From fad diets to fitness plans, weight loss is a commonly discussed topic in the health and wellness world. However, there are plenty of people out there who struggle to gain weight. Why you are not gaining weight
Are you underweight or have you experienced unintended weight loss? Maybe you’ve tried eating more food, but your weight remains unchanged? You are stuck wondering: why am I not gaining weight?
There could be many possible answers to the question “why am I not gaining weight”. In this article we’ll review some of the possible reasons you are struggling to gain weight. Then we’ll dive into some possible solutions to help you gain weight with success.
Whether it’s due to genetics or an underlying medical condition, gaining weight and maintaining a healthy weight can be a difficult task for some people.
People are so conscious about the body weight that they keep looking for ways to shed some kilos. On the other hand, some people are just waiting to add some weight! What about you? Are you trying to add some kilos? Oops! I asked the wrong question! The question should be, what are you doing to gain some weight? See, you really can’t say that you are eating everything that comes your way! That’s not how you should be trying to put on some weight. Have you tried everything but still not getting the expected results? Wait! Here are the top reasons why you are not gaining weight! Read on to explore!
Reasons Why You Are Not Gaining Weight
Genetics play a role in body types and may dictate a naturally lean body type for some people.
For others, underlying medical conditions and certain medical treatments may cause weight loss or difficulty gaining weight. These include the following conditions.
Here are some common factors that can make weight gain difficult:
- Poor appetite
- No appetite (or hunger cues) at all
- Getting full fast (can’t finish your plate)
- Change in taste or smell (foods taste different/bad)
- No sense of taste or smell at all
- Difficulty chewing foods
- Difficulty swallowing and/or fear of eating (choking)
- Feeling nauseous (or vomiting)
- Feeling sick or cruddy
- Being prone to stomach aches and/or diarrhea
- Being depressed or sad
- Struggling with pain
- Chronic illness
- Medications that cause weight loss
- Medical conditions that cause you to burn more calories
- Undiagnosed medical issues
- Exercising too much (burning too many calories)
- Being on a special diet that make food unappetizing
- Eating too many foods that are low in calories
- Filling up on water or calorie free beverages
- Overly focusing on “healthy” foods/ aversion to high calorie foods
- Having an eating disorder
- Not having enough money to buy food
- Not having enough energy to prepare food
- Disabilities that make eating hard
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a type of autoimmune condition in which the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for the production of insulin.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for the metabolism of glucose. When type 1 diabetes goes unmanaged, it causes high levels of blood glucose, which is then excreted in the urine. This excess glucose excretion can lead to unintentional weight loss.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a blanket term for a series of conditions characterized by inflammation of the intestines. These conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can have negative impacts on someone’s ability to maintain weight.
These conditions may limit the types and amounts of food that a person can eat. They may also cause frequent diarrhea, which can cause weight loss in some cases.
While there are many different types of disordered eating conditions, people with eating disorders that limit food intake may have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
In its most extreme form, anorexia nervosa causes extreme weight loss and sometimes the inability to gain weight entirely. Other conditions, such as bulimia, can make it hard for a person to keep enough calories down to maintain weight.
You’re Not Dividing Your Diet Into Frequent Meals
See, as I just mentioned you should not be eating everything that comes your way just because you want to gain some weight. What you eat and at what time you eat are the most important things. What people do is, they eat anything and that too anytime, believing that it will help them gain some weight. But it’s not the case friends! You can’t overeat for gaining some weight, can you? You are just not doing justice to your health if you are doing so. Alternatively, you should be eating small and frequent meals.
You can divide your diet into 5-6 meals, I.e., breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, evening snack, dinner or you can also add post-dinner if you feel like to grab some dessert! Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast as it’s the most important meal of the day.
The mid-morning snack can be a light sandwich, or omelette so that you keep some space in your tummy for lunch. Your lunch should contain a combination of cereals, pulses and vegetables. Do not forget to add some fruit to your diet. You can have a glass of lassi or anything light and healthy as your afternoon snack. Add the right amount of cereals, pulses and vegetables to your dinner plate. You can prepare some custard or kheer for post-dinner if you want some dessert after dinner.
You’re Not Eating Enough
The body is a building block, and muscle mass doesn’t grow overnight. Our bodies need a small surplus of calories to repair and grow. Without that small surplus your body won’t grow muscle mass. A 500 calorie surplus is adequate, so when making your meal plan, accommodate for extra protein, carbs, and healthy fats to help those muscles grow.
You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
We all know cardio is good for us. But too much cardio hinders muscle gain and should not be your main focus when trying to building muscle. Your first goal should be resistance training. If your body recovers well after resistance training add in a light cardio session here and there. Just remember resistance training is your main focus.
You’re Not Getting Enough Rest
You may think that it’s all about the training, but getting enough rest is often overlooked by gym-goers. Everyone has a busy lifestyle nowadays, leading to less sleep and not giving our bodies enough time to recover. In order to effectively recharge, you should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night, but just generally listen to your body! If you feel like you need a rest and a day off from training, then take a day off and relax those muscles.
Medications and Treatments
Certain medications and treatments that cause appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
For example, medications like antibiotics and treatments like chemotherapy are commonly known for causing gastrointestinal side effects.
Generally, people who require these types of treatments may experience weight loss and have difficulty gaining weight throughout treatment.
You’re Not Eating The Right Foods
Are you including pasta, peanut butter and milk into your daily diet? These three can be your best friends as they are good at helping with weight gain! Many other things can help with weight gain, but most of them have little nutritional value. You may have a hard time gaining weight if you are making some mistakes that almost go unnoticed most of the times. You should eat the foods that are best for gaining weight. What are they? Relax, we are here with all the answers! Here is the list of foods that can help you with weight gain:
-Nuts and Nut Butter
-Healthy Fats And Oils
If you haven’t yet included these foods into the diet, add them now!
You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a crucial factor for our overall health. In terms of muscle gain, not enough sleep equals lack of muscle gain. Sleep is associated with HGH (human growth hormone) which is at its highest when we sleep. So try and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your body needs this to recovery from your workouts and to grow and repair muscle for gains.
If you’re not putting in 100%, don’t expect 100% back. This includes proper nutrition, rest, and consistent workouts. Grabbing that Friday night beer and pizza, bailing out on your Wednesday workout, or only do half of your reps on Monday will sabotage your growth potential. Gaining muscle is a commitment.
You’re Not Supplementing the Right Way
When training for muscle gains nutrition plays a huge factor. This includes post workout supplements. After a hard workout, your muscles are depleted of nutrients such as protein, creatine, and glycogen. Making a post workout shake can make a huge difference.
If you want to build muscle, there’s no point in getting the lightest weight possible and maxing out on your reps. The hypertrophy rep range is between 8-12 reps, so you should be consistently pushing yourself to lift heavier not more. Set yourself targets to achieve, and when you can easily do three sets at a certain weight, increase it by 5% to give yourself a true challenge.
You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
You just need to add 500 calories to your daily diet and chill! You just need to figure out what and how much you eat each day so that you can add up some more. Are you having a hard time gaining weight? Maybe it’s because you are not paying enough attention to the calories you need on a daily basis. The best you can is to include nut or seed toppings with every meal. You can add sunflower seeds, lots of fruits, whole grain wheat and almonds to help increase your calories.
You’re Not Training for Muscle Gain
You must lift weight to build muscle. To build muscle gain you must be progressively adding more weight to challenge your body. On a weekly basis you should be making some sort of progression. If you are not increasing weight weekly, you should be increasing your reps at the very least, followed by a weight increase the next week.
You’re Not Training Hard Enough
If you’re not training with intensity, your muscles won’t get bigger and stronger. Compound training is a key element to this. Focus first on movements such as deadlifts, squats, overhead press, weighted chins etc. Go hard and heavy (within your limits per workout) to challenge your body. You know you’ve trained with enough intensity when you can’t do another rep in proper form.
Problems with the intestines can be one of the biggest reasons why you are not gaining weight. It usually happens when your body is not able to absorb what you eat. You might face a problem with weight gain even if you are eating a lot. If you develop “malabsorption syndromes” which can include irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, you cannot gain weight!
What? Is it going to affect my weight gain? The answer is, yes! How you feel mentally does affect you physically. When you are under stress and depression, you may change your eating habits which is directly going to affect your body weight, isn’t it? There are chances that you may develop eating disorders because of severe body image fears.
See, are you doing it just because you want to look like your friend? Is this the reason behind your weight gain goal? It shouldn’t be! You should be doing it for yourself and not for anyone else. So, if your emotional issues are stopping you from gaining weight then visit a doctor, or you can consult with a counsellor to improve the condition.
We hope you could relate to all the reasons why you are not gaining weight. Give attention to your calories, daily diet and do not forget to divide your daily intake into 5-6 meals. Eat small and frequent meals and not everything in one go. Make sure you include the foods which are going to help you gain some weight such as milk, nuts and nut butter, cereals, rice and many other foods we just mentioned above. We hope you enjoyed reading the article, stay tuned for more such information. Till then, stay healthy, stay happy and keep reading.