Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guest Post: The Secrets of Healthy Weight Gain

Surprise......I have a guest blog for you today!

The Secrets of Healthy Weight Gain

Most people want to lose weight for one reason or another, but some people have a desire to gain weight. Their reasons for wanting to put on the pounds range from a variety of health issues to purely cosmetic reasons. More specifically, reasons for gaining weight may include:

1. Improved appearance
2. Weight loss due to health issues
3. Loss of weight due to increased activity, especially sports
4. A desire to build muscle, or “bulk up.”
(“Healthy Ways To Gain Weight,” Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, Web MD)

Being underweight is acceptable or even advisable if an individual is otherwise healthy and leading a healthful lifestyle. The definition of underweight means a person is below ideal body weight. Ideal body weight is classified according to an individual’s body mass index, or BMI. BMI is figured by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the height in meters, squared. The quotient should be somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9. (“BMI,” Web MD, 03/06/2010)

However, anyone who desires to gain weight should be conscious of ingesting the right kinds of calories. It is important to consume foods that are high in calories but also rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is important to restrict the amount of fat in addition to restricting sugar. This is because if the increase in weight is to be maintained, the extra foods must be consumed on a long term basis. Foods that are high in refined flour, sugars, and saturated fats may cause health problems in the future, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The key is to eat foods such as vegetables and high protein foods, then supplement them with higher calorie items like yogurt, fruits and nuts. Melons are both sweet and healthy, which makes them a good choice for fruits. It is also a good idea to increase the amount of protein consumed. Protein can be found in vegetables, such as spinach, or in meat and dairy products. Salmon and chicken are good choices to increase protein AND omega fatty acids. Protein may also be added to the diet by drinking protein shakes. Protein powder in the form of whey protein can be added to milk and fruit for a healthy snack. Individuals who wish to build muscle while increasing weight gain should drink these shakes after exercise and before going to bed. (“Healthy Ways To Gain Weight,” Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, FD, Ld, Web MD).

In order to gain weight, six smaller meals per day are recommended. Three of the six meals should be larger meals and should contain starch, vegetables, protein and fat. Eating starches with protein and fat prevents spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to type II diabetes. For those wishing to gain weight, a healthy goal is to gain one half to one pound per week. It is also important to increase the calories consumed if physical activity is increased, which typically occurs during the summer months.

Sometimes, the need to gain weight is a result of illness or surgery, which can cause a loss of appetite or even nausea. Food must be reintroduced gradually, starting with clear liquids. Fruit juices are packed with vitamin C and natural sugars. Once liquids are tolerated, bland foods are introduced. Mom’s chicken soup really does help the digestive track to start working again. Scrambled eggs are bland and a good source of protein. At first, milk should be avoided since it is more difficult to digest.

Weight gain is an attainable, worthwhile goal for many individuals. It is a goal that requires the same discipline as losing weight and involves permanent lifestyle changes. These changes must include the same basic healthy foods all individuals require. This diet not only improves a person’s appearance but can enhance his/her overall health status as well!
Becky Thatcher
Guest Post U
The University of Great Content

1 comment:

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