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The human body can change to a limited extent through weight training and increased food intake. Gaining or regaining weight can be just as difficult as losing weight. When done in a smart, healthful way, many of the same basic principles apply to both gaining and losing weight.
It is important to consult with your doctor to make sure that your weight-gaining tactics are healthy and appropriate for you. Please note that some people are too thin because of a disability, eating disorder, substance abuse, or serious medical condition — these conditions are not addressed in this fact sheet. Being underweight usually occurs when energy kilojoule intake is less than the energy used. In other words, you need to eat more in order to gain weight. The secret to healthy weight gain is to make all your kilojoules as nutrient-rich as possible. Consuming more empty-calorie foods like soft drinks and chips is not a successful way to build muscle, strengthen bones or repair tissue after surgery.
Suggestions include:. Resistance training promotes muscle growth. Examples of resistance training include the use of free weights, weight machines, your own body weight or resistance bands. This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. Engaging in an individual physical activity to benefit only yourself, away from family or community, may be seen as inappropriate or selfish.
Aerobics injuries are usually caused by trauma and overuse, but can be prevented by using the right techniques and equipment. Exercise can reduce some of the symptoms of arthritis, and improve t mobility and strength. Exercise-induced asthma can be prevented with medication and by preparing for exercise and physical activity.
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Weight management. Home Weight management. Weight and muscle gain. Actions for this Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this . Reasons for lack of weight gain Consult with your doctor before trying to gain weight Eat more for weight gain — quality first, quantity second Resistance training for muscle gain Lifestyle adjustments for weight gain Track your weight gain progress Where to get help Things to remember.
Reasons for lack of weight gain Some common reasons why a person may find it hard to gain weight include: genetics not eating enough having a very physically active lifestyle or job overexercising Please note that some people are too thin because of a disability, eating disorder, substance abuse, or serious medical condition — these conditions are not addressed in this fact sheet. Consult with your doctor before trying to gain weight Always see your doctor before you start any weight-gain program. Your doctor can: give you a check-up to rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition that may be causing your thinness, such as hyperthyroidism suggest an appropriate weight goal for your height and build assess your diet and physical activity levels advise on diet, exercise and lifestyle changes that will encourage weight gain refer you to other specialists, such as a dietitian, if necessary.
Eat more for weight gain — quality first, quantity second Being underweight usually occurs when energy kilojoule intake is less than the energy used. Suggestions include: Use a kilojoule-counter book to calculate how many kilojoules you eat on an average day. The amount may be smaller than you think. Eat three good meals every day. Give yourself slightly larger serves if you can. If you have a small appetite, eat five to six times a day. Drink fluids before and after meals, but not with them.
This helps leave more room for food. Successful weight gain requires that you increase your daily intake of carbohydrates. Avoid low carbohydrate diets. Avoid high-protein diets. A healthy snack may include fruit, yoghurt, muffin, rice pudding, low-fat custard, milkshake or liquid meal supplement. Avoid high-fat junk foods. Instead, choose nutritious high-fat foods such as avocado or nuts.
Top your usual foods with some concentrated calories, like grated cheese. Spread peanut or almond butter on a wholegrain muffin. Prepare hot oatmeal or other cereal with milk, not water. Add powdered milk, honey, dried fruits or nuts after cooking.
Garnish sal with healthy oils such as olive oil, whole olives, avocados, nuts and sunflower seeds. Pump up soups, casseroles, mashed potatoes and liquid milk with one to two tablespoons of dry milk powder. Resistance training for muscle gain Resistance training promotes muscle growth. Suggestions include: Train just two or three times per week to give your muscles time to recover. Choose compound exercises that work multiple major muscle groups, for example, the squat and bench press.
Make your workouts short and intense rather than long and leisurely. These claims are not scientifically proven. Seek professional advice. A gym instructor, personal trainer, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist will help make sure you are doing each exercise correctly.
Good advice will increase your gains and reduce your risk of injury. Lifestyle adjustments for weight gain Suggestions include: Be prepared to eat when you are not hungry. Use a timer to remind yourself to eat every two hours. Try to make your additional eating sessions as appealing as possible. For example, stock the fridge and cupboard with snack foods you love. Eat small serves of protein foods before and after each resistance training session to help promote muscle growth. Accept that an increase in food intake may cause bloating or gas.
Be prepared to gain some fat as well. Track your weight gain progress Tracking your progress helps to boost motivation. Suggestions include: Keep a diary to monitor your kilojoule intake and training schedule. Be consistent. Weight gain requires that you increase your daily food intake every day. It may help to write up meal plans. Make sure your goals are realistic. For example, an increase of a few kilos may take a year to achieve.
See your doctor regularly to assess your progress. See your doctor before starting any weight-gain program. To gain weight, you must eat more and stimulate muscle growth. Increasing muscle mass , Sports Dietitians Australia. Healthy weight gain, , American Dietetic Association. Give feedback about this .
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