measuring belly

How to know when you need to gain weight for your health?

Most people nowadays are so much focusing on losing weight that we have almost forgotten that for some, gaining weight is also a major concern! Though it is beneficial to stay slim, but being underweight is not healthy at all. Now there is a very ‘thin’ line (pun intended) between the two!

So, how to know if you are underweight or not?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), if your body mass index (BMI) is below 18.5, you are considered ‘underweight’.

  • The formula for BMI is weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared. Keep in mind, BMI is only a classification system and not a diagnostic system.
  • Symptoms of being underweight include fatigue, weakness, low immunity power, irregular menstrual cycle, osteoporosis (bones getting brittle), poor development in children and adolescents, dry skin, hair loss, anemic tendency, premature birth, etc.

So, now that we have looked into symptoms of being underweight, let’s look into the causes of the issue.


This is a major factor that contributes to being underweight. If your family history indicates a lot of members who are underweight, chances are you have a similar possibility too! This is due to a naturally low BMI.


It is a condition where you don’t get the right nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in the right amount. This is also a contributing factor to being underweight. This may cause due to eating disorders and physical or mental illness. Malnutrition also occurs in some sections of the society due to lack of food as a result of poverty.

High metabolism

Do you eat carbohydrates and proteins in the right amount but still face the problem of being underweight? Then you might be having high metabolism! Due to this, one may be acquiring the right amount of nutrition, but still not be able to gain weight.


Physical illness

Chronic diseases like ulcers, diabetes, and cancer may cause excessive loss of weight. Other problems like nausea and diarrhea also contribute to losing weight to some extent. But losing weight does not necessarily mean that you have an illness, it is better to see a doctor than assuming yourself!

Mental illness

Though this is a major concern to many people, it is still a much less talked about issue. Mental illnesses, just like physical illnesses, contribute a lot to weight loss. Problems like chronic depression, anxiety, OCD are responsible for losing excessive weight. If you think you are facing a similar issue, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Now, let’s have a look into the details of being underweight.

How to solve this? How to gain weight in a healthy way?

  • The main reason of a person being underweight is under eating. If you are not able to eat too much at once, try taking small meals! Instead of a large meal, take gaps between meals and have small amounts at a time.
  • Try body building foods! Have meals and snacks containing high amount of proteins and carbohydrates. This will help you gain significant weight. But avoid having excess fats, as these may be deposited in your blood vessels and lead to cardiovascular diseases!
  • Eat foods that are energy filled. Some examples may be milk and milk products, meat, grains, nuts, etc.
  • Being underweight doesn’t mean you don’t have to exercise! Head to the gym now!
  • Get proper sleep! Enough sleep is great for muscle growth.
  • Last but not the least, quit smoking today! It will help you gain weight as smoking involves unhealthy weight loss.

Don’t think you are safe just because you weigh less. Remember, being underweight is just as unhealthy as being obese. ‘Weight loss’ is not the same as ‘fat loss’!

Contact our highly trained experts in case you need assistance. For a specialized diet plan, contact our team of highly experience dieticians who can prescribe the best diet with accordance to your needs, environment, gender, weight etc.

Stay Home, Stay Safe!!!

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