How to gain weight in a healthy and effective manner How to gain weight in a healthy and effective manner
While many people struggle with obesity, the number on the other side of the spectrum is significant too. Being underweight can result in health... How to gain weight in a healthy and effective manner

While many people struggle with obesity, the number on the other side of the spectrum is significant too. Being underweight can result in health consequences as severe as being obese. Weight gain problems are not only a concern to underweight individuals but also those who would like to gain some muscles.


Photo: Spoon University

1. BMI

The easiest way to know whether you are underweight is through a simple BMI calculation:

  • Divide your weight (kg) by your height (meters)
  • Divide the answer you get by your height (meters) again

After you get your BMI value, you can check your weight situation according to this table:

Category BMI range
Severe Thinness Less than 16
Moderate Thinness 16 to 17
Mild Thinness 17 to 18.5
Normal 18.5 to 25
Overweight 25 to 30
Obese More than 30

However, take the results with a pinch of salt. The BMI may not be an absolutely accurate analysis of your health, as it does not factor in the muscle mass.

2. Problems associated with underweight


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Being underweight may also cause the following problems:

    • Weaker immune system
    • Fertility problems
    • Higher chances of contracting sarcopenia
    • Greater risks of dementia
    • Earlier deaths

3. How to gain healthy weight

  • Gain muscle mass

gain weight


To increase your weight, you should eat lean beef, skinless chicken, eggs, fish, whole grains and leafy vegetables. Consuming these food will make sure you’re gaining muscle mass instead of accumulating fats in your tummy.

  • Calorie surplus



By consuming more calories than your body may burn, you will gain weight. Start by calculating the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. From the amount calculated, add 300 to 500 calories more to gain weight slowly, or add 700-1000 calories to gain weight fast.

  • Eat high-carb and high-fat food

high fat carb

Photo: Fat New World

Consuming more carbs can help to increase your weight. Try quinoa, oats, buckwheat, bananas, sweet potatoes, kidney beans and oranges. High-fat food can be a healthy and delicious choice during your weight gain process. Try avocado, cheese, dark chocolate, nuts, coconut oil and full-fat yogurt.

  • Exercise to improve appetite


Photo: Redwood Workout Centers

There is a misconception that thin people do not have to exercise because exercising may result in weight loss. However, exercising is important even for people who are underweight, as it helps to improve your appetite. Few hours after sweating it out in the gym, our hunger hormones surge, encouraging us to eat. In addition, exercising helps to maintain a healthy heart and boost overall wellbeing.

  • Weight gainer shakes

weight gain

Photo: Diyet Forum

If you have tried all the methods above for a reasonable amount of time, and still don’t see a significant change in your weight, maybe you can try weight gainer shakes. These shakes are rich in protein, carbs, and calories, making them a convenient solution to those trying to gain weight and others who aim to bulk.

  • Consult a doctor


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Inability to gain weight or signs of unintended weight loss may be symptoms of serious illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, cancer, infection and gastrointestinal problems. It is best to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Always keep in mind that moderation is the best policy. Extreme weight loss or extreme weight gain will have dire consequences and cause unnecessary stress to your body and wellbeing.

Cover Image:

Iris Tan

Iris Tan

A cup of steaming hot tea, an engaging motivational book and a sleeping cat in her lap – these are what Iris envisions a purr-fect life would be. To be more precise, the cat’s got to be chubby and short. When she’s not wasting her time on the never ending streams of feline videos, Iris enjoys daydreaming and doodling in her bullet journal while she wonders about the endless possibilities life can bring.

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