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Home > Condition & Ailment Index > 

Skinny / Need to Gain Weight / Underweight Symptoms, Information & Causes


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General Underweight Information
The information that follows is for men and women who remain underweight due to a genetic predisposition to a smaller body type and for those who wish to increase muscle mass. The information in this section is not intended for an underweight conditions that may be related to an eating disorder, smoking or a number of other potential ailments or conditions that may require medical attention, herbal treatments or lifestyle changes.

Individuals who find it difficult keeping weight on their bodies or adding pounds to an already thin physique can experience social and physiological difficulties. Many people naturally gain muscle or lose fat easier than others. For this reason, gaining weight is a very personal issue. Diet, exercise and metabolism play a large part in physical health and appearance, but some people are genetically programmed to be smaller than others. This means there is no definite answer for everyone when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle mass.

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Possible Causes of Underweight
People who are underweight can usually trace the problem to eating a low calorie diet, inadequate eating habits, poor nutrition, emotional factors, poor digestions, metabolic disturbances and some diseases. Genetics can also play a role in weight and body type.

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Possible Symptoms of Underweight
Diagnosing an individual as “underweight” can be tricky because acceptable weight is subjective. A weight that is okay to one person may not be pleasing to someone else with the same body type. A general rule of thumb is someone 10 percent to 20 percent below ideal body weight (as outlined by the Body Mass Index scale). People who are underweight also experience fatigue, coldness, low energy and listlessness.

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Possible Lifestyle Changes for Underweight
Gaining weight is most effective when high calorie foods are a part of the daily diet. High quality protein in the right combination with carbohydrates is an important part of a weight-gaining program. It is important to get 1 gram of protein or more for each pound of body weight eaten in combination with other high calorie foods in order to gain muscle mass. This is an overlooked area by many individuals who want to gain muscle mass.

Learn to measure and calculate daily food intake rather than guessing. In addition to eating more calories, increase intake to 6 meals per day by eating every three hours. This is where nutritional supplements are important as meal replacements. Supplements give underweight individuals the opportunity to gain weight by boosting and supplementing the diet while maintaining proper nutrition and weight training.

The most effective way for underweight individuals to build a large amount of muscle mass quickly is to focus on gaining the weight first, then go on a short-term fat loss diet to lower body fat levels if needed. Because gaining weight for Hardgainers is extremely difficult, the only way we will get bigger is to dramatically increase calorie intake, and train with progressively heavier weights.

Dramatically increasing calorie intake is an important factor in gaining mass. Gaining muscle without gaining some body fat, requires the precise intake of the appropriate calories while maintaining a consistent weight gaining weight lifting program. For the Hardgainer, it is very important to take in enough calories to gain weight, but not to many that there is a large increase in body fat, unless that is desired.

The appropriate type of weight training is the fastest way to build more muscle. Proper diet and weight training work together. Weight training combined with the correct food and supplements stimulates muscle growth. It is important to institute the proper weight training program and the proper intake of carbohydrates, amino acids, fats and proteins that allow the muscle tissue to expand.

High carbohydrate foods can help increase weight quickly. The foods below are good choices for anyone who burns calories quickly or who participates in an active exercise routine:
Bagels
Corn Bread
English Muffins
Ready-to-eat Cereal
Oatmeal
Rice
Breads
Pastas
Pretzels
Crackers
Blackeye Peas
Pinto Beans
Navy Beans
Refried Beans
Garbanzo Beans
Kidney Beans
Lima Beans
Potatoes
Corn
Milk
Puddings
Yogurt
Apples
Apple Juice
Applesauce
Bananas
Dried Fruits
Raisins
Orange Juice
Grape Juice
Grapes
Pears


Here are a few more eating strategies for underweight individuals who want to gain weight:

  • Eat high-calorie foods: Avoid choosing low-fat, reduced-fat or non-fat items. Choose a milkshake instead of nonfat milk and avocados instead of cucumbers. For health reasons, choose mostly vegetable fats (olive and vegetable oils, nuts) rather than animal fats (butter, cream). Eat plenty of nuts and healthy high-calorie snacks
  • Eat at least three healthy meals every day or more. Skipping meals robs the body of needed calories
  • Eat more food at each meal. Choose bigger portions, add extra filling to sandwiches and use bigger drinking glasses and bowls.
  • Eat snacks between meals. Carry healthy snacks (granola bars, crackers, and pretzels) to eat on the run.
  • Add sauces and gravies to food: Cheese sauces on cooked vegetables increase the calories and provide flavor.
  • Drink plenty of juices and milk throughout the day. This is a simple way to add calories. Adding powered milk or instant breakfast powder to milk contributes extra calories.
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    In accordance with FDA regulation, we do not make any therapeutic claims for any Dietary Supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

    Beneficial Dietary Supplements
    Creatine increases strength and muscle endurance.

    Multivitamin and Mineral Complex provides all necessary nutrients.

    Bromeline is an enzyme that supports the absorption of proteins.

    Amino Acids assist in converting proteins to muscle.

    Multi Minerals are an important part of a balanced diet to support the body.

    Vitamin B Complex, Fenugreek, Caraway, Lemon Balm and Yarrow are appetite stimulants.

    REFERENCES: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition, Phyllis Balch, CNC; James F. Balch, M.D.

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  • Underweight Supplements, Information & Products

    Buy supplements and products for those who are underweight, to encourage weight gain and increase muscle mass.



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