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Trying to gain weight can sometimes be as challenging as trying to lose weight for some individuals. Sickness, poor nutrition, or certain medical conditions can cause a person to be underweight, health experts explained to Fox News. In certain cases, this can be a cause for concern. It is important to discuss weight loss with your physician to rule out any underlying health issues, experts told Fox News and suggested an individual seek advice from a registered dietitian to discuss a healthy diet and proper daily calorie intake.
“Having healthy fats are an easy way to get the biggest bang for your buck when trying to gain weight, so incorporating seeds, avocados, nuts is a great way,” Dr. Deborah Salvatore, who is the Director of Graduate Nutrition Programs at Long Island University in Brookville, New York, told Fox News. Salvatore, who is a registered dietician added, “A good sweet treat you can add is unsweetened dried fruits which is a good source of calories and fiber.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some healthy ways to gain weight. Experts on the health system’s website offer these tips:
- Eat more often. According to experts on the Mayo Clinic’s website, you may feel full faster when you are underweight. They recommend replacing the “three meals a day” schedule with one that includes five to six smaller meals throughout the day.
- “Shake it up.” Put down that soda and pick up a shake or smoothie. Diet sodas and coffee have fewer calories and less nutritional value than a smoothy made with fruits, nuts and milk, according to registered dietitians. Adding a liquid meal replacement may also be recommended in some cases to add extra calories.
- Be strategic when drinking fluids. According to the Mayo Clinic report, drinking fluids before meals may decrease one’s appetite. If that is the case, health experts recommended sipping higher calorie beverages with the meal or drink 30 minutes after a meal instead of with it.
- “Add ons.” For more calories, add some toppings to your dishes, such as cheese and fat-free dried milk in meals like soups and stews, the Mayo Clinic suggested.
- Exercise. Physical therapists told Fox News that performing strength training exercises three times a week can help build muscle, which in turn, helps one gain weight. The PT’s also cautioned that it is also important to consume enough calories since exercising burns calories, which can lead to weight loss.
Health experts told Fox News it is ok to indulge in a treat like a favorite ice cream dish or cookie, but be mindful of consuming excess sugar and fats. Health experts said when looking for a treat, try to choose one that provides nutrients and is considered healthy while providing those needed calories to gain weight. They suggested snacks like peanut butter, cheese, nuts, and avocados.
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According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it is important to avoid gimmicks and supplements.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it may not work. Skip expensive supplements and save your money for delicious nutrient-rich foods,” the organization stated on its website.
Health experts also told Fox News to be sure to follow an overall healthy diet that includes choosing nutrient-rich foods such as lean protein sources, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals, and dairy products.
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Lastly, it is also important to calculate an individual’s daily calorie intake and compare it to the amount of calories one burns throughout the day. If there is a deficit, the individual will lose weight, and if there is a surplus, then one will see a gain in weight, experts told Fox News.
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In today’s technological times, many apps are available on one’s phone to keep a tally of calorie intake throughout the day, nutritionists told Fox News.