Do you have that friend who can eat anything and everything without gaining a single pound? I used to think they were lucky, but contrary to popular belief, gaining weight can be just as frustrating as losing weight.
There's a term often used to describe thin people who try everything they can to gain weight: skinny fat. Its meaning? Skinny doesn't always mean healthy. Thin people could be holding onto upward of 32 percent body fat (average is 20-30 percent), which puts them at an increased risk for certain chronic health conditions similar to their overweight counterparts. With this in mind, weight gain shouldn’t be addressed by eating mounds of ice cream, fast food, or having a nightly pizza party!
NutriLiving contributor Shari Pack found that consuming healthy NutriBlasts for weight gain was a key component to her recovery after chemotherapy, using the healthy approach and gaining weight the right way.
1. First, know where you stand.
In today’s society, there is tremendous pressure to be thin. Sometimes these extreme ideals put undue stress on beautiful, well-portioned men and women. It’s important to know where you stand before embarking on any weight loss or weight gain regimen.
As much as I dislike body mass index (BMI) as a measure of health, this is a useful tool to combine with body fat percentage to determine what a reasonable goal weight should be. Use this tool to see where you stand.
Also, know how many calories your body requires at rest. This BMR (basal metabolic rate) will give you a good baseline to know the minimum calories you should consume in a day before considering caloric needs for any physical activity. This can help you find a rough estimate of your BMR.
2. Don’t resort to those sugar and preservative-laden liquid nutritional supplements like Ensure or Boost.
Add in more calorically-dense foods to your Blast to help increase your total daily intake.
Here are a couple of recipes that will help guide you!
3. Build up strength and muscle.
Strength can only come from challenging your muscles. However, an after gym session should be followed by a nice carb/protein snack or meal that can help support muscle growth and repair. Focus on branched chain amino acids, specifically leucine, to enhance muscle protein synthesis. Leucine-rich foods include spirulina, lentils, organic soy, almonds, sunflower seeds, garbanzo and kidney beans, peanuts, and chia seeds.
You may also look for a plant-based protein powder for a well-balanced amino acid profile. Muscle will help burn unnecessary fat (remember: even skinny body frames can hold a high percentage of fat). On top of burning fat, adding muscle will help transform your body to its ideal, healthy weight.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet.
It is important to still consume a diet filled with nutrient-rich foods and not load up on junk. If you are consuming calorically-dense foods that are void of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients, your body will become malnourished. An under-fueled and undernourished body does not have the proper components to transform to a healthy weight. So, nix the burgers, beers and fries and opt for those nutrient and calorie-dense options mentioned in tip number two!
If you are finding that these suggestions just aren’t working, consult with your primary healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions or hormone imbalance that negatively affects your weight.