A person is considered healthy and well if they maintain their ideal body weight and is neither obese nor underweight. Just like obesity, being underweight can also lead to health problems. People with less than ideal body weight can suffer from a suppressed immune system. Underweight people are also prone to osteoporosis and bone fractures and they can suffer from fertility problems. You are considered underweight if your body mass index (BMI) is below 18.5. So let us see some strategies on how to gain weight in a week and kick start a healthy weight gain plan.
How to Increase Weight? Eat More and Eat Right!
Most people need between 1600 and 3000 calories per day to maintain their body weight. To gain weight you need to create a calorie surplus by adding extra calories to your daily requirements. Gaining weight using unhealthy fat will help you put on fat but not muscles, which is not a healthy option. It will be ideal to eat healthy foods that create a surplus of around 500 calories a day. You can aim at gaining around 1 pound in a week’s time which is a healthy weight gain.
Include Healthy Calorie Rich Foods in Your Meal
It is common knowledge that to gain weight you do have to eat foods with high calorie content. However, you should be careful that you do not consume a lot of foods with high trans fat. How to gain weight in a week? Avoid foods such as burgers, French fries and other processed junk foods. Add spices and condiments and enhance the flavor of your meals to make it appetizing, so it is easier for you to consume a large portion size.
Include foods such as nuts (walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts), dry fruits (raisins, dates, prunes), eggs, beans, whole grains (oats and brown rice) ,etc.
Nuts typically provide 150-200 kcals and they are also a rich source of fiber, minerals, and healthy oils. Dried fruits provide more calories than fresh fruits. Pumpkins and flax seeds are also calorie rich foods, which are also rich in minerals and antioxidants.
Include calorie dense vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and yam.
Include whole fat milk and butter to your diet and make you make your salad dressings with healthy oils.
Eat Several Times a Day
Eat at least three big meals a day with 3 snack breaks in between. Having a heavy meal for dinner will also help you gain weight as your body consumes fewer calories while you sleep. You can snack as often as you want with healthy snacks such as nuts, yoghurt, cheese and crackers, smoothies, bananas ,etc. Before going to bed you can have a glass of whole fat milk or you can also opt for a snack and a small meal. Eating before going to bed helps you gain weight.
Use Healthy Oils and Fats to Make a Calorie Rich Meal
Oils are calorie rich foods and a teaspoon of oil can provide about 45 calories. Choose oils that contain mono and poly unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Oils from vegetable sources such as sunflower oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil and oils from nut sources such as peanut oil are good choices. Olive oil is a good salad dressing to increase the calories in your salads. How to gain weight in a week? You have to include healthy oils in your diet.
Include Proteins in Your Diet
Eating protein rich food will help you gain muscle which has long term benefits for weight gain. Make sure your protein intake is around 1g/lb of body weight. Meat, salmon and yoghurt are rich in proteins. Tuna fish is also rich in proteins and contains lots of good fats. Include beans in your diet as they are rich in protein and starch. You can also include protein supplements such as whey protein in your diet.
Hydrate with Milk and High Calorie Beverages along with Water
Drinking lots of water to hydrate throughout the day is good for your health. However, water adds very few calories to your diet and can also give you full stomach preventing you from eating full meals. Try to partially substitute water with whole milk, smoothies and shakes. You can also include these along with your meals. To increase the calories of your beverages you can add peanut butter, protein powders, coconut milk and peanut milk to your shakes and smoothies. Apart from making your drinks delicious they are a healthy source of fat. How to gain weight in a week? You have to drink whole milk and other high calorie beverages along with water.
Try Dark Chocolate for Dessert
Dark chocolate is a relatively healthy dessert choice to gain weight. One bar of dark chocolate provides about 500 calories. It’s recommended that you eat it in moderation as it also contains sugars and saturated fats. You can safely have a few pieces of chocolates after a meal every day. It is a better choice compared to other desserts such as ice creams and cakes.
Take Dietary Supplements for Weight Gain
If you have a nutritional deficiency you can take dietary supplements, after consulting with your doctor. Carbohydrate rich supplements are usually suggested to help you gain weight. Whey protein is a protein supplement that can also help you gain weight. Multivitamins and mineral supplements are also prescribed in case of any deficiency.
Have a Health Check Up
Some health problems can be a cause of low body weight. Hyperthyroidism, diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, digestive enzyme deficiency and psychological problems such as anorexia and depression can cause loss in body weight. If you have concerns about your low body weight, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before you start your diet plan to gain weight.
Tips to Consider While Planning Your Wight Gaining Regime
1. Design a diet plan and stick to it persistently. Eat on schedule and do not skip meals.
2. Monitor your weight gain constantly. Ensure that your weight gain is healthy. Gaining too much weight in a short period of time is considered unhealthy. Moreover you might not want to pack the fat around your abdomen.
3. Start a weight training program that is suitable for you. Though you cannot see visible results in a week, it is good for long term benefits.
4. While eating, eat your protein rich foods first and then eat your vegetables.
5. Sleep for 7–8 hours, which will help build your muscles.
6. If you are a smoker and are under weight, then quit smoking. You will notice that your weight increases once you quit smoking.