Weight Gain

The Basics of Weight Gain

Weight gain is a normal and sometimes healthy part of life. You may gain weight from gaining muscle, making dietary changes, or getting regular exercise. Gaining weight can be beneficial for some people while it might be detrimental for others. Here, we'll discuss the basics of weight gain, how to calculate your target weight, and how to make healthy decisions about gaining weight.

Why Do People Gain Weight?

Weight gain can be intentional or it can be unintentional. Intentional weight gain is often done to build muscle or to achieve a set goal weight that’s healthier for your overall wellbeing. Unintentional weight gain is usually caused by a combination of factors such as overeating, lack of physical activity, emotional stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, genetics, or illness.

Calculating Your Target Weight

Before you embark on a journey to gain weight, it is important to calculate your body mass index (BMI) or other health-related wight metrics. Your healthcare provider or a nutritionist can help you to find an ideal target weight based on your age, BMI, and health goals. This target weight should reflect your ideal energy balanceand should be sustainable in the long run.

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

Realizing that healthy weight gain happens slowly and deliberately is important. Even if you maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly, you should not expect to gain weight fast. Here are some tips to help you gain healthy weight in a sustainable way:

  • Eat calorie-dense foods such as avocados, nuts, nut butters, whole eggs, dairy, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Include healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water and increase your intake of fluids.
  • Try nutritious smoothies or shakes as snacks or as part of meals.
  • Eat small meals more frequently throughout the day.
  • Exercise regularly to build muscle and increase your calorie intake.
  • Create a food diary to ensure you're meeting your calorie and nutrient requirements.
  • Find time to relax and get plenty of sleep.
  • Remove unhealthy snacks and sweets from your diet.
  • Consult your healthcare provider or a qualified nutritionist for individual advice.

Remember that gaining weight in a healthy way requires patience and informed decisions. If you have questions or concerns about weight gain, talk to your healthcare provider.