight without meaning to, it could be an indication of an underlying health problem. So it’s important to see a medical professional to discuss the problem. It’s also a good idea to work with medical professionals if you’re underweight due to an eating disorder. You can work out if you’re underweight using your BMI. Although it’s not a perfect way to do it, it makes sense for the majority of people and can help you to understand where you’re starting from.
If there is an underlying cause to your weight loss, it’s crucial to address that and not simply look at your weight loss in isolation. You could attempt to regain weight but ultimately fail because the true cause of it hasn’t been treated.
Explore Medication or Supplements
In some cases, it might be necessary to take medication or some kind of supplement to make sure you’re gaining the weight you need, or not losing any more weight. Some medications are commonly used to help with weight gain or to prevent weight loss, but it’s always important to consider both the pros and cons of any medicine you take. You might want to consider Ostarine side effects before you decide if it’s the right solution to stop involuntary weight loss. All medications have the potential to produce side effects of some kind, but there is often a balance to be found.
Some people might find it beneficial to add supplements to their diet to help them gain weight. For example, using protein powder or drinking protein drinks could help you to gain muscle and make sure you’re getting the calories that you need.
Add More Calories to Your Day
Adding more calories to your diet should obviously help you to gain weight, assuming there are no other problems preventing that. In the simplest terms, you need to make sure you’re eating (or drinking) more calories than you’re burning off. This isn’t always easy to do, especially if you might be having a hard time with your appetite. But there are lots of ways to increase your calorie intake, and it doesn’t have to be by much. Adding a few hundred calories more each day, around 300 to 500, could help you to start gaining the weight that you need. This could mean selecting higher-calorie foods, or maybe adding an extra small meal or large snack to your day.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
If you struggle to eat a lot in one sitting, one thing that could help you is eating smaller meals but having them less often. Some people prefer to do this anyway, as they like to have several lighter meals instead of one or two main meals. In between your small meals, you could also add some extra snacks to increase your calories further. For example, instead of having a large breakfast, you could have one small meal when you get up and another one mid-morning. Although both meals may be smaller, they can add up to more calories than one larger meal when you put them together.
Add Higher-Calorie Foods
Adding extra calories to your diet through the foods you choose is a good idea too. Some people might give themselves permission to eat as much fast food and convenience food as they like, but that doesn’t have to be your approach. If you’re not really a big fan of huge meals, it might not be the way for you to go. However, if you want to increase calories without eating huge meals, there are lots of ingredients that can help. Things like nuts, cheese and oils can be easy to add to a meal without changing the bulk of it too much but adding lots of calories. Cooking with an oil that has more calories, or using butter, can increase the total in your meal. Adding a dressing to your salad or sprinkling it with some nuts or seeds is a good idea too.
You could also try having drinks with more calories. Milk has plenty of calories, or you can try readymade high-calorie drinks such as Ensure. You could make milkshakes or smoothies, or enjoy a hot chocolate. There are lots of recipes for drinks with more calories that you can experiment with, and they will help to keep you hydrated at the same time. You can also add things to drinks, such as protein powder.
Make Sure Your Diet Is Balanced
It’s important to make sure you’re enjoying a balanced diet if you want to gain weight. Not only does it help you to ensure you’re getting enough calories, but it also helps you to give your body everything it needs. Be sure to choose your food and drink from a variety of different food groups so that you’re getting the nutrients you need. As well as putting on weight, you should be aiming to have enough energy and give your body all the vitamins and minerals it requires. Eating a diet of just fast food might help you put on weight, but it could leave you feeling less than energetic.
Add Protein to Your Meals
Protein helps you to build muscle and can help you to gain weight. Protein is found in lots of foods, so you can add it to your diet in a way that you like. Although people often think of protein as being found in meat, fish, and eggs, it can also be found in beans, pulses, and other foods. Even vegetarians and vegans can still get plenty of protein in their diets. For people who don’t eat meat, tofu is another popular way to enjoy protein, especially as it can be flavored in lots of different ways.
Avoid Filling Up on Drinks
High-calorie drinks can be good for helping you to gain weight. However, if you want to get most of your calories from what you eat, you should be careful about what and when you drink. If you have a big drink before you eat, you might find that you fill up too much to finish your meal. Try slowly drinking your drink while you eat, or wait until after you’ve eaten to have a drink.
Have Easy Snacks
Having to constantly prepare food definitely makes it difficult to get the calories that you need to gain weight. If you need to save time, there are ways you can cut some corners and still increase your calories. Having some easy snacks available is one of the best ways to eat more without it taking up a lot of your time. Stock up on snacks that you can just grab when you want one, or that you can graze on throughout the day. Yogurt, nuts and seeds, pudding or other snacks that you can either buy prepared or can prepare quickly can be really helpful when you need to put on weight.
Avoid Too Much Junk Food and Sugar
Junk food can help you to start putting on weight quickly, and the occasional treat isn’t going to harm you. But you shouldn’t be trying to use junk food alone to put on weight. Firstly, it can be full of sugar, which isn’t good for your teeth, your blood sugar levels, or other aspects of your health. It can increase your risk of several health problems, from heart disease to diabetes, if your diet is unbalanced. So it’s best to avoid having too much junk food and try to make your diet more balanced.
Try Building Muscle
Building muscle can be one way to put on more weight. Although you might think that exercising will mean you lose weight, getting the right balance between diet and exercise can help you get stronger without burning too many calories. Consider trying something like yoga or strength training, which can help you to focus on building muscle. Building other types of exercise into your routine is important too.
Putting on weight can be hard, but there are multiple ways you can do it. Try using a few different techniques to increase your calorie intake.