Losing weight seems to be a worldwide trend. However, we need to take a look at the other end of the scale. There are some individuals who are desperately trying to gain weight. These may be young adults who want to be buff, or athletes that need to gain more muscle mass. Others may be recuperating from an illness while a handful are those who are recipients of the gene for skinniness. I am particularly involved in finding a way to gain weight the healthy way because the hubby needs to regain the weight he lost over the past months.
I have done my research and read lots of articles about how to gain weight safely and effectively. Out of all the articles I read, there is one common advice - INCREASE YOUR CALORIE INTAKE.
Increasing the daily calorie intake entails choosing and eating the right foods, not those that are high in calories but provide zero nutrition (i.e. sugary snacks). In weight management, the diet for gaining or losing weight are basically the same. We should consume portions from all the food groups, only in different proportions - more of it if we want to gain and less if we want to lose weight.
Here are some tips I have collected that would help provide healthy weight gain:
- Start with hydration. 50-60% of the human body is composed of water. It is only logical that we drink up to keep our cells healthy and receptive to assimilate nutrients. Coconut water is a refreshing drink that contains more potassium than 4 bananas.
- Stimulate your appetite. A short walk before a meal can jump start our appetite. A light round of exercise or any activity that would make us move around is encouraged. Exercise is also essential in weight gain.
- Get Meaty. Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs and Seafood are all allowed. Always ask for an extra serving. These would give our bodies amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
- Complex carbohydrates are your ally. Potatoes, legumes, whole wheat bread, corn, and yams are your new friends. These foods rates not only provide us energy, it also gives us good healthy fiber for easy digestion.
- Go nuts over nuts (and seeds). Devour nuts and seeds by the handful. It is a known fact that nuts and seeds contain protein, fiber, minerals and healthy fat (mono-and polyunsaturated fat). Make a habit out of snacking on peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazel nuts, cashew nuts, and coconuts. Oops, not the last one. Coconuts go into a different category.
- Daily Dairy. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are tops in providing protein and calcium. So raise your glass and drink up. Word of caution to those who are lactose intolerant: Read the label and make sure you are getting the lactose-free kind.
- Have fun with colorful fruits and vegetables. Pack those vitamins and minerals by having dense fruits like apples and pears. Have your fill of veggies. If vegetables are not your thing, make yourself a fruit and vegetable smoothie and enjoy. Mix and match different fruits and veggies to suit your taste.
- Choose your oils. Olive, Palm, Canola and soybean oil are rich in Vitamin A and are classified as "healthy oils," because they are unsaturated fats and do not cause an increase in the blood cholesterol levels. Use liberally on salads and for preparing food. Avocados also contain a lot of healthy oil so start making a large batch of guacamole!
- Snack Attack. There are numerous ways to prepare high calorie healthy snacks. A bagel smothered with peanut butter and washed down with a fruit smoothie is relatively easy to make.
Now that I have mapped out a plan to put the hubby on the path of regaining strength and body weight, I would be happy to see him gain a pound a week.
Do you have any high protein or high calorie nutritious recipes to share? Please do. It would be much appreciated.