A BMI, or body mass index, of 18, 5 classifies you as a person with underweight. Although overweight struggles are well documented in the media, people with low birth weight also suffer from problems such as weakness, fatigue, frequent illness and poor self-esteem. If you are underweight, you should try to improve your health and appearance by adding healthy calories to your diet.
The body mass index is calculated according to your weight and height. It is used by many doctors to determine your risk of developing certain diseases associated with overweight or obesity. A normal BMI is between 20 and 22. A higher one puts you at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and certain cancers. If your BMI is below 20, you are considered underweight. Those who have a BMI of 18, 5 to 17, 5 are considered with extreme infrapeso, says a 2007 article in "Today's Dietitian." Being underweight comes with its own set of health concerns. You can suffer from compromised immune system, malnutrition, early onset osteoporosis, weakness and irregular hormonal cycles.
Your first strategy should be to embark on a plan to gain weight. A high-calorie diet that requires 500 to 1,000 calories more than you burn daily will help you gain 1 to 2 pounds (between 0, 4 and 0, 9 kg) per week. Although you may think that you can eat anything when you are underweight, making unhealthy choices continues to put you at risk for problems related to excessive consumption of sodium, sugar, refined flour and saturated fats. Instead, add calories with larger portions of healthy foods and the addition of high-calorie foods, such as nuts, dairy, dehydrated fruit and vegetable oils.
Moderate exercise can help stimulate your appetite, making it easier to take more calories to support your weight-gain goals. Consider adding a daily walk or bike ride to your routine. You may also want to do strength training, which can help improve your ability to perform daily tasks and help you build muscle mass.
Gaining weight requires patience and dedication. You may feel sometimes that you are eating all the time in an effort to consume all the calories you need. Plan ahead (always have snacks on hand to never miss a meal) and opt for food that you enjoy to make the process less stressful. You can also drink calories (try milk or juice 100%) as a way to gain weight.