How to Gain Weight Safely

When most people think about trying to change their weight, they're thinking about weight loss. However, that's not always the case. There are some people out there who feel that they are too thin and want to be able to gain some weight. Those folks who have always been on the heavy side laugh and think, "just eat more" but the truth of the matter is that this can be a serious problem. There are health risks associated with being too thin, just like there are risks associated with being overweight. And in the same way that just "eat less" doesn't work for weight loss, "eat more" isn't the solution for gaining weight.

To gain weight safely, you need to practice moderation. Any rapid weight change - whether the scale goes up or down - is hard on the body. So bingeing is definitely not the answer when you're looking for solutions to low body weight. You need to be aware that gaining weight correctly is going to take some time. It can't be done overnight; but it can be done.

Here are some tips for gaining weight safely:

  • Decrease your cardio exercise. Cardio increases your metabolism significantly which means that you burn food faster. By decreasing your cardio, you can reduce your metabolism and stop burning food so quickly. However, you shouldn't stop cardio altogether. It's something your heart needs to work well. Just decrease the amount that you do in moderation until you're at a comfortable level.
  • Increase your muscle-building exercising. Replace your cardio workout time with time spent building muscles. Muscles are mass and mass means weight gain. Make sure that you tone the entire body by selecting a strength-building workout that will work every muscle group.
  • Eat three meals a day; no more and no less. When people are trying to lose weight, they often reduce the size of their meals and eat more frequently. That's because this increases the body's metabolism. To gain weight, cut back to three normal-sized meals each day. This will give you the nutrients you need to stay healthy and the calories you need to maintain your weight but will allow your metabolism to slow a bit.
  • Shakes help in moderation. If you can't stick with just three meals a day, add a protein shake or smoothie in between two of those meals. You don't want to go overboard trying to gain weight by bulking up on these. But the extra calories can help if you're hungry enough to want another meal between the normal three.
  • Add good fats to your diet. Gaining weight doesn't mean gaining fat. You don't want to start eating a bunch of fatty sweets to put on weight. But you do want to increase the fats that are in your diet. Nuts, oils, bran muffins and the like are good sources of good fats.
  • Drink milk. Milk will add weight in a few different ways, including that it strengthens your bones. If you drink coffee or tea, start adding a larger proportion of milk to it. Or switch to milk-based hot chocolate or steamed milk drinks instead.
  • Meditate. Or just generally slow down. Take some time to just relax and not move your body. This is good for your mind anyway and the added benefit will be that you'll let your metabolism chill out a bit.
  • Make weight goals. You'll want to know what you're working towards as you try to gain weight. Work with a doctor if at all possible to discuss healthy goals for adding weight to your body.
  • Keep a diary of what works and what doesn't. Keep a food and exercise log. This will assist you in gaining insight into the weight gain techniques that work for your body and those that don't so that you can adjust your approach accordingly. Not all things will work right for all people.

Gaining weight is something that should be taken seriously by those people who need to do it. Make sure that you don't do anything rash when trying to add the pounds; always think about what seems best for your body.

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Comments 13 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

I've tried the protein shakes, but I just can't stand the aftertaste... What about just plain milkshakes? Or I guess smoothies would work too, as you can add ice cream to them. Would you suggest any particular exercises, or just keep cardio to a minimum?

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

I am so glad to see a hub that actually has tips for gaining weight instead of losing weight...I don't really drink milk but i will start now and maybe add some choclate shake to it...Make weight goals is a top tip i will have to also take on board..


Kathryn Vercillo profile image

Kathryn Vercillo 8 years ago from San Francisco Author

@Whitney05 ... I'm with you on the protein shakes. My kid brother used to always do the spirulina (seaweed) ones and they always made me want to gag. I also don't eat bananas so I have trouble with smoothies myself. But regular shakes sound good to me!

Re: exercise ... anything muscle-building will help with weight gain. I did super-slow strength training for awhile and really loved it. It's a quick twenty minute workout but you use super-slow movements to really build the muscles fast.

chabrenas profile image

chabrenas 8 years ago from middle of France

There is one large segment of the population that can gain weight and improve health this way:


MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

My weight is going up and down, i have maintained it for a few months but last Christmas holidays, it just soar, have to do more walking and be more careful of what I eat. thanks for your reminders...


supercibor profile image

supercibor 8 years ago from Dominican Republic

I read somwhere that eating several slices of whole wheat bread a day can help reduce weigh fast.So eating more bread and being active is the easiest way.Change sodas for fruit shakes,eat vegetables and stop worrying.


bretwefun profile image

bretwefun 7 years ago from Georgia

excellent hub, you've covered everything, and I especially like what you've said about dieting.

I have a hub up as well for people interested in gaining muscle

GLORY 7 years ago

Weight gain is also a problem for people.Healthy way of gaining weight is important.You have provided useful tips.

NNazir profile image

NNazir 6 years ago from Pakistan

This is a very nice article

what kd b the negative effects on our bodies if v rapidly gain weight? How much gain in a week is 'ok'?

nicolekd profile image

nicolekd 6 years ago

I really like your article, none of the conventional tips helped me and I used to feel so self conscious. Haha my grandad used to give me 'Nutriment' shakes when i was young to try and fatten me out :) x

Guest, I Guess 6 years ago

Thanks for the article, bo. Been underweight all my life and I'm sick of it. Useful tips here.

Joe Mancini 6 years ago

I completely agree with you that the majority of people suffer from extra weight, but there are also those who want to put some extra kilogrammes. I'm among those whose weight is too small. Thanks you for this hub! It has really helped me in some points.

ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Really useful hub...voted up.

I would like to tell you that I've linked to your hub in one of mine, "How many calories do we need".

I've hyperlinked the text 'know about gaining weight' in one sentence.

Just thought I should notify.


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