Being lean can often can be healthy but being underweight can be a as a result of poor nutrition, pregnancy or some other health issues. So, if you’re underweight, see your doctor or dietitian for an evaluation. Together, you can plan how to meet your goal weight.
Here are some healthy ways to gain weight when you’re underweight:
Don’t drink water before meals. This can fill your stomach and make it harder to get in enough calories. Watch when you drink. Some people find that drinking fluids before meals blunts their appetite. In that case, it may be better to sip higher calorie beverages along with a meal or snack. For others, drinking 30 minutes after a meal, not with it, may work.
Eat more often. Squeeze in an additional meal or snack whenever you can, such as before bed. Eat more often. When you’re underweight, you may feel full faster. Eat five to six smaller meals during the day rather than two or three large meals.
Don’t fill up on diet soda, coffee and other drinks with few calories and little nutritional value. Instead, drink smoothies or healthy shakes made with milk to quench thirst is a simple way to get in more high-quality protein and calories and fresh or frozen juice, and sprinkle in some ground flaxseed. In some cases, a liquid meal replacement may be recommended.
Try weight gainer shakes. If you are really struggling then you can try weight gainer shakes. These are very high in protein, carbs and calories. Snack on nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruits and avocados. Have a bedtime snack, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a wrap sandwich with avocado, sliced vegetables, and lean meat or cheese.
Use bigger plates. Definitely use large plates if you are trying to get in more calories, as smaller plates cause people to automatically eat less.
Even when you’re underweight, be mindful of excess sugar and fat. An occasional slice of pie with ice cream is OK. But most treats should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Bran muffins, yogurt and granola bars are good choices. Add cream to your coffee. This is a simple way to add in more calories.
Add extras to your dishes for more calories — such as cheese in casseroles and scrambled eggs, and fat-free dried milk in soups and stews. Take creatine. The muscle building supplement creatine monohydrate can help you gain a few pounds in muscle weight.
Exercise, especially strength training, can help you gain weight by building up your muscles. Exercise may also stimulate your appetite also get quality sleep. Sleeping properly is very important for muscle growth.
Even when you’re underweight, be mindful of excess sugar and fat. An occasional slice of pie with ice cream is OK. But most treats should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Bran muffins, yogurt and granola bars are good choices. Eat your protein first and vegetables last. If you have a mix of foods on your plate, eat the calorie-dense and protein-rich foods first. Eat the vegetables last.
Don’t smoke. Smokers tend to weigh less than non-smokers, and quitting smoking often leads to weight gain.
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