While most of us battle with the problem of keeping weight in check, there are a lucky few who are at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. From where they stand and view the issue, they probably aren’t all that lucky but recently, when I met this girl who was willing to seek professional help to gain weight, I couldn’t suppress the chuckle and thought – wow, I sure would like to exchange places with you.
Well, different strokes for different folks, I’d say. Although we all crave to be thin, it can be a physical as well as a social problem for those who are on the extreme end of it. From taunts and jibes to grappling with stamina, the cons of being underweight outweigh the pros, if any. Ultimately, it is balance we should crave for.
If you have ever faced trouble gaining weight or your teenage daughter/son needs a little more meat over the bones, here’s what you can do:
The first step is to go for complete health assessment. This is to rule out any medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, malabsorption syndrome etc that could be interfering with your attempts to gain weight. If such medical conditions are ruled out, one then needs to seek the help of a dietician to chart out a balanced diet plan, keeping in mind one’s age, height, medical history etc.
To put on weight, eat lots. Seems like the best and most reasonable solution? Unfortunately, it isn’t. It is, in fact, the biggest myth surrounding weight gain. The focus should not be on eating more but on eating right and at the right time.
For successful weight gain, you appetite needs to be built. However, it won’t happen overnight. Focus on building it gradually by introducing new elements that the dietician has suggested. Do not plan to introduce a range of new items to your diet in one go, take one or two things at a time.
As far as exercising is concerned, do not get into anything heavy as at the moment, calorie conserving should be your primary goal. A little walking or cycling or any other very light exercise of your choice is beneficial as it helps to build your appetite. Anything else in unnecessary at this stage, until you reach a BMI in the range of 20-23 when anaerobic exercises likes weight training can be included to give definition to the muscles.
Lastly, considering dietary supplements? Don’t. Not only are they ineffective, they are expensive too.