Weighing In: How Do I Put On Weight?

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Question: I am trying to put on weight but am having trouble doing so, what foods should I be eating?

    Answer: For those of us who have to work hard to keep weight off, it’s hard to imagine that someone would actually want to put gain weight. But, like you, many people have to work very hard to keep their weight up and gaining a pound can be as difficult as losing one. Unfortunately, people are often insensitive to this plight.

    It is important to gain weight in a healthy way. While hitting fast food restaurants and doubling up on dessert may help you put on some pounds – you will be adding unhealthy fat mass. Try to eat regularly throughout the day, try to eat a meal every three hours for the entire duration that you are awake. Focus on lean meats like white meat poultry without the skin and fish. You should also have a whole grain carbohydrate like brown rice, oatmeal or sweet potatoes with every meal. And don’t forget the fruits and vegetables, while not calorie dense they provide much needed nutrients. Keep added sugars and saturated fats to a minimum to prevent unwanted fat mass. You want to add bulk up by adding lean body mass, not by increasing your body fat.
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    You should also consider starting a weight training program, to help increase your muscle mass. Most fitness centers offer a few free personal training sessions when you join so you can learn how to safely gain increase your muscle mass.

    I keep hearing you should drink pomegranate juice, what makes this type of juice better than others?

    Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, substances in food that can prevent damage to our cells and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In fact, pomegranate juice has higher levels of these disease fighting substances than other fruit juices, red wine or green tea.

    This tropical fruit has received a lot of attention since a 2004 study found that drinking a glass of its juice daily for a year improved health. The study specifically found that it reduced blood pressure and prevented the build up of plaque in the arteries.

    Further research has also found that eight ounces of pomegranate juice for three months improved the amount of oxygen that reached the heart in patients with coronary artery disease. It may also help erectile dysfunction.

    My 4 year old is a really picky eater and only wants to eat hotdogs and chicken nuggets, how can I encourage him to eat healthier foods?
    This is a common problem for many parents. In fact I get this question a lot from my friends. First, it’s important to consider how your child feels. If you’ve traveled abroad, try to remember how you felt looking over the menu items in some of the restaurants. While white meat chicken breast might not seem as daring to you as trying rabbit meat or turtle soup, to your little one it is. Adults and children alike are comfortable with things that are familiar. Keep reintroducing the same food items to your child, eventually he will stop refusing and start digging in. Let him see you eating the new food items, he may be more comfortable trying them if he sees you eating and enjoying them.

  • If you’re having trouble getting your child to eat his fruits and vegetables try to introduce them as a snack item. When your child is watching TV or playing quietly leave a plate of cut up fruit or vegetables on the table next to him. Instead of making a grand announcement that this is his snack today, simply set the plate down, pick up a slice and eat it as you are walking away. This subtle technique encourages your child to try this new healthy snack. It’s also a great way to introduce new kinds of fruits and vegetables.
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Published On: November 06, 2006