Underweight: Causes & Tips


I used to be built but have lost almost all of my muscle. Like a good 40lbs worth. I’m down to 140 lbs and it isn’t a healthy looking 140. The weird thing is that I sort of expected this from giving up lifting, although I continue to eat normally – same way as when I was lifting.

Why is that, and what can I do about it?


It’s interesting to me as a society, we always focus on how unhealthy being overweight is. The truth is, being underweight has many health related negatives of its own. So let’s talk about it.

The missing element here is time – much depends upon how fast he lost it

If he lost 30lbs over the course of a year or several, that’s one thing.

It’s quite another to lose that amount of muscle in months, or God forbid weeks.

See a Doctor

Regardless, the first thing I’d do is to get to a Dr.

The Dr. will be able to rule out any underlying disease, such as HIV or certain cancers, which chew up LBM quickly.

Go Back To What You Were Doing

Second, I’d thing back as to what I was doing (or not, as the case may be) during the time I lost all this weight.

Did you have any symptoms of gastrointestinal distress? Were you perhaps under extreme stress at work?

Did you go through a divorce, or otherwise were under stress and not sleeping well? Or at all?

Lots of possibilities, you get the idea.

I’d also work with the Dr. to rule out tapeworm or other related causes.

Not pleasant to think about, but they can contribute to wasting.

Resume Training

The next thing I would do is to resume training, be that bodyweight or with weights. There’s no harm in doing so, and much to gain.

That includes more than weight BTW. It will put you in better tune with your body, how it functions at 100% and whether or not there are signs it isn’t – and what those are.

Increase Protein Intake

I would also increase protein intake, although perhaps not necessarily calories – until you rule out any underlying disease.

Certain cancers are fueled by sugar, so I’d minimize that as much as possible just to be on the safe side.

If it is cancer, going on a ketogenic diet has shown many benefits.

Whatever it is, understand that there’s hope. Hope you can re-gain your muscle, fight off whatever it is and otherwise get your life back.

Hope that helps, and good luck to you.

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

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