While it’s important to be safe when trying to lose or gain weight, it’s also crucial that you don’t get discouraged. The health risks of gaining or losing weight too quickly are real and should not be taken lightly. However, with caution and care, you can safely change your weight without putting your health in danger. Keep reading for more information on everything from incorporating the right dietary supplements for you to avoiding dangerous weight-loss fads.
Why People Want to Gain Weight
There are many reasons why people might want to gain weight. Some people feel like they are too thin and want to add some curves or general size to their figure. This is sometimes related to self-esteem issues brought on by negative comments or jokes. Others might be struggling with an illness or condition that has caused them to lose weight, and now they’ve been advised to do what they can to put that weight back on to stay healthy.
No matter the reason, gaining weight safely and gradually is the key to avoiding health risks.
The Risks with Rushing the Weight-Gain Process
When you gain weight too quickly, your body can’t adjust properly. This can lead to several health problems.
One issue is nutrient deficiencies. If your only goal is calories, you run the risk of focusing on calorie-dense foods that lack the nutrients you need to be healthy and fit. In addition, these types of foods are often high in sugar and saturated fat, which also carry their own issues, such as an increased risk for heart disease.
Another problem is that you might also experience problems with your digestive system when you try to gain weight too quickly. Your stomach and intestines might not be able to handle the sudden increase in food. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and cramps. Digestive enzymes may help alleviate some of these issues short term. Still, they’re best used with a nutrient-dense, healthy diet.
You’re also more likely to put on weight in the wrong places when you gain it quickly. Rather than distributing the weight evenly or putting on muscle weight, you’re more likely to store it as fat. This can lead to obesity and all of the health risks that come with it.
How to Gain Weight Safely and Efficiently
A healthy amount of weight to put on is half a pound to one pound per week. Aim to consume around 200 to 500 more calories than your daily target to maintain the weight you’re currently at. This will vary depending on activity level, age, metabolism and sex.
You can meet this calorie surplus by consuming a few more healthy snacks or adding an extra meal per day. You can also increase portion sizes at mealtime, but only if this doesn’t cause you to feel overly full or bloated. Remember: It’s essential to focus on healthy additions to your menu and to listen to your body during this process.
If you’re finding consuming the extra calories difficult, consider adding a plant-based protein powder to your diet. These will typically be around 200 to 250 calories, come in delicious flavors, and are made from an easy-to-digest blend of plant proteins.
Losing Weight Too Quickly
Why People Want to Lose Weight
There are a variety of reasons why people want to lose weight. Some might be overweight and want to get down to a healthier size because they’re trying to fit into an old pair of jeans or swimsuit. Others might be under doctors’ orders to drop pounds because they risk developing or worsening issues like diabetes and heart disease.
Whatever the reason, losing weight safely and gradually is the key to avoiding health risks.
The Risks with Rushing the Weight-Loss Process
When you lose weight too quickly, your body can’t adjust properly. This can lead to many health problems.
One issue is that you might lose muscle mass. If you’re dropping weight too quickly, your body might not have enough time to break down the muscle and use it for energy. This can lead to a decrease in your metabolic rate. Ultimately, it’s a vicious cycle. Losing muscle mass can also make you look older than you are. You’ll start to see a loss in definition, and your skin might begin to sag. You’ll also be more likely to put the weight back on once you eventually stop dieting.
Another issue is that rapid weight loss is generally associated with unsustainable ways of eating. There are a ton of weight-loss fads out there that involves severely restricting your calorie intake or eliminating entire food groups. These diets are rarely healthy or sustainable in the long term. Not only do they often lack essential nutrients, but they can also be harmful to your mental health by creating dangerous relationships with food. When you’re on a restrictive diet, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a perpetual battle with food. This can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and hopelessness if you ever slip up.
What works for one person might not be based on personal tastes, lifestyle and medical history. So to lose weight safely and gradually, it’s important to find a diet and exercise plan that works for you. It needs to become a part of your life. For that reason, sustainability is vital. Otherwise, you’ll return to old habits and gain the weight back anyway.
How to Lose Weight Safely and Efficiently
Generally, you’ll want to aim to lose about one to two pounds per week. You can do this by putting yourself into a calorie deficit. Every person has a set number of calories they should consume daily to maintain their current weight. You need to lower that caloric intake number if you want to shed pounds. You can do this by eating fewer calories, burning more calories through activity, or combining the two.
An easy way to lower your caloric intake but still feel full is to focus on whole foods high in fiber and protein. Examples include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods are nutrient-rich and fill you up without giving you too many calories.
When trying to lose weight, keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. For example, 100 calories from an apple will have a different effect on your body than 100 calories from a candy bar. The latter is loaded with sugar and saturated fat, which can lead to health problems over time.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s also important to ensure you’re getting enough exercise. Cardio and strength training are both necessary for healthy weight loss. Cardio helps burn calories and improve cardiovascular health, while strength training helps build muscle mass and burn fat.
Finding a balance between healthy eating and exercise can be challenging, but it’s worth it in the long run. When you can lose weight healthily and sustainably, you’re more likely to keep the weight off for good.
The Same Principles Apply
The same principles apply whether you want to gain weight or lose it. You need to do it gradually and safely to avoid any health risks. Don’t rush the process. Instead, prepare yourself for the journey that will be your new, healthier way of living.