Having skinny arms and legs is more than just a cosmetic worry. Being underweight often triggers a variety of symptoms including weakness, fatigue, tiredness and the sensation of being cold. It can also have psychological side effects such as poor self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Although the amount of fat in your legs and arms is largely due to genetics, you can increase the size of your limbs with adjustments to your diet and fitness regimens.
Eat bigger portions than you normally do to boost weight gain in your arms and legs. For example, have three eggs rather than two for breakfast or two sandwiches for lunch rather than one.
Consult your doctor if you cannot gain weight or experience sudden weight loss. These could be signs of a more serious health condition such as hyperthyroidism, anemia, diabetes or malabsorption problems.
Eat five or more meals throughout the day. For example, have breakfast, a large morning snack, lunch, dinner and a bedtime snack. Choose foods that are high in calories and healthy fat such as avocados, peanut butter, nuts and granola.
Add toppings and extras to your food to boost calories, which will increase fat throughout your entire body, including your arms and legs. For example, put dried milk in soups, butter on your potatoes and cheese on your eggs and casseroles.
Drink caloric beverages rather than just water. Consume six or more glasses of calorie-containing drinks like low-fat milk or juice every day.
Do 20 minutes of strength training three days a week. Exercise helps stimulate your appetite, encouraging you to eat more. It also increases your thirst so you can add more calories through caloric beverages. Choose exercises that specifically target the arms such as dumbbell presses, triceps kickbacks, barbell jammers and pushups. Work the legs with lunges, squats, step-ups, lateral shuffles and calf raises.
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