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Weight Gain

Maybe you know people around you who suffer from low body weight and are always looking for a solution to gain weight. In nutrition science, a BMI below 18.5 defines as underweight. This problem is less prevalent worldwide, so it is less talked about. Less than 2% of American people suffer from this problem. There are no weight gain recommendations for a lean person that they are healthy at their current weight, but if a person is malnourished, it is better to gain weight.

Health Risks of Underweight

• Malnourishment and nutritional deficiencies such as anemia
• Osteoporosis because of vitamin D or calcium deficiency or because of low pressure on femoral bone
• Infertility because of irregular menstrual cycle and lack of ovulation
• Weakness of immune system
• Growth issues, especially in children and teenagers

Lean people find it so difficult to gain weight. Most of them tried so many weight gain diets but had no achievement. The most important factor in weight gain, as well as weight loss, is combining diet and exercise. Because the high-calorie diet without physical activity just accumulates fat, especially in the belly area, and this excess fat can lead to an unhealthy conditions like fatty liver and diabetes.

The Reasons for Being Underweight

• Stay hungry long term because of daily work: some busy people consider spending time for having a meal as a wasted time, and some of them forget to have a meal because of their occupations.
• Appetite: for various reasons, the person has little appetite.
• Genetic
• Metabolic factors
• Illness: such as anemia (lead to a decrease in appetite), hyperthyroidism (lead to an increase in metabolism abnormally)
• Food aversions or food disorders
• Psychiatric problems

Can I Eat All High-Calorie Foods in Gain Weight Diet?

Absolutely not! When we talk about high-calorie foods, we don't want to encourage people to eat high fat and unhealthy meals just to gain weight in their diet plan. Among them are long-term eating fast foods or high-fat snacks like chips. These foods make people gain weight, but different diseases will happen after a while. We want people to gain weight in a healthy way. So, if we are talking about high-calorie intake, we suggest to intake it from good nutritional sources such as healthy oils, whole grains, fresh starchy vegetables, nuts, etc.
One of the most important macronutrients in the weight gain diet is protein. We will learn more about the importance of protein in the weight gain diet.

Role of Protein in Weight Gain Diet

One of the good food sources to eat in a gain-weight diet is high protein meals. They make your body to muscle synthesis.

Best protein sources include:
1. Meats: red meat, chicken, turkey, ham, fish, shrimp
2. Eggs
3. Nuts: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sesame, hazelnuts, etc.
4. Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
5. Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
6. Protein supplements: whey proteins, BCAA supplements, milk powdered infant formulas, etc.

What is important about using protein supplements is that using these supplements must be accompanied by exercise for two reasons:
1. For better impact on muscle synthesis
2. For protecting from kidneys because excess protein intake increases the renal load and could lead to renal failure in the long term.

But doing exercise can prevent it.

7 Days Meal Plan For Weight Gain

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Weight Gain Diet for Underweight Children

Childs must grow normally based on their growth chart. How do you find out if a child has growth retardation? Based on the growth chart, if the weight for height or BMI for age curve was at the plateau situation or had decreased slop for three months consecutive measurements, we define it as growth retardation.
Growth retardation can have different causes in children. Such as:
1. Anemia or parasitic diseases
2. Tooth growth periods in younger children: it causes a decrease in appetite
3. Increase in physical activity than intake
4. Increased playfulness in children and lack of attention to eating
5. Depression
6. Greater increase in height growth than weight
7. Crossing one growth period and entering another, for example, from childhood to adulthood
8. Food aversions

Weight Gain Strategies for Children

• Importance of breakfast for gaining weight: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day in a weight gain diet. The breakfast helps keep blood glucose at the appropriate level during the day, increases the child's concentration, and regulates the child's metabolism.
• Balance child's physical activity and food intake: There should be a balance between energy intake and expenditure to gain weight.
• Prevent eating junk foods instead of main meals: There are two terms in nutrition science, "Abdominal satiety and cellular hunger," it means that whenever a person eats some foodstuffs without any nutritional value, such as potato chips, most fast foods, candy bars, sugary drinks, cakes, these such foods just fulfill the stomach, but no micronutrients like minerals and vitamins enter to the cells. In conclusion, due to satiety, the child denies having main meals, which leads to weight loss.
• Having set times to eat each main meal and snacks.
• Focus on just eating while eating! What does this sentence mean? It means that when a child is eating his meals, doesn't watch TV, doesn't work with a tablet or cellphone, doesn't paint, or such a thing. These kinds of work during eating decrease the child's concentration and stop eating properly.
• Decorate the child's plate to encourage the child to eat.
• Prepare exciting and nutritious snacks to persuade the child to eat regular snacks.

Want to gain weight? We are here to help you.

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