Causes of Underweight
From various diets to workouts, the topic of weight loss is commonly discussed in the health and wellness world. But, unfortunately, there are many people who struggle to gain weight. It could be due to various reasons such as genetics or some underlying condition. Gaining weight and maintaining the same can sometimes be a huge task for certain people.
Reasons why some people cannot gain weight:
Genetics play an important role in body types and may dictate a naturally lean body type for some people. While this could be a potential reason, the other reason is the presence of an underlying medical condition or undergoing a certain medical treatment. Some of them are:
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid also known as hyperthyroidism causes excess production of thyroid hormone in the body. This hormone is responsible for many components of metabolism like regulation of the metabolic rate. People with this condition burn more calories throughout the day. Without proper diagnosis and medication, gaining weight would be nearly impossible even if food intake is increased.
- Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease which causes the body to destroy the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for the production of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that carries out the metabolism process of glucose. If type 1 diabetes goes unmanaged, it surges the glucose levels in the blood which is then excreted in the urine. This excess glucose excretion can lead to unintentional weight loss.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: Inflammatory bowel disease is a blanket for a lot of conditions characterised by inflammation of the intestines. These conditions, which include crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can have a negative impact on the ability to gain weight. The conditions falling under this category can limit the types and amount of food a person can consume. They may also cause frequent diarrhoea, which can cause weight loss in some cases.
- Eating disorders: There are many types of eating disorders, but people with eating disorders that cause them to limit the intake of food may have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Anorexia nervosa is the extreme form of this disorder. Other conditions, such as bulimia, can make it hard for a person to keep enough calories down to maintain weight.
Other common reasons include
- Doing too much cardio: There is nothing wrong with a little cardio, in fact, it helps in overall health by keeping the body healthy and fit. If gaining weight is the goal, one must limit cardio workouts to the bare minimum. Moreover, if a person wants to build muscles, they should altogether cut off cardio workouts from their routine.
- Not consuming enough food: The first and the important rule for gaining weight is to create a calorie surplus which basically means consuming more calories than burning. Some people have a faster metabolism than others which causes the burning of calories even during rest. Hence, it requires the person to consume more calories which will compensate for the high metabolism rate.
- Insufficient intake of macronutrients: Gaining weight isn’t just about working less and eating more. What is getting consumed also plays a very crucial role. Once a person knows the amount of calories to be consumed per day, they can begin aiming to intake the right macronutrients. Macronutrients are nothing but proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Best Ways to Gain Weight
- Add healthy calories: A drastic change in diet is not necessary. The calorie consumption can be increased by nuts or seed toppings, cheese, butter, eggs and various other healthy side dishes.
- Snack away: Binge and enjoy snacks that contain several amounts of proteins and healthy carbohydrates. Consider options like protein bars, peanut butter, protein drinks etc. One can also indulge in snacks enriched with a healthy fat such as avocado. Ensure that you do not overeat sugary and oily foods as this could adversely affect your health.
- Eat mini-meals: If you are a type of person who struggles with a poor appetite due to medical or emotional issues, consuming large amounts of food might not be appealing and practical. Consider eating smaller meals throughout the day to increase your calorie intake.
- Sleep and yoga: The secret of good health lies not just in healthy and rich food but also in plenty of sleep. Sleep plays a crucial role not just in the mental well being of a person, but also in aiding digestion and the overall metabolic process. Similarly, the incorporation of yoga into the daily routine can benefit you by stabilising your sleeping patterns, destressing you and uplifting your mental health.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is detrimental to the health of a person as it first tampers with respiratory health and later traverses its way to an overall loss of weight and efficient body functions. This is a primary reason for weakness and a fatigued body as well.
- Drinking water: Make it a habit to drink water regularly. But, at the same time avoid drinking water right before meals as it can cause the stomach to get filled up, leaving no room for the food that is to be consumed.
Best Foods to Gain Weight
Food rich in proteins and carbohydrates is usually recommended for weight gain programs. Some of the most recommended foods that can be consumed are:
- Nuts and nut butter
- Protein smoothies
Before beginning a weight gain program, it is usually advised to consult a doctor since being underweight could be due to an underlying health problem. The key to remember here is that weight gain should only happen in a healthy and safe way and not by some addictive habit of gorging on junk food. Although gaining weight is a time taking process, it is definitely worth it. Gaining weight could also boost the confidence and self-esteem of a person.