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Tips for gaining weight and keeping it on - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

Tips for gaining weight and keeping it on

DEAR DONOVAN,

I would love to have some ideas for gaining weight and keeping up with it.

With the growing concerns for obesity both locally and internationally, we sometimes forget that there are people who are underweight for their height or age and would like to put on some weight. In addition, it has also become fashionable for some women to put on a little extra weight to get what is called the “thick” look.

That aside, people who are underweight can become so due to medical challenges or just a matter of lifestyle. Just as how some people who are overweight can become self-conscious about their weight, some people who are underweight can also become self-conscious. People who are underweight and have no medical challenges usually have problems with their food intake. They tend to be picky eaters who are usually watching what they eat and how much they eat. In general, their appetite might also not be large.

If you are underweight and would like to put on some weight, one of the first things you can do is to get a medical check-up to make sure that there are no underlining medical conditions, for example, thyroid problems. Once all your health concerns are cleared, it will be time to look at your calorie/food intake. Overall, in order to gain weight you will have to increase your calorie intake. If you put in some extra calories/food, some of this can be stored by the body as fat and your weight will increase. In a nutshell, you would have to eat more.

However, it is important to eat as healthy as possible. The trick about weight gain is to find ways to put in extra calories. One basic rule is that it is easier to drink than to eat, so you could put in some more liquid foods into your diet. These could include shakes, smoothies, soups, and fruit juices. Also, it should be noted that a thicker porridge or soup usually carries more calories than a thinner one, and would be more helpful for weight gain.

In addition, you could also put some nuts and seeds into your shakes and porridge to increase the calorie density. Also, share a larger meal than you are accustomed to and just try to eat it, even over one or two sittings. You could also snack on raisins, nuts, seeds, shakes and smoothies in between meals. Foods like avocado/pear and ackee are healthy and high in calories. You could add these to your diet.

Small amounts of raw cold pressed coconut or olive oil can also be added to meals to increase the calorie density The aim is to increase your calorie intake, hopefully in a healthy way.

You could also increase your weight by doing some muscle building type exercises. If you build muscles these are more compact than fat and weigh more.

When you put on weight you will put on all over your body; however, it is possible that some areas will accumulate more fat than others, for example, some people tend to put on weight in the stomach region or in the hip region. However, in the process of gaining weight you do not want to put on too much weight in the stomach region, because this is a big risk factor for many lifestyle disorders.

Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com

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