It is commonly agreed that it is much easier to put on weight than to lose weight. The definition of ideal weight is also open to interpretation. A person may look underweight but is energetic and able to do a full day’s work whereas a relatively healthy-looking person may be sickly and low on energy. For aesthetic reasons alone, underweight persons long to put on some muscle and weight. Energy in the form of calories and proper nutrition in a balanced diet are sure ways for healthy weight gain.
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Underweight persons should eat nutrient-dense foods. The golden rule is to eat more calories than are burnt. Nutrient-dense foods include all fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Legumes, nuts, seeds, and foods rich in good fats like avocados, almonds, and walnuts also help increase bulk. High-starch foods like whole-grain pasta, peas, lima beans, meat, poultry (turkey in particular), tofu, eggs, and potatoes are carbohydrate sources. Foods like meat, poultry, fish, seafood, legumes or tofu, and energy-giving dense protein sources.
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The diet should include good fats such as those contained in flax seeds, sunflower seeds, avocado, walnuts, and almonds. While putting on weight as for losing weight, it is essential to eat small servings throughout the day at regular intervals. There should be an adequate intake of 8-10 glasses of water every day. Additional fluids may be taken in the form of creamed soups.
There are certain foods that assist in weight gain. Milk and Bananas work wonders in gaining weight. The regular diet should consist of full-fat dairy foods such as milk, fresh cream, yogurt, and cheese.
A cup of grated cottage cheese can be added to all items of food consumed to add proteins to the diet. Plain yogurt can be served sprinkled with nuts and honey. Omelets can be served sprinkled with cheese to add calories. To meet hunger pangs in between meals, baked potatoes can be served with butter and parsley. Rice puddings with added stewed or dried fruit are healthy nutrient-dense foods that also taste great. Coconut is also high in calories and can be included.
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Do’s and Don’ts while gaining weight
- The food intake should be stepped up gradually and not all at once. This eases pressure on the digestive system and gives it time to adjust to the additional intake. Make it a regular habit to eat healthy and tasty snacks like fruit chat, cheese sandwiches, and chicken mayonnaise.
- Often, the digestive system is unable to cope with the pressure and digestive upsets occur at the beginning of the calorie-rich diet. Ginger tea and lime juice are taken twice a day to help in the digestive process.
- There is a tendency for people trying to gain weight to binge on junk foods. While pizzas, burgers, and cheese dips may be indulged in once in a while, these foods are unhealthy at the core and contain empty calories.