Weight much like your age isn’t just a number. Your body weight plays an important role in determining your overall health and well-being.
In adults, being underweight is a sign of poor nutrition and some underlying health conditions. Such as type 1 diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, and tuberculosis.
For kids, being underweight and lean shows that they haven’t reached puberty. It is commonly observed that a boy or a girl starts to gain weight only after they’ve reached puberty.
What’s more, is that being underweight can contribute to a number of health problems. Health problems such as nutritional deficiencies, a weakened immune system, fertility problems, fragile bones, etc. to name a few.
Thus it is only natural for underweight people to want to gain weight and fast. Sadly, gaining weight is not as easy and takes time and determination to get results.
In this article, I’ve highlighted the factors affecting weight gain and some effective and proven ways to gain weight.
Do note that we do not encourage you to take the easiest ways when it comes to gaining weight. Since gaining weight in an unhealthy manner may have an adverse effect on your overall health.
What is Underweight?
Underweight much like overweight or obese is a topic of concern for people. While being overweight and obese is bad and all, being underweight is even worst.
Sadly, about 1.5 percentage of the US population age 20 and above are underweight. According to the results published by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the year 2015–2016.
Now, coming to the definition of underweight…
In general, when you have a body mass index (BMI) score of less than or below 18.5 then you are underweight.
The BMI score is calculated using a BMI scale.
The BMI scale is a simple tool used to measure your body fat taking into consideration of your body weight and height.
BMI score is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Or you can simply calculate your BMI score for free here.
The BMI scale is not a perfect tool for measuring body fat though. Since different people have different body type and thus their body fat composition is also different.
Athletes and bodybuilders for example have relatively less body fat when compared to office workers. They usually have developed muscles in place of body fats.
So they might have a BMI score of 25 and above and are still not fat or unhealthy.
Why Can’t I Gain Weight?
People often complain that they cannot gain weight even when they have done everything there is when it comes to gaining weight. It is indeed a problem for most of the skinny and lean people looking to bulk up in short period of time.
While most of the lean people trying to gain weight fall short of their efforts of bulking up and fail to gain weight. Some will find it impossible to gain weight due to biological factors such as genetic faults, age, mental state, etc.
Take a look at how these different factors affect an individual’s weight gain process.
- Food and nutrition,
- Lifestyle, and
- State of mind
- Medical conditions
If you are lean and underweight then your genes might be at fault.
A new study conducted by Philippe Froguel, a French physician along with his colleagues at Imperial College London has found a link between chromosome 16 and skinniness.
In the study, every 1 in 2000 people studied had an extra copy of a patch of chromosome 16. As a result, those with mutation tend to eat less, were skinny, and had lower body weight than standard.
This is the first time that scientist have found a region of the genome for extreme thinness.
So if you happen to be someone with an extra copy of a patch of chromosome 16 then you might as well have a hard time gaining weight.
2. Age Determines Weight
Your age plays a vital role when it comes to weight gain.
Gaining weight can become quite challenging if you happen to be skinny as a teenager. On the contrary, losing weight becomes impossible when you grow old.
Boys and girls start to gain weight after they reach puberty.
For boys, puberty starts as early as 9 but some might not reach puberty until 14.
Similarly, for girls, puberty starts as early as 8 but some might not reach puberty until 12.
It might take another 3 to 4 years to develop fully and gain weight even after your hit puberty.
Therefore, waiting for the right time is important when it comes to gaining weight.
3. Food and Nutrition
Gaining weight is directly related to the food you eat.
Eating a large portion multiple times a day is one way of gaining weight fast. But that does not guarantee anything.
You might eat a lot everyday and still not gain weight. That’s because you might be missing out on some essential vitamins and minerals.
Eating a balanced diet rich in protein and dietary fat is a must if you want to gain weight.
While soft drinks and beverages might work for some, it is not a healthy way of gaining weight. You’ll most probably gain body fat instead of muscles if you consume too much of such foods.
Eating 3-4 servings of starchy foods might do the trick for you. Also make sure not to miss out on essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, etc.
Your lifestyle is another determinant factor of weight gain.
It is simply because weight gain is directly proportional to the amount of calories you consume and burn everyday.
If you have an active lifestyle, chances are you might be burning all the calories that you eat. Thus gaining weight might become a problem unless you put some extra calories on your plate.
On the contrary, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you might be on the surplus when it comes to calories. But do not get your hopes up. Since you might be developing weight in the form of body fats and not muscles.
A good way of gaining healthy weight is to find a perfect balance between the calories you eat and burn.
Try eating more than usual if you are an athlete or someone with an active lifestyle.
In case, you live an inactive lifestyle, utilize your free time exercising everyday. That way, you’ll develop muscles and not unhealthy fats.
5. State of mind
The way you perceive your body has a lot to do with what your body becomes. In simple words, your body is the manifestation of what you think.
If you think that your body is perfect the way it is then you’ll stay the same even when you change your diet. And if you believe your body looks way slim and you need to gain some weight then you can simply gain weight without having to change your diet.
It is all in your mind. Your mind is in control of your body. Thus your thinking can act as a catalyst in changing the appearance of your body.
Also, your eating behavior is affected by your state of mind. A positive mind is more likely to help you develop healthy eating habits and vice-versa.
Therefore, positive thinking is all you need when it comes to gaining weight. On the contrary, negativity leads to stress and anxiety which might drain your energy that could have been used to gain weight.
6. Medical Conditions
There are some medical conditions that can make gaining weight impossible for some.
Some people tend to have a hyperthyroidism (hyperactive metabolism) making it difficult for them to gain weight. It is quite a rare case though.
People often complain they cannot gain weight even when they eat a lot. They believe that they have a hyperactive metabolism.
While some of them might be right to claim having a hyperactive metabolism, most of them mistake their normal metabolism process to be hyperactive.
If you find it hard to believe then try looking out for the amount of calories you consume everyday for next 1-2 weeks. You might be amazed by the outcome.
Apart from hyperthyroidism, there are other medical conditions that may affect your weight gain processes. They are:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Celiac disease
- HIV/AIDS, etc.
If you experience unhealthy weight loss then there is a slight chance of you suffering from one of the above listed medical conditions. You’ll also experience other symptoms other than weight loss or unable to gain weight.
Consulting a physician is highly advised if you see symptoms of any kinds of health issues.
100% Working Tips on Gaining Weight Fast
Here are some tried and tested effective ways to gaining healthy body weight:
1. Eat More Calories Every Day in Order to Gain Weight
2. Eat 5-6 Times a Day in Order to Gain Weight Faster
3. Do not Miss Out on Essential Nutrients
4. Exercise Everyday to Gain Healthy Weight
5. Try High Calorie Smoothies For Extra Calories
6. Avoid Sugary Beverages and Junk Foods to Gain Weight
7. Avoid Drinking Water Before Meals
Gain Weight by Eating More Calories Than You Burn
It is a proven fact that when you eat more calories than you burn everyday, you’ll gain weight eventually.
If you burn around 1800 calories then you must eat around 2100 to 2300 calories everyday in order to gain weight.
Simply put, one needs to eat additional 300 to 500 calories per day in order to gain weight.
It is best that you do not overeat yourself. Since, overeating might become a problem later on once you’ve gained weight.
Aim for a slow and gradual weight gain I would suggest not to go overboard with your food.
Your additional calories should come from protein and fat rich foods instead of carbs.
Else you might end up gaining body fat instead of healthy body weight.
Also, do not eat a large portion once or twice. Divide your daily calories requirements into 3-4 smaller portions instead.
Eating all at once might make it difficult for your digestive system to function properly.
This might result in stomach problems such as diarrhoea. As a result, you’ll end up losing weight instead of gaining.
Summary- Eat about 300 to 500 more calories per day rich if you want to gain a healthy body weight.
Eat 5-6 Times a Day in Order to Gain Weight Faster
As mentioned above, eating all at once might cause your digestive system to fail.
As a result, the food you eat might not get digested properly. Your digestive system goes into a state of overdrive.
Plus your body will have a hard time sucking all the juices out of your food.
Thus, most of the food you eat end up as a waste instead of nutrition for your body.
It is one reason why people mostly complain about not gaining any weight even when they eat a lot.
The best way to harness all the nutrients from the food you eat is to eat a smaller portion once every 3 to 4 hours.
Eating a smaller portion makes things easier for your digestive system. It gets all the time it needs in order to digest the food properly.
This way, only a smaller amount of food go undigested. Thus your body can make the most out of the food you eat.
Summary- Eating 5 to 6 times a day in the interval of 3 to 4 hours everyday can help you gain weight.
Do Not Miss Out On Essential Nutrients
Not here come the most important part.
You might be eating a lot in order to gain weight. But are you eating the right food?
If your answer is a ‘Yes’ think again. But before you answer to the previous question, answer this first.
Why aren’t you gaining weight? Even after eating the right food everyday and a lot of it too.
Could it be because you have a hyperactive digestive system? Or is it merely because you are not eating enough? Even though you feel like you’re eating a lot.
The chance of you having a hyperactive digestive system is pretty slim. Which leaves us to believe that you are not eating enough of the right food.
Now you know that you’re not eating merely enough of the right food. By right food am implying to the foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
Nutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates are important in order to gain weight.
Similarly, minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium are important for weight gain.
So, the next time you go shopping, it is best that you select the ingredients precisely according to your nutritional needs. This way, you’ll not miss out on essential vitamins and minerals.
Summary- Eat a lot of foods rich in essential nutrients in order to gain weight. Add more of protein, fat, and carbs for faset results.
Exercise Everyday Promotes Healthy Weight Gain
When it comes to gaining weight, exercising everyday is equally important. It is just as important as eating the right amount of calories everyday.
Why? you ask.
It is simply because exercising everyday helps to gain a healthy body weight. It also helps to build stronger muscles throughout our body.
Plus there are many health benefits of exercising. Such as:
- Exercising helps to improve your digestion.
- Exercising helps to improve your mental health.
- It helps your body to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
- It helps to keep your heart healthy.
Apart from the above listed health benefits, exercising also helps to keep you healthy.
When you exercise everyday, your metabolism improves. An improved digestive system means you’ll have less food waste.
Exercising everyday for about 30 minutes to 60 minutes can help you stay in shape.
Additionally, you’ll not accumulate unhealthy fats throughout your body.
Summary- Exercising everyday can help you gain healthy body weight and strengthen your muscles.
Try High Calorie Smoothies For Extra Calories
If you are having trouble adding extra calories from your regular meals, high calorie smoothies could be the answer to your problem.
High calorie smoothies are a great way of introducing additional calories to your body. Plus they are super healthy and easy to digest.
So your digestive system won’t have any trouble digesting and your body will get all the nutrients needed to grow.
Try making some high calorie smoothies at home and drink it everyday. It is easy to prepare so you won’t have any trouble preparing some for yourself at home.
In case you need help preparing your high calorie smoothies click here for some amazing weight gain smoothie recipes.
If you like working out then protein shakes will work wonders for you. Protein shakes can help you build stronger muscles and make you look good as well.
Summary- Drinking high calorie smoothies can help you gain additional calories which is needed to gain healthy body weight.
Avoid Sugary Beverages and Junk Foods
When it comes to gaining weight, people often choose to munch on junk foods and fill up on sugary beverages.
There’s no denying that junk foods and sugary beverages are high in calorie content.
Thus filling yourself with junk foods and carbonated drinks will help you gain weight easily.
But it is not the right way to gain weight. Plus you’ll end up gaining unhealthy fats in the name of body weight.
It may soon become a problem for you and you may end up becoming a host for several diseases.
Additionally, it will be difficult for you to stop eating the extra calories after you’ve met your weight gain goal.
Summary- Gaining weight by eating junk and drinking carbonated drinks might work. But it is not a healthy practice in the long run.
Avoid Drinking Water Before Meals
Water as you might have known is an appetite suppressor.
Drinking water before meals will make you feel full. And you’ll not be able to eat all those extra calories needed in order to gain weight.
It is best that you replace your water with higher calorie beverages along with a meal or snacks. That way, you’ll quench your thirst as well as meeting your daily calorie goal.
Also, avoid drinking water with the meal or snack. Wait for another 30 minutes before drinking water.
I know it’s difficult in the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be more at ease.
Summary- Avoid drinking water before and with the meal or snack if you want to gain weight.
The process of gaining weight takes time and patience.
You cannot expect to develop muscles and weight within a day or a week. It may take months and sometimes years in order to gain weight.
Although there are some quicker ways to fill in you body mass, they might do more harm than good to you.
It is important that you repeat the process every single day without complaining.
Also, keep monitoring your progress everyday and make a note.
The initial results may be way beyond your expectations. But that is to be expected.
Even so, do not lose sight of your goal. Not even for a day.
If you do, you’ll soon lose hope and fall into despair. It is one thing that one need to avoid at any cost.
Else, your hard work will be for nothing.
Summary- Consistency is the key if you want to achieve your weight gain goal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gaining Weight
Can I gain weight within a week?
Gaining weight much like losing weight takes time to kick in. You can however expect to gain 1 to 2 pounds of weight within a week.
You can do so by consuming more protein rich foods and increasing your daily calorie intake.
Exercising every day will help to fasten your weight gain process.
The change in weight is however difficult to identify unless you weigh yourself every day.
Therefore it is safe to say that it is possible to gain weight within a week.
Is banana shake good for gaining weight?
Bananas are a great source of calories and carbs. A single medium-sized banana can provide you with as much as 89 calories.
It is an ideal fruit for gaining body mass and weight in a short period of time.
Even the dietitians recommend eating bananas to people who are looking to gain mass.
So there is no doubt that drinking banana shakes will help you gain muscle and mass.
How many bananas should I eat daily in order to gain weight?
As I have mentioned in the above question that bananas are rich in calories and thus good for gaining weight.
But there is no telling how many bananas should one must eat in order to gain weight.
Also, eating only bananas to gain body mass could do more harm than good. Since eating too much of a single food can cause nutritional deficiencies.
Eating 1 to 2 bananas every day is considered a healthy practice.
So you might as well stick to 1-2 bananas everyday and focus more on eating a balanced diet.
How can I eat more calories everyday?
It is clear as day by now that one needs to increase his/her daily calorie intake when aiming to gain weight.
But eating more calories is trickier than it sounds. You cannot simply expect to rise your daily calorie cap simply by eating more of what you have been eating.
There are certain ways which will come in handy when it comes to increasing your daily calorie cap. They are:
- Adding protein smoothies to your diet.
- Add dried fruits and nuts to your snacks.
- Drink high-calorie beverages.
- Feel free to add extra oil and butter in order to increase calories.
- Add more protein-rich foods to your plate.
- Eat every 2-3 hours.
- Divide your dinner into bite-size.
What food should I eat for muscle gain?
The list of foods that’ll help you gain muscle are:
- Greek yogurt
- Chicken breast
- Protein supplements
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Full fat milk
- Rice, etc.
Some people have a hard time gaining weight on their own.
However, it is not something to be upset about. What’s more important is your overall health.
Eating a balanced diet and filling up on essential nutrients is all that matters.
It is best that we accept ourselves the way we are rather than trying to change it forcefully.
In the end, everybody has their time to bloom. Some may bloom a little faster while others may take some time.