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In this short article we will try to explain how to gain weight while staying healthy.

In the general contemporary picture (increasing obesity, metabolic diseases and vascular risk), this phrase might even sound like an oxymoron.

However, in cases of excessive and objectively identifiable thinness, gaining weight represents a real health necessity; only in a smaller part of cases, however, does weight gain constitute more of an aesthetic need. In both cases, gaining weight correctly represents a process that is anything but simple or obvious.

This is especially because the increase in fat, in addition to establishing potentially incorrect eating habits, could compromise metabolic homeostasis and more.

So let's see how to approach the implementation of general body mass, although it may be advisable to undertake this path with the support of a dietician.

Who Should Gain Weight?

They should gain weight solo those who, due to excessive thinness, suffer from a worsening of the state of salute or of quality from the vitaor that they see in some way increased i factors Of risk due to death or disability.

Weight gain is therefore mainly recommended for people who are excessively thin or frankly underweight, i.e. with a BMI < 18.5.

Women in underweight who face a pregnancy they have greater risks of malnutrition and complications for the fetus, which is why they fall into the highest priority range of dietary therapy – provided by a professional. The woman who intends to undergo pregnancy should normalize before conception.

I excessively thin children they are unlikely to fall within the growth percentiles; but that's not always the case. Certainly, ensuring that they have normal fat percentages could ensure that they reach their caloric needs – although certainly not a frequent case today.

Many people who suffer from arterial hypotension, generally low blood sugar, anemia and other conditions generally linked to an “insufficient” diet, tend to normalize by restoring normal weight.

Constipated people suffer less by eating more, just as those who are “always cold”, even in apparently normal conditions, boast greater thermoregulation in conditions of normal weight.

For the subjects elderly people furthermore, a few kilos more than normal weight (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9) seems to be associated with greater expectancy and quality of life, autonomy and lower general risk.

On the other hand, the research suggests that this relationship would be due not to greater levels of fat – which, in any case, is protective from bruises – but rather to greater levels of muscle mass.

Even the donne who, although in the normal weight range, note a less regularity of the cycle menstrual bleeding or even its interruption – especially following a low-calorie diet, particularly with low levels of fat – should make you gain weight.

Slim but “healthy” people who would like to gain weight for aesthetic reasons should instead focus exclusively on increasing muscle mass, not fat.

Gaining weight and/or gaining weight

Getting fat means increase the quantity of one's own fat mass (FM).

This increase, which can be identified both in absolute and relative terms, “almost always” manifests itself with the growth of overall weight.

However, a worsening of body composition which sees a decrease in muscle mass in favor of body fat could also keep the scale stable. Non it's what we want.

This is because the muscle mass it's always an element positive for the salute general – provided that it is obtained in a totally natural and physiological way.

It is therefore logical that weight gain must be gained slowly and by monitoring the results, which must see as equal growth as possible between FM and FFM (free fat mass or fat-free mass).

The exception of exceptions: the skinny fat!

The so-called skinny fat people represent the exception of exceptions. These, who sometimes appear “dressed” as truly thin, in reality have very low muscle mass and a normal percentage of fat deposits – in men, a significant visceral increase is often highlighted.

In these cases, the primary intervention is aimed at increasing muscle trophism following targeted exercise which, if necessary, can be followed by a short calorie cutting phase to “clean” the viscera of excess fat.

How to Gain Weight Correctly?

Except in clinical or pathological cases, weight gain must be sought by associating a specific training protocol to one high-calorie dietperhaps with the help of some nutritional supplements.

L’motor activity must have the following characteristics:

However, activities with high energy consumption, therefore high volume and aerobic/mixed resistance, should be avoided.

The high-calorie diet to gain weight in a healthy way you will need to have the following characteristics:

  • Energy surplus of approximately +10% – at least to start with, but generally it is sufficient;
  • Breakdown of energy macronutrients with greater emphasis on the percentage of fat (at least 30%), normal protein levels (starting from 1.2 g/kg) and carbohydrates for the rest of the calories (approximately 50%);
  • Choose the number Of for sure favoriteremembering not to exaggerate with volumes to avoid enteric discomfort;
  • Eat how much as clean as possible. Contrary to what one might expect, the choice of healthy foods is more important in a high-calorie diet than in a low-calorie slimming one, in which the general homeostatic improvement is in itself obtained from a negative caloric balance. We cannot risk having excess saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, alcohol etc. compromises metabolism;
  • Check the intake of total fiber (from whole foods, legumes, vegetables), because they limit nutritional absorption and are associated with the introduction of some anti-nutritional factors – obviously, if there is no constipation;

Regarding the use of food supplements, they could be useful for increasing muscle mass: creatine monohydrate, beta alanine, protein powder – in case you have difficulty reaching your requirement, or if you intend to block catabolism early after the workout – and peri-workout maltodextrins.

To know more:
Diet to gain weight: how to manage it and what to eat


In conclusion, only people who, especially when objectively underweight, see certain health risk factors increase or their quality of life worsen should aim to gain weight – or rather, gain weight.

The high-calorie diet to gain weight, on the other hand, is not a practice without risks and difficulties.

Especially in more complicated cases – such as eating disorders, certain metabolic pathologies, skeletal disorders, intestinal malabsorption, sarcopenia, etc. – it is always good practice to contact a professional.

Even the person who is in good health and intends to improve their aesthetic condition should not underestimate the circumstance. The chances of acquiring incorrect habits, going beyond the normal weight threshold or altering metabolic homeostasis are high.

It would be desirable to constantly monitor progress, making sure that weight gain does not only affect fat mass, but also muscle mass.

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