If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works.Doctors usually recommend gaining weight to people…
This article outlines a simple strategy How to Gain Weight Fast and Safely— the healthy way.
About two-thirds of people in the US are either overweight or obese. However, there are also many people with the opposite problem of being too skinny
This is a concern, as being underweight can be just as bad for your health as being obese.
Additionally, many people who are not clinically underweight still want to gain some muscle.
Whether you’re clinically underweight or simply struggling to gain muscle weight, the main principles are the same.
Being underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This is estimated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimal health.
Conversely, over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.
Use this calculator to see where you fit on the BMI scale (opens in a new tab).
However, keep in mind that there are many problems with the BMI scale, which only looks at weight and height. It does not take muscle mass into account.
Some people are naturally very skinny but still healthy. Being underweight according to this scale does not necessarily mean that you have a health problem.
Being underweight is about 2–3 times more common among girls and women, compared to men. In the US, 1% of men and 2.4% of women 20 years and older are underweight
Summary Being underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. It’s much more common in women and girls.
Biggest health problems
Obesity is currently one of the world’s biggest health problems. However, being underweight may be just as bad for your health. According to one study, being underweight was associated with a 140% greater risk of early death in men, and 100% in women.
In comparison, obesity was associated with a 50% greater risk of early death, indicating that being underweight maybe even worse for your health
Another study found an increased risk of early death in underweight men, but not women, suggesting that being underweight may be worse for men
Being underweight can also impair your immune function, raise your risk of infections, lead to osteoporosis and fractures and cause fertility problems
What’s more, people who are underweight are much more likely to get sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting) and may be at greater risk of dementia
Summary Being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being obese — if not more. People who are underweight are at risk of osteoporosis, infections, fertility problems and early death.
Unhealthy weight loss
There are several medical conditions that can cause unhealthy weight loss, including:
- Eating disorders: This includes anorexia nervosa, a serious mental disorder.
- Thyroid problems: Having an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can boost metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
- Celiac disease: The most severe form of gluten intolerance. Most people with celiac disease don’t know that they have it
- Diabetes: Having uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) can lead to severe weight loss.
- Cancer: Cancerous tumors often burn large amounts of calories and can cause someone to lose a lot of weight.
- Infections: Certain infections can cause someone to become severely underweight. This includes parasites, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.
If you’re underweight, you may want to see a doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.
This is particularly important if you have recently started losing large amounts of weight without even trying.
Summary There are several medical conditions that can cause unhealthy weight loss. If you’re underweight, see a doctor to rule out a serious health problem.
it’s very important to do it right.
If you want to gain weight, it’s very important to do it right. Binging on soda and donuts may help you gain weight, but it can destroy your health at the same time.
If you’re underweight, you want to gain a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than a lot of unhealthy belly fat.
There are plenty of normal-weight people who get type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health problems often associated with obesity
Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to eat healthy foods and live an overall healthy lifestyle.
The next chapter looks at several effective ways to gain weight fast, without ruining your health at the same time.
Summary It’s very important to eat mostly healthy foods even when you’re trying to gain weight.
The most important thing you can do to gain weight is to create a calorie surplus, meaning you eat more calories than your body needs.
You can determine your calorie needs using this calorie calculator. If you want to gain weight slowly and steadily, aim for 300–500 calories more than you burn each day according to the calculator.
If you want to gain weight fast, aim for around 700–1,000 calories above your maintenance level.
Keep in mind that calorie calculators only provide estimates. Your needs may vary by several hundred calories per day, give or take.
You don’t need to count calories for the rest of your life, but it helps to do it for the first few days or weeks to get a feel for how many calories you’re eating. There are many great tools out there to help you.
Summary You need to eat more calories than your body burns to gain weight. Aim for 300–500 calories per day above your maintenance level for slow weight gain or 700–1,000 calories if you want to gain weight fast.
The single most important nutrient for gaining healthy weight is protein.
Muscle is made of protein and without it most of those extra calories may end up as body fat.
Studies show that during periods of overfeeding, a high-protein diet causes many of the extra calories to be turned into muscle.
However, keep in mind that protein is a double-edged sword. It’s also highly filling, which may reduce your hunger and appetite significantly, making it harder to get in enough…