Many of us are bound to have that one friend who does not seem to budge the weighing scale no matter how much he or she eats. In fact, they burn calories so fast, whatever that they consume do not have enough time to convert into poundage. Sounds like heaven, right? Well, it is not necessarily so. People who are underweight (10% or more below their ideal weight) are faced with an increase risk of infection, infertility and hypertension, and have an overall higher mortality rate.
Lightweight for A Reason
People have trouble gaining weight for a variety of reasons. If you have been ill or recently had surgery or any kind of chemotherapy, you may find it hard to maintain your weight. Chronic stress can also dull your appetite. Teenagers and seniors alike can both fail to gain weight — the latter from not eating enough, while the former eat plenty but burn it off quickly at an alarming rate.
Some people are just naturally thin. Chances are they inherited a metabolic furnace from their parents that are permanently set on a high. Your metabolism, also known as the rate at which you burn calories for energy at rest, is regulated by your thyroid gland. As metabolic rates can vary from one person to another, and are influenced by sex, age and the amount of lean muscle present, your thyroid gland can become overactive (hyper) and secretes too much thyroxine. This may be the reason that is causing you to drop weight or fail to gain any. If you suspect that you may be facing this issue, you need to make a trip to the doctor’s. Be aware that your sudden loss of weight should always be checked out. Do not ignore it thinking that it was probably just the recent food indulgence spree (or lack thereof) that you went on. Brushing it off may just be the worse thing that you can do.
Equation for Healthy Weight Gain
The standard formula for gaining weight is to take in more calories each day than your body burns. Sounds simple enough but it can be challenging. The human body normally requires 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain normal functions. Therefore, eating 1,000 extra daily calories should add weight. Some experts recommend calculating the daily calories necessary to gain weight by multiplying your body weight by 15.
So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would want to eat approximately 2,250 total calories per day (150 x 15). If you feel like you are stuffing yourself with no results, keep a log of your food intake. Chances are your total is less than 2,000 calories. Feeling full is not a reliable indicator that you have consumed enough calories, and just eating three square meals a day barely does the trick.
You should choose more calorie-dense foods at your meals, snack frequently and engage in mild weight-bearing exercise. While high-protein diets may be the rage these days, the best nutrient ratio for optimal weight gain is 50% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 20% fat. Your goal should be to add bulk rather than fat. Loading up on sodas and junk food is never a good idea and trying to supersize your meal portions may not be quite enough. Additionally, some individuals may need to add supplemental forms of nutrition that set the stage for weight gain.
Jumpstart Your Appetite
Eating like a bird is caused by an anaemic appetite, so you need to wake up your idea and hype your hunger. B-complex vitamins act as a natural appetite stimulant and build red blood cells. Aim for 125 mcg of B12, along with 100 mg of B1, B2 and B6. In addition, spirulina, a type fo microalgae and complete food, is also naturally rich in vitamin B12 and boosts hunger. Take 500 mg of spirulina each day.
If food volume is a problem, eat smaller amounts more often, and do not start a meal with a bowl of soup — it is filling and can be low in calories. Mix noncaloric beverages, including diet sodas, plain coffee or tea for the same reason. And remember that over-the-counter prescription drugs, such as antihistamines, can blunt your appetite making it harder to eat. Most importantly, you should be reviewing what you are taking with your doctor.
Boost Digestion and Elimination
You can eat in an abundance, but if you fail to digest your food properly, you will not efficiently absorb calories and nutrients. Studies have shown that underweight individuals often suffer from indigestion, bloating or constipation. This means that the GI tract is not doing its job well and malabsorption can occur. A cup of aromatic warm ginger tea to accompany your meals can actually enhance your digestion. So gather your pals and head to the nearest tea spot and grab some warm ginger tea to boost your digestion and maintain your health.