A weight gain diet may sound ludicrous for many but for some people the struggle to maintain a healthy weight is a real issue. For those looking to gain weight finding the right healthy and balanced diet can be difficult especially if lack of appetite is an issue.
There are often various reasons for needing to gain weight including medical issues, lack of appetite, endurance sports, muscle mass building or just trying to overcome skinny genes.
Having too low body weight can cause a number of
physiological problems including muscle atrophy, weakened immunity, organ damage, loss of menstruation in women and bone density
loss. Overcoming such problems is best done in coordination with a healthcare
professional and with the use of natural whole foods.
To gain weight naturally and healthily, muscle mass must be increased gradually along with a healthy proportion of body fat. This is best achieved by increasing the nutrient and calorie density of tolerated foods. You need to supply your body with all the essential nutrients it needs for muscle growth and maintenance, rather than nutrient empty calories such as those found in heavily processed foods.
This means high-protein foods, healthy fats and slow
releasing complex carbohydrates sourced from wholefoods should be gradually
increased. Increasing the amount of ‘junk’ or processed carbohydrates and fats
in the diet will result in weight gain but often this is simply unhealthy body
fat which can lead to other medical issues.
Healthy protein choices to include:
· oily fish such as salmon and sardines
· chicken and red meat with a moderate amount of fat
· whole dairy foods including butter, cream and cheese
· and nuts and seeds
target complex carbohydrates rather than
simple or high GI products
Such low GI foods include:
· wholegrain breads, pasta, oats and rice
· starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn)
Low GI complex carbohydrates will help promote healthy
weight gain, without disrupting your blood sugar levels.
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Increasing healthy unsaturated fats in the diet can also be incredibly beneficial. By replacing saturated and trans-fats you also lower the risk of developing some chronic diseases. This can be achieved by using more cold pressed oils including olive, macadamia, walnut and chia.
Fatty fish and avocado are typical sources of healthy fats. Nuts and seed pastes too are also incredibly calorie dense while providing many essential vitamins and minerals. Natural peanut or cashew butter is a great option to add to many snacks and dishes such as satays. The good news is, if you are trying to gain weight this is the ideal time to experiment with foods to find what appeals best.
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