If you need to gain weight then you are in a very fortunate elite of women who must have fast enough a metabolism to find putting on weight hard. It is a fortunate elite because 90% of the rest of womankind is likely to have the exact opposite problem and find that they put on weight too easily, thus finding they have to work incredibly hard to then burn it off again.
However that does not mean that being too thin is any joke – and if you are after those curvaceous hips or larger breasts, it can be a downright pain not to be able to gain weight in the places that you want it. Meanwhile if you can not put on any weight it can actually be quite dangerous and being underweight can pose various health risks that are no laughing matter (no matter how well you fit into your dress). So with so much information out there aimed at losing weight, how do you go about doing the opposite to everyone else and actually gaining some?
Well the science is easy – that is that our body stores left over fats and carbohydrates as fat cells that reside just under our skin. The part of our body that has the most of these fat cells is entirely genetic and will occur in a sequence so that some people will find that the weight goes to their buttocks while others will find it goes straight to their stomach and this can not be changed (sorry). The reason for this is that it then provides a kind of back up energy store for the body which breaks down glucose into glycogen and then ATP (andenosine triphosphate) for energy. When you exercise then, or perform any kind of physical movement (whether or not this is technically ‘exercise’ as such) the body then looks for ATP stores in the body (in the muscles, the blood stream, the liver etc) and if it can not find any it then ‘burns’ those fat cells in order to find more energy and this results in your becoming slimmer.
In other words then, the amount of weight you either put on or lose in a day will depend on the amount of food you eat and the amount of exercise you do. Calories gained minus calories lost essentially. Gaining weight then is a simple matter of using fewer calories than you put on and that means eating.
The correct type of food to eat though is carbs. While fat will store as fat the fastest (as it has already been stored in the correct format by the body of the animal you are consuming), this is particularly unhealthy in large quantities and will lead to an increase in cholesterol and generally clog your arteries and cause difficulties with your circulatory system (i.e. heart and arteries) such as arterial plaque, heart disease and angina (chest pain). That is not to say however that you should avoid fat entirely as it also performs a lot of important roles in the body – just that you should not increase the amount in your diet as a way to gain weight.
Similarly consuming more protein will not really help you to gain weight, as this will be used by your body to build muscle and fix tendons and skin and heal wounds. Generally it is used as a building block for the body rather than as an energy supply and only under unusual circumstances is it converted to fat (and converting protein to fat uses up so much energy as to leave little remaining for storing anyway).
Thus it is important to eat carbohydrates which store glucose for use by the body. This means breads, rice, potato, sugar, cake, chocolate, pasta etc etc. This sounds like the best homework ever for someone gaining weight, but unfortunately it is not that easy. While foods such as cake and chocolate are carbs, they are also ‘simple carbs’ which makes them unsafe for consuming in large quantities. This is because the glucose is too readily available for the body, meaning it will leave more glucose in the blood which can cause other problems as seen in diabetic patients.
It is complex carbs that should be consumed then which is really any carb that is not sweet. That means bread, potato, pasta, rice etc, and because this is harder for the body to store as fat this means you will have to eat it in greater quantities in order for it to put on significant weight.
So in order to gain a lot of weight you need to increase your in take of complex carbs, while doing less activity where possible. You will then need toning in order to prevent it from being ‘flabby’ and make sure you are putting on the right kind of weight.