When we hear the word diet and think about the figure of the dietitian – nutritionist, the idea of losing weight usually comes to mind. It is true that most people who come to our nutrition center do so looking for a diet of weight loss . However, there are also many who come to solve a health problem or to gain weight .
It may seem that gaining weight is a simple matter, usually think so those people who tend to gain weight when they do not follow a balanced diet or commit some excess. Nothing more far from reality. In fact, the difficulty of a diet to gain weight is greater than that of a diet to lose weight.
HOW TO KNOW IF I AM UNDERWEIGHT?
To evaluate the weight of the person, it is done in the same way as when there is overweight. First, the BMI or body mass index gives us a first reference. It is considered low weight, when it is below 18.5.
BMI = Weight / size squared.
Second, we value the person’s % body fat and muscle mass level , to see if it is within healthy parameters.
Third, and not least, we are also guided by each person’s perception of themselves. We must remember that within a healthy weight, there is a margin in which we can move so that the person feels comfortable with their body.
HOW SHOULD A DIET TO GAIN WEIGHT BE?
A diet designed to gain weight should be hypercaloric , that is, a calorie intake should be prescribed in excess of the person’s caloric expenditure.
One of the main problems of people who want to gain kilos on their own, is that they do it by eating incorrectly, for example, choosing very caloric foods such as fried foods or sugary products. In our nutrition center, we always face these dietary guidelines from a healthy point of view and through balanced diets.
supplementation to gain weightRECOMMENDED FOODS TO INCORPORATE TO INCREASE WEIGHT?
As always, we must adapt the diet to each person according to their tastes, energy expenditure and specific situations of their health.
Some of the foods that I generally recommend are:
Extra virgin olive oil
Refined cereals (Bread, pasta, rice)
NUMBER OF MEALS PER DAY?
A common characteristic among people who are underweight, is that they are usually satiated easily and have a rapid metabolism that burns more calories than usual. The best way to deal with these situations is to regulate small intakes little spaced in time. I would recommend a minimum of 6 meals a day .
EXAMPLE OF HYPERCALORIC DIET
Breakfast (7:00 h) : 1 Glass of whole milk, 60 gr of muesli and a toast of bread (60g.) With fresh cheese and avocado.
Breakfast II (10: 00h) : 2 tangerines and a sandwich (120 g of bread) of Iberian ham.
Mid morning (12: 00h) : 30 g. of nuts and a banana
Lunch (14: 00h): Spaghetti with vegetables, grilled beef steak with eggplant, pepper and potato roasted in the oven. Natural yogurt
Snack (5:00 p.m.): Natural orange juice, sandwich (120g. Of bread) of natural tuna
Dinner (8:00 pm) : Lentil salad with boiled egg and smoked salmon. Natural yogurt
Recena (22.00h) : 2 biscuits of bread with jamó york, glass of whole milk with cinnamon.
CHANGING HABITS TO GAIN MUSCLE MASS
We must bear in mind that often the objective is not only to gain a certain number of kilos, but also, it is also intended to improve muscle toning . For this, the caloric intake must be accompanied by physical exercise and adequate training.
When a hypercaloric diet is performed, so that the weight that rises is muscle and not fat, it is necessary to perform the appropriate exercises. You can raise muscle mass by doing only sport without diet but not only by diet without sports.
Often people wonder if it is necessary to take shakes or supplements to gain weight . It is not essential to resort to supplementation to increase volume, however, in cases where you want to gain muscle mass, looking for example a post-exercise recovery drink, can be a great help. The dietitian – nutritionist , will always be the right person to advise on what products are appropriate in each case and can work better.