The whole emphasis today is on people being overweight and obese but there are some out there who struggle to actually put on weight. If you are one of those who are too thin and largely forgotten by the media, perhaps it is time to give you some time in the spotlight so that you can reach your optimum weight and become more healthy.
Being underweight is not without problems
The underweight are never going to receive any sympathy or support from the overweight – that is a given. But what many can forget is that the underweight will often suffer from the same kinds of insecurities as the overweight. The former can be just as affected by being constantly bombarded with those media messages about how they should look but not how to be happy with their current self.
If you are permanently or even temporarily underweight, going on an eating “binge” is not the ideal way to gain that extra weight. You will need a planned approach to weight gain in the same way as overweight people need a planned approach to weight loss.
Top of the list is eating
- try to have at least 6 small to medium sized meals spread throughout the day for maximum absorption but of course you must have food that will help you gain lean mass and these foods must be healthy, natural and unprocessed. Examples are organic, free range beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and eggs; as much fruit and vegetables as you can manage; cheese (raw if possible); and lots of raw nuts of all varieties. Good fats to include in your weight gain plan are olive oil, butter from grass fed cattle (such as Kerrygold) and pure coconut oil. When starting with coconut oil, take a spoonful per day and gradually build up your intake for optimum benefits. Extra carbs are from legumes, oats, brown rice, brown pasta and wholewheat bread. However tempting, please stay away from sugars – a maximum of 6 teaspoons per day is all you should allow yourself to stay healthy.
- this is more important than ever in your weight gain diet and you will need 8 to 10 glasses per day of pure filtered water to give you energy and keep you hydrated.
- this is sadly overlooked as an important part of our health with the majority of adults being sleep deprived. For your body to function properly and to boost your immune system, you need an absolute minimum of 8 hours of sleep. What are you getting each night? Along with drinking more water, getting extra sleep is an easy goal to achieve in your journey to weight gain.
4. Exercise and weight training
- these are two further ways you can gain weight by helping to transfer extra mass into muscle and not fat. Although it is possible to do this on your own, a specialised trainer can give you good advice on exercise and weight training when try to put on weight. He or she can provide proper guidance and ensure that you develop the right muscles, and leave the wrong ones alone. Aerobics are not the kind of exercise you should be doing to gain weight but of course walking and swimming are perfect for everyone.
5. Weighing yourself
– once you start your weight gain plan, keep a weekly record and weight yourself at the same time once a week. Weight gain should be slow and steady as anything over 1 or 2 pounds per week is not healthy or advisable– it will mean you are adding fat instead of muscle. If you have not reached your optimum weight and you stop gaining for at least 2 weeks, you will need to add an extra 250 calories to your diet.
– it may that this was the cause of your being underweight in the first place. I know I can waste away in times of great stress. If you are suffering from stress, it is important to try and address the cause and limit the extent of the stress as much as possible even though I know this can be very difficult .
With the help of these 6 weight gain tips, you should be on the way to a more healthier you with an improved self esteem and a general all round happier attitude.
If and when you do reach your optimum health, don't be tempted to ditch the good habits you have learnt along the way to maintain that new you.