Am I Too Skinny: 15 Symptoms And Signs To Look Out For
Being skinny is when you are very lean or thin, and emaciated. This is mostly as a result of a poor diet, bad lifestyle choices, or is hereditary. Some people tend to think they are skinny because they have others that are relatively heavier than those they are around. In most cases, this is not the case. There is actually a standard for measuring skinniness.
Body-Mass Index (BMI) is the ratio of your height to your weight. With BMI, being skinny can be related to being underweight. Normal weighted humans are within 18.5 and 24.9 BMI. When you fall below 18.5, you may be termed skinny or underweight. It is of great benefit, therefore, to constantly check your BMI with your health provider or you can simply determine it yourself.
Sometimes being skinny comes as a result of overworking or over-using the body's stored energy. When you eat a small amount of food and go a long day on the strength of that food or when doing heavy workouts, you are on your way to becoming skinny. It is also necessary to include that becoming too skinny can come as a result of a health challenge.
Certain bacterial diseases such as acute tuberculosis and viral infections can make a person go skinny. Where this is the case, it is necessary to seek swift medical assistance; as this has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and you are not probably going to be able to curb it by changing your diet.
Regardless of whether you are a male or female, you are skinny if a few of the following 15 symptoms apply to you.
Yes, this is the first on the list. Models pray for tiny waists. Ladies want the hourglass figure. You need to be careful when your waist is no longer proportionate to the rest of the body. It can be a sign of being too skinny. When you or someone close to you look they'll break into two very soon epecially in the middle, it means the person is evidently skinny.
So, you bought really nice clothes some weeks ago and suddenly, the clothing looks it’s for your elder sister or brother on you.
It's a big sign you're becoming skinny if not already too skinny. Often, skinny individuals would have to keep slim-fitting their wears to look good on them.
In a way, that may be an extra cost. People who are moderately OK in size rarely have the need for such.
When you take a pinch size of your skin, you'll find out there's a layer just beneath it. This layer adds to the thickness of your skin. When you notice that your skin is thinner than normal, or seems you can feel your bones just right under your skin, you are probably becoming too skinny or just getting to that stage.
This applies more to females. Your two breasts are supposed to leave you with a minimal breastplate if you aren't the skinny type. But where your breastplate makes your breasts almost insignificant, you are really too skinny.
In fact, to make matters worse, your chest may start carving in. So, walk up to the mirror now and look at those two things Mother Nature has blessed you with.
Do they still take their rightful position or have been largely shelved?
Sometimes this is associated with sleeplessness, which also is a symptom of being skinny. The flesh underneath the eyes starts sagging and no matter how much you try to hide it with makeups, it still shows. Usually, everyone has eyebags but for a very skinny person, the color changes to pink instead of its normal black color.
By natural functioning of our body, when we are famished, the brain sends a message to the body to make it want to get fed.
This message, which is often ignored by skinny individuals, releases some anxiety into the body system that often leads to moodiness and depression.
And what's the point? Undernourishment, which is the biggest cause of skinniness, makes your emotion unstable. And when you begin to experience incessant mood swings, it may be as a result of you being too skinny.
Just take a look at your upper arms.
If they are so thin to the extent that your palm can go round them, you are damn too skinny! Usually, muscles are specially aggregated here and the fact that your palm can go round mean you have lost a substantial muscle mass.
You would notice it's not only your upper arm that is thin, even your wrist would be so tiny that you may have to use the last hole on your watch before it can stay. These two places are undeniable pieces of evidence of being too skinny.
Related Article: 15 Ways To Become More Charismatic But Still Be Yourself
Probably you have ever met someone you found likable but you were not sure the reason for liking them.
This happens when your joints seem larger or bigger than the bones they're joining. For example, the wrist looking bigger than the forearm. What this means is that your bones have become reduced compared to the joints.
Most of us have this fleshy part at the back of our legs.
When you notice yours is less fleshy or being replaced by bones, it is a clear indication that you are becoming too skinny and that requires immediate intervention.
Similarly, when you see that your hands can easily wrap around your legs, you have become too skinny. The muscles of your legs are supposed to be large to an extent in which your palm cannot easily go around it.
This is a huge sign you have become too skinny. It may not be noticeable at first, but as time goes by, it will become more evident that something weird has happened to you. When you notice this, you need to be on your way to make changes immediately.
This loss in weight is not usually an accidental one. It would have begone at a time you thought you were still doing fine. And, that is the more reason you should constantly check your weight so you can detect in time if something is not going right.
Since there is little or no muscle to burn out, and the body's energy store has been exhausted, you get easily tired during exercises. You start gasping for breath after jogging or running less than a hundred meters. You have less endurance and break down fast enough. This is another important symptom of being too skinny.
Less sleep, less food, and mood swings all contribute to depression in skinny people. They get anxious easily and cannot hold in fear. This mode is characterized by a feeling of sadness. Depressed people lose interest, concentration, energy levels, and even self-esteem too easily.
Skinny people have evidently visible ribs. A few thin people have visible ribs. But when you can count at least 4 rib bones without actually touching them, it's a sign you are skinny.
This is another evidence that you have become too skinny. The shoulders are covered by muscles that make it difficult to see the shoulder bones. When these bones which are supposed to be hidden covered or covered by flesh become easy to see, it's a sign of being too skinny.
You don't get enough sleep time. It may mean sleeping difficulty or being sleepy during the day. This is because a body that is poorly fed would find it difficult to lay calm at night.
In addition to regular exercise, one good way of sleeping well is to feed well.
Therefore, if you are not sick and you don't have a pressing challenge as to keep you awake at night, yet you find it difficult to sleep soundly, it may be a signal you have become too skinny
That's a long list of symptoms. If quite a number of those symptoms and signs apply to you, you are not alone. So many people out there too are skinny. There are, however, simple but proven way out. The bulk of the task is in making lifestyle changes. These changes are summarised in ten points below:
1. Eat good food at the appropriate time. Good food in this sense would mean a balanced diet. And though a diet is balanced, if it isn't taken at the correct time, the body would still be lacking in nutrients. 2. Ensure your meal follow the correct dietary requirement for your age group.
Different age groups have different dietary requirements, and you will do well to find out which one suits your age. 3. Eat healthy fats olive oil, whole eggs, peanut butter, and cheese. They help to add some skins to your skeleton. 4. Have proper rest and sleep.
Overstressing yourself can make you go skinny even if you are eating well. Sleep nothing less than 7 hours, the recommended amount every day. And when time permits you; it is advisable too that you take some naps even during the day. 5. Take energy drinks while involved in exercises or workouts.
This helps to supply the required energy during that period and thus, prevent you from becoming too skinny. 6. Take food supplements such as multivitamins, blood boosters, multi-minerals, etc. These serve as make-up to your normal diet. 7. Rebuild your muscles by taking muscle-building foods such as proteins. 8.
If you are the type that leads a sedentary lifestyle, this might be an opportunity to make a change. Exercise is what you cannot avoid if you wish to quit being skinny. It helps build your muscles. 9. Drink enough water, being always hydrated. 70% of our body is composed of water.
Taking enough of it will bring life into the weak and dead cells of your body.
10. Eat good fruits too: apples, bananas and the . And, include a high level of proteins: nuts, eggs, and peanut butter (if not allergic).
Being skinny can be fashionable especially for female celebs but there comes a stage when it becomes a stigma, and that's when you are too skinny. Even as a male, you may not have all the respect due you because of your skinniness. In some parts of the world, it is a direct outcome of abject poverty.
But in some other places, the phenomenon can be hereditary. Whatever may be the cause or factor predisposing anyone, being skinny can be addressed if determined efforts on such individual's part would be taken. Having a balanced lifestyle is the way to good health.
If you notice you have any of these symptoms, or someone close to you is suffering from any of these, it’s time to make a drastic change in your way of life. Being skinny is not a good one especially if you are conscious of your body shape.
Also note, maintaining a good body shape is the journey of a lifetime.
This journey involves a change of diet, increased water consumption, increased exercise and all other items listed above.
Related Article: 40 Caring Ways To Be Nice To People That'll Set An Example For All
In today's society, it seems that a caring attitude is becoming less and less common, and hate is slowly, but surely, taking its place.
Underweight Health Risks: What You Should Know
There’s a lot of focus in the medical world on the health effects of being overweight, but what about the effects of being underweight? There are certain health risks associated with being underweight or having poor nutrition.
These risks include:
- malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, or anemia
- osteoporosis from too little vitamin D and calcium
- decreased immune function
- increased risk for complications from surgery
- fertility issues caused by irregular menstrual cycles
- growth and development issues, especially in children and teenagers
Keep reading to learn more about these risks of being underweight, plus how to identify if you are underweight, what symptoms you may experience, and how you can find help.
Your body mass index (BMI) can help you and your doctor determine if you’re underweight. BMI is an estimate of your body fat your height and weight.
There are some limitations to determining your health using BMI alone.
- Athletes can have muscular builds. Since muscle weighs more than fat, BMI may overestimate body fat for these individuals.
- Older adults may have lost muscle. In this case, BMI may underestimate body fat.
If you’re underweight, you may not be eating enough healthy foods with key nutrients to fuel your body. That can cause malnutrition. Over time, malnutrition can affect your health in a number of different ways that may be noticeable to you or those around you.
Your symptoms might include:
- feeling tired or drained of energy
- getting sick often or having trouble fighting off illness
- having irregular or skipped periods in females
- experiencing hair thinning or loss, dry skin, or teeth issues
A study from Japan compared dietary habits of underweight women with a desire to be thin vs. underweight women without this desire. They found that the underweight women with a desire to be thin had less healthy eating habits than underweight women who did not have this desire.
If you’re underweight, you may be more ly to also be malnourished if your low BMI is caused by an unbalanced diet or an underlying disease that affects nutrient absorption. Malnutrition can also lead to anemia or a deficiency in essential vitamins. Anemia can also be caused by malabsorption of nutrients.
A recent review of studies found a connection between increased infections and being underweight.
The researchers noted their difficulty in determining if this is a result of being underweight or if it has more to do the underlying causes for being underweight.
For example, malnourishment may lead to decreased immune function and also cause people to be underweight. More research is needed to fully understand the connection between weight and immune function.
One study found evidence that underweight people who had total knee replacement surgery were more ly to develop infections following the surgery than people who were not underweight.
While they could not determine the reasons for this, they believe underweight people aren’t able to heal wounds as well as people with a normal BMI. They also found that the underweight group had low preoperative hemoglobin.
While more research is needed, the findings suggest that being underweight can affect your ability to heal wounds.
Another study found increased complications in underweight people who had total hip replacement surgery compared with people of normal weight.
Complications following coronary bypass surgery and lung transplants also seem to be higher for people who are underweight.
Researchers have also linked low BMI to increased incidences of postoperative deaths within the first year following a lower extremity bypass surgery.
Low body weight may increase your risk for low bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis. One study looked at BMD in 1,767 premenopausal women, and found that 24 percent of women with a BMI of 18.5 or lower had a low BMD. Only 9.4 percent of participants with a BMI higher than 18.5 had low BMD. The study results suggest that being underweight increases risk for osteoporosis.
Women with low BMIs are at increased risk for amenorrhea, which is an absence of menses, and other menstrual cycle dysfunctions. Irregular or missed menstrual cycles may be an indicator of anovulation, or that you aren’t ovulating. Chronic anovulation may cause infertility.
If you’re trying to conceive and are underweight, talk to your doctor. They can do a simple blood test to see if you’re regularly ovulating. They can also test for other signs of infertility.
Your doctor may recommend reaching a healthy weight before becoming pregnant. Being underweight while pregnant can pose risks for your baby. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Learn more: Maintaining a healthy pregnancy »
Developmental delays can be seen in underweight children, especially children under the age of 3 when the brain is rapidly developing. The brain needs nutrients to properly develop. Underweight children may be missing key nutrients due to malnutrition and malabsorption. That can impact the development of the brain and lead to delays in developmental milestones.
Your child’s pediatrician will chart your child’s growth at well-visit appointments. They will use these measurements to see how your child compares with average growth for other children their age, and how your child’s percentages change over time.
If your child’s growth percentage decreases, that can be a warning sign that they are not gaining weight at the expected rate.
For example, if your child is in the 45th percentile at their 12-month appointment and in the 35th percentile at their 15-month appointment, their doctor may be concerned about their weight gain.
Your child’s pediatrician will also ask about developmental milestones during regular visits. Remember that not all children hit milestones at the same time. Instead, doctors look to see if your child is hitting them within a certain time range.
For example, some children take their first steps when they are under a year old, whereas others don’t start walking until they are several months into their first year.
Learning to walk or talk later won’t signal a problem unless your child is also late with other milestones.
If you suspect you’re underweight, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or a dietitian. Your doctor can examine your medical history and help identify any issues that may be leading to poor nutrition or weight loss.
Before your appointment, you may want to ask yourself:
- Have I felt sick lately? What other symptoms have I experienced?
- Am I skipping any meals or eating mostly small snacks?
- Have I been stressed or depressed, making me lose my appetite?
- Am I currently trying to lose weight?
- Does not eating give me better feelings of control?
Share the answers to these questions with your doctor. If your doctor rules out any serious underlying medical issues, you may then identify a goal weight. From there, you may come up with a plan to help you reach that weight through healthy eating and other appropriate treatments.
With help from your doctor, you may be able to attain a normal BMI through lifestyle changes and healthy eating. Your doctor can also help you navigate solutions for limited access to nutrient dense foods, psychological issues, underlying health conditions, medication side effects, and other situations that contribute to being underweight or malnourished.
By making a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, you can gain healthy weight and avoid the negative health effects of being underweight.
- Try eating smaller, more frequent meals. Add more snacks into your routine as well.
- Stick with foods that are rich in nutrients, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins.
- Pay more attention to what and when you’re drinking. Smoothies are a better choice than diet soda, coffee, and other beverages. You can fill them with fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
- If drinks decrease your appetite, consider saving them for 30 minutes after you eat a meal.
- Get more calories in your meals by adding things cheese, nuts, and seeds as toppings to main dishes.
- Start exercising. You can gain weight by adding muscle to your body. Working out may also help to stimulate your appetite.
Skip to main content
Being underweight isn't good for your health. Find out what you can do if you're concerned about yourself or someone else.
Weighing too little can contribute to a weakened immune system, fragile bones and feeling tired.
You can check if you're underweight by using our Healthy weight calculator, which shows your body mass index (BMI).
If your BMI is below 18.5, this suggests that your weight may be too low.
If you're underweight, or are concerned that someone you know is, tell your GP or practice nurse. They can give you help and advice.
If our healthy weight calculator has told you that you may be underweight, think about why this might be:
- Have you felt unwell? There might be an underlying medical cause for your low weight, such as an overactive thyroid.
- Have you been finding it difficult to make time to have a healthy, balanced diet with regular meals?
- Have you lost your appetite, perhaps because you're worried or stressed?
- Have you been trying to lose weight?
If you feel anxious or worried when you think about food, or feel that stress or low self-esteem are affecting the way you eat, you may have an eating disorder.
If you think you may have an eating disorder, talk to someone you trust and consider speaking to your GP, because help is available.
If you're concerned about someone else, find out how you can support them.
Being underweight isn't good for you. It could cause:
- Nutritional deficiencies: if you're underweight, it's ly that you're not consuming a healthy, balanced diet, which can lead to you lacking nutrients that your body needs to work properly. Calcium, for example, is important for the maintenance of strong and healthy bones. If you don't get enough calcium, you risk developing osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) in later life. If you're not consuming enough iron, you may develop anaemia, which can leave you feeling drained and tired.
- Weakened immune system: your immune system isn't 100% when you're underweight, so you're more ly to catch a cold, the flu or other infections.
- Fertility problems: women who are underweight can find that their periods stop.
If diet is the cause of your low weight, changing to a healthy, balanced diet that provides the right amount of calories for your age, height and how active you are can help you achieve a healthy weight.
Aim to gain weight gradually until you reach a healthy weight.
Try to avoid relying on high-calorie foods full of saturated fat and sugar – such as chocolate, cakes and sugary drinks – to gain weight.
These foods can increase body fat instead of lean body mass and increase your risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in your blood.
Instead, aim for regular meals and occasional snacks, and base your diet on the Eatwell Guide. This means:
- Eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Basing meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible.
- Having some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts). Have whole (full-fat) milk until you build your weight back up.
- Eating some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein. Aim for two portions of fish every week – one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel.
- Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads, such as sunflower or rapeseed, and eating them in small amounts.
- Drinking plenty of fluids. The government recommends 6-8 cups/glasses a day. But try not to have drinks just before meals to avoid feeling too full to eat.
If you're having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.
Try to choose a variety of different foods from the five main food groups. Learn more about these food groups and how they form part of a healthy diet.
However, it's important to remember that the Eatwell Guide is aimed at the general population. For those who need more specialised nutrition advice, consult your GP or a registered dietitian.
If you don't eat meat, find out how to have a healthy vegetarian diet.
If you're trying to gain weight, eat foods that are not only healthy but also high in energy. Try the following:
- For breakfast, porridge made with whole (full-fat) milk with chopped fruit or raisins sprinkled on top; or eggs on toast.
- Milkshakes are a great snack (make them at home and take them to work or college). Fortify them with milk powder for extra protein and calories.
- For a healthier lunch, try a jacket potato with baked beans or tuna on top, which contains energy-giving starchy carbohydrates and protein.
- Peanut butter on toast makes a great high-energy snack.
- Yoghurts and milky puddings, such as rice pudding, are high in energy.
- Unsalted nuts.
Although fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies count towards your 5 A Day, remember to limit these to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day.
Eating less and unintentional weight loss can occur in older people. But getting older doesn't mean that losing weight is inevitable. Find out what to do if you are over 60 and underweight.
How to Be Healthy and Watch for the Signs of Losing Too Much Weight
Are you worried that you might be underweight? While many of the people around you might be concerned about weight that they are gaining, you might be concerned about weight that you are losing. So what are the signs of being underweight? There are several that you should pay attention to if you are very thin or losing weight quickly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) if your body mass index (BMI) falls below 18.5 then you are in the underweight category. You can calculate your BMI using a simple formula. You'll need to know your height and weight to insert into this calculator:
Compare your numbers to standardized body mass index scores.
- 18.5 or less: Underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9: Normal Weight
- 25.0 to 29.9: Overweight
- 30.0 or higher: Obese
Keep in mind that body mass index is not a diagnostic measure. If your BMI falls below 18.5, you are not necessarily in harm's way because of your weight. BMI is only a classification system. Your doctor and other health organizations use it as a screening tool to assess your weight and your risk for a disease.
You can also use body fat percent measurements to assess your body size. In general, women should have a body fat measurement of at least 10-13% for essential body functions. Men should have at least 2 to 5 percent for essential body functions. Falling below those recommendations may not be healthy for you.
Government studies published by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018 estimate that only about 1.5 percent of the population is underweight. Roughly 1.8 percent of women are underweight and about 1.2 of men are underweight.
So how do you know for sure if you are underweight? Your healthcare provider can evaluate your weight and determine if you need to gain weight to improve your health.
If you are underweight, you may notice certain signs on your body. But some symptoms commonly associated with thinness may have other causes. For example, do veiny arms mean you're underweight? Some people who are very thin complain about veiny arms. But bodybuilders have veiny arms, as well. So veiny arms, alone, aren't necessarily an indicator that you are too thin.
Other people complain about joints that look too large. If you are underweight and carry very little muscle mass, your bones and your joints may appear more prominent. But again, having large bones or a more noticeable joint doesn't mean that you are definitely underweight.
Other symptoms of being underweight may include problems due to malnutrition:
- Fragile bones
- Irregular menstrual periods or problems getting pregnant
- Hair loss
- Weak immune system
- Dizziness or fatigue from anemia
- Poor growth and development, especially in children who are underweight
The best source of information if you think you are underweight is your doctor. There are many causes of low body weight and your health care provider can rule out conditions cancer, thyroid disease, digestive problems or medications. There are also behavioral causes of underweight, such as stress or depression .
But it is possible that you are underweight because of genetics, because of your activity level, or simply because you don't eat enough.
If your doctor does find that you are underweight, he or she will probably recommend that you put on weight by eating healthy and nutritious foods. You can increase your calorie intake by focusing on good sources of protein, grains, and healthy fats. A registered dietitian may be able to help you build meals and snacks to help you gain weight to build a strong healthy body.
Thanks for your feedback!
What are your concerns?