Most of the time, we all hear so much about losing weight that we forget about the benefits of gaining a few pounds, which yes, is sometimes necessary! There have been proven benefits of gaining a few pounds, which might surprise those of you that would do anything to lose five or more pounds. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy, and I learned this the hard way. I also experienced the joyful benefits of gaining a few pounds, which I really and truly never expected. If you haven’t been feeling your best, and are doing everything possible to lose weight, maybe you should consider why gaining a little bit of weight might make all the difference. With these benefits of gaining a few pounds, it proves that weight is just a number- not a measure of true health.
1. Less Depressed
Almost immediately after I put on some weight three years ago, I found out that one of the best benefits of gaining a few pounds was my mood improvement. I no longer suffered extreme depression or constant sadness. During my thinner days, I often felt so down and dull most of the time. Though I’m still slender now, putting on some much needed weight proved to me that gaining weight did more than change my jean size. It also changed my entire outlook on life and quality of life. I think more clearly now, my mood is better, and I’m just happier. My hormones are working at optimal levels now, and my mood is thankfully benefiting from that.
2. Body Appreciation
Another wonderful benefit I learned about gaining weight was it gave me a huge sense of body appreciation. Suddenly, I started appreciating how much energy my body had, how it filled out my clothes, and how it had the strength to do yoga and lift heavy things again. It gave me appreciation for my more muscular arms and legs, and the curves I’d always wanted but been to thin to enjoy. Gaining a little bit of weight gave me those things, and I couldn’t be more excited about enjoying all of them daily.
3. Better Relationship with Food
Gaining a few pounds can actually make your diet healthier too. I know, I know, most of us think that eating healthier means losing weight, but sadly, this isn’t always true. If you’re constantly dieting, you might be choosing foods that are healthy, but aren’t healthy for your body. You might be restricting vital sources of fats, carbohydrates, and perhaps craving addictive foods like sugar and caffeine, because your body is crying out for nutrients. When I gained weight, I found that my body wanted more quality foods, because it needed them for energy and vitality. I no longer craved the stimulant foods I once needed to make me feel well- high quality healthy food did that for me. Leafy greens, green vegetables, lean protein from fish and organic yogurt, whole food smoothies with superfoods and plant protein powders, sweet roasted vegetables like yams and squash, hearty soups and hefty salads with avocado and tomato with tons of veggies, pure, high fat, raw dark chocolate and coconut butter, and hot soothing oatmeal in the morning. My body craved nutrient dense foods because I had deprived it of nutrition for so long. Sure, I had eaten some of these foods when I was thinner, but I hadn’t really allowed myself to revel in a hearty appetite. Once I did, I’ve never felt so well fed, or so appreciative of high quality foods.
4. Better Sleep
I used to never be able to sleep through the night, or sleep past 6 each morning. Now that I’ve put on a generous amount of healthy weight, I sleep like a baby! When I first started gaining weight, I noticed I had to take naps a lot, in addition to sleeping all night. I found out this is simply an effect of the hormonal changes that go through your body during this time of healing and recovery from chronic dieting. It was hard to deal with, but getting better rest also allowed me to have more energy, and to think more clearly during the day. Your hormones affect your sleep, and if your weight is not at optimal levels, your sleep will suffer. Gaining a few pounds can be a great way to get better sleep if you’re underweight and not sleeping well.
5. Higher Libido
Your libido can also take a big boost when you put on some weight. Since your hormones can be dramatically impacted by your weight when you diet, your libido naturally takes a hit. As you gain weight, your female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, start to balance out, enhancing the function of your libido.
6. Better Social Life
You know what also gets better when you gain weight? Your social life! You stop caring so much about “safe” foods when eating out, and you stop focusing on social scenes that cater to your diet. Your mood also increases in happy hormones, which can increase your positive outlook on life in general. You begin to appreciate the company of people more than you do the safety of your dieting lifestyle. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to go out and eat unhealthy foods of course, but suddenly, food becomes secondary to having fun, and always having the “perfect” diet meal.
7. Beauty Benefits
Lastly, probably one of the best benefits most women will appreciate about gaining weight is that it really changes your beauty. Your hair starts to look healthier and grow faster, your nails do the same, and your skin looks more radiant. My cheeks now look supple and firm, not lifeless and frail, and my arms now fill out a shirt, whereas before I was embarrassed to wear sleeveless tops. My eyes look more alive, and even my skin is less dry. When you gain weight in a healthy way, you truly do look so much more beautiful, and you’ll feel it on the inside too, which radiates through the outside.
Don’t ever believe that a certain number is the answer to beautiful or happy. Whether you need or want to lose or gain weight, be sure you do it for the right reasons. If you’re taking care of your body, moving it, and eating well, let it settle at the weight that it wants to without dieting or deprivation. There are so many benefits of gaining a few pounds, maybe that’s what your body is asking for.