Our team of medical experts are ready to help

Your questions answered

Phil asked...

I look underweight and I am trying to gain weight.

Tags: Diet , Weight

I am a 36 year old male, weigh 73.8kg, 1.79m tall, BMI 23.0, but have a 30.7% body fat and body mass of 22.6kg. I look underweight and trying to gain weight by going to the gym but i am also eating anything such as cakes to put weight on.

  • mother-thermometer-doctor-at-hand

    Do you need to see a GP quickly?


    Would you like to speak with a doctor by video or phone at a time that suits you?

    Our Doctor@Hand service, delivered by Doctor Care Anywhere, offers a doctor appointment by video or phone at a time that suits you.

The answer

The wide variation in male body shape and size is largely down to genetics and, although we are unable to change our height or bone structure, it is possible to change the proportions of muscle mass and body fat with alterations in activity levels, dietary intake and an appropriate exercise regime.  For males of 30-40 age range, a healthy BMI (body mass index = weight in kg/height in metres) is between 20-25 and a healthy body fat percentage is around 8-19%.  A body fat of 30.7 is a bit on the high side and this is likely to be down to eating the wrong type of foods.  Stick with a healthy low fat diet with adequate protein intake rather than higher calorie foods containing fats and sugar.  To gain muscle mass rather than fat, it’s important to pick the right exercise regime with resistance training being the dominant aspect.  It would be advisable to have an exercise specialist design the most appropriate programme for you.


Newsletter sign up

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, Better Health, to receive our latest health and wellbeing updates.

Sign up to newsletter