In Summary
  • Eating a lot does not necessary equate to weight gain.
  • There are several factors that could be genetic, biological, metabolic rate, exercise rate and the quality of food you eat.

A promised, I have been doing a little research and consulting with different nutritionists on the issue of healthy weight-gain.

Navigating through this unfamiliar territory has been a wonderful experience. I have learnt that healthy living is a lifestyle and not simply a quick fix to fitness.

One of the nutritionists I consulted was Nduta Wambura. She is a Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate and offers health solutions through her platform www.ask-thenutritionist.com.

I asked most of the questions you ask me on weight gain and here were some of the answers I got.

I eat a lot and I eat almost everything, why am I unable to gain weight?

Eating a lot does not necessary equate to weight gain. There are several factors that could be genetic, biological, metabolic rate, exercise rate and the quality of food you eat. Genetic factors are hereditary from the family lineage and are difficult to reverse.

Biological factors include hormonal imbalance, stress levels, medications et cetera. These can be easily modified.

Nduta Wambura is a Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate and offers health solutions through her platform. PHOTO| COURTESY

Nduta Wambura is a Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate and offers health solutions through her platform. PHOTO| COURTESY

An all-time high metabolic rate could be contributing to inability to gain weight. Weight gain could also be barred by the level of exercise.

An incorporation of an increase in food portions along with regular exercise has been proven to yield positive results as opposed to sedentary ‘eating almost everything’.

What type of food should I eat in order to gain weight and stay healthy?

Nutrient dense foods are the way to go! Always choose from a variety of whole grain carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins, while increasing your portions. Ensure that you stay within the healthy choices while carefully increasing the portions depending on your body composition.

How frequently should I have my meals?

I would recommend having at least 5 to 6 smaller meals within the day as opposed to 2 or 3 large meals that compensate for all the calories at one go. This keeps your metabolic system busy and allows you to store more of the energy as fat in the body.

Are there certain foods I should avoid while trying to gain weight and be healthy?

Avoid fast foods and other over processed sources of food as they are potential culprits of ‘quick weight gain scheme’. You can occasionally treat yourself on a ‘cheat day’ to achieve a balance. However, ensure you are not packing up on foods high in processed sugars, proteins and fats.

Should I do exercise work-outs while trying to gain weight or will that undermine my weight-gain efforts?

It is vital to always include exercise whether you are on a weight gain or loss mission. The WHO recommends at least 30 minutes per day of your preferred exercise regime.

While trying to gain weight, exercise allows a person to balance the metabolism as well as the energy needs that your body requires for it to remain healthy.

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