How to gain weight?
Excessive thinness, as well as excessive fullness, are dangerous conditions for our body. Lack of weight provokes fatigue, brittle bones, early aging and even increases the risk of dementia. In this article, we are not talking about achieving aesthetic standards (they are too subjective and fleeting), but about resuming a healthy relationship with food that allows us to saturate our body for a healthy and fulfilling life.
How to understand that the weight is less than normal?
The easiest way to determine excessive thinness is by body mass index (BMI). If this index is equal to or greater than 18.5, you are within the normal range. If the BMI is below this indicator, you have already crossed the line of underweight and should change it sooner.
How to Calculate BMI: Suppose you are 1.6m tall and weigh 55kg. In this case, your BMI: 55 / (1.6 × 1.6) = 21.4. Weight is in a healthy range; nothing needs to be changed. Let’s take another example: your height is 1.8 m, weight is still the same 55 kg. In this case, the index is 16.9, which already indicates a lack of body weight.
Why is underweight dangerous?
- Poor immunity: In order to successfully fight the disease, the body needs energy. With a chronic nutritional deficiency, he has nowhere to take this energy from. It is for this reason that underweight people often get sick for a long time;
- Chronic fatigue: the same chronic lack of energy does not give us the opportunity to be alert and perform the daily norm of tasks;
- Poor condition of hair, teeth, skin: if the body does not get enough nutrients, the skin becomes porous, turns gray and ages quickly. Hair slows down growth, nails exfoliate, there is a risk of losing teeth;
- Bone fragility: Being underweight can cause brittle bones, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis;
- Difficulties with conception: excessive thinness can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, up to its complete disappearance. In the future, this can lead to infertility.
- High risk of dementia in old age: Studies show that people who are underweight are 43% more likely to develop dementia in old age.
Which doctor will help you gain weight correctly?
A nutritionist can help you gain weight properly. He will study your health indicators and decide if he has enough information to make recommendations for weight gain – or you need to be redirected to another specialist who will treat diseases that prevent weight gain.
How to safely gain weight
First, determine the cause of excessive thinness:
- Heredity: if someone in your family was very thin without any effort, it may be a genetic feature in which a person has a low metabolism, but does not gain weight (as with an accelerated metabolism). An endocrinologist helps to treat such problems;
- Fast Metabolism: The body burns calories too quickly and does not have time to gain weight. As in the case of heredity, a fast metabolism helps to treat the endocrinologist;
- Nervous Disorders: A person who is under constant stress can lose their appetite, thereby preventing the body from gaining enough calories. In this case, doctors recommend treating stress first of all – at a psychologist’s appointment;
- Calorie deficiency: If you are not below the poverty line, then the cause of nutritional deficiencies can be either an overly strict diet or eating disorders, when a person pathologically limits himself to full satiety.
After that, you can proceed to the actions:
- Frequent and small meals: Additional calories are needed to gain weight, but chronically underweight people fill up too quickly. Therefore, nutritionists advise splitting meals – instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner, do 5-6 meals;
- Choose nutrient-dense foods: add milk-based oats, nuts, sweet fruits, whole grain breads, durum wheat pasta, yogurt, and cottage cheese to your diet;
- Use big plates: an easy way to “trick the brain” into being content with little. A healthy portion of food lying on a large plate will seem small to you – and you will eat it without problems;
- Get good sleep: weight gain involves not only gaining fat, but also muscle tissue. And quality sleep is the key to muscle growth;
- Join a gym and focus on strength training. They will help build muscle and make the body healthy, not overweight;
- Stop smoking: nicotine speeds up your metabolism, which in turn leads to weight loss.
What to do if you still can’t gain weight?
One of the common causes of excessive thinness is eating disorders (EDD). This is a range of mental illnesses, some of which can be cured in the process of working with a psychologist, while others require medication. RPH is a formidable diagnosis that cannot be ignored: people affected by it can reach borderline exhaustion and even die. Therefore, if symptoms of anorexia, bulimia or other types of RPH are detected, experts strongly recommend making an appointment with a psychologist: he will select the necessary treatment protocol and return a healthy relationship with food to the patient.