Weight Gain Tips For Men And Women

India has among the largest underweight population in the world. In technical terms, if your BMI (body mass index) is less than 18.5, then he/she is underweight. This is just as bad as being obese. Being underweight can increase your risk of several health issues such as malnutrition, vitamin and nutrition deficiencies, anemia, weakened immune system, fertility issues. If children and teenagers are underweight, this can hinder their growth and development. Hence, having more or less than the normal body weight is bad for health, and maintaining proper weight is crucial for proper health and good quality of life. Before looking at ways to increase weight, let us first look at conditions that make it difficult to gain weight.

What Might Be The Possible Reasons For You Being Underweight?

There can be a number of possible reasons for you being underweight, the most common of which are:

A hyperactive thyroid gland

  • The thyroid gland situated in the front neck releases the thyroid hormones that control several vital functions of the body, including metabolism.
  • A hyperactive thyroid gland releases too much thyroid hormone, resulting in the disorder called hyperthyroidism.
  • In this, the body’s metabolism gets overactive.
  • As a result, you lose weight despite having a good appetite.


  • Stress and worry are the other reasons behind weight loss.
  • This is because, in the time of stress, many people lose their appetite.

Eating disorder

  • Although eating disorders are many in kind, but in some of them, the person limits his/her food intake, making it difficult to gain weight.
  • The most extreme cause is anorexia nervosa, in which the person limits calorie intake to such a degree that he/she becomes too underweight, and might even require hospitalisation.


  • Type 1 diabetes is another reason for weight loss.
  • In this, the immune system kills the cells in the pancreas, the organ that releases insulin. 
  • Insulin manages the blood glucose level.
  • If type 1 diabetes is left unmanaged, it leads to a spike in blood sugar level, which is then flushed out through urine.
  • This excretion of glucose makes you lose weight.

Certain Medications

  • Many medications and treatments can make you lose your appetite. 
  • This makes you lose weight and manage normal weight.

Dietary Tips To Gain Weight

Just like limiting your calorie intake makes you lose weight, the opposite is also true. However, one thing that should be noted here is that to increase your calorie intake, you should not fill up on calorie-dense foods that are high in saturated fats and sugars. Foods such as cakes, cookies, and sodas although increase your calorie intake, but make you gain fat and not lean mass. Hence, a slow, steady and healthy is the approach you should adopt to gain weight. Here are some such tips:

  • Incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet. In fact, make it a point to consume at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Consume foods such as rice, bread, and potato, that are rich in starchy carbohydrates.
  • Have dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese, and in case you are lactose intolerant, opt for non-dairy alternatives such as soy milk. In the case of milk, go for the whole-fat kind, which is beneficial in weight gain.
  • Eat enough protein, such as eggs, meat, pulses, and beans.
  • Consume oil but the unsaturated kind, such as sunflower oil. 
  • Drink enough water and other fluids. 

Foods You Can Have To Gain Weight

Gaining way healthy way is just as difficult as losing it. It’s convenient to fill up on unhealthy, high-calorie junk food to gain weight. But this is neither a healthy option nor a sustainable one. Luckily, there are certain foods that you can incorporate into your diet to gain weight the healthy way.


  • An excellent protein source, milk helps in both gaining weight and muscle mass.
  • Rich in calcium, this drink has a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
  • To either gain weight or muscle mass, opt for whole-fat milk.
  • You can have it as a snack, or along with meals.
  • Banana milk shake is being consumed for ages to gain weight.


  • When trying to gain weight, have at least 2 whole eggs every day.
  • This nutrient-packed food has a rich blend of proteins and healthy fats.
  • Eggs are versatile too. You can have them boiled, scrambled, in the form of omelet, or baked.

Starchy Foods

  • Starchy carbohydrates are extremely healthy and cost-effective in increasing your calorie intake.
  • Potato, sweet potato, oats, buckwheat, beans, and legumes are all good sources of starchy carbs.
  • Not only do they help you gain weight, but they also provide other health benefits too, such as providing your body with fibre, vital nutrients and nourishing your gut bacteria.

Whole Grain Bread

  • This is yet another carbs-dense food that makes you gain weight.
  • It’s also versatile as there are a whole lot of sandwiches you can make with it. 
  • A healthy option is to combine whole grain bread with protein sources such as eggs, or cheese.


  • If trying to gain weight, white rice is the perfect food for you. 
  • It is high in carb and low in fat.
  • Just a cup of it has over 200 calories.
  • Since it is calorie-dense, a small serving of it provides you enough calories, while leaving you with enough appetite to eat more.
  • There are several ways you can have rice, such as with dal, fry it, or have it in the form of biryani.


  • It’s high in carbs and fats, and by having just a small amount of it, you can load up on lots of calories.
  • It’s easy too and can be consumed in a variety of dishes, such as in the form of grilled sandwiches, pizza, pasta, etc.
  • One thing, however, should be noted that cheese is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and hence should be consumed in moderation.  

Dark Chocolate

  • This energy-dense food is not just a tasty option to gain weight, it provides other health benefits too.
  • A good quality dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa, is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium.
  • Not just weight gain, it boosts mood by regulating the stress hormone called cortisol. It helps improve heart health, reduces your risk of getting diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.
  • Other than eating it raw, you can have it in the form of a dessert, or add it to piping hot milk to get yourself that delicious hot chocolate.

Healthy Oils

  • These are the healthiest options to add calories to your meal.
  • Options for some healthy oils include coconut oil, olive oil, and mustard oil.

Exercises To Gain Weight

Just like working out is crucial for losing weight, the same is the case with weight gain. There are some exercises that helps you build muscle mass, and thus gaining weight. Before we go through these exercises, it’s vital to understand that consistency is the key to proper weight management.


  • This exercise helps in building muscles in the arms and shoulders. This is how you can do pushups:
  • Lie down with your stomach on the floor.
  • Put your palms flat on the floor with arms shoulders-distance apart.
  • Curl your toes under, your back should be straight and gently rise up so that your arms are straight.
  • Gently lower yourself so that your nose is close to the floor.
  • Repeat this as many times as you can.


  • This is another exercise to build arms and shoulder muscles. For doing pullups you’ll need a pull-up stick. This is how you can do this exercise:
  • Hold the pull-up bar with a firm grip. Your arms should be shoulder-distance apart.
  • Pull yourself so that your arms are straight and your feet are no longer on the floor.
  • Continue pulling yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  • Repeat this as many times as you can.


  • This simple exercise helps build muscles in the hips and legs. This is how you can do squats:
  • Stand straight with your legs hips distance apart.
  • Bring your hands to your waist and tuck your stomach in.
  • Gently lower down with just your legs and keep your upper body straight.
  • Lower down as if you are going to sit, but stop as soon as your thighs are at a 90° angle with the floor.
  • Rise up again and repeat this exercise a few more times.


  • Squats help you build the muscles in the hips and legs, while lunges help you tone those muscles. This is how you can do this:
  • Stand straight and tuck your abdominal muscles in.
  • Extend one leg like when you walk. 
  • Keeping your upper body straight, lower down until your thigh is at 90° angle with the lower leg.
  • Rise up again and repeat this a few times.
  • Then, do this on the other leg.

General Tips To Gain Weight

Other than these, there are some tips that can help you to effectively gain weight:

  • Do not skip the main meals. Also, have smaller meals in between.
  • Do not drink water right before having a meal as it will fill you up and decrease your appetite.
  • Also, track your progress regularly that will make you stay focused on your weight gain role.