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Struggling to gain weight, or maintain it?
For those who have a low BMI and need to put on weight, dietician Celeste Naude has this advice…
Are you one of those people that struggle to keep your weight up? Or you may recently have been ill or had surgery and find that your weight has dropped and you’d like to gain a few kilos. In such cases, getting your weight up and maintaining a healthy weight can be tough. You may be wondering how to do this and if it’s possible to get it right in a healthy way.
The answer is yes. To gain weight, you need to take in excess kilojoules. So you need to up your kilojoule intake, while at the same time making sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Feeding your body high-kilojoule foods that lack nutrients and contain unhealthy fats and loads of salt can lead to other problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. So, this is not the way to go.
Follow these simple tips on eating patterns and food choices. Also, give it time – your body may take a little while to respond, especially if you’ve been ill.
How to gain weight the healthy way
– Eat often. Instead of three meals a day, it may help to eat four to five medium-sized meals.
– Eat when you are most hungry.
– Don’t drink lots of fluids at once; it may fill you up decreasing the amount you can eat. Rather sip your fluids slowly throughout the day.
– Have healthy snacks on hand, like dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
– When your appetite is low, try eating what you feel like most instead of not eating at all.
– If it’s easier to drink than eat, make smoothies with fresh fruit, yoghurt, milk or 100 percent fruit juice.
– Drink 100 percent fruit juice and milk. You can also drink more hot beverages, like hot chocolate by mixing whole milk, a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of sugar.
– Try to get more energy without bulking up your meal with extra large portions that may put you off. For example, spread an extra thick layer of avocado or peanut on your bread. Or add extra olives and nuts to your salad.
– Add sliced banana or dried fruit to your breakfast cereal.
You need you eat more kilojoules than your body needs. But it’s still important to do so by opting for whole, minimally processed foods that are naturally high in kilojoules. Avoid trying to gain weight by overdoing the highly processed, high-energy, nutrient-poor foods like chips, biscuits, pastries and sweets.