Today’s healthcare industry talks a lot about losing weight and explains different ways to do it. However, it is vital to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for your physical and mental well-being. Like being overweight, we also need to understand the adverse effects of being underweight. data suggests that one in five middle-aged and older adults in India is underweight.
from ResearchBeing underweight leads to a greater risk of certain health problems, including malnutrition, osteoporosis, reduced muscle strength, hypothermia and reduced immunity. It also shortens an individual’s lifespan. In addition, underweight women are less likely to become pregnant than women of a healthy weight.
Weight gain follows the same principle of counting calories as weight loss. So if you need to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Similarly, you need to take in more calories than you burn if you want to gain weight. However, it doesn’t mean you should eat everything you like. Instead, you should balance your meals, include all essential nutrients, and follow a healthy lifestyle. For example, regularly eating greasy, fried foods won’t do you any good if you’re trying to gain weight simply because you’re taking in more calories. Consuming a balanced diet along with a healthy lifestyle is vital for healthy weight gain.
The HealthifyMe note
Since calories play a huge role in weight loss, it’s vital to keep them in mind when planning your weight gain strategy. Of course you need to take in more calories than you burn, but how you take in your calories is crucial. It means you shouldn’t eat too many unhealthy foods to make up for the number of calories you need to consume. Instead, it’s essential to be mindful of what you’re eating.
Healthy Weight Gain: Essential Nutrients to Consume
Since the primary weight gain strategy involves being in a calorie surplus, this is something you can aim for as well. You can consume 300 to 500 calories more than your normal daily consumption. For example, you usually consume about 1500 calories per day, so your goal should be to consume about 1800 calories daily. In addition, it is generally a good idea to increase the number of meals rather than increasing your portion size significantly. However, several other nutrients must become a holy grail in your diet in order to gain weight.
Below are some nutrients that you should include in your diet to gain weight in a healthy way.
Protein-rich foods can help you build and repair muscle. A high protein diet can easily increase muscle mass when paired with regular strength training. In addition, it leads to weight gain as it strengthens and increases muscle mass. So it can help you look fit and toned while gaining weight at the same time.
The best way to incorporate protein into your regular diet is to start with lean meats if you are a non-vegetarian. It includes everything from chicken and turkey to fish and pork. If you are not a meat eater, you can always opt for meat substitutes such as eggs, nuts and tofu. The point is to avoid fatty cuts of meat like steak and sausage, as they can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
The biggest confusion when planning your meals occurs when choosing fats. For most people, fats are the unhealthy nutrients found in junk food or desserts. However, a lesser known fact is that eating foods rich in healthy fats can lead to significant and healthy weight gain. This is because fatty foods usually contain more calories in one gram than carbohydrates or protein.
Foods high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat are therefore suitable options to consume. However, you must remember that too much saturated fat is harmful. So the right way to add healthy fats to your diet is to consume foods like peanut butter, avocados, fish and olive oil.
Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. This distinction often refers to the amount of sugar present in the food. Complex carbohydrates can help you gain weight, mainly because they contain more calories, while retaining a good amount of vitamins and minerals that are high in refined carbohydrates. Therefore, it would be a good idea to include foods such as wholemeal breads, cereals, pasta and brown rice along with some starchy vegetables in your diet.
Foods with natural sugars like fructose and lactose can help you gain weight. Fructose is a form of natural sugar that you get from fruit. Like fructose, lactose is a form of natural sugar found in dairy products. These forms of natural sugar can give you the energy to function while also preventing unhealthy weight gain. In addition, natural sugar is healthier than refined sugars, such as those found in high amounts in soda and candy, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
The opinion of the HealthifyMe expert
Eating balanced meals that contain all essential nutrients and minerals is essential for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight. However, it becomes even more important if you are underweight or just need some help gaining weight. In that case, it is vital to highlight some nutrients that can help you do this while holistically improving your lifestyle. So, adding foods rich in these nutrients can get you closer to your weight gain goal.