Being slightly underweight is not necessarily a problem. “If you are comfortable, able to function and exercise, weighing a little less than your ideal body weight is not a problem and studies show it is associated with good health outcomes.”
Everyone can increase their weight but it takes certain eating strategies to get the weight needed without all the fat which can accumulate in some places if we eat sugary and fast food.
Follow these tips to ensure proper weight gaining:
1. Don’t let more than four hours go by without eating. Your body needs a continuous supply of energy since it is like an engine that’s always turned on (your heart is always beating, blood is circulating, your brain and muscles are working).
2. Eat several foods at once. Always aim for at least three food groups. Instead of just a banana or handful of nuts, top a few slices of whole grain toast with peanut butter and bananas, along with a glass of organic skimmed milk or a milk substitute (soya, hemp, etc.). A wider varied diet provides your body with a broader spectrum of nutrients to work with throughout the day.
3. Eat healthy, but dense foods. The best way to rack up extra nutrition without having to eat huge quantities of food or resort to junk is to choose nutrient-rich foods that pack a lot of carbs, protein or fat into a small serving.
If you have a normal cholesterol level, you can enjoy extra calories by choosing full-fat dairy products.
4. Drink your food. Liquids are not as filling as solid food, so when you are trying to gain weight, they can add nutrition without making you feel stuffed or bloated.
5. Eat right before going to bed. A lot of our healing, repair and regeneration takes place while we sleep. A great option that won’t leave you feeling stuffed might be a small bowl of pasta salad made with 100 percent whole-grain pasta (wheat or a gluten-free alternative), vinaigrette made with extra-virgin olive oil, chopped or shredded veggies, and a lean protein such as beans, chopped chicken breast or an organic crumbled cheese.
Tips to Whet Your Appetite
When eating just does not appeal to you, there are some tricks of the trade that can help stimulate your appetite.
Taking a little walk before eating is one of the many ways to help fire up your appetite. When you are not hungry, choosing your favorite comfort foods may help. So can jazzing up foods with spices and herbs to enhance flavor.
Liquids, including water, can fill you up. So drink liquids separately to help make room for nourishing foods.