How to gain weight

She was so thin, well, so thin that when she ate the olive, everyone thought she was preparing to become a mother.

It would seem that for the last 30 years this issue has not been acute in developed countries. In our consumer society, we have long ceased to be undernourished, issues related, on the contrary, with overeating and overweight, have been on the agenda of specialists, and the world has started talking about an obesity pandemic.

However, there are often people who complain that they are too thin and still cannot gain weight. I already foresee how “overweight wrestlers” get into a fighting position: “How so! These people themselves do not understand their happiness! After all, they can do everything that we prohibit ourselves for many and many years – sweets in kilograms, cakes and pastries in huge chunks, lard in chunks, etc. And business … A couple of months more high-calorie, fried and fatty – and everything will return to normal! ” I confess that I myself had such thoughts, it happened, slipped …

It’s actually not that simple. Lucky people of slender build usually do not have food addiction, so after a couple or three days of increased consumption of high-calorie foods, their bodies usually go on strike – that is, there is no buzz from gluttony, and there are still some problems with the gastrointestinal tract! And if these people nevertheless acquire a craving for fatty and sweets, with age they turn into a kind of tummy with arms and legs sticking out of it (probably, we all have familiar thin grandfathers with a bulging tummy and grandmothers with a figure like a rectangle on thin legs ). I think that none of the thin people consciously strives for such a look. Yes, and atherosclerosis of blood vessels is found in lean lovers of fat no less often than in their plump counterparts.

So what do you do?

First, let’s determine if there really is a lack of weight. The easiest way is to determine your body mass index. I already wrote about this here  , let me remind you once again that it is calculated according to the formula BMI = weight (kg) / height² (m).
Lack of weight can be said if the BMI is less than 18.5 in women or less than 20 in men. Moreover, if your BMI is below normal by no more than 10%, and you are healthy and well, you do not need to worry too much about weight gain. At the same time, it would be nice to do bioimpedance measurements in order to see how this deficiency is formed.

Where to begin?

If there is indeed a lack of weight, the first thing to do is to exclude diseases that may cause it. In this regard, rapid weight loss in a short period of time, the presence of general weakness, rapid fatigue, increased irritability, tearfulness, sleep disturbances, and an increase in body temperature should be alerted. In general, you feel discomfort, the first thing to do is see a doctor.
Weight loss often accompanies diseases such as overactive thyroid gland, gastrointestinal tract diseases, chronic infections, especially of the genitourinary system and lungs, and cancer. Temporarily, this condition can occur after injuries, operations, previous infections, after prolonged depression. In all these cases, only a doctor can help.

If you are healthy, but at the same time have a significant lack of weight, or insignificant, but accompanied by a deterioration in well-being (weakness, fatigue, fatigue, dizziness, etc.), in this case, try to adhere to the following recommendations (you may be surprised, but recommendations for losing weight and those eager to gain weight are in many ways similar, this is due to the fact that in both cases the main goal is to bring the diet into optimal compliance with the physiological needs of the body).

What is the first thing to watch out for?

1. The total calorie content of the diet. If fat people often underestimate the amount of food eaten, then thin people often, on the contrary, tend to exaggerate it. It seems to them that they eat a lot and to the full, but at the same time they are really malnourished to their norm. How to calculate your calorie intake, I already wrote here  . At the same time, if you want to gain weight, it is advisable to consume about 200 calories more than your norm, but at least not below the norm. In order to understand what your norm is, you will have to keep a food diary for several days, that is, write down everything you eat during the day. The activity is tedious, but rewarding, since often the very fact of writing a food diary already stimulates you to eat right.

2. Frequency of meals. Here, the recommendation is the same as for people losing weight – frequent fractional meals. For the period of weight gain, it is advisable to eat 5-6 times a day, of which 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and 2-3 snacks. The main meal should include at least one hot dish, it is better to provide snacks not with sweets or cookies, but at least with sandwiches, nuts, dried fruits, or yoghurts.

3. It is necessary to provide the body with complete protein. Daily in the diet should be at least 3 protein meals. These are dishes from meat, fish or poultry (preferably lean meats – beef, veal), dairy products, egg dishes. As protein dishes for those who are gaining weight, in contrast to those who are losing weight, a combination of meat with dough is well suited – dumplings, manti, poses, pies with meat, fish or cottage cheese filling. The main thing is that they are steamed or baked in the oven. Look for cheese as a source of easily digestible protein and calcium. It is better to choose dairy products of medium fat content – from 2.5 to 6 percent. If you are a vegetarian or have a problem with meat, look for sources of plant-based protein such as legumes and nuts.

4. The body’s need for fats is ensured by the obligatory daily intake of unrefined vegetable oils (they provide the body with PUFA and have a choleretic effect, which is also important when gaining weight). Of the saturated fats, it is preferable to consume a small amount of butter (do not fry on it, but spread it on bread or put it in porridge), medium-fat sour cream (15-20%) and lard (no more than 30.0 per day). But it is better not to abuse fried foods, sausages and canned products of high fat content. As I already wrote above, people of thin physique are not insured against atherosclerosis.

5. It is necessary to provide the body with high-grade carbohydrates. They will help you maintain good health, charge you with energy and vitamins, and ensure the smooth functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. These are, first of all, a variety of cereals (in the form of cereals or side dishes), as well as vegetables and fruits (both raw and cooked in various ways)

6. But it is better to refuse cakes, sweets and sweet rolls. Dried fruits, dark chocolate, halva and kozinaki are suitable as desserts.

7. In the diet of those gaining weight, various nuts must be present, as a source of PUFA, fat-soluble vitamins, as well as a good appetite stimulant. Almonds, walnuts and pine nuts are especially shown. They can be used separately as snacks, or added to salads and hot dishes.

8. To stimulate appetite will help the reception of the so-called. bitterness 20-30 minutes before meals. These are wormwood, yarrow, plantain, dandelion, chicory. Many berries have a good stimulating effect, decoctions of them taste great, and taken 30-40 minutes before meals, they really improve appetite.This is juniper, barberry, black currant, rose hips, sea buckthorn, chokeberry, as well as anise and caraway seeds. Aromatherapy will also help to stimulate appetite – oils such as chamomile, cardamom, hyssop, bergamot, wormwood, and juniper are suitable.

9. Important for gaining weight and drinking regimen. You must consume at least 1.5 liters of water per day.

10. Adequate sleep plays an important role in weight gain. Regardless of whether you are an owl or a lark, you need to sleep at least 7 hours a day.

11. When it comes to physical exercise, strength training works well in addition to morning exercises. I will not dwell on them in detail, Lena Mironova wrote about this well 

That’s all for today. I look forward to your questions and suggestions!

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