How to gain weight | Effective tips to Fatten your Body
In a society where appearance matters too much, being thin is as bad as being overweight. It can also have health consequences. Because of the importance of implementing strategies to approach the “ideal” weights. How to gain weight ideally?
Defined by a body mass index of less than 18.5, thinness can cause discomfort and health problems. Focus on causes and consequences and suggestions for gaining back a few pounds.
How do you know if you are too skinny?
- Body mass index (BMI) provides the first indication. To calculate yours, simply divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in m) and again divide the result by your height. For example, if you weigh 50 kilograms for 1.60 m, your BMI is equal to: (50: 1.6): 1.6, or 19.5. (calculate your body mass index here).
According to the World Health Organization, a healthy weight that corresponds to good health corresponds to a BMI between 18.5 and 25. Beyond that, you are overweight and under it, you are thin. However, there is a small margin: for people who are always obese, a BMI between 25 and 27 is acceptable. For people who have always been very thin, a BMI of 17.5 (45 kilos for 1.60 m) is not a concern.
On the other hand, less than 17, after rapid weight loss, we are talking about malnutrition, the severity of which increases with a decrease in BMI.
- Body composition measurements provide a second indication, allowing to know whether fat mass or lean mass is affected. Impedance-symmetric family scales (whose operation is based on the ability of lean body mass to conduct electric current) are not very precise, but allow for identifying trends.
The lower the muscle mass, the more health risks posed by underweight. Muscle wasting is often visible to the naked eye, especially in the legs (quadrant muscles).
Causes of a Thin Body
Constitutional thinness (constitutional thinness)
We are talking about constitutional emaciation for people who are a stable weight and have always been very thin, with an unbroken weight curve when they were children or teenagers. Often, other family members are involved.
Metabolic diseases and eating disorders are one of the genetic factors that may play a role in thinness. They have a completely normal energy intake. Compared to control women whose BMI was between 19 and 22, they had slightly lower fat mass, but especially reduced muscle and bone mass, which increased the risk of fracture in the medium or long term.
Too low weight can also be caused by weight loss voluntarily or not. In the case of anorexia nervosa, an overly restrictive diet, sometimes justified by some “early obesity”, results in excessive weight loss. The desire expressed by the young woman or woman concerned to gain weight, is often motivated by comments from the people around her, against distorted views of body image, with the feeling of always being “fat”. It can also occur in men.
Other diets, too strict and monotonous, followed for health reasons (family hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure), can lead to unintentional weight loss.
The same goes for affective shock, which cuts off appetite through the release of stress hormones. Many diseases (celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, infectious diseases, cancer, etc.) cause weight loss despite a normal calorie diet, promote the assimilation of poor energy nutrients or increase metabolism, in other words causing more calories to be burned than usual.
If you notice that you are losing weight when you are not following any diet, consult your doctor quickly to find the cause.
Weight loss: what are the consequences for your health?
The consequences on health are less in the case of constitutional emaciation, but expose osteoporosis (diagnosed from age 20 for 25% of women), or even depression.
In other cases, thinness causes fertility problems. Too low reserves and/or insufficient intake of energy and lipids (fats) lead to amenorrhea (absence of menstruation associated with ovarian cycle disorders) which is accompanied by an increased risk of osteoporosis due to estrogen deficiency. Fortunately, returning to a healthy weight restores fertility and reactivates bone mineralization.
The thinness associated with muscle wasting is accompanied by:
- reduced exercise capacity;
- weakened immune system exposed to infection;
- longer healing time or scarring in the event of disease or surgery.
Extreme thinness has an impact on heart function. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
How to Gain Weight? Here are the tips:
Whatever the reason for insufficient BMI, weight gain is contingent on increasing energy intake.
- Make sure you have a balanced diet or diet according to National Health Nutrition Program guidelines: 3 to 4 dairy products and at least 5 fruits or vegetables per day, meat, fish, eggs or nuts at least once a day, bread or starchy foods with each meal, rapeseed oil or walnut oil in the kitchen, drink at least 1.5 liters of drink every day.
- If you feel full quickly during your main meal, have plenty of snacks, in the morning and evening, perhaps at the end of the evening: a loaf of cheese, a biscuit and a glass of milk, fruit and yogurt, a handful of nuts and fruit.
- If your appetite is very small, fortify yogurt, purees, soups… with powdered milk, egg yolks, grated cheese, meat, minced ham… Unless medical advice otherwise, you can take a month’s worth of multivitamin dietary supplements, to optimize your vitamin intake and mineral.
- Add flavor to your dishes with herbs and spices to whet your appetite; maintain their presentation.
With your doctor’s approval, make whatever diet is more flexible (no salt, no fat, no sugar, etc.) to follow for health reasons.
- If necessary, limit the consumption of tobacco, caffeine (coffee, tea, cola-based soda, etc.) or alcohol, which increase energy expenditure or suppress appetite.
- Do not underestimate exercise, supplement the correct intake of protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy products) to regain muscle mass. Resistance training is the most effective: working with dumbbells, rubber bands, foam logs in water or indoor weight machines.
Feel free to seek advice from your GP, dietitian or nutritionist.
If you can’t eat certain foods or if you can’t stand the idea of gaining weight, seek help from a psychotherapist, psychiatrist or closer to a self-help association for patients with mental eating disorders.