Being too thin can be a health risk, especially if underweight results from under eating. An eating pattern with too few calories may not supply enough nutrients to keep the body running normally. A lack of food energy may cause fatigue, irritability, and lack of concentration. And those with a poor diet may have trouble warding off infections.
When You Want to Gain:
The obvious approach for weight gain is this - Consume more energy than your body burns. For every pound of body weight you gain, you need to consume 3,500 calories more than your body burns. As with weight loss, do so in a healthful way.
Note: The suggestions indicated here are not meant for people with eating disorders, whose weight problems are complex and often life-threatening.
1. Follow Food Pyramid guidelines - and eat more food-group foods. To make your calories count for good nutrition, pick a plan with more calories than you eat now. You may have room for "extra" discretionary calories from foods with more fat or added sugars.
2. Even though higher-fat foods deliver more calories, be fat savvy. Keep your overall eating plan moderate in total fat and low in saturated fat and Trans fats. Choose healthy fat.
3. Choose some foods with concentrated calories. That way you won't need to increase the volume of food too much. Try dried fruits. Fortify soups, casseroles, and fluid milk with dry milk powder. Enjoy some higher-calorie condiments, such as a dollop of sour cream on a baked potato. Garnish salads with olives, avocados, nuts, and cheese, which have more calories.
4. Eat more frequently - five to six small meals a day - if your appetite is small. Eating two or three large meals during the day may be too much to handle at one time.
5. Drink fluids thirty minutes before and after meals - not with meals. By limiting beverages at mealtime, you'll have more room for food.
6. Focus on nutrient-rich foods and beverages. Don't fill up on low- and no-calorie foods or drinks, such as diet sodas or diet candies. Rather than coffee, teas, and water, drink juice, milk, and shakes.