How to Gain Weight in a Healthy Manner

In our society the subject of weight centers mostly around losing weight. However, some people have the opposite problem- they just can't seem to gain weight. Here are tips on how to gain weight healthily.

Thin does not necessarily mean healthy.

Today we are drowning in abundance. There are more foods available to us than ever, and more ways to avoid cooking. Many people have a problem maintaining their ideal weight, but there are also many people who are actually too thin, or underweight. 

How is underweight defined?

Officially, underweight is defined by a BMI of 18.5 or lower. BMI denotes the Body Mass Index, which is calculated using your body weight in kg divided by your height in meters.

A man that weights 75 kg and is 1.80 meters tall would therefore have a BMI of: 75 / (1.80 * 1.80) = 23.15.

However, a BMI is just a guideline. Very muscular people always have  a high BMI, even though this does not mean they are overweight. Since muscle weighs more than fat, this value is distorted.

How should you gain weight?

If your BMI is under 18.5 be, a medical evaluation is important. Sometimes an illness can cause weight loss. If you are healthy, how should you go about gaining weight?

One thing first: gaining weight is not just about increasing calories, so don't just run to the next fast food place. To healthily gain weight, you need to consider a few things:

1. Calculate your daily calorie needs. Slowly increase your daily caloric intake by 500 kcal. It is important that you take it slow and give your body time to get used to the extra calories. For starters, it is good to consume 100 to 200 kcal more per day.

2. Eating more at each meal doesn't always work. It is better to eat five or six smaller meals per day.

3. Plan what you eat in advance. It isn't so easy to remember to eat five to six times a day. If you do not know what you will eat, it is even harder. The energy density of your food is also important. Eat foods that contain a lot of calories, but are still relatively healthy. These foods include:

  • avocados
  • bananas
  • peanut butter
  • cheese
  • salmon
  • noodles
  • nuts
  • dried fruit
  • whole grain products

It is important to pay attention to a varied and balanced diet, otherwise you can't maintain your health. Carbohydrates provide fast energy, but should not lack quality, vegetable fats. Avoid diet foods that are low fat. If you eat meat, then high quality is also preferable.

4. Make sure your food looks nice, you'll enjoy it more. 

5. Add extra calories with little tricks. Add creme fraiche to cereals, olive oil or cream cheese to soups or pastas, or add plenty of parmesan. Fruit juices are also an easy way to add calories.

6. Drink enough. Drink at least two liters of water a day. 

7. Exercise is also important. To avoid calories turning into fat, you should start a regular exercise program. 

Good luck gaining!