Weight Gain? Some may wonder about the benefits of weight gain, although most people want to lose weight dramatically. Although being thin can often be healthy, being underweight can be a concern if it is the result of poor diet, if you are pregnant or have other health issues. Therefore, if you are underweight, see your doctor or dietitian for an evaluation. Together, you can plan how to achieve your target weight.
Here are some healthy ways to gain weight when you suffer from underweight:
- Eating too much: When you’re underweight, you may feel full faster. Eat five to six small meals during the day instead of two or three large meals
Choose nutrient-rich foods: As part of an overall healthy diet, choose breads, pastas, and cereals; fruits and vegetables; Dairy products; Lean protein sources, nuts and seeds.
- Try smoothies and shakes: Diet soda, coffee, and other beverages are filling with few calories and little nutritional value. Instead, drink healthy smoothies or shakes made with milk and fresh or frozen fruit, and sprinkle with some ground flaxseed. In some cases, a liquid meal replacement may be recommended in the weight gain process
Watch when you drink: Some people find that drinking fluids before meals dampens their appetite. In this case, it may be best to have higher-calorie drinks with a meal or snack. For others, drinking 30 minutes after a meal, and not with it, may work.
- Make every bite count: Snack on nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruit, and avocado. Have a bedtime snack, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a rolled sandwich with avocado, chopped vegetables, and lean meat or cheese.
Add extras to your dishes for more calories: cheese in casseroles and scrambled eggs, and skim milk powder in soups and stews.
- Eat a bonus once in a while: Even if you’re underweight, watch out for extra sugar and fat. The occasional slice of pie with ice cream is OK. But most treatments should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Bran cookies, yogurt, and granola bars are good choices.
Playing sports. Exercise, especially strength training, can help you gain weight by building your muscles. Exercise may also stimulate your appetite.