General | May 12, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
So many people are struggling to drop those extra kilos these days, while at the same time new weight loss diets are constantly emerging. It’s not surprising then that being underweight may not seem like a problem. Yet, for people who are too skinny, trying to gain weight can prove to be a real struggle.
Being underweight officially means having a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 18.50 (BMI is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults).
While obesity is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, for some people, being underweight is not without a risk too, and it has been linked to various health complications:
It is important that you gain weight with the help of a healthy, balanced diet. The idea is to increase your lean body mass (muscle), rather than your body fat.
Dairy or dairy alternatives – include full cream milk and natural yoghurt. Incorporate smoothies made with milk and fresh or frozen fruit.
Minimum of 5 vegetables and 2 fruit per day. Emphasise more starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and beetroots, and fruits like bananas and raisins.
Lean protein - lean meat, oily fish, beans and lentils.
Whole grains - wholemeal pasta, brown rice, whole-grain breads
Healthy fats - extra virgin olive oil, avocados and nuts
2. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats. These foods are usually high in calories and low in nutrients, such as chocolate, ice cream, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks, as well as processed meats.
3. Add toppings. Add more calories to your meals by adding healthy extras such as:
4. Eat more frequently. Rather than eating two or three large meals, eat five to six smaller meals during the day, or three regular meals a day with healthy snacks in between. You may want to include a bedtime snack too.
5. Do not skip breakfast. Sart your day with a hearty breakfast.
6. Increase your portion sizes.
7. Drink less before and during the meal. Drinking before and during the meal may reduce your appetite.
8. Exercise. Strength training will build up your muscles and may also stimulate your appetite.
9. Eat with friends and family. Eating main meals in company and sitting around the table make them more enjoyable and can increase your motivation to eat.
India and China have the largest number of underweight people in the world, but both countries are also in the top five most obese countries.
There are more obese people in the world than underweight, but both have related health implications.
If you experience unexplained weight loss, meaning that you are losing weight without trying, it is important to see your doctor to find out if there is any underlying medical condition.
However, if you are one of those people who are genetically programmed to be skinny, and your weight does not fluctuate much, don’t worry.
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