High Metabolism

Ask the Raffles Medical Group Experts


I am a 24 year-old male. I am slightly over 170 cm and weigh only 50 kg. I have not been gaining any weight for the past few years despite of an increase of over 10 cm in height.

I swam and did other exercises to gain weight. However, I end up losing weight instead. Heavy meals and weight gain supplements did not help either. I have also done a full blood test including one for thyroid function. My results are normal.

The doctor told me that I have high metabolism. Is there any method or exercises that can help me to gain some weight?


Based on your weight and height, your body mass index is 17.3kg/m2 (BMI = weight in kilogram divided by height in metre squared). Therefore, you are considered underweight. However, being underweight does not always mean you have an underlying medical problem. In fact, almost 1 in 10 local adults are underweight.

Losing weight after exercise such as swimming is not unusual. Weight gain supplement should not be used as a long term solution. The best way to maintain a normal weight (i.e., BMI between 18.5 and 23 kg/m2) is by adopting a healthy lifestyle, which incorporates good eating habits and regular physical activity.

Being underweight is not uncommon. You should not feel stressed or ashamed about it. Emotional stress may further aggravate your underweight status. Consulting a doctor was a constructive approach even though you did not seem reassured.

I would still suggest you seek medical advice. A thorough medical assessment is required to ensure that there is no underlying medical condition causing your underweight status. There are many reasons why people may find it difficult to gain weight.

Genetics can play a role, but individual personalities and the environment can be contributing factors. There are others who lose their appetite because of various reasons, including physical or psychological illnesses, chronic pain, depression, stress and side effects from drugs. A comprehensive assessment by your doctor should be able to explain why you are underweight and what you can do to achieve a healthy weight.