A recent study conducted by Market Watch revealed that millennials spend more on health and fitness than on college tuition. The buying power of Millennials is tapped on by social media through shrewd marketing and exploited. The fact that we are living in a world that’s overly concerned with looks makes the matter more acute. Looks are more than often than not associated with a certain size, the size ’S’ or small. Being lean is almost always equated with being fit and healthy, this is a myth that has now been debunked after years of dedicated research. The study conducted by National Health Service (NHS), England’s premier health research and expert, helped them come out with a program to fight bulimia and body dysmorphia after the number of underweight adults with body image issues went up considerably.

Reasons To Gain Weight

NHS suggests that if your BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 18.5 then you should start following a healthier diet and gain weight. According to a recent study, being underweight ups the chances of premature death in women by 100% and 140% in men. In comparison, obesity accounts for only 50% of premature deaths in men and women.

NHS suggests that if your BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 18.5 then you should start following a healthier diet and gain weight. According to a recent study, being underweight ups the chances of premature death in women by 100% and 140% in men. In comparison, obesity accounts for only 50% of premature deaths in men and women.

The Good kind of Fat for Muscles and Mental Growth-The word Fat has serious negative connotations and most people cringe away from it. However, fat in your body helps in breaking down and storing energy in the form of Calories, from the food you consume. Especially, the good kind of fat that is found in foods like avocados, nuts, butter, etc.  Calories are like fuel for your body allowing it to function properly by providing energy. It also plays a key role in muscular and brain development. Being underweight can hamper mental growth and cause muscular degeneration.

Youthful Skin-Fat also imparts a youthful appearance and keeps your skin supple and moisturized. Being underweight causes early signs of aging, like wrinkles, laugh lines, crows feet, thereby adding years to your face.

Fertility Issues-Being Underweight can cause serious fertility issues in women. Tamper with their menstrual cycles and in some extreme cases put a stop to it entirely. Suffering from extreme bulimia for years have often caused infertility in both men and women.

Brittle Bones-A deficiency of Vitamin D in your body can mess with bone density causing them to become brittle. Osteoporosis is a medical condition found in many underweight individuals, it makes bones brittle and vulnerable. Not getting enough nutrients into your body makes it harder for it to fight illness, thereby weakening the immune system and making it more susceptible to infection and prolonged illness.

Maintaining a healthy diet and a good BMI score is essential to ensure your body weight does not fall below the norm. Often people think eating junk food is the only way to gain weight, this is a completely wrong way to go about it. Gaining weight can be just as hard as losing it, the successive section below talks about how the same in-depth and details.

Why Gaining Weight Can Be Difficult

During the late 1960s, a group of researchers carried out an experiment on voluntary prisoners in the Vermont State Prison. They overfed volunteers with a normal BMI index to increase their weight by 25%. To their surprise, not all volunteers registered the desired increase in weight. One particular volunteer increased his calorie consumption to 10,000 calories a day but still did not register a weight gain beyond 18%. This experiment proved that increased consumption does not always guarantee the desired weight gain.

Common Factors Affecting Weight Gain

  •  The Metabolic rates of some individuals are extremely high. While that can be a blessing for many it can also be a curse for people who are trying to gain weight. For their body simply does not store fat no matter how many calories they consume.
  • A condition called the Non-Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis (or NEAT for short) creates a barrier of sorts that does not allow a person to gain any weight. It is kind of rare and can be diagnosed only after proper consultations with a registered medical practitioner.
  •  Genetics play an important role in weight gain. If your family has a history of being underweight and skinny you might find it hard to gain weight too.
  • Psychological issues like stress and depression also hamper weight gain. Body image issues can lead to eating disorders, individuals suffering from any of the three need to consult a psychologist before they get to a nutritionist.

Natural  Ways To Gain Weight

Often what people do not realize is that gaining weight can be just as difficult as losing weight. The human body tries its best to maintain homeostasis, whereby it attempts to maintain a balance of the caloric intake. The best way to go about weight gain is to start simply by following the below-mentioned methods:

  •  Find out how many calories your body needs every day to maintain a particular weight. Then increase your caloric intake by 15% from there. Adding high-calorie food like olive oil, peanuts, avocados, whole milk, chocolates can help you achieve this goal.
high-calorie food like avacados can help you to gain weight
  • To maintain a healthy muscle mass, one should train and not exercise. The exercise involves burning calories and does not aid in weight gain or muscle build up. Training, on the other hand, is targeted towards specific goals, so one can train for building up muscles without losing body mass.
  • Keep in mind that you have to force yourself to eat the required number of calories every day even if you feel full halfway through a meal.
  • Consume 0.75 g of protein for every pound you weigh. Protein is very essential for those trying to build muscles and gain weight. Lean meats like chicken and fish are good and healthy options, going for a steak once in a while will also aid in the muscle build up.
  • Smokers and caffeine addicts often find it harder to gain weight. For both tobacco and caffeine kills appetite and makes it harder for food to get absorbed into the body. Giving up smoking and reducing your caffeine intake will help not only in weight gain but let you live a longer and healthier life.
  • Inculcate more ‘Good Fats’ in your diet that are not unsaturated trans-fats. Saturated fats or ‘Good Fats’ are found in superfoods like avocados, kale, salmon, tuna, nuts, sunflower seeds, canola oil, etc. Trans-fats are found in junk foods like fries, pretzels, canned foods, high sodium containing instant noodles et al.
  • Stress is the biggest enemy for millennials when it comes to gaining weight. Stress hampers your appetite makes it harder for you to consume the required amount of calories. Even if you do consume the required amount of calories being too stressed makes it hard for the body to put the calories towards the desired goal. If you find yourself being stressed deal with it first before you start your weight gain journey, yoga and meditation are some holistic and natural methods that help in dealing with mild stress.
  • Incorporate more starchy food like sweet potatoes, potatoes with butter, white bread, glutenous food items into your diet. This helps in balancing out your digestion and adds to weight gain.
White bread can help balancing your digestion.
  • Include more dairy products in your diet and do not skimp on the creamer while having your coffee. Dairy products like yogurt, whole milk, ice creams, butter et al are going to be your companions on this journey. Skip the skimmed milk and the froyos and go for the dairy-rich options.

Parting Thoughts

The literature on how to lose weight is widely and easily available all over the Internet but the same cannot be said about those looking to gain weight. The terms ‘fat’, ‘calories’, and ‘weight gain’ are considered to be serious taboos. Such negativity makes it harder for individuals to acknowledge that they are underweight. However, being underweight is sometimes more harmful than being mildly obese. Individuals suffering from severe weight issues need to consult not just nutritionists but sometimes also therapists, if the roots of being underweight are psychological. Not to forget that the ultimate goal for every individual is to live a long and healthy life.