IN OUR SOCIETY, THE CULT OF A SLIM BODY IS STRONG : incompatibility is considered a problem for him and many people do not give up trying to lose weight. In particular, this applies to women to whom the media all year round impose standards of the “beach body”. Difficulties with weight gain are less common and less often discussed in society. Often, thinness is considered a “gift of fate”, and complaints that a person cannot gain weight are perceived as coquetry.
First, a lean figure is not a reason for shaming, as well as full forms. Secondly, this is not always a conscious choice: for some people, the lack of weight can be associated with diseases, and someone just wants to have a more prominent and strong body, but this does not work out. We decided to understand the causes of underweight and find out how to gain weight wisely without harm to health.
Understand the reasons
From the point of view of medicine, excessive thinness is a condition in which weight is not enough for the normal functioning of the body. Body mass index (BMI) is widely used to determine healthy weight . To roughly understand what your BMI is, it is recommended to divide the weight by the square of height in meters. It is believed that with excessive thinness, the BMI is less than 18.5. However, self-diagnosis on such a scheme is very unreliable. Moreover, it is important to remember that BMI itself is a very conditional indicator of health, which does not take into account constitutional features and the ratio of muscle and fat mass.
Ultrasound, a special caliper device, underwater weighing and a number of other methods are used to measure the latter . It is considered that for women the rate of body fat content is from 20% to 32%. Indicators may vary depending on age, activity level and other factors. However, all these approximate figures may indicate a potential problem. Lack of weight is both a sign and cause of a number of serious diseases.
We have already said that excessive thinness can be caused by metabolic disorders . In addition, weight deficiency is among the signs of cancer, type 1 diabetes, and acute gluten intolerance. So, before you change your diet and habits, be sure to consult your doctor. Sometimes the cause of overweight is eating disorders or an unbalanced diet. In such cases, the body receives insufficient amounts of nutrients, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and severely hits the immune system. For women, extreme thinness is fraught with hormonal disruptions, menstrual disorders and reproductive system problems. Doctors often prescribe weight gain to patients, and you should ask the doctor to give detailed recommendations on how to gain weight.
Think over the new diet
Weight gain is a set of fat and muscle tissue. To get more fat, you need to create a surplus of calories, that is, consume more than burn. It is not as simple as it seems at first glance. There is everything – no way out. High-calorie foods like sweet soda, fast food and baking will add to you not only a couple of kilograms, but also, perhaps, health problems. High concentrations of simple carbohydrates in such foods can lead to fatigue and apathy, dental problems and even osteoporosis. Saturated fats contained in fast food, increase cholesterol levels and can increase the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
To gain “healthy fat”, you need to eat well for a long time. A surplus of 300–500 kcal per day is enough. Organize yourself a regular meal: three main meals and a couple of snacks. Lean on fish, complex carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, use olive and coconut oils when cooking. A good option is nuts and dried fruits: they are both high-calorie and rich in vitamins. When you gain muscle mass, pay attention to sports nutrition. Reasonable use of protein shakes and gainers will help add protein and carbohydrates without harm to health.
Engage in strength training
So that the excess calories turned into not only fat but also muscle mass, you will have to go in for sports. Cardio loads like running, exercise bikes and dancing should be avoided – they burn too many calories and do not help build muscles. For weight gain, power loads are suitable – workouts based on work with weights. It is believed that the most effective work at the limit of opportunities : when it seems to you that you can no longer take weight, but you do another two or three repetitions. The fact is that muscle fibers are surrounded by connective tissue, in which microdamages occur during training. Its cells begin to be actively built in order to “patch up” the micro-fracture, thereby building up muscles in volume.
Despite this generally accepted technique, we advise you to work with weights very carefully. To start work in the gym you need under the supervision of an experienced trainer who will follow the technique of exercise and the level of load. A professional will help to quickly achieve the desired result and avoid injury. In any case, you need to treat yourself carefully, and to the advice of a coach – critically. Before starting training, as well as if during classes there are controversial issues, it is better to consult a doctor whom you trust.
Healthy weight gain is a long process, patience is worth it. In order to track their results, doctors recommend weighing in at about the same time every day. The main thing is to treat this ritual without fanaticism, because a certain weight is not a goal, but an intermediate result of working on your health. You can keep a food diary to determine the optimal diet. Online services like Healbe and Dacadoo , and wearable gadgets are suitable for this purpose . However, a healthy diet can sometimes be broken: there is nothing wrong with an extra croissant or cheesecake – especially if you are trying to get better.
Remember that muscles grow during periods of rest of the body, so proper rest is very important. Get enough sleep and avoid stress. If you want to not only gain weight, but also to keep it, you will have to change your lifestyle. And if the help of a trainer can eventually be abandoned, and a rigorous calculation of calories is not at all necessary, then a balanced diet and physical activity should stay with you for a long time.
Think of different incentives for each day. Record your successes, share them with friends – online or with live communication, buy a beautiful sports form – in general, do what pleases and motivates you personally. Thousands of people have already traveled the path to a strong body and well-being, so why not take advantage of their advice? In instagram there are many profiles of Russian fitness bloggers, in which they tell in detail about proper nutrition, daily regimen and workouts.
Do not be afraid to stop being thin. Take a look at weight gain is not just as a medical indication. This is an excellent opportunity to learn good habits and start a healthy lifestyle. In addition, a strong body and full forms are finally beginning to be perceived as a variant of the norm. Celebrities from Beyonce to Kim Kardashian, plus-size models , body-positive dancers , yoga and fitness trainers — all these successful women never tire of reminding you of how useful it is to spit on other people’s standards and define your personal goals. Follow their example: not easy, but it is very important to learn to respect your body and accept it at any stage of life.