Is it ever good to gain weight?

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Measuring tape surrounded a pretty big beerbelly

Who wants to GAIN weight?

Dieting is extremely popular, especially come summertime when people are on a quest for the perfect beach body. But not everybody is slimming — quite the opposite.

Some are actively trying to gain weight; you heard it correctly, some people want to gain weight. Gaining weight doesn’t always mean overweight, unhealthy and unmotivated. In fact putting on weight can actually be healthy and positive — especially if you fit into one of the following groups of people.

Bodybuilders

Bodybuilders focus their mind and body on getting bigger and stronger. Though no matter how hard they train, they won’t get bigger unless they’re consuming a high calorie diet rich in protein.

The body needs the intake of raw materials to build a huge muscular palace, so the choice of diet is highly important and must be able to provide the fuel. This means lots of healthy meals throughout the day with a supporting role from weight gain supplements, which top up those all important intake columns.

Expeditions

Ranulph Fiennes

Image source: Wikimedia
Ranulph Fiennes knew he needed extra fat to survive

Climbing an 8,848m mountain called Everest or crossing say the South Pole that has an average winter temperature of -76F is when success and failure becomes closely aligned with life and death.

Eskimos will tell you that blubber or fat provides energy and warmth in the cold, so before Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Sir Edmund Hillary set off on their life-changing journeys, they’d have tried to gain as much weight as possible.  

At some point alone in the dark, freezing landscape, when it was too cold to make food, their bodies would have relied on this store of fat to keep them going.

Old school wrestling

Wrestling

You needed to weight lots to make it as an old school wrestler
Source: Piston Heads

Wrestling wasn’t always like WWF with its oily muscular men in Speedos. Back in the day on Saturday afternoons in the UK, Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks went at each other with what can only be described as fat bellies.

These men were huge especially in the stomach department and they used these mighty midriffs as battering rams to pummel, bounce and squash their opponents.

It sounds like It’s a Knockout and it was really all over when Big Daddy came down on his opponent with the belly slam.

Status

henry viii

Fat and pale used to be in vogue
Source: NPR

In the past when many workers laboured under the sun all day with little food, being fat and pale skinned was seen as a status symbol. It could be assumed that if you were overweight and pale, then you had more than enough food and were wealthy enough to not have to do manual labour under the sun like the rest of the suckers.

It’s quite the opposite today as being slim and tanned in many modern cultures is seen as a sign of good health and many people spend time and money to achieve this look. The caste system is India is one of the few places where the old rules still apply.

Boxers

Boxers

Image source: Antonio Diaz / Shutterstock
Some boxers put on weight to compete in other weight classes

Some boxers were/are so skilled and dominant in their own weight category — Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran or Floyd Mayweather Junior — that they had to seek worthy opponents in different weight classes.

To qualify to fight in heavier classes, the talented boxer needs first to make the weight and it’s usually harder to gain weight then lose it. They also need to retain their strength, so they can still hit hard and make an impact in the heavier class. And the boxers that held belts at different weights (like the aforementioned) have secured powerful legacies.

Growing

Growing

Putting on weight and growing taller is a natural part of growing up
Source: Big Stock

Genetics are like a runaway train and cannot really be stopped — in other words if you’re destined to be tall, then you’ll be tall. The growth spurts in young people sometimes happen so quickly, that 6ft 2in beanpoles seem to have been swapped overnight with the once squat and short teenager that said, “Goodnight” the evening before.

Apart from cleaning chimneys without a sweep, these beanpoles need to put on a bit of weight and allow everything to catch up physically. It’s called growing and whatever you feed will grow.

Illness

Illness

Many people need to put on weight after illness
Source: Monkey Business Images

The trauma of illness can affect any of us — from something picked up on holiday to a nasty accident. The body is an amazing machine that can heal itself, but sometimes this takes time and energy and recovery can take it’s strain and leave the afflicted drained.

Food and drink becomes really important and it’s common to start with soup and move slowly up to solids — it becomes all about eating yourself back to normal health and gaining weight.

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