So you want to gain weight?

For some people, being underweight is just as problematic as being overweight.

When people talk about having weight problems, we almost always assume they're talking about being overweight; we forget that there are some people who actually have difficulty putting weight on. Theirs is a problem with two downsides: not only the problem itself, but the fact that most people refuse to recognise it. If you're fed up with people telling you to stop moaning and think yourself lucky that you're naturally skinny, try some of our recommendations:

  • Try eating six meals a day of calorie-rich foods. But make sure the fat calories come from high-quality fats such as olive oil, not from junk foods.
  • Like any weight-control program, gaining weight can be a slow process. It may be months before you see results, so get ready for the long haul and stick with it.
  • In times of stress there's a tendency to lose weight, so try and adopt a relaxed lifestyle. You may find herbal teas such as linden flower or valerian help calm your nerves.
  • Toning exercise is important in order to gain muscle. Go for an hour of resistance training three times a week, exercising with weights and other equipment, and with the body itself. Three times a week is enough: a 24-hour rest between sessions will help build muscle.
  • A twenty-minute rest after meals will help your body digest and absorb the food better.
  • Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so there's yet one more reason to give up smoking.
  • Make sure your daily intake is at least 2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight.
  • Dried fruits - nuts, raisins, dates and figs - are excellent sources calories with a high nutritional value. Industrial pastries, poor-quality hamburgers, sugary soft drinks, sweets and alcohol are all high-calorie foods, too, but they aren't recommended.
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