What is considered “Underweight”?
In general, A BMI (Body mass index) of less than 18.5 is considered underweight but the problem with BMI is that it is only a formula for calculating a number based on the height and weight of a person. It does not account for the muscle mass and genetics of a person. For example, professional strongmen often have a BMI upwards of 40 which is considered obese but in reality, they are healthy individuals who have very high muscle mass.
Similarly, there is a possibility that even though someone is underweight they may be healthy individuals. However, BMI is still a very accurate tool to assess the weight of most people in the world. If you are underweight then you should take a look at various tips for men in this article and follow them to take better care of your health.
Just as being overweight has many health problems associated with it, so does being underweight. The problems associated with being Underweight are:-
1. Risk of early death – Being underweight has a higher chance of early death than being overweight according to some studies. Overweight men have a 50 per cent higher chance of early death than men with normal weight, while underweight men have a 140 per cent higher chance. Being overweight contributes indirectly to early death in men because of diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, stroke, etc associated with it, whereas being underweight contributes to early death in men directly.
2. Lack of Calcium – Underweight men have a higher tendency of suffering from calcium deficiency. Calcium, as we know, is essential for bone development, muscle development, dental health, and proper functioning of the body. Underweight men are less likely to drink milk products, eggs, and meat since they contribute to weight gain or might feel heavy to eat.
3. Lack of Iron – Underweight men are more likely to have Iron deficiency. Iron is essential for the growth and development of the body, blood circulation, blood clotting, Improving the immune system, proper mental functioning, and higher energy levels. Underweight men might not have a diet rich in iron consisting of food such as leafy greens, meats, etc and may end up suffering from anaemia.
4. Weak Immune System – Underweight men are more likely to get infected with various infections because they have a weaker immune system than people of normal weight. They don’t eat enough healthy foods to have a proper immune system and are also less likely to have a normal healthy routine that is essential for our immune system.
5. Lack of strength – It’s no secret that the less the weight is, the weaker the person is. It is the reason why combat sports have different weight classes. An underweight person will have a strength deficiency in comparison to a normal-weighted person.
6. Mental health problems – Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia can affect a person’s physical health as well. Mental issues can create an eating disorder and lead to a person becoming underweight. They find it very hard to eat patiently sitting at a table as their mind keeps worrying about many different things.
Weight gain tips for males through diet
Drink milk and eat dairy products- This is one of the best weight gain tips for men. Drinking milk and eating dairy products like ghee, unsalted butter, paneer, etc can help you achieve your target weight by providing you with the essential protein, calcium, and good fat. Milk is very beneficial if your target is to increase your muscle mass and become stronger. However, it is crucial that you combine drinking milk and eating dairy products with physical exercise or weight training, otherwise, you would end up with excess fat in your body. This will lead to you having a protruding belly.
1. Increase your protein intake – For effective and long-lasting weight gain you should aim to eat a good amount of protein every day. Adult men need more than 50 grams of protein every day for effective weight gain. Protein allows you to put on weight without looking fat because it contributes to muscle mass and bone development. Foods that are rich in protein are meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables, pulses, peanuts, almonds, and dairy items. It should also be noted that excess protein converts into fat and this can be harmful to the body. Therefore, you mustn’t eat too much protein either, and try to keep your protein range between 50 to 80 grams per day.
2. Drink a banana shake every day – A banana shake can be an amazing health beverage to drink every day. Milk in a banana shake provides you with the necessary protein, calcium, and fat, while bananas provide you with energy, potassium, fibre, and carbohydrates. Banana shakes will keep you energised throughout the day and can help in muscle recovery after a tough workout. It is also very easy to make and can be prepared in mere minutes. You should drink a banana shake without sugar to get the best results for effective weight gain. Also, try using full-cream or high-fat milk to create a thick and healthy banana shake.
3. Drink a protein shake – If making a banana shake is too much hassle, then you can try using aftermarket protein powder to make a shake. They are very easy to make- just take one or two scoops of protein powder, put it in water or milk depending on your preference, then mix it well by either stirring or shaking, and your shake is prepared! One important thing about protein shakes is that they should always be followed by or preceded by a workout session, otherwise, you will end up with excess fat in your body which can be very harmful.
4. Eat Starch-rich foods – Starch is a natural carbohydrate that is one of the primary sources of energy in the human body. Along with sugar and fibre, starch is one of the main forms of carbohydrates in the human body. Foods that are rich in starch are rice, pasta, wheat, potatoes, bread, and cereals. You can incorporate these into your daily diet to gain weight effectively and quickly. Try eating muesli for breakfast, which is easily available in the market nowadays. It is a Swiss cereal that comprises oats, grains, seeds, nuts, and dried or fresh fruits eaten with milk or yoghurt. Also, you can try eating rice dishes like pulao and dal chawal for lunch to see better weight gain results.
5. Eat food made with healthy oils – Healthy oils such as olive oil and rice bran oil are much better options than refined oils used by most restaurants and households in our country. These healthy oils provide the body with fats that are essential for our daily functioning and also help in the digestion of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K. You can also use olive oil on salads as a dressing and use it to grill meats lightly to become more healthy. Another tip is to not reuse oil after frying because this can create more trans fats.
6. Nuts and butter made from nuts – One of the best weight gain tips for males is to eat more nuts every day and also try out the various nut butter available in the market. Nuts are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and good fats, all of which are crucial for gaining a healthy weight. Nuts such as peanuts, almonds, and walnuts are very nutritious for us and can provide us with most of our daily nutrition requirements. You can also try peanut butter or almond butter which are very tasty and healthy alternatives to regular butter. Use peanut butter as a spread for your breakfast bread to get great weight gain results.
Weight gain tips for males through exercise
1. Push-ups – Doing push-ups is the easiest and the most effective exercise for gaining weight for males. The push-up is a callisthenics exercise that increases the muscle mass in the body by exercising various muscles in the upper body such as the biceps, triceps, back muscles, shoulder muscles and chest muscles. The best way to do a pushup is lowering down your body slowly, dropping as low as you can, and then moving upwards the same way. Do make sure that your elbows are not pointing outwards while doing a pushup as this could lead to injuries.
2. Pull-ups – Another callisthenics exercise that develops upper body strength is Pull-ups. There are different variations of a pull-up that you can try such as wide-arm pull-ups, close-arm pull-ups, and chin-ups. There are also many advanced variations of pull-ups that you can try such as clapping pull-ups, around the world, single-arm pull-ups, etc once you are adept at doing the simple ones. Pull-ups are usually easier for underweight people since they don’t have to pull up heavy body weight. Therefore, this is one of the greatest weight gain tips for underweight males.
3. Squats – Squats are an exercise that works on the muscles in your legs, mostly on the thighs. Keep in mind to not bend your knees further than your feet while doing a squat so that you don’t get injured. It is common for men to focus on the upper body and neglect the lower body. This leads to them having a disproportionate body that looks unappealing and puts more strain on the legs. Therefore, it is important to exercise the leg muscles to have a proportionate and healthy body.
4. Crunches – Crunches work on the muscles in your belly. You can do this by lying on your back and then moving your upper body upwards without moving your lower body. It’s true that crunches are used more as a weight loss exercise but you can also use them for weight gain by developing your belly muscles while gaining weight. It can make your belly appear more toned and attractive as you gain weight.
5. Weight training – One of The most effective weight gain tips for males is doing weight training. You can join a gym or buy dumbbells, barbells, and other gym equipment for yourself to train at home. Weight training helps you develop muscle mass and strength in your body which is essential for proper, healthy weight gain. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of weight training 4 days a week. You can try exercises such as bench presses, deadlifts, triceps extensions, dumbbell raises, etc to get effective results. Try exercising on different muscles each day such as the chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, and so on.
Weight gain tips for males through Lifestyle
1. Sleeping for at least 7 to 9 hours – Proper weight gain and muscle development are dependent on getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping 7 to 9 hours helps in muscle recovery after you work out during the day. It is also necessary for keeping our energy levels high throughout the day so that we can go through our day without any problems and still be able to work out.
2. Stay positive – It is important that you always stay positive during the process of gaining weight. Staying positive helps you tackle obstacles and setbacks that you might experience while gaining weight. Even if you see no results in the first few weeks it’s crucial that you don’t give up on your goals. Staying positive will also help you stay energetic throughout the day and be consistent with your workout plan.
3. Get rid of bad habits – Bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating junk food should be stopped if you want to gain weight and muscles in a healthy manner. These habits can sometimes contribute to being underweight and raise stress levels. They can also lead to poor focus and consistency which are very important for gaining weight. If you can’t quit this cold turkey, then you should at least try to do it in moderation so that it does not hamper your weight goals.
4. Plan your meals – Studies have shown that planning your meals can help you achieve your target weight much faster. When you plan your meals in advance and eat at regular times, your body gets accustomed to it and digests the nutrients more efficiently. Planning your meals will also reduce stress in your life since you don’t have to worry about what and how you should eat. You can also take help from a nutritionist to make a diet plan for yourself.
5. Less cardio more weight training – When you are trying to put on weight, you should revamp your workout routine into a weight training focussed one and less cardio-focused. Cardio makes you lose weight more than weight training and can also reduce muscle mass in the body which can derail your weight gain plans. For gaining weight, cardio should only constitute about 20 to 30 per cent of your total workout.
1. How to gain weight with a fast metabolism?
You can gain weight even if you have a fast metabolism. You just have to focus on eating foods that are calorie-dense and healthy too. Try adding ghee or unsalted butter to your diet and also eat foods that are rich in starch such as rice, pasta, wheat bread, etc.
2. How to gain weight while still exercising?
You can gain weight while still exercising by focussing more on weight training rather than cardio. Try the 80-20 rule. Do weight training for 80% of your workout and cardio for 20%.
3. What workout should I do for gaining weight?
Some of the exercises that you can incorporate to gain weight and muscle mass are push-ups, pull-ups, squats, crunches, bench presses, bicep curls, shoulder presses, and deadlifts.
4. What diet plan should I follow to gain weight?
You should follow a diet that is rich in good fats, protein, and carbohydrates. You should create a balanced diet plan incorporating foods such as rice, whole wheat, peanut butter, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options. You should also cut back on sugar and other harmful products that are unhealthy.
5. What kind of lifestyle to follow for gaining weight?
You should follow a stress-free and positive lifestyle to gain weight. Make sure that you are getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. You should also plan your workouts and meals properly to see the best results.
6. How to gain weight in a healthy manner?
You can gain weight in a healthy manner by eating foods that are rich in nutrients and also exercising regularly to ensure that you gain muscle mass instead of just fat. You should also follow a stress-free and relaxed lifestyle in order to gain weight healthily.
7. how to gain weight without joining a gym?
You can easily gain weight without joining a gym by doing home workouts and eating healthy calorie-rich foods. You can do callisthenics exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, crunches, etc. You can also buy gym equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, etc, and do weight training at home.