“You’re so skinny. I hate you.”
“Why are you still eating salads? You don’t need that.”
“How can you be insecure when you’re so thin and small?”
Gain Weight The Healthier Way
These are just three compliments (or insults) most skinny people hear every day. We listened to a lot of prejudices that exist toward plus-size individuals. In fact, a great number of weight loss solutions are available to help them “fit” in today’s harsh standards. No one bats an eye about the wonders of gaining weight. However, people often neglect that even skinny people face discriminations about the way they look, which make them also feel inferior.
Taking physical aspects aside, being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being obese. Sometimes it can even be deadlier. People who are too skinny are at risk of infections, osteoporosis, fertility problems, and even early death.
Skinny and unhealthy? Don’t let others tell you that it’s okay. Make a change in a healthier and better version of you and try to consider these seven tips for gaining weight the healthier way.
1. Write it Down
Keeping a food diary allows you to keep track of your weight gain journey and determine your progress. List down all the food you have eaten throughout the day, the calories you consumed, and the calorie you burned according to your calorie calculator or your best knowledge. Then write down your weight after each weekly weigh in. You can also document your journey through before and after pictures and be amazed at how you have progressed through the weeks.
2. Add More Calories
One of the best perks of being skinny is having the chance to use a calorie counter not to restrict yourself from eating but to use healthy high-calorie foods to your advantage. Based on your gender, age, weight, height, and activity level, know how much calories you need to gain. If necessary, talk to a dietitian and ask for a special diet program.
Similar to weight loss, it is best to take the process of gaining weight gradually. Let your stomach adjust to the bigger portion size over time. Try adding extra 200 to 500 calories per day in the beginning and adjust up or down depending on how your body responds.
Read About: Diet Tips From Dancing With the Stars
3. Remember Quality Over Quantity
Adding more calories doesn’t mean you have to pig out on everything on the table. High-calorie foods that are low in nutrients such as chips, soda, alcoholic beverages, and ice cream still need to be eliminated. It’s not just about “how much you eat” but about “what you eat.”
Instead of munching on your comfort junk food, choose high-calorie yet nutrient-rich foods.
Foods rich in healthy dietary fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are not just a great option for weight gain but can also improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce risks of heart disease. Foods like avocado, olive, safflower, corn, canola, and peanut oil, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds are rich in healthy dietary fats.
Aside from fats, most of your calories for weight gain come from carbohydrates. Some of the healthy sources of carbohydrates are whole-grain bread, pasta, rice, and banana. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corns, peas, pumpkins, cauliflower and sweet potatoes are also good for weight gain.
Protein helps build lean muscles. To obtain the healthy weight, aim for 5oz of protein per day. Foods that come from animals such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products are some of the best sources of protein. Other foods that didn’t come from animal sources such as tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, and legumes are also rich in protein (no need to worry, vegans).
Try to get a balance of starch, protein, vegetables, and fat with each meal.
4. Eat More Frequently
Proper diet is not just about the amount of food you intake but the time and frequency of your meals. Instead of eating three large meals daily which may lead to indigestion and bloating, try to have five to six meals a day. Your daily diet should include your three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), snacks in between meals, and even small munchies before bedtime.
Read About: 7 foods that lower blood pressure Naturally
5. Engage in Strength Gaining Exercises
Not all exercises can make you lose weight. Exercises that focus on building strength can help you convert calories into muscle which will add some extra pounds. Try to do at least 30 minutes of resistance exercises like body-weight squats, deadlifts, crunches, bench presses, push-ups, chin-ups, and leg curls daily. Seek help from a professional trainer for a safer strength training.
The more you exercise, the more calories you need to consume to recover what you lost after working out. This is where lean protein, protein shakes, and bars come in. Try to eat or drink them 45 minutes after you work out.
6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Aside from proper diet and exercise, other factors also contribute to the success of your weight gain plan. The first thing on the list is your sleeping quality. A good night’s rest is essential for muscle growth so try to maintain at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Next, is the elimination of your vices. If you smoke, consider quitting. Cigarettes suppress your appetite and negatively harms your appearance and health of your lungs and heart as well. Alcohol drinking should also be controlled to avoid bloatedness.
Read About: The 5 Foods Always Avoid at Bedtime
7. Dress Properly
Growing up skinny, perhaps you were told by other girls that you should be thankful for your body because you can wear anything. However, as you look in the mirror, you still desire to be curvier to fit yourself to the dresses you are dying to wear.
Aside from the proper diet and exercise, one of the best ways to gain weight instantly is through clothing. To give your body an illusion of added curves, wear outfits with horizontal stripes. Avoid costumes that are either too clingy or overly baggy for these emphasize your skinny figure. Black clothes also make you thinner, unless you try layering using blazers, jackets, and scarfs which help add weight.