Everyone around you use another slimming diet, while you can’t gain weight? Underweight is a problem that is often misunderstood by other people, but it can cause complexes and frustration. Learn more about the causes of underweight and how to gain weight!
Underweight – where does the problem with too low body weight come from?
Underweight is a relatively rare condition – it is estimated that in highly developed countries it affects less than 5% of the population. When can we talk about low weight? It all depends on the BMI (body mass index) value, which includes weight and height. In an adult, a BMI value less than 18.5 already indicates underweight.
Underweight does not have to cause serious health problems. Some people have a genetic predisposition for faster metabolism, which may lead to lower body weight. Such people usually have a problem with weight gain since childhood and stand out throughout their entire life with a slim, even skinny figure. Low BMI also often occurs in athletes, but in their case is not a cause for concern.
Underweight, which results from a sudden weight loss, which is not accompanied by a change in nutrition, should be of particular interest. In this case, ask your doctor as this may be a sign of, among other things:
- hormonal disorders in the course of hyperthyroidism or Addison’s disease;
- gastrointestinal disorders, for example Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome;
- chronic diseases, including cancer;
- food allergies and intolerances.
Diet for underweight people – eating habits that will help you gain weight
If you want to implement a diet for underweight, you must first calculate your daily caloric demand. Weight gain requires a caloric surplus, so you need to add about 500 calories to the calculated value. If your current diet provided much less energy than your daily calorie requirement, increase the amount of calories in your diet gradually. It is worth slowly getting used to the digestive system for larger meals to avoid diarrhea, bloating or stomach ache.
Increasing calories is associated with increasing the volume of food consumed, which in many people causes overeating and even reluctance to continue the diet. It is usually recommended to eat 5-6 meals, including high-energy snacks. Dividing meals into smaller, but more frequently consumed portions avoids overeating.
People fighting for every extra kilo of weight should not forget about snacks. It is important that they are not cookies or candies, but high-energy and healthy food. A good idea are all kinds of nuts, stones and even dried fruits. It is also worth reaching for fresh fruit, such as banana or avocado. As a snack, you can also drink squeezed fruit juices, which in addition to calories provide vitamins and minerals to the body.
Underweight should be fought wisely!
Most people mistakenly equate diet for gaining weight with eating random, often unhealthy, items in uncontrolled quantities. Indeed, the first attempts to gain weight usually look like this. It is very important that not only the amount of food consumed, but also its quality counts. The menu based on pizza, burgers and fries may sound tempting, but it is a simple way to develop insulin resistance or lipid disorders.
If you want to gain weight in a healthy and safe way, try to choose unprocessed products with a simple composition. The underweight nutrition is based mainly on complex carbohydrates (from rice, groats, potatoes, pasta), but you should take care of a good source of protein (e.g. poultry, fish or eggs) and fat (here it is worth betting on cold pressed vegetable oils).
Sometimes it is best to seek the help of a specialist
The effects of underweight diet are not immediate – the weight gain process is often time consuming and requires a lot of patience. A good solution may be a visit to a diet clinic, during which an experienced dietitian will optimize your diet so that it provides a caloric surplus, but also the necessary nutrients.
Many people are afraid that the menu prepared by the dietitian will contain dishes difficult to prepare or tasteless. Nothing could be more wrong! During dietary consultation, the specialist collects a thorough interview, on the basis of which he then creates a diet based on personal taste preferences.