Gaining weight for a brighter future

Sadly the phrase "gaining weight" has negative connotations and in society "gaining weight" is often portrayed to be a bad thing… 


Think again world! Because for a large number of people gaining weight is essential for becoming a healthy human again. Sometimes we loose weight due to things such as, surgery, a digestive problem, stress, physical illness a mental illness, or eating disorder. In cases like these it is incredibly necessary to regain lost weight. So that we can reach our optimal health - physically and mentally.


When I was gaining weight to restore my body to a healthy weight again, I found it helpful to view my weight gain as a positive experience. I also stopped calling it "weight gain" for a while and instead I would explain it as "muscle gain, health growth, or even “life gaining”.


After all the goal is to get back to a healthy weight. The aim is to gain weight while optimising health. 


Imagine this process of weight restoration as a beautiful journey. You are growing with strength, health and beauty. Stop, and think positively. You are finally thriving. You are glowing with human health. Radiant with nourishing food and needed rest. 


Now for the rough and tough bit! A lot of people don't actually understand how hard it is for your body to actually gain weight. It sounds daft but it takes a lot! I know this, because I have been there! I have sat all day long eating and sleeping and still my body somehow managed to use up every single last drop of energy to create my new healthy self. Your body needs a lot more than you think when your gain weight because it hasn't only got to keep you alive and breathing still, but now it has to multi task and repair your body with any spare nutrients at the same time! 


I have a few tips that I found really helped me. Although I encourage you not to follow this strictly, everyone is different. You may find only a couple of these may help. Everyone's mind is unique and everyone's body is too. Which is so wonderful but also challenging as you must act responsibly. In order for you to become stronger as a person you must discover for yourself about finding what really works for you. 


So, lets begin tipping! 

I have also put an easy to remember phrase at the end to summarise each tip. 


Tip number 1: 

Eat more frequently. It's a proven fact that when you are underweight, you feel full faster. Which means you can't fit as much in all at the same time as others. If you have been consuming a limited diet and eating small portions, and missing meals then this should really help your stomach get used to more food. Eat 6 small meals every day, rather than 3 big meals. Amazingly you might be surprised how much difference it can make. 3 meals, 3 snacks and your metabolic rate will thank you too.  

“Consistency is key”.

Tip number 2: 

Drink your food and try smoothies and shakes! Liquid fuel is a great way or still nourishing your body even when you don't feel like food. Helping yourself to a glass or juice rather than water can be a real bonus when you are trying to restore your bodies health. I suggest also making your own smoothies, and adding whatever you like to them. You can squeeze so much nutrients into just a glass. Bananas, nuts, seeds, juice, plant based milk, yogurts and frozen ice cream, fresh fruit and even vegetables. You can top it with granola, dried fruit, raw nuts... Literally anything! That's why smoothies are so great.  

“Fuel through fluid”.

Tip number 3: 

Make snacks count. 

I love snacking, but what's the point on snacking on air! No we need real food, nutrient-rich and body loving foods. Snack on nuts and trail mixes, peanut butter dipped apples, dried fruit, hummus and pitta, avocados on toast and homemade sweet or savoury snacks. Just snack well! It helped me to think of my snacks as power-snacks rather than just “snacks" as snacks symbols something "small and low in calories" but when your gain weight you need powerful snacks that work.  

“Upgrade your snacks”.

Tip number 4:

Bedtime night nibbles. 

Having a bedtime snack really helped me. It probably made one of the biggest differences to my weight gain. It helped me sleep better, and helped my body repair itself better in the night time. Even after your 3 meals and 3 snacks, if your body is still hungry don't hold back having a night time munch. It's telling you what you need in order for a good rest. A lot of healing, repair and regeneration takes place while we sleep. At night its like rush hour for our little working men to start building muscle, repairing tissue and taking care of your cells. Eating a healthy snack before bed ensures your body builders a fresh supply of nutrients that able to “go to work” inside your body. 

“Handy night time nibbles”. 

Tip number 5:  

Top it off well.

And ‘extras’ to your dishes, sprinkle them with superfoods and kiss them all over with healthy fats. Try tossing some nuts, seeds or dried fruit into your cereal or sprinkling on top of your porridge. Use full fat plant based milks and stay away from low fat options. Never miss out the dressing, and remember to pour plant based oil rich dressings over your salads. Accompany your meals with a glass of orange juice or a smoothie. Don't let your bread be lonely, spread it with peanut butter, homemade spreads or avocado. And don't forget to never let those carrot sticks be un dipped. Dips are for dipping after all! Meals with extra jazz are always successful ones for weight gain.

“Don’t leave your bread without spread”.

I really, really hope these tips help but don’t be defeated if they don’t! Healthy is the goal, and everyone will get there differently.

Margherita Barbieri