I know the title of this post seems odd, but there are people out there that actually want to gain weight.
Before you start with the, "oh please, give me a break," rant, keep a few things in mind. The term underweight is generally used to describe two kinds of people: those whose weight is considered below normal, but are still healthy. An example would be athletes and those with a genetic predisposition to thinness (like your best friend who eats like a horse but never gains a pound). The other category are those whose low weights are cause for significant health concerns. This group could be at high risk for respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, digestive disorders and even some cancers and should see a doctor. While some people do suffer with eating issues, not everyone that is skinny has an eating disorder.
The American Council on Exercise has come up with these tips on healthy weight gain:
- Eat energy dense (high calorie) foods, but stay away from saturated fats such as cheese, beef, butter and bacon.
- Eat three large meals, plus two to three snacks per day.
- Increase portion sizes.
- Increase intake of high calorie beverages.
- Perform strength-training exercises to increase muscle size.
Fit's Tip: It is important to not only eat more calories but to also strength train as well so that your extra calories consumed turn into muscle, not fat.