Weight loss is a serious issue. Being underweight means you’re not getting the calories you need and you may be missing out on key vitamins and nutrients your body needs. For so many people, being too thin may seem like a good problem to have. But the reality is that being underweight can cause health problems.
Weighing too little can lead to growth problems like fragile or weak bones, a weakened immune system, anemia, fertility problems, and a host of other complications. People who are underweight typically are not getting enough calories to fuel their bodies. Often, they are also suffering from malnutrition. Malnutrition means you are not taking in enough vitamins and minerals from your food. If you’re underweight, you may be at risk for the following health issues:
People who are underweight are often not quite healthy, though this doesn’t mean that by definition being underweight means that you’re sick. But there are some health issues that can be directly caused by being underweight.
Some factors responsible for underweight include
- Fragile bones
- Delayed development and growth
- Fertility issues
- Weakened immune system
- Hair loss
- High physical activities
- Psychological issues
To gain weight, you’ll need to consume more calories than you burn off, so that means you need to eat more. Eating junk food may result in weight gain. However, it will not satisfy the nutrition your body needs. It’s also important that you focus on good for you, nutrient dense foods, particularly those that are high in calories.
For a healthy weight gain, the following tips can help:
- You don’t need to drastically change your diet. Try to make most things you consume nutrient dense, not just high calorie. “Load up on good carbs, like whole grains and lean protein. You can increase calories by adding nut or seed toppings, cheese, and healthy side dishes. Try almonds, sunflower seeds, fruit, or whole-grain, wheat toast.
- Avoid sugar-laden drinks, like soda and sweetened tea and coffee. These fluids’ calories are “wasted” because they have no nutrient value, and can stop you from consuming other, healthy food. The exception would be nutritious drinks, like smoothies (just keep out added sugars) or plain milk.
- If you find you fill up fast, eating five or six meals a day can help you add in calories without being overwhelmed. Some or all of the meals can be smaller as long as you’re upping the total number of calories you’re consuming by the end of the day.
- If you’re struggling with a poor appetite, due to medical or emotional issues, eating large amounts of food may not seem appealing. Consider eating smaller meals throughout the day to increase your calorie intake.
- Exercise will burn calories and work against your weight goal, strength training can help. This includes weightlifting or yoga. So cut down on your workout.
If you are considering adding healthy weight, you can try eating the food listed below often.
- Whole-grain cereals
- Fats and oils
- Whole-grain breads
- Protein shakes
- Red meat
- Nuts and nut butter
- Dark chocolate
- Cereal bars, etc