Weight-related issues are the most prevalent health concerns affecting us today. While a majority of us are in pursuit of trimming our waistlines, some of us want to bid goodbye to our skinny frame by putting on a few.
Both weight loss and gain are gradual processes that demand a lot of planning and commitment. There is a popular misconception that it’s easy to put on weight; all one has to do is to have junk food. However, the weight gained by following an unhealthy diet is of no good and will, in turn, lead to diseases of vital organs and even obesity.
Yet another way to gain weight is by consuming calories in excess of those you burn. These approaches lead to an excess of fat deposition instead of muscle gain, which can do more harm than good.
Healthy Ways To Gain A Few Pounds Naturally
Before you adopt lifestyle modifications to gain more weight, have a thorough understanding of your BMI as well as your general health. If your BMI is already in the range of overweight to obese, refrain from putting on weight.1 If you have started losing weight recently, consult a physician to rule out the possibilities of thyroid disorders, cancer, infections and digestive diseases.2.
If you are generally healthy, here are 5 lifestyle modifications you can adopt to gain weight naturally:3
1. Have Multiple Nutrient-Dense Meals
Remember to keep your metabolism revving by having multiple healthy meals in a day. You can start with increasing your portion size. You can add more nutrients by including whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, fruits, and veggies. It’s best to have meals at an interval of 3-5 hours apart.
Also remember to refrain from having processed foods, or those with refined carbohydrates and trans fats as they will increase your weight while putting you at the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.4
2. Add More Variety To Your Diet
Increase your dietary intake of complex carbohydrates and proteins to build more muscle mass. Some great muscle-building foods include whole grain pasta, bread, nuts, dried fruits, protein-rich eggs, chicken, and meat, nut butter and dairy products.
3. Drink High-Calorie Smoothies
For those who have a reduced appetite, having a smoothie filled with high-calorie and nutrient-dense foods is a terrific way to gain weight. The foods can be oatmeal, banana, avocados, frozen yogurt, milk, juice, peanut butter, chia and flax seeds.
For an added protein boost, use whey or casein protein powder to your favorite smoothies. However, smoothies should be consumed in moderation and it shouldn’t replace the rest of the solid foods that you are meant to eat.
4. Follow A Simple Exercise Routine Daily
You don’t have to worry about a high-intensity training. Freehand strengthening exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges are just as effective and can easily be done within the comfort of your home. If that’s too much for you, at least spend 45 minutes daily cycling, running, walking, or doing yoga.
A moderate amount of physical activity can leave you feeling hungry. This means you are more likely to consume excess calories after you exercise.
5. Eat Well Before You Sleep
For anyone who is trying to lose weight, going to bed without eating a hearty meal is counterproductive despite long hours at the gym. Hence, if you are keen on putting on weight, have a delicious meal complete with necessary carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Sleeping gives time for the bone and muscle tissues to carry out the repair and regenerative processes in the body that will lead to muscle gain.
But before you make these changes to your lifestyle, ask yourself why you would like to put on weight. If you think you are doing it in response to peer or societal pressures or due to a negative self-image, gaining a few pounds will not help. Remember, every body type is unique the way it is! Regardless of body type, eat healthy food consistently and enjoy what you eat.5