In a society, which spends billions on weight loss, it is hard to accept that excessive leanness, which is not related to anorexia is unhealthy. Obesity, we all know is dangerous but not many know that being underweight is equally an unhealthy condition. Surveys show that people who maintain their average weight in their fifties live longer and healthy than those who are markedly underweight.

There is no such thing as perfect weight. But there is a desirable range of weight for every height and build, in which the disease and death are the lowest. Mild underweight is not to be worried about. But if the weight is 15 % or less than the low end of the range, then it needs attention. Their immunity is low and the chances of getting infected are high. The energy levels remain low as the thin people lack energy reserves in the body. 

How does one find out if one is underweight? The easiest parameter is BMI, the body-mass index. Check your BMI here.  If the BMI value is less than 18.5, you are underweight. Using BMI alone may have some limitations like athletes have well-built muscles. Since muscles weigh more than fat, BMI may overestimate body fat. On the other hand, senior citizens may have lost muscles. In this case, BMI may underestimate body fat. 

Risks of being underweight -

1. Malnutrition.

2. Vitamin Deficiencies

3. Anemia

4. Osteoporosis from Vit D and Calcium deficiency

5. Weak immunity

6. Fertility issues in women

7. Growth and development issues in children and teenagers

How to improve your weight?

By making a few changes in your diet and lifestyle, one can gain weight and be healthy.

1. Eat more. Increase the quantity and frequency of meals.

2. Add foods that are rich in nutrients - whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, etc.

3. Drink healthy. Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks like diet soda, coffee, and tea. Instead, go for milk, chaas, lassi, and smoothies. Add a good quantity of fruits and vegetables with dairy products. These are healthy and filling too.

4.  Eat calorie-rich food by adding cheese, nuts, and seeds to the main dish.

5. Special emphasis on muscle-building exercises as weight is gained by building muscles. Working out will also boost your appetite.  So, more intake, more weight gain.

Best foods to gain weight -

Smoothies, sweetened milk, rice, cheese, potatoes, and starches, protein supplement, whole grains, chocolates, and sweets. 

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