Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gaining weight the healthy way! Here's how!

I have had a request on advice on how to gain weight in a healthy way, and instead of a private reply, I KNOW she's not the only one with this problem, so I decided to make an entire blog topic out of it!
I have been in the position before where I've been told to gain weight. I'm naturally on the thin side, so if I become more active or get stressed and don't eat as much I lose weight fast. Many people have a hypermetabolism and have a similar issue, and for some people it seems virtually IMPOSSIBLE to gain weight, and yes, believe it or not, some people WANT to. If you are overweight, please don't get offended by this blog, my goal is to help people with all types of nutritional problems, from underweight to overweight and beyond. I love sharing my knowledge with people in all positions and encourage you to ask me for requests if you have questions about your own lifestyle, I will always do my best to answer. :)
There are ways besides stuffing your face with pizza and donuts to gain weight in a healthier way that isn't as shocking (and UNHEALTHY) on your body. Just as with weight loss, weight gain is very similar, just reversing the goals. It is never healthier to gain more than 2 pounds a week, just as in it's not healthier to lose more than 2 pounds a week. Same idea. As I've discussed before, 3500 calories= 1lb, and 7,000 calories=2 lbs. So if your goal is weight gain, you need to attempt to add on an additional 500-1000 calories on top of what you usually eat. This will help with the healthy amount of weight gain. Now, although a calorie is a calorie and whether you eat 500 extra calories of spinach or 500 extra calories of chocolate, the weight gain WILL be the same, but increasing one's weight by foods that are high in cholesterol (meat, cheese, dairy, etc.) or refined sugar (candy, baked goods, sodas) is not the way to go. Although people that have a fast metabolism can enjoy these foods a little more liberally, if the attempt is healthy weight gain, you should stick to foods that have significant amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and bulk. Good foods to achieve this would be protein shakes, such as boost, ensure, and others that have a significant amount of calories, but also provide vitamin benefits as well. Ensure has around 250 calories per can, so two a day on top of your normal diet would help you achieve a 1lb/wk weight gain or one a day and an additional 250 calories from another source. (They often use ensure as a supplement in many eating disorder clinics, and with elderly people that have a hard time with their appetite and weight gain). ALSO, protein bars (although I don't believe in them for people that are trying to get "extra protein" for working out, because they are unecessary) also usually have decent amount of calories that can assist with weight gain. Balance bars usually have around 200 calories and also contain the vitamins and minerals that are beneficial. Although protein supplement shakes can get costly, they are probably the easiest way to gain weight in a healthy way. Protein bars are usually a little cheaper (about $1 /bar). You can also include more food in general. Stick to things that are carbohydrate rich, because they usually have more calories. Bagels, rice, couscous, sandwiches, peanut butter, granola bars, NUTS (high in calories and health benefits like omega 3s), trail mix, etc. There are tons of options to incorporate more food into your diet without feeling like you are overly stuffing yourself. Staying active (walking, etc.) is OK, as long as you are making up for these calories, because if you are already thin, any activity will burn more calories that you need to store and often cause weight loss on top of the already fast metabolism. Hope this helps! <3

I also found a website that might be helpful to those of you who want to gain weight :)

Stay healthy!
Keep giving me your questions and suggestions!

No comments:

Post a Comment