Gaining muscle mass requires the right training and nutrients. However, some individuals following a weight gain diet and exercise routine may still fail to see desired results. This can be especially frustrating for people who are underweight. So, why is it that some people have difficulty gaining weight?
It Could Be in Your Genes
Just as many struggle to lose weight, others have trouble gaining and maintaining that weight. In 1967, a researcher named Ethan Sims conducted an eating experiment among inmates at the Vermont state prison. The premise of the experiment was to offer the inmates early release if they could gain 25 percent of their current body weight. However, for some inmates, even an increase of up to 10,000 calories per day was not enough for them to accomplish this goal. Therefore, Mr. Sims concluded that obesity was impossible for certain individuals.
If you are already struggling to gain weight and feel like you’ve tried everything to remedy the situation, it’s possible that it is due to your genetics. Genetic testing for metabolism allows your doctor to understand biological factors that contribute to your ability to gain weight, such metabolic factors and whether your body is genetically prone to protecting itself from regaining weight previously lost.
Additionally, some people may be genetically disposed to inefficient amounts of a hormone called adiponectin. Adiponectin is a substance released by fat cells that is responsible for triggering liver and muscle cells to get energy from fat. Higher levels of adiponectin may account for increased calorie burning and appetite suppression.
You May Be Overestimating How Much You’re Eating
If you’re having trouble gaining weight, you may think you’re eating enough, but perhaps you fall short of the recommended daily calorie intake. A woman needs to eat 2,000 calories a day in order to maintain her current weight, while men need to eat at least 2,500 calories. These numbers may change depending on your age, height, and level of physical activity.
If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll need to consume more calories than you burn. This requires understanding your metabolism, your activity levels, and carefully counting calories to ensure that you’re meeting the necessary daily intake. Working with a registered dietitian to develop a weight-gain diet plan may help you better track the calories you’re consuming.
You Might be Exercising Too Much or Doing the Wrong Type of Exercise
If you are currently exercising, you may be overdoing it or you could be participating in the wrong type of physical activity. For example, doing too much aerobic exercise may cause you to burn too many calories, inhibiting weight gain. Consider strength and resistance training in order to gain muscle mass while also strengthening bones.
You Might Have a Medical Condition That is Leading to Malnutrition
If you have unexpectedly lost a significant amount of weight, this could signify a more serious health condition. It’s important to know that maintaining a healthy weight is important as there are dangers associated with being underweight. See your doctor if you’ve dropped a significant amount of weight without trying.
Work With a Registered Dietitian
Always work with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes to your exercise routine or to your diet. Your doctor will help you formulate a weight gain program that best fits your personal needs and that helps you reach your optimal weight in a safe and healthy way.