“Food is our immunity booster, don’t eat less, EAT RIGHT.”- Shivika Gandhi
You must be thinking as to why I’m putting up this topic here, but we need to keep in mind that not all of us are after weight loss!
Many of you out there have a desire to put on weight. Moreover, being underweight is equally dangerous and annoying, hence, this blog will inform you about some useful weight gaining tips.
Healthy Weight Is Important
First, let me just preface what underweight is, according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) guidelines anyone under 18.5 is “underweight”. Click here to calculate your BMI.
Once you have checked your BMI, check whether or not you suffer from the following symptoms:-
- reduced appetite,
- emaciated features (especially around the shoulders, collarbone, knees, and other joint points),
- sunken eyes,
- hormonal imbalance (especially in women),
- very low body fat percentage,
- poor vital signs,
- losing hair,
- feeling cold,
- lack of energy/tired, and more.
Health consequences that ensue when one is underweight- hormonal changes, decreased muscle mass, decreased bone density, lowered immune system function, slow wound healing, sleep issues, irregular heart beats, nutrient deficiencies, impaired gut function, heart disease, anemia, and high risk for further malnutrition.
There are many other negative health consequences of being underweight, therefore, it is very essential for us to maintain a healthy body weight.
Tips To Gain Healthy Weight
I’ve listed my top tips for any of you out there, looking to put on healthy weight with whole foods instead of resorting to a lot of processed foods or “junk” items that will make you feel worse in the long run.
1. Start Slow
Random example – Going from eating 1000 calories one day to eating 3000 calories the next, is a recipe for disaster and not to mention digestive distress.
Gradually increase your portion size and frequency of meals, allowing your stomach to stretch and for your body to get used to the amount of calories and nutrition.
Consume appetizers before meals to boost appetite.
2. Nutrient And Caloric Density
Always look for whole foods that are not only nutrient dense, but also calorie dense.
Some examples include: coconut oil, nuts or seeds (almonds are highly recommended), avocados, grass-fed butter, olive oil, coconut milk, fruits, dried fruit etc.
Eat a lot of protein rich foods, dairy products, starchy foods, example: beans, pulses, eggs, fish, and meat and also potato, almonds, low-fat cheese and yogurt.
3. Smaller Meals
Eating smaller meals more frequently may help cut down the volume of your meals so you don’t feel so full all the time. Your body will adjust to the amount of foods overtime.
4. Make Healthy Smoothies
Milkshakes / smoothies are calorie-rich, give you energy without making you feel incredibly full, the trick is volume. High calories for a small volume. Use things like nuts, nut butters (peanut butter), coconut oil, fruits (like bananas), and avocado to boost the calories.
Calorie dense foods help you reduce the bulk of your diet and easily increase your daily calorie intake.
5. Change Your Exercise Routine
If you’re engaging in a lot of cardio exercise (i.e. running, aerobic classes, sports) you may need to limit and adjust this temporarily until you’ve met your healthy or goal weight. Also adding in body weight, weightlifting, and resistance training is going to be crucial for helping retain and build muscle mass!
Energy intake should always be equal to the energy expenditure.
In case of people who are underweight, energy intake must be more than the energy expenditure until healthy weight is achieved!
6. Never Skip Meals
Make a routine for meals, stop fasting and skipping meals. Do not starve yourself as it is harmful.
What should be the eating pattern?
This is the most practical part of the blog consisting of a general eating format that will help you in the implementation of above mentioned tips.
2 bread toasts + 1 omelette or 1-2 cornflour pancake (besan ka cheela) + milk with peanut butter/ banana or mango shake/ almond and dates milk/ cereal like cornflakes/ oats in milk.
This meal must contain a nutritious snack.
Example-Baked potatoes / sandwich / poha / vegetable wrap.
1-2 stuffed parantha + a bowl of yogurt + 1 serving of meat exchange (Egg or chicken) / if you are vegetarian, consume paneer instead.
Or 2-3 chapatis + 1/2 cup vegetable + a bowl of yogurt + salad.
Or grilled chicken / paneer sandwich + salad with dressing can add potatoes
Or veg / non-veg Pasta with either olive oil / dressing / red or white sauce.
Or 1 cup rice with pulse soup (dal) + a bowl of yogurt.
Consume a fruit or salad of your choice (example: mango / banana ; corn / sprout / mushroom salad).
This is your second snack meal which must contain a healthy and nutritious snack. Some options of such snacks are given under mid-morning category.
Other alternatives- Vegetable / non veg sandwich can add cheese / mayo.
Or cereal in milk
Or vegetable oats
Options same as lunch.
Other options- 2 toasts with Roast / grilled / tandoori Chicken or 2-3 chapatis with dal / chicken curry/ egg curry / scrambled paneer.
Or Baked fish with potatoes
Or Veg sandwich / grilled veg burger (paneer/ potato)
Or Vegetable rice
Or fried rice with chilly paneer (gravy)
Follow these tips, consume a healthy; energy and protein rich diet and have a happy and mindful weight gaining journey!