Ask LH: How Can I Help A Friend Gain Weight?

Hi Lifehacker, I have a friend with a fast metabolism. I know he eats a full lunch and dinner and sometimes even late-night snacks as well. However, he’s still well under the recommended weight for his height (11 kilograms in fact). Is there any way to help him gain weight? Thanks, Faster Food

Skinny picture from Shutterstock

Dear FF,

Weight is only an approximate measure of someone’s health that isn’t always accurate. For proof, just look at the blistering criticism levelled at the Body Mass Index (BMI) system, which measures human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height.

Just like how bodybuilders are often “too heavy” for their height, some people who appear underweight on paper are just naturally skinny with no ill-effects to their health. If your friend is happy with his appearance and has been given a clean bill of health from his doctor, there’s really nothing to worry about.

With that said, the key to gaining weight is by building lean muscle mass through regular weight training and a protein-heavy diet. While it might be tempting to eat your way through our Takeaway Truth menu, this isn’t a smart way to gain weight.

Instead, your friend should stick to healthy, protein-rich foods and increase his portion sizes — the total energy consumption should exceed total energy expenditure. When combined with regular resistance training, this excess energy will be converted into muscle. In short, a structured training program and a well planned diet to meet the needs of that training program are your besat bet to muscle (and weight) growth.

If your friend is serious about gaining weight healthily, he should speak to a registered training specialist who will be able to tailor a diet and exercise regime for his specific body type.

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


10 responses to “Ask LH: How Can I Help A Friend Gain Weight?”