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Gaining Weight - The Healthy Way

Being underweight can be a concern, especially when it is due to poor nutrition and diseases. Not being able to maintain a minimal body weight can lead to various health concerns like malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, decreased immune function, growth, and developmental issues.

According to a study, being underweight is associated with a 140 percent greater risk of early death in men and a 100 percent risk in women.

Causes of Being Underweight

We categorize the common causes of being underweight into - physical and psychological.

  • The physical causes include – hyperthyroidism, diseases such as Cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS & tuberculosis.
  • The psychological causes include – anorexia, bulimia, and depression.
  • Some of the other causes include – medication, excessive exercise, excessive stress levels, enzyme deficiencies, cystic fibrosis.


Thus, inability to gain weight or a sudden unexplained weight loss calls for medical attention. Besides the appropriate treatment of the cause, a healthy diet and lifestyle changes will assist in weight gain.

Weight Gain, The Healthy Way

Healthy weight gain requires a balanced approach, similar to a weight loss program. You do not qualify to binge on junk food and other food with empty calories!! It may help you put on a few kilos, but with several adverse health consequences.

Let us look at healthy ways to improve your body weight.

1. Add Protein-Rich Healthy Calories

Eating plenty of fats, carbohydrates, and protein in the diet is important for a healthy weight gain. Including nuts and seeds will increase the calorie intake. They need be consumed in soaked form so as ward off all anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors. You could combine them with your favorite fruit and blend together with a natural sweetener to get a mouthwatering smoothie. Almonds and walnuts are the best ingredients in a smoothie. It tastes even better when combined with seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and chia.

Consuming whole milk is an excellent way to gain muscle. It is an excellent source of protein which provides both casein and whey proteins. It is also a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

  • Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil can be included in the diet.
  • Dark chocolate is also high in calories and helpful in weight gain. It also has antioxidants and several other health benefits.
  • Starchy carbohydrates such as sweet potato, beans, legumes, quinoa, and buckwheat can also be included in the diet.

2. Consume Nutrient Dense Foods

When dealing with a reduced appetite, it is essential to consume nutrient-rich food. This can include high protein meat, fish, and egg. Healthy carbohydrates can be added to the diet, such as brown rice and whole grains.

3. Eat Smaller Meals on a More Frequent Basis

A disciplined meal regime is essential for proper assimilation and absorption of food. Eat at least three (3) meals a day along with intermittent energy-dense snacks as fillers.

4. Include High-Calorie Nutrient-Rich Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are an easy and cost-effective method of weight gain, especially when combined with strength training.

The Abbott Therapeutic Complete Balanced Nutrition provides concentrated calories and proteins to help gain or maintain a healthy weight. It benefits patients who have malnutrition, are at nutritional risk or are experiencing involuntary weight loss. It can be used with or between meals or even as a meal replacement.

The Nestle Complete Calorically Nutrition is a tube feeding formula to combat malnutrition and meet increased energy requirements of those with limited fluid tolerance. Another medical product is the Abbott Jevity 1.5 Cal High-Protein Nutritional Drink with Fiber. It is meant for the tube as well as oral feeding. It is calorically dense and has a unique fiber blend that provides complete and balanced nutrition.

Weight Gain
Weight Gain

5. Exercise

In order to ensure that the calories consumed are utilized towards building muscle mass, do weightlifting. Strength training in the form of yoga can also be undertaken. Exercises such as cardio and aerobics should be avoided as these will burn calories and go against the goal of weight gain.

Weight Gain
Weight Gain

6. Nutrition for the Terminally ill

For those unable to consume a regular diet nutrition or unable to assimilate and absorb nutrition through food, nutritional supplements are important. The Nestle Dense Liquid Nutrition with SpikeRight Plus Port is high in calories, fiber, and protein. It is used in cases of malnutrition as well as for those suffering from pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis and fluid restricted or volume sensitive diet.

The Abbott Therapeutic High-Protein Nutrition is a calorically dense, immune supporting, hydrolyzed enteral formula. It is meant for metabolically stressed surgical, trauma, burn, or head and neck cancer patients, in need of an immune modulating enteral formula. It is a sole source nutrition for tube feeding.

Weight Gain
Weight Gain

So, while weight gain may be difficult to achieve, it requires a holistic approach. It is a combination of healthy diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle. Any underlying health problem if any needs to be corrected. Finally, consistent and dedicated efforts while following a weight gain program will show desired results.

 

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