While being overweight is a health concern, not having enough weight is a hazard too. Many people, in their zeal to lose weight, go overboard and become skeletal; this is completely inadvisable. Check the BMI, if it is under 18.5 you need to consult your physician on how to correct it.
Lack of proper weight causes many problems - infertility, anaemia, osteoporosis, hormonal imbalance, and weak immune system to name a few.
The Swiss National Cohort Study found that underweight people are at a high risk of death than normal-weight people.
There are many reasons for low weight. This can be a medical issue, like thyroid disease, eating disorder, stress, malignancy, etc. sometimes it’s simply because someone is trying to lose weight drastically. If there is an underlying health issue that needs to be taken care of before that person starts to gain weight.
If lack of proper feeding is the reason, then the physician may recommend a dietary regimen aimed at healthy weight gain. This does not provide carte blanche to binge on junk food.
Just like weight loss, gaining weight should be done in a gradual way. Dr Spencer Kroll of New Jersey advised not more than 0.5-1 kg per week. This may need 300-500 extra calories per day.
4-6 small meals should be interspersed throughout the day. There should be in-between snacking, especially before and after an exercise.
Intake of saturated fat and sugar needs to be restricted. Instead, high protein meals are suggested. 1.5 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day should be the target.
Consuming red meat, pulses, fish, and eggs could cover that requirement. Eating fish at least twice a week, including salmon is often recommended.
Meals should include vegetables and fruits. Dried fruits and avocados are good choices. Potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, and brown bread are important too. One cup of rice, for example, will add 200 calories.
Dairy products should constitute some portion of a meal, e.g. cheese, or yoghurt. Milk may be a strong candidate, as it contains a combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals.
For food preparation, unsaturated oil should be used. Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly 6-8 glasses at least, is another thing to remember.
For snacking, healthy options must be chosen. This may include protein bars, protein shakes, peanut butter biscuits, nuts etc.
Routine and ongoing exercise can help for healthy weight gain, as per Chiariello. Strength training such as weightlifting is useful. People targeting to gain weight should also get enough sleep and try to stay relax.
Whether we are trying to gain or lose weight, the best thing is to consult the medical experts before falling prey to viral internet videos or crash courses. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial and not to be trifled with.