Being overweight can severely affect our health in so many ways. Meanwhile, this is also the same problem for people who are underweight. If you’re still wondering why you’re not gaining weight, you must understand what “underweight” means and what you can do about it. Don’t tell yourself that you’re a hard gainer and self-loathe. If you’ve given up on yourself, don’t!
If you think that you’re not gaining weight, high are the possibilities that you’ll determine some ways to achieve it. Leave no excuses and start believing in yourself. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you, so keep reading!
Understanding What Underweight Means
Underweight means you are under a healthy weight range. Research claims that you should be in the right range for your body to be able to work properly. However, if you are outside of the range, either being underweight can have a negative impact on your health.
If you want to know if you have a healthy weight, the best way to measure it through your body mass index (BMI). This can be calculated by your height and weight. For adults, the ideal weight range is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. If you found out that your BMI is under 18.5, then you are considered underweight.
However, you need to be aware that BMI calculations don’t apply in a similar way to other people. For instance, athletes, pregnant women, people of different ethnic backgrounds can’t rely on their BMI to check if they are underweight. If you belong to this group of people, it’s better to ask for information about it from your doctor. Meanwhile, for children’s weight, it must be measured by growth charts. These will calculate how a child should grow against what’s expected for some boys and girls of their age.
The Risks of Being Underweight
Most of us are already familiar with the health effects of getting overweight, but do we know the effects of being underweight? If you want to know the health risks of being underweight, here are some of the risks included:
- lower immune function
- develop osteoporosis from inadequate vitamin D and calcium
- malnutrition, anaemia, vitamin deficiencies
- high chance of getting complications from surgery
- irregular menstrual cycles and fertility issues
- growth and development problems in kids and teens
- more likely to die at a younger age
Reasons Why Some People are Underweight
People are becoming underweight for various reasons. Some people are naturally small and they have low BMI because of their genes. Others have an extremely high metabolism and it’s difficult for them to gain weight, even if they consume plenty of calories.
There are people who can’t follow a healthy, balanced diet because they skip meals or can’t afford to buy nutritious foods. Some people may not be able to eat properly because they are sick, or their medications make them nauseous. Or others spend a lot of time in their home gym doing physical activities and exercises that burn up more calories than they should eat resulting in being underweight.
There are physical conditions that can also contribute to weight loss and lead to underweight. Some of these include:
- having an infection
- nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, or stomach problems
- Crohn’s disease
- thyroid problems
- experience mental health problems which cause a person to be underweight
- stress and anxiety
- anorexia nervosa and bulimia
- ill elderly people
Tips For Gaining Weight in a Safer Way
If you are still underweight, you may want to eat different type of foods that provide the nutrition you need to gain some pounds. You need to make sure that you eat adequate energy to gain weight, some protein to fix your body and create some muscles, take vitamins and minerals to make you healthier.
The purpose of gaining weight is to slowly eat healthy foods. Although you are underweight, you may want to avoid foods with any added sugar, cakes, fat and salt, sugary drinks, and takeaway foods.
You may want to gain some pounds by eating small meals more often throughout the day. You may focus on healthy, energy foods such as cheese, milk-based smoothies, dried fruit, and nuts.
Additional tips for gaining weight safely include:
- sprinkle several grated pieces of cheese on your food
- use full cream milk
- add healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil
- adding skim milk powder to stews, soups, and drinks
- add some protein powder to milkshakes
- avoid tea or coffee with milky drinks
- perform some exercise to boost your appetite
- get meals delivered if you have a hard time preparing them yourself
Of course, it’s crucial that you see a doctor for you to be able to determine your normal BMI through lifestyle changes leading to a healthier life. Your doctor knows very well the answers to your problem like the psychological issues behind it, the right nutrients you need, health condition, medications, and other situations you have that contribute to being malnourished or underweight. If you want to know more about your digestive health, read more here.