Berkeley Wellness Alerts
August 31, 2012 | Comments: 0
Puttin' on the Pounds
If you're skinny, you might be the envy of many other women. But gaining weight can often be just as challenging as losing weight.
Just as some people are prone to be plump, others are slated to be skinny--and there may be limits to how much they can gain.
You need, on average, 500 extra calories a day to gain one pound a week. Certainly, you can gain weight by overeating cheeseburgers, fries, bacon, cake, and ice cream, but this is likely to cause a rise in blood cholesterol and have other adverse effects.
Instead, here are five things to do to gain weight in a healthy way (if you have lost weight for unknown reasons, see your doctor first to make sure there is no underlying medical cause):
- Eat calorie-dense foods rich in healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish.
- Eat higher-calorie versions of healthy foods, such as dense cereals instead of flake cereals, starchy vegetables (like corn, peas, potatoes, and winter squash) instead of watery vegetables (like lettuce and zucchini), and tuna packed in oil rather than water. Drink low-fat milk instead of nonfat milk or water.
- Eat more at each setting, such as a bowl of soup instead of a cup or an extra half sandwich.
- Eat consistently. Aim for three or four meals plus one or two snacks a day. And eat balanced meals--avoid fad diets that push for extra protein or pitch protein supplements.
- Do some strength training so that a greater portion of the weight you gain will be muscle, not fat.
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