While overweight people are looking for some quick-fix measures to lose some pounds, some, on the other hand, are not happy with their skinny body framework and, as such, are making frantic efforts to add at least some flesh to look more attractive.
No wonder the saying ” Different strokes for different folks”
Weight gain is usually a topic of interest for those that feel that they are skinny and would want to attract attention by adding a few pounds, but there is more to it than just a feeling.
In this article, we will look at
- The category of people that need weight gain
- How do I know if I am underweight?
- Health risks of being underweight
- Step by step guide on how to gain healthy weight naturally
- Nigerian food timetable for healthy weight gain
Sounds interesting?. Relax and read on.
The category of people that need weight gain
Being lean or skinny is not a yard stick for desiring weight gain because you can be lean and still be healthy. It is not necessarily unhealthy to be naturally thin.
The category of people that need weight gain are people that are underweight. According to Wikipedia, a person is considered underweight if his or her body weight is too low to be healthy. In other words, it can be said that the person’s weight is too low for his or her age. An underweight person can be referred to as malnourished.
A person may be underweight due to heredity, poor nutrition, lack of food supply often brought on by poverty, appetite-suppressing medications, physical or mental disease, an underlying condition, excessive exercise and an eating disorder.
And that takes us to the next topic which is…..
How do I know if I am underweight?
Know your Body Mass Index (BMI)…….
The Body Mass Index (BMI) calculates a person’s weight in relation to their height. Using your BMI, you may determine whether your weight is appropriate for your height. BMI is determined for an individual using a mathematical formula.
BMI = (Weight in kilograms) divided by (Height in metres squared)
For instance, if my weight is 89kg and my height is 1.77m, then my
BMI = 89/(1.77)2
=28.4 meaning I am overweight.
BMI calculations can also be done easily with the use of online calculators like the one shown below;
All you need to do here is to put in your details in the required spaces and click on calculate to get your bmi result. The class that is boldly written in black ink is your bmi class.
If I really want to know my ideal weight and not a range, I subtract the lower number from the higher one, that is 78-58 =20/2=10. My ideal weight is 58 + 10 =68 OR 78-10 = 68.
According to the WHO, a BMI of 25 to 29.9 in an adult is considered overweight; a BMI of 30 or higher is considered as obese; a BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight; and a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is regarded as a healthy weight.
Health risks of being underweight
Individuals may have just as many health risks if they are underweight as they do if they are overweight. A person’s body might not be receiving the nutrition it needs to develop strong bones, skin, and hair if they are underweight.
Underweight people may lack the physical capacity and immune system to fight against infections and therefore prone to diseases like
Slow growth or impeded growth: Young people require nutrition to grow and form strong bones. An individual might not develop as anticipated if they are underweight and are not obtaining enough calories.
Non-uniform periods: Women who are underweight may experience irregular menstruation, or a delayed or missed first period in adolescents. Infertility may result from irregular or nonexistent menstruation.
Being constantly exhausted: Calories are a unit of measurement for the amount of energy that specific food can provide. A person may feel worn out or tired all the time if they aren’t eating enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.
Being unwell all the time: A person may not be getting enough nutrients to fight off infections if they are not getting enough energy from their food to maintain a healthy body weight. As a result, illnesses like the common cold may persist longer than they normally would and a person may become unwell more frequently.
Complications in pregnancy: Underweight pregnant women may experience complications in pregnancy if gestational weight gain is too low.
Anemia: a condition marked by low blood counts that can result in fatigue, headaches, and dizziness, is more prevalent among underweight people.
Osteoporosis :Even in young adults, being underweight is a known risk factor for weak bones and increases the risk of fractures.
Hair loss and weak dentition: An underweight person may exhibit physical symptoms, such as thinning skin, hair loss, dry skin, or poor dental health if they do not consume enough nutrients in their daily diet.
Step by step guide on how to gain healthy weight naturally
While it is challenging to lose weight, it is also challenging to gain weight in a healthy way, which is crucial. Being underweight can be problematic if it results from inadequate nutrition, from underlying medical conditions, or when it occurs in pregnancy.
Eating junk food is not going to help you gain weight the right way; rather, it will increase your risk of having heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
If you are underweight, try these healthy methods to put on weight:
Boost your healthy calorie intake: The most crucial thing you can do to gain weight is to consume more calories than your body expends, or build a calorie surplus. Eat more frequently and snack on healthy nuts and fruits.
Go for nutrient-dense foods: Pick fruits, veggies, dairy products, lean protein sources, whole-grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds as part of a balanced diet.
Take little meals: Eating a lot of food might not appeal to you if you’re having problem with your appetite because of an underlying ailment or emotional problems. To consume more calories during the day, think about eating smaller meals more frequently.
Boost your consumption of healthy fats and carbohydrates. If gaining weight is a priority for you, eat lots of high-carb and high-fat foods. Each meal should have a good amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Don’t drink before meals: If feeling full is a problem, avoiding consuming a lot of liquids before a meal will help keep your stomach a little bit empty. No matter what you drink before a meal, it fills your stomach and may make you feel less hungry once you begin eating. Drink in moderation, not just before meals.
Exercise: You can gain weight by adding muscle through exercise, particularly strength training. Your hunger could be sparked by exercise.
Read also: Healthy Balanced Weekly Meal Plan in Nigeria
Food for healthy weight gain
There are ways that people can gain weight. The easiest strategy is to consume more calories than your body burns in a day while emphasizing a diverse, heathy and nutrient dense diet. It is possible to combine this greater calorie intake with enough protein and exercise for people who wish to especially gain muscle.
Below are some of the foods to take into consideration if you wish to gain healthy weight, but you must realize that adding healthy weight gradually is the most enduring strategy. Rapid weight gain techniques could have adverse effects on health.
So I will recommend that you go for natural foods. There are some natural foods that contain more calories than others. Studies show that your body receives 4 calories from every gram of carbohydrates you consume. Therefore, by eating more carbs, you take in more calories, and when you consume more calories than your body burns, you gain weight.
When selecting foods, opt for high-quality carbs, such as those found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, in particular.
The following foods should be prioritized if you want to consume a variety of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein for weight gain.
- Fish high in fats such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herrings and mackerel. These are the most nutritious and healthiest of all fishes.
- Red meat is a high-protein food that can help you grow muscle and gain weight. It contains leucine and creatine, which are important nutrients for increasing muscle building. Poultry meat can also help in weight gain.
- Whole eggs are your best option for weight gain because they are high in protein, calcium, and healthy fats. They are easily accessible, muscle-building foods. It is vital to consume the entire egg since the yolk is quite healthy.
- Beans and legumes are an excellent addition to a healthy weight-gain diet since they are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and folate. They’re also such a good source of plant protein that the US Department of Agriculture classifies them alongside meat, poultry, and fish in the protein group.
- Nuts and nut butters are energy-dense foods that are high in calories and fats. When consumed in large quantities, it may lead to weight gain.
- Whole grains like rice are an easy and excellent source of carbs, which are required for weight gain. Rice is also a calorie-dense food, which means that a single serving can provide both carbs and calories. One cup of rice has around 200 calories, which contributes to weight gain.
- Another good source of carbs is the whole grain bread which will cause you to gain weight. When served with protein sources such as eggs, meat, and cheese, they can constitute a well-balanced meal.
- Consuming dried fruits can help you gain weight. This superfood is high in antioxidants, proteins, calories, and minerals. Dried fruit has a naturally high sugar content, which makes it ideal for weight gain. You can eat them raw or roasted, or add them to yogurt or smoothies. For weight gain, a daily handful of dried fruits such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews is ideal.
- Fruits such as avocados, coconut, bananas, mangoes, are high in calories and good for healthy weight gain when consumed daily.
- Plant-based dairy products, homemade yogurt without additives and cheese are also good for weight gain.
- Healthy oils are incredibly calorie packed and lack the drawbacks of other harmful oils. These oils can be used as salad dressing, as a spice foundation, or in cooking. Three healthy oils that can help you improve your calorie consumption are avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil.
Avoid the consumption of high-carbohydrate foods like highly refined grains and processed foods that offer little to no nourishment, cause inflammation and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Nigerian food timetable for healthy weight gain
Dishes from the several ethnic groups that make up Nigeria are included in Nigerian delicacies. Nigeria is blessed with delicious foods and snacks that are a big help if you want to put on some weight.
But hey!..not just any food here because we are looking at a healthy weight gain.
Below is a guide that you can always follow. Feel free to substitute or make adjustments as long as it is not humanly modified foods.
Breakfast: Boiled yam with scrambled eggs and tomato prepared with local groundnut oil + a glass of coconut and date drink.
Lunch: Local rice with panla/titus fish stew plus a cup of coconut and date drink
Dinner: Bean pudding (Moi moi) and corn/millet pap
Snack: Garden egg and peanut butter
Breakfast: Unripe plantain porridge cooked with titus fish.
Lunch: Groundnut oil cooked jollof rice with codfish + a glass of tigernut/honey drink
Dinner: Cod fish and yam pepper soup
Snack: Boiled corn with coconut
Breakfast: local groundnut oil fried plantain with a cup of cocoa and honey tea.
Lunch: Egusi soup cooked with fresh beef/stock fish/dryfish and vegetables with pounded yam fufu
Dinner: Bean and corn porridge cooked with panla fish
Snack: Bean cakes (akara) with a glass of fresh pineapple juice
Breakfast: Boiled yam with scrambled eggs and tomato sauce
Lunch: Afang soup with cassava flour swallow
Dinner: Bread fruit pudding (ukwa)
Snack: Almond nuts/cashew nuts with a glass of orange juice
Breakfast: Whole grain bread with scrambled eggs
Lunch: Vegetable soup with pounded yam
Dinner: unripe plantain porridge cooked with fish and vegetable.
Snack: A bunch of banana with a glass of coconut date milk
Breakfast: A glass of coconut honey drink with a bunch of banana
Lunch; Groundnut oil cooked jollof rice with fish and fried plantain
Dinner: Liver and beef pepper soup garnished with scent leaf + a glass of fresh orange juice.
Snack: Oat pancake with a glass of tiger nut honey drink
Breakfast: A glass of tiger nut and date milk with two avocados
Lunch: Vegetable soup with pounded yam + a glass of fresh pineapple juice
Dinner: Bambaranut pudding (okpa) with a cup of pure cocoa tea sweetened with honey.
Snack: Dried fruits or nuts with Greek yogurt. A homemade ice cream comprising of avocado, banana, and tiger nut milk or any plant-based milk of your choice can serve as a dessert,
There are numerous foods and supplements available to assist you in gaining weight, but instead of overindulging in sugary or highly processed foods for quick weight gain, consider high-calorie healthy foods that give energy and muscle mass without all of the bad fats that might injure you. I know that the temptation may be there to eat all sorts of junk food to put on weight fast, but that can only hurt your health.
So, what is the remedy?
Adhere to a healthy weight-gaining diet plan! Eating more calories per day than you burn off through activity is the key to weight gain. By keeping track of calories and making sure the proper meals are ingested in sufficient amounts, this straightforward step can result in successful weight gain without any adverse effect on your health.
The process of gaining healthy weight is ultimately a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to be successful in the long run, it requires a lot of work and consistency.
However, it’s crucial to consult a doctor or dietician if you’re having trouble gaining weight despite following the aforementioned measures. You can use eating techniques that could help you achieve your goal with the assistance of a dietician.
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