Weight loss supplements, plans, guides, and gurus are all over the media, providing no shortage of info on how get rid of unwanted pounds. Conversely, a small percentage of the population would gladly take those extra pounds, as the additional weight gain would improve possible health deficiencies and self esteem. For underweight women (and men as well), it's an uphill battle not unlike the one faced by overweight women.
The problem with gaining weight is usually an issue of high metabolism, although illness or body type can be culprits as well. Regardless, the approach for achieving a healthy weight remains the same: it's all about food choice.
Not being able to gain weight isn't an excuse to eat whatever one likes; just because a person can quickly metabolise fat around the waistline doesn't mean they can metabolise artery-clogging fat. Planning food choices means choosing the right macronutrient content: there are four calories per every gram of protein and carbohydrate and nine per every gram of fat, so meals should contain foods high in these nutrients.
High metabolism is the bane of those whoh want to gain weight, so the idea is to overload it and slow it down. This can be done by consuming more daily calories than the body can burn, which generally means an extra 500 to 1,000 calories every day. As stated before, this doesn't mean taking the unhealthy path. Cold water fish such as mackerel, halibut, cod, and salmon are high in healthy fats (thus calories) as well as protein. High calorie and heart friendly olive oil can be used in lieu of vegetable or canola to lightly fry food, while veggies like avocados are fattening and flavourful. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of energy.
Sample Meals & Exercise Tips
Since the idea of eating to gain weight is based pn consuming plenty of calories, three to five meals should be consumed daily with regular snacks. A sample meal plan would feature a portion of lightly fried halibut (in olive oil), a baked sweet potato, two or three slices of whole grain bread, and some pudding or frozen yoghurt for dessert. A meal such as this provides ample calories for this meal by providing enough macronutrients like fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It should also be said that exercise plays an important part in weight gain just as much as weight loss. Besides eating properly, fewer cardio exercises and more strength exercises promote the building of lean muscle mass, and since lean muscle weighs twice as much as body fat but takes up half the space, healthy weight gain can be attained without contributing to any body fat additions.