Healthy Ways to Gain Weight If You Are Underweight

a bowl of nutritious food for weight gain

Being underweight is just as worrisome as being overweight and can lead to many health conditions. Underweight people often find it difficult to gain healthy weight even if they eat more. The answer lies not in how much they eat, much what they eat.

But first things first, how can you find out if you’re really underweight?

To do that you need to calculate your body mass index (BMI). BMI calculator is the standard tool used by people globally to check whether they fall into the healthy weight category, over it, or under it. Refer to the table below to see which category you fall into.

BMI Value Category
Less than 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Healthy Weight
25 – 29.9 Overweight
30 and above Obese

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What is the Best Way to Gain Healthy Weight?

Oftentimes underweight people try to gain weight by mindlessly gorging on food that is nothing but unhealthy junk containing mostly fats and sugars. While this might show some increase in weight initially, it does more harm to your body than good because the food you’re eating contains little to no nutritious value. Following this method will not yield positive results in the long run.

Being underweight often comes with underlying health issues like malnutrition, nutrient deficiency, and poor gut health. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose your food wisely.

Let’s learn the best ways to gain a healthy weight if you’re underweight!

1. Eat Nutrient- Rich Food

Food is the most powerful factor that can make or break your health. If you are trying to gain weight, the first thing you need to be conscious of is your choice of food.

Eating empty calories will only lead to health complications in the future. Eat foods that are highly nutritious. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and, whole grains that contain good portions of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Your body needs all these nutrients to stay nourished and gain healthy mass, not just fat.

2. Increase Protein Intake

Protein is essential for gaining muscle mass and is a quintessential element for promoting healthy weight gain. Include natural sources of protein like egg, milk, soy, peas, lean chicken, fish, etc in your diet.

3. Get Adequate Sleep

Whether you want to lose weight or gain it, getting an adequate amount of sleep is a key factor in maintaining a healthy body.

While you sleep, your body’s mechanism starts its’s healing and building process. Sleep deprivation keeps the body from starting that process, balancing hormones, and building important muscles.

4. Eat More Calories

Eating surplus calories can help you gain weight. But be wise while choosing your calories. Steer clear of junk food and empty calories and choose more healthy foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and good fats.

Increasing the portions of your daily meals is a good way to hike your calorie consumption without filling yourself with empty junk calories.

5. Eat Frequent Meals

Make a habit of eating small but frequent meals. These meals should be nutrient-dense to fill your body’s daily requirements to carry out daily bodily functions and form muscle mass.

This process will help you build a healthy appetite and acclimatize your body to a higher intake of nutrients per day. Switch to healthy snacking and eat 2-3 healthy snacks per day. Possible has a plethora of healthy snack items for your daily snacking needs..

6. Exercise

Engage in physical activities that will help you build muscle mass. Strength training is one of the best exercises to promote healthy weight gain. Along with this, yoga is also effective in building muscle mass and may promote healthy weight gain.

Incorporate yoga along with strength training into your daily exercise routine. Exercise and nutritious food work hand in hand to promote a healthy weight gain process.

Best Foods to Gain Weight

The best food to gain a healthy weight should ideally contain nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and good fat. Some foods that you can include in your healthy weight gain diet are:

  1. Fruits like banana, guava, apricots, kiwi, chikoo etc.
  2. Whole egg including the yolk.
  3. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, beetroot, peas, carrots etc.
  4. Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, etc.
  5. Seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. You can check out Possible’s seed cocktail which is a combination of many nutrition-packed seeds.
  6. Fibre-rich whole grains including oats, brown rice, also other unpolished grains.
  7. Both red and white meat including chicken, mutton, etc. 
  8. Milk and other dairy products like cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc.
  9. Healthy snacks like roasted chana, khakhra, peanut butter, a handful of mixed roasted nuts, etc.


Gaining healthy weight demands just as much focus and attention as losing weight. But it is absolutely achievable by being consistent with a dedicated healthy diet paired with exercise.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go through some of the frequently asked questions from below:

Q. How can I gain weight if I am dangerously underweight?
A. Dangerously low weight needs immediate attention. Conduct a thorough check to determine the cause of it. Sometimes underlying health conditions can cause severe weight and bring down your BMI drastically.

Make adjustments to your diet to facilitate weight gain. Choose protein-rich foods like egg, meat, milk, dry fruits and nuts, etc and gradually increase your meal portions. Eating small but frequent meals every now and then can help in increasing the weight.

Q. What should an underweight person eat?
A. If you’re underweight, you need to include foods that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Spread out these nutrients throughout your week’s diet to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in the body.

Check out the food recommendations provided above to start your healthy weight gain process.

Q. Should I gain weight if I am underweight?
A. If your body mass index is 18.5, it is a red flag indicating that your body is not getting its due nutrients for its adequate growth. Being underweight often comes as a consequence of conditions like malnutrition.

Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to it and take action to gain weight in a healthy way.

Q. What is the fastest, healthiest way to gain weight?
A. The fastest and healthiest way to gain weight is to increase your daily calorie intake and fill your menu with protein-rich foods like eggs, milk, meat, soya, etc.

Along with food, maintain a healthy schedule with a good amount of sleep and do basic yoga or exercise.

Q. Why can I not gain weight?
A. Every individual’s body is different, and so is their metabolic process. If you have a fast metabolism, you might find it difficult to gain weight. Gaining weight in such a case demands a calorie surplus.

Eat a protein-heavy and nutrient-rich diet. Also, eat small but frequent meals to increase appetite. See the above list for the best foods to gain healthy weight.

Q. What weight is considered skinny?
A. A BMI value of less than 18.5 is considered underweight and may make you look thinner than average.

Q. Why can’t I gain weight no matter what I eat?
A. This might be an indication that you have a fast metabolism. Therefore, in order to gain weight, you need to increase your food intake significantly.

You also need to be conscious about what you eat. Consuming empty calories won’t result in healthy weight gain. Eat nutrient-rich food. Increase your intake of protein, carbs, and other essential nutrients.

Q. What are the symptoms of being underweight?
A. The most obvious symptom of being underweight is a low body mass index (BMI) which calculates your weight in relation to your height and age. If your BMI value is less than 18.5, you fall under the category of underweight.

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