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Eating for Weight Gain
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For some women, the goal in weight management is putting on pounds. If you feel that you are “too skinny,” or if your healthcare provider tells you that you’re severely underweight, you might need to focus your diet on gaining weight. Putting on weight is difficult to do right—it’s still important to keep a healthy, balanced diet and to avoid overloading on fats and cholesterol, which can be bad for your health and increase your risk for diseases. For some women, the idea of putting on weight may be difficult to get used to—especially women who are underweight due to an eating disorder. Your healthcare provider should guide you through a weight gain-focused nutrition program to ensure that you remain healthy.

If you want to eat to gain weight, the first thing you’ll need to remember is to eat more. The very next thing to remember is to eat a balanced diet. That means getting enough food from each of the major groups—whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and a little bit from fats and oils. Unlike women eating to lose weight, or even women eating to maintain weight, if you want to gain weight, you should include fats in your diet. Be sure not to let your fat intake get out of hand, and eat the good fats you get from nuts, avocados and olive oils. Include snacks between all three meals in order to gain weight. By weightlifting and concentrating on working out your muscles as part of your exercise routine, you’ll help gain muscle mass, which is healthier than fat mass. Make sure you work out all of your major muscle groups, including the upper and lower body. Weight training is also a great way to help prevent osteoporosis later on in your life.

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