Leanness can often be healthy. However, being underweight may also be a problem especially if it is due to poor nutrition, pregnancy, or underlying health conditions. If your weight is below normal, you must see your dietitian or healthcare provider for an examination and evaluation. They will create a suitable plan to help you achieve your goal weight.
Healthy eating is important for healthy weight gain. An eating plan that contributes to healthy weight gain includes a wide range of healthy foods. Color your plate and imagine you’re eating the rainbow. Oranges, dark, leafy greens, tomatoes, and even fresh herbs – are enriched with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Adding broccoli, onions, or frozen peppers to omelets and stews gives them a convenient and quick boost of nutrients and color.
Here are a few tips to gain weight through healthy eating:
An underweight person usually feels full faster. Your daily meals should comprise five to six small portions during the day instead of two to three large portions.
Choose foods that are rich in nutrients
Your daily healthy diet should comprise whole-grain cereals, pasta, and bread; vegetables and fruits, lean proteins; seeds and nuts, and dairy products.
Try shakes and smoothies
There’s nothing special about coffee, diet soda, and other drinks in that category. They contain very few calories and do not provide any nutritional value. You are better off with healthy shakes and smoothies made with fresh or frozen fruit and milk, with a dash of ground flaxseed. Sometimes, a liquid meal substitute does the trick.
The time you drink matters. Watch it
Sometimes, drinking before meals brings down your appetite. Do you experience this? If yes, then you may take some high-calorie drinks alongside a snack or meal. In other cases, drinking at least 30 minutes after a meal, (and not with the meal) may be helpful.
Every bite is important. Make it count
Snack on healthy stuff like peanut butter, nuts, dried fruits, avocados, and cheese. A bedtime snack wouldn’t be a bad idea, something like lean cheese or meat, sliced vegetables, or jelly sandwich.
Strength training and other forms of exercise can help with healthy weight gain. Strength training helps build up your muscles and also stimulates your appetite.
Occasional treats are great
Yes, that you’re underweight doesn’t mean you should indulge in excess fat and sugar. Yes! You are good to go with an occasional slice of cake with ice cream. But most of your treats should be healthy and filled with nutrients in addition to calories. Good choices include granola bars, yogurt, and bran muffins.
Top your dishes
Splash some extras on your dishes for extra calories – like cheese in scrambled eggs and casseroles, or dried milk in stews and soups.
A healthy eating plan that promotes weight gain:
- Places emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk, and dairy products.
- Includes various protein foods like lean meats, seafood, eggs, poultry, and legumes (peas and beans), nuts, soy products, and seeds.
- Contains a low amount of trans fats, saturated fats, salt, cholesterol, and added sugars.
- Does not exceed your calorie needs.