We live in a world that, for better or worse, has certain beauty standards that often skew towards the slim or petite figure.
As a result, most of the content around us is telling us how to lose weight, shed pounds, and get the body of our dreams.
Yet, for some of us, this doesn’t sound like it would lead to the body we’d be most happy in.
For some of us, the idea of gaining some weight and filling out our figures sounds much more appealing, yet where are all the articles informing us how to gain weight and put on pounds?
The truth is that there aren’t all that many of them out there.
For whatever reason, the words ‘gaining weight’ is more often than not associated with unhealthy life choices and have negative connotations.
Yet what if we want to gain weight for personal or medical reasons?
If this is the case for you, then forget the stigmas and read on to find out what the most common reasons for wanting to gain weight are, how you can put on weight, and how to effectively build muscle alongside weight.
Medical Incentive to Gain Weight
The number one medical incentive to gain weight is usually that the person’s current weight presents a serious health concern.
While we often hear about the risks and health concerns of being overweight, it’s far rarer to hear about what being underweight can do to your body if not addressed.
The Dangers of Being Underweight
To know if you are underweight, the most important metric is body mass index, which is commonly abbreviated to BMI. While it isn’t the only factor to consider for determining whether or not you are underweight, it’s the most reliable.
Your BMI is an approximation of how much body fat you have taken into account both your height and your weight.
To measure BMI, it’s best to go to your doctor and ask them to calculate it for you, to minimize the risk of error. Plus, when you do it with your doctor, you can get immediate assistance and advice if your suspicions are confirmed and you are indeed underweight. You can do your own tests at home with callipers though if you want answers fast.
To give you an idea of what’s considered healthy, the BMI range for your average person is anywhere from 18.5-24.9. Above that, up to 29.9 is considered overweight, and beyond that, the person is considered to be obese.
To be classified as underweight, you would need a BMI score of less than 18.5
What’s the problem with being underweight?
Well, if you’re underweight there’s a strong chance that you are also malnourished, which means your body isn’t getting the right levels of nutrients from the foods you eat.
Some of the symptoms associated with being underweight are as follows:
- Frequent illness
- Infrequent periods for females
- Issues with the skin and teeth
More of a concern though is the negative effects being malnourished can have on your immune function and the amplified risk during surgery that this brings. There are several other major concerns associated with being underweight, so needless to say, it’s a highly compelling reason to want to gain weight!
Personal Reasons to Gain Weight
Just because you feel like you want to gain weight, though, it doesn’t mean that you have any medical issues or that you are underweight.
It’s worth checking your BMI if you have suspicions about your weight of course, but there are many other valid reasons for gaining weight other than medical necessity.
Here are some of the main reasons people choose to gain weight:
To Change How they Look
One of the main reasons a lot of people opt to gain weight is because they want to change how they look.
If you’ve ever looked at someone like Ronda Rousey or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and thought, ‘I’d like to look like that one day’, then you have a legitimate reason to gain some weight.
You have to make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons, though, and not just to impress those around you.
Choose to look like The Rock because you want to have a body that you’ve worked hard to achieve, or choose to look like Ronda Rousey because you want to challenge yourself physically and look like you know how to defend yourself.
To Feel Better
This first reason to put on weight ties into the next: to feel better.
There’s no denying that filling out your figure can make you feel better about yourself and give you some extra confidence.
Not that this is guaranteed, but having to work incredibly hard towards something like a musclebound body can humble you and give you a pep in your step.
Even if you aren’t in it for the bulging biceps, putting on muscle is a healthy thing to do and can help you with issues you’ll encounter as you get older.
How to put weight on?
When it comes to how to gain weight, there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
While you might be rubbing your hands at the thought of scoffing as many cakes and crisps as you can in a day, this isn’t a sustainable or healthy way to gain weight.
So how do you go about gaining weight the right way?
Well, one of the best ways to put on weight in a healthy way is to work with someone who knows all about the weight gain journey.
With Superprof, you can find certified nutritionists and dieticians to help you come up with a healthy weight-gaining meal plan complete with delicious recipes you’ll love.
Alternatively, you can use the website to find a personal trainer near you who will get you up to speed with weight training and help you pack on muscle.
If you decide to go it alone, though, here are some top tips to follow:
Eat a Nutrient-rich Diet
Whenever you’re trying to adjust your health goals with eating, you should look to include as many nutrient-rich foods as you can into your diet. Make sure to include many high-calorie foods to make healthy high-calorie meals, as this will help you to gain weight and muscle fast.
That means opt for the whole-grain loaf of bread over regular white bread and eat your fair share of high-calorie vegetables with most meals.
Watch your H20 Consumption
While of course, you need to stay hydrated, drinking water too often can sabotage your attempts to put on weight.
Because water can make you feel full when you drink it too often, so this can trick you into eating less for the day.
One of the most important things to bear in mind with just about any diet is that you need to occasionally treat yourself.
If you try to go cold turkey on the foods you can’t live without, then you might not last too long. You want to have fun with your eating plan otherwise you might not stick to it. Just ask bodybuilders, we’re sure most of them would tell you that they have to eat a slice of cake every now and then to get over the monotony of eating chicken, rice, and broccoli every day!
How to Gain Weight and Muscle?
So now you have a good idea of your reasons for gaining weight, and you have some tips for going about it in a healthy way, how do you add muscle into the mix?
If you want to build muscle, here’s what you need to do:
Follow a Weight Training Program
If you want to pack on muscle, your best bet is to find a weight training program that works for you.
Be it CrossFit training, bodybuilding, or powerlifting, you want to find a form of exercise that involves weights that you can see yourself doing for a long time.
If you’re unsure what the best option for you is, it’s a good idea to head to your local gym and see what classes are available and ask some questions while you’re there.
Eat Lots of Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that promotes muscle recovery after it’s been broken down during a workout.
As such, you’ll need to make sure you get enough of it in your diet if you are to see results.
Usually, it’s recommended that you consume 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight, though this is a figure provided for a sedentary lifestyle, so to gain muscle you’ll want to be eating around 1g per kg of body weight.
Stop Skipping Breakfast
Finally, stop skipping breakfast!
It isn’t called the most important meal of the day for nothing.
If you miss breakfast every day, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get your first meal in which can help you reach your weight gain goals faster.
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