It's often said that people with a fast metabolism have nothing to complain about. For those who do have problems gaining weight however, it can be just as frustrating as trying to lose it. Having a high metabolism and being underweight also put you at higher risk for some conditions. These include disruption of your menstrual cycle and slower healing from illness. Fortunately, there are ways you can increase both the nutritional and caloric densities of the foods you eat to gain weight. See your doctor before attempting to treat any condition by yourself.
Schedule to undergo a complete medical checkup, including blood work, to rule out underlying illnesses that can cause you to not gain weight. Possible illnesses that can keep you from gaining weight include an overactive thyroid, cancer and malnutrition. Certain medications can also cause you to have problems gaining weight. If medication is the cause, your doctor can suggest alternatives that may not have the same effect.
Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, rather than three large ones. This makes it easier for you to gain weight. Eating smaller portions allows your body time to digest the food completely, so you get the most nutrition and calories from it. Eating larger meals can lead to food passing through your system without being fully digested. Carry snacks with you to make sure you're able to eat often, providing a continuous flow of calories.
Increase the amount of high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods you eat. These foods, which include nuts, seeds, nut butters, breads, pastas, rice and low-fat dairy products, can provide generous amounts of calories, fiber and other important nutrients. Steer clear of highly processed foods that may have a lot of calories but little nutrition, because you could increase your risk of chronic illnesses, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Avoid calorie-dense but nutrient-sparse beverages, such as soft drinks. Like highly processed foods, these won't help you gain weight and may actually make it difficult to consume enough calories because fluids are filling. Instead, purchase or make healthy smoothies using yogurt, fruit, juice, milk and 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil. These can be consumed in lieu of a snack, especially if you don't have time to grab something healthy on the run. Milkshakes made with frozen yogurt, honey and fruit can also provide increased calories as well as nutrition.
Increase your daily caloric intake by drinking nutritional protein shakes in the morning and evening. To gain weight, you should add 300 to 500 calories to your day. High-calorie protein shakes that can be found at your local natural foods store usually come in powder form and can be mixed with milk, soy milk or juice. These drinks are used by athletes including bodybuilders to build healthy muscle and provide the body with enough calories to meet the increased demands.
- Speak with your doctor before attempting to treat your condition. You may have an underlying medical condition that is causing your inability to gain weight.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.