The Healthy Way to Gain Weight

We can read about weight-loss diets every we go, but there are people who have the opposite problem. Being too thin causes people to be tired, anxious, and irritable; not to mention weak. We are going to explore some safe and healthy ways to gain weight toward a healthier body.

Just because someone is underweight doesn't mean they have an eating disorder. Some people have strong cues that prompt them to feel full sooner and eat less. A Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18.5 qualifies a person as underweight. There are fewer people in this category every year. Only about two percent of adult women, and one percent of adult men were found to be underweight between 2007 and 2010.

Men and women who are significantly underweight, have a lack of energy and negative health effects such as weakened immune systems. Women also increase their risk for osteoporosis, loss of menstrual function and complications with pregnancy.

Getting Started

Before starting any diet or exercise plan, make sure to talk with your doctor. A physician can check for causes of being underweight, such as thyroid problems, parasites, or an eating disorder. 

Keep A Food Diary and Add Calories

Keep track of what and when you eat each day for several weeks. This will help you identify how and when to add calories to your diet. Begin by adding 200 calories to your food intake daily. Adjust the amount of calories up or down as needed to achieve the desired results.

Keep Eating Healthy, But Eat More Frequently

Rather than choosing fatty foods, make healthy choices by eating whole grain pastas, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and lean proteins. Do not skip meals! You probably fill-up fast, so try having five to six smaller meals throughout the day. Big changes in the amount of food you eat can give you gastrointestinal issues or acne.

Snack Smarter

Choose snacks high in calories such as cheese, dried fruit, nuts, yogurt with granola, whole grain crackers with nut butters or hummus. Rather than drinking soda, choose a smoothie, healthy shake, or liquid meal replacement. Try drinking them between meals to avoid filling up with the beverage at mealtime. Add a healthy snack before going to bed.

Have Goals

Like weight loss, weight-gain takes time. For some it might take years to get to a healthier weight. Work with your physician or nutritionist to make obtainable goals. When you feel your energy increase, your hunger patterns stabilize, and your overall health is good, you will know it was worth your time and effort.

Being good to yourself is important too. Celebrate your “new” body and use kind self-talk. Wear clothes that make you feel good at different stages of your journey.

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