- Many times even thin people get intrusive and unpleasant comments from the environment
- Weight can be stubborn and get stuck even if it is high and even if it is low
- If the cause of the low weight is unhealthy, you can start working on a gradual increase
They enter my room with a half-apologetic look; sometimes, they are a little embarrassed. Then they said, “True, I’m not sure I’m here. Look, I need to gain weight. I am very thin. “Then I smile, because yes, I also know him and the situation, and it softens his face. Then, when I explain to them that for some people gaining weight is just as difficult as for others, it is difficult to lose weight, they calm down.
Parts of the culture sanctify thinness and present it as a coveted goal, but even from the other side, it is not always honey. It is not always easy or pleasant to be the thinnest. Many times thin people get intrusive comments from people who “must” make sure they eat enough, that they are not sick God forbid or that they lack nothing. Or just commenting on their body type. It is not easy to be different, whether your weight is very low, or very high.
Why is it sometimes difficult to gain weight?
Because the weight can be stubborn, even if it is too low and even if it is too high, sometimes it is just stuck, there are many things that affect our weight, and some of them we have no control over, like our genetics. Some people have an innate tendency to be very thin or very fat, and the metabolic rate (BMR) varies from person to person – it can be too fast or too slow.
What is in our control?
We can determine the composition of our meals, their size and the level of our exercise.
Therefore, to encourage weight gain, one can gradually get used to the digestive system to larger amounts.
It is possible and recommended to eat healthy foods with a high caloric value: increase the amounts of nuts, olive oil, avocados and tahini. You can add more fruits, legumes and as mentioned – just increase the dish.
How do you know the weight is “right”?
Not everyone who is lightweight – is healthy, and not everyone who is overweight – is sick: weight does not determine whether you are healthy. So what is it? There are some important metrics to check:
1. General health condition.
2. Function of the gastrointestinal tract: Does it function regularly and healthily? Are there diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, or other things that indicate indigestion?
3. Weight and height, and the ratio between them.
4. Your blood tests can give directions for thinking about the functioning of the digestive system. For example, iron deficiency, very high sugar levels, and low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) indicate over activity of this gland.
How do you change the situation?
Before you run to the supermarket with a new shopping list, it is very important to make sure that the reason for the low weight is not in a healthy condition. Conditions such as overactive thyroid gland, Crohn’s, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, improperly treated celiac disease and more – can cause, along with pickiness to eat and anorexia, weight gain.
If it turns out that there is no medical condition in the background, one can begin to pay attention to the times of the meals, the quantities and composition of the food. Just like when trying to lose weight, but in the opposite direction:
1. Setting realistic goals
Changes in weight and body shape take time, so it’s a good idea to set an overarching long-term goal (for example, the final weight you want to reach) and set “small goals” in the intermediate stages. A realistic goal would be to gain a pound a month – a gradual increase will make it easier for you to maintain your weight and will usually help your digestive system adapt to the new situation more easily.
2. Good planning
It is important to build a daily plan in advance that will include meal times, what to eat, how much to eat and what exercises to do. It’s also important to discover your weaknesses: Do stressful situations lower your appetite? Are you distracted by food when you are busy with something else? Do you skip meals if you are away from home?
Next, find solutions. For example, take with you to work (and also eat!) Meals plus nuts, sandwiches and fruit.
Adherence to mealtimes and workouts on regular days will help you determine the change and turn a new habit into a regular routine.
4. Custom menu
No, to gain weight, you do not have to eat anymore, feast on cakes, snacks and junk food – a diet high in fat and sugars is unhealthy for anyone. If your body mass is higher and the weight is rising – this is great, but it is also very important that it be healthy, meaning that it will consist mainly of muscle.
The key to weight gain is to eat three main meals each day and another two or three snacks. We would like to choose foods that are both healthy and high in calorie density.
You can also change foods in your regular menu and achieve an increase in the number of calories you eat:
• Pita or bun instead of regular bread.
• Spread tahini or peanut butter on a sandwich, or add some olive oil over the white cheese.
Sauté vegetables in olive oil and add various seeds to the salad.
• Before eating, you can sprinkle some more olive oil, salted cheese, or ground nuts over the plate.
It is important to make sure that the meal contains more than vegetables and that it also has sources of protein – such as a meat dish, egg, dairy or legumes, as well as quality carbohydrates such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, whole rice, Bulgur and more.
• Eat more fruit and also drink fresh fruit juices.
Probably not. Food is the preferred fuel for building muscle. In cases where it is not possible to eat properly, protein powders or smoothies can be added. If your digestive system is working well – let it do its job.
Filling up fast?
If you have a problem of fast satiety and you can not eat a large amount of food, you should give up soup at mealtime in favor of other high-calorie foods, such as fruit juices, tahini, chickpeas, avocados, almonds, nuts, halva, falafel and more.
In any case, remember that the volume of the stomach and the volume of the digestive system in general, can increase – give her time, and she will get used to it.
The addition that catches on
Here are some examples of the 500 calorie supplement, the optimal daily supplement that can help add to your weight on average about a pound a week (each of the foods offered here has about 500 calories):
1. Smoothie from half a cup of milk/soy milk + banana + date + 2 tablespoons raw tahini/almond.
2. A cup of yoghurt + 2 tablespoons ground nuts + 3 tablespoons granola + half a mango.
3. 2 energy balls from grinding, cocoa and dates.
4. Topping for the vegetable salad: a tablespoon of raw tahini + 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds + 2 tablespoons of salted cheese.
5. Toast: whole meal bun + a slice of yellow cheese + a tablespoon of pesto + tomato.
And one more thing: sports, sports and sports!
Even exercise can help with weight gain by building muscle mass. In addition, it can improve appetite. Strength training will help increase muscle mass in the body, and gaining muscle will cause weight gain. As in obesity (the opposite problem), even rapid weight gain has no magic solutions. Therefore, if you have tried alone and failed, you should meet with a clinical dietitian. She will be able to accurately evaluate your diet, recommend appropriate changes in eating and accompany you all the way to achieving the desired weight.