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Being underweight, like being overweight, can have negative health consequences. An underweight person can have problems with their immune system, they can struggle to maintain muscle mass, and they have a higher risk for problems with osteoporosis.

Of course, many underweight people - like people who are overweight - are still in good health. People sometimes pursue weight gain for aesthetic reasons, or to reach specific physical or mental goals. The right approach to weight gain can ensure pounds are added healthily.

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People Try to Gain Weight for Different Reasons

Serious weightlifters can cycle through periods of gaining weight in order to increase their strength, and add size to their muscles. These are typically short periods, with set goals in mind. Athletes will also try to add mass in order to improve their performance at their sport.

It would be wrong to think of weight gain as simply an attempt to put on muscle. Pregnant women are sometimes encouraged to gain weight for their health. People recovering from eating disorders will also need to work to gain the weight back.

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Gaining Weight Is About More than Just Eating Lots

If your objective is to gain weight, you should increase your calorie intake. Achieving this goal can predictably see a person eat more food, and seek out items that are higher in calories. So is the secret to weight gain just...eating more? A responsible approach to weight gain calls for you to pay attention to what you eat, and intake a healthy amount of nutrients. Your nutrition is particularly important if you want to gain muscle while adding weight.

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Underweight People Still Face Risks from Unhealthy Foods

Whether you are underweight or overweight, you should be careful not to overdo it with junk food and desserts! Too many processed, high-calorie meals lacking in nutrients can make you vulnerable to problems like heart disease and diabetes. A poor diet can also negatively affect your immune system, your dental health, and your energy levels.

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Sustaining a Healthy, High-Calorie Diet

What kind of foods should you enjoy if you want to gain weight, but avoid health problems associated with poor dieting? Make sure the meals you consume are nutrient-dense. This means enjoying a variety of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, along with sources of lean protein. You can find high-calorie, high-fat products that can be included in a healthy diet. Whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cheeses, and assorted nuts can provide calories and nutrients.

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Finding Ways to Sneak in Extra Calories

People interested in losing weight are encouraged to look for every chance to cut calories. While you are trying to gain weight, you should look for small opportunities to add calories to your meals and snacks. Including sauces, dressings, and cheese toppings with foods can help you consume more over the course of your day. Even a step as small as putting cream in your coffee can help you fill up!

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Using Smoothies and Shakes to Gain Weight

Fitting in a smoothie or shake between meals can be a quick and refreshing way to consume more calories in a typical day. You can find recipes that mix fruits and vegetables in with milk-based products, so you can enjoy nutrients with these calorie boosters. Fitness shops often sell shake powders designed to help people gain mass over time.

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Avoid Water Before You Eat

Staying hydrated is important for anyone who wants to stay healthy. You should certainly drink plenty of water while trying to gain weight, especially if you are trying to build muscle. With that said, you may want to avoid water just before a meal. Drinking water can fill your stomach and make you feel less full before you eat.

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Weight Gain and Exercise

Weight gain and exercise are often closely linked. After all, you can hardly expect to add muscle mass if you eat more, but avoid lifting weights! Lifting heavy weights and consuming more calories can encourage your body to add to the size of your muscles. To further support this goal, stay hydrated, and make sure you rest properly.

When your goal is to add pounds, you may be hesitant to jog, bike, or do other aerobic workouts. Limiting cardiovascular workouts will help you retain calories, but remember that these exercises are important for your heart health.

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Should You Try Supplements to Help with Weight Gain?

By using supplements during a weight gain period, you can see positive results, particularly if you combine supplements with weight training. However, while supplements can help with short-term goals, you may not want to feel dependent on them to keep a higher weight. Keep in mind that supplements should not be a substitute for a healthy diet - you should still try to focus on consuming nutrient-rich foods.

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Maintaining Your Added Weight

Being persistent about adding more calories can help you steadily gain weight over time, and reach your goals. Once you have reached your ideal weight range, you can feel less confined by your eating habits. While you can enjoy more freedom with your diet, you should remain committed to eating more calories if you want to keep your added weight, particularly if you have a higher metabolism. Developing a nutrient-rich diet for your weight gain can make it easier, and safer, to sustain your added pounds.

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