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Healthy Weight Gain

Q: The only articles I ever see in magazines regarding weight is how to lose.  How can I put weight on?!! I'm 5'6' and weigh 118lbs. I know that is acceptable, but I look very thin. I don't want to overload on unhealthy foods to gain.  Is there a healthy way to put pounds on while maintaining a healthy diet??? 

I do have a high metabolism and it has been that way since giving birth to my second child; before I became pregnant I weighed 135lbs, after giving birth I was 112 lbs!  I seem to have to eat more to stay at my weight now, it's driving me nuts.

Dr. Donnica:
Eating nuts may be part of your solution!  Even though more women have the opposite problem, I know this is frustrating for you!  The most important thing is to first make sure that you don't have a medical problem causing this. You should get a complete physical and specifically ask your doctor if you might have an overactive thyroid ("hyperthyroidism") or other metabolic problem.  If not, diet and exercise is the answer. 

You may want to consult a nutritionist about the most healthy way to increase your caloric intake.  She will want to review a diary of your current foods, so you can start that before your visit.  While we usually think of exercising to lose weight, the best way to gain weight healthfully is to do weight lifting exercises.  This will increase your muscle tone and will probably greatly improve how you feel about your appearance in the process. 

Created: 11/23/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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