Here, Gillian Killiner, Director And Principal Dietitian At 121 Dietitian discusses common reasons why people lose weight and shares her top tips for gaining weight.
I am 22 years in the health business and the most popular misconception I face is that all I do is advise people on weight loss!
This couldn’t be further from the truth. My unique role as a Dietitian is first and foremost about increasing nutrients and ensuring health is optimal from top-to-toe. This involves fixing; cellular function, gut health, mental health, checking genetics, bloods etc.
One area that gets very little press however is how to gain weight.
There are lots of reasons why people lose weight such as a poor appetite, nausea, difficulty eating, eating disorders, surgery, illness or a traumatic event. Extra good quality nutrition and extra energy are important to help gain weight along with addressing lifestyle issues that may be connected.
It may seem wrong but it is important to eat healthy choices when needing to gain weight as processed high sugar poor quality foods affect health negatively. When gaining weight it is essential to add muscle and replenish healthy levels of fat around the body, while not gaining unhealthy fat around the abdomen and organs.
My top seven tips for gaining weight are as follows:
- If appetite is small have small, frequent meals and snacks during the day. Try to eat or drink something every few hours. Three meals and three snacks is a good pattern to follow.
- Add small amounts of olive oil/cream/cheese to your food. This is an easy way to increase the energy in your diet while volumes do not increase by much.
- Choose high energy from protein foods at both meals and snacks.
- Make every mouthful count! Don’t fill up on low energy foods like water, tea, coffee, ‘diet’ food and drinks or plain fruits and vegetables. Follow the ideas below to increase the energy and protein content of some common low energy foods.
- Choose full cream dairy products and use high energy milk. To make high energy milk, add one–two tbsp skim milk powder to every 250mls of full cream milk.
- If nausea is a problem:
- Cold foods and drinks may be better than hot as hot foods often have a stronger smell.
- Avoid eating late at night if nausea is notable in the morning.
- Don’t let your stomach get too full or empty as this will increase nausea.
- Eat and drink slowly– If the smell of cooked foods puts you off try to avoid kitchen smells until you are feeling better.
7. Avoid taking a large amount of fluid when eating a meal and snack. Drinking 20 minutes after is better.
8. Ask someone else to assist you where possible so you are not wasting the energy and weight you are trying to build.
Adding high energy and protein foods (such as cream, cheese and margarine) to your meals really does make a big difference! The examples below show just how many calories/ kilojoules (KJ) you can add to a typical meal. This is an easy way to increase energy without having to eat lots of extra food!
Whether you need help with weight loss, weight gain or understanding your dietary needs, get in touch with Gillian today.
If you are unsure of how to change your eating habits, or need help optimising the foods you eat please do contact us. We would love to help you or your family and friends with any nutrition related queries big or small.
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