Not everyone wants to lose weight. If you’re one of those people battling to maintain a healthy weight, you’re nodding as you read this. Whether it’s due to health challenges, or because of your genes – if you need to pick up weight, here is the healthy way to do it.
How can I gain weight in a healthy way?
The basic principle of weight gain is quite simple: you need to consume more calories than you burn. This doesn’t mean you should just eat junk food every day, though! Rather, you need to make smart, healthy food choices.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Eat more calories (but don’t go wild!)
The normal daily calorie intake for an average male who is moderately active is 2200 – 2500; for a female, it’s about 1900. If you’re aiming to gain around 0.5 – 1kg a week, then you need to eat around 1000 extra calories a day.
2. Eat bigger portions at meal times
Your daily calorie requirement will differ depending on your height, current weight, how active you are and your metabolism. Again, without overdoing it, make a point of eating bigger portions at normal meal times.
3. Make smart food choices
- Eat more lean protein (it helps build new muscle)
- Choose full fat dairy products, fish and meat
- Include eggs, legumes and pulses such as beans and lentils (they’re also high in protein) in soups, stews and casseroles
- Also include high starch food including rice, potatoes and maize in your daily meals
Aim for quality high-kilojoule snacks such as biltong, muffins, dried fruit and yoghurt, but avoid junk food.
HIV – how to combat weight-loss
HIV weight loss is often due to infection or loss of appetite as a result of ARV treatment. The BRAT diet helps if you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting as a result of medication. BRAT is bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. These foods provide the nutrients you need to stay strong, and they’re gentle on the stomach. If you’re HIV+, it’s important to monitor your weight closely, and make an appointment with your GP if you suddenly lose a lot of weight.