There is so much (sometimes misleading) information out there on weight loss, but far less available how to gain it. Plus, the ‘advice’ that is out there often has some very unhealthy ideas on how best to gain weight.
When gaining weight, it is important to do this in a healthy and balanced way. But first, you need to work out WHY you can’t gain weight.
WHY YOU CAN’T GAIN WEIGHT
1. TYPE 1 DIABETES
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which causes the pancreas to not function properly. The production of cells that are responsible for producing insulin (which balances blood sugar) are seriously inhibited because the body destroys these cells, thinking they are dangerous to the body.
Because insulin manages the metabolism of glucose, there are spikes of blood glucose which are not needed and therefore excreted in urine. If this excretion of glucose is excessive, it can lead to unintentional weight loss.
Many pharmaceutical medications can cause appetite loss and even sickness and diarrhoea (along with other negative impacts on the gut and body!). This can cause weight loss and therefore make it difficult to maintain a health weight.
Antibiotics, for example, have a huge impact on your gut health which can lead to a whole range of health issues, including the inability to gain weight. It can work the other way too and cause weight gain! This is why bio individuality is so important.
3. VATA BODY TYPE
If you’re the Vata body type in Ayurveda, you will be more catabolic and prone to losing weight easily. This is why a vegan or low carb diet for Vatas can be detrimental since plant-based foods are more catabolic in nature as opposed to animal protein which is anabolic.
But wait! That does not mean that Vata body types cannot be a on a vegan diet. In fact, I’m a Vata and my diet is 95% vegan. However, I’m very cautious with my macronutrient ratios, exercise plans and take additional nutritional supplements to support my body. If you want to learn more about this, make sure to check my video on “Tailoring Your Diet To Your Dosha: Vata” in my membership platform Synergised Nutrition.
Hyperthyroidism means that your body is producing an excess of thyroid hormones, which are responsible for a large part of your metabolism and regulating your metabolic rate.
If you suffer from hyperthyroidism you may have an overactive metabolism, which means you burn more calories throughout a day. Even if your food intake is increased significantly, you could still struggle to put on weight. A hyperthyroidism diagnosis is not a death sentence and you can overcome it naturally. Remember, there is an underlying root cause in majority of cases.
5. DIGESTIVE ISSUES
You may have been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), or IBS or Crohn’s or similar. All these are digestive issues, often related to inflammation of the intestines.
As a result, you might have cut out large food groups and have a very limited diet. You could also suffer regular diarrhoea and sickness. Both could result in struggling to gain weight or losing unwanted weight.
Apart from that, if your digestive system is not functioning properly, you won’t be able to break down foods optimally and therefore not absorb the nutrients from foods!
WHERE TO START WITH GAINING WEIGHT?
Well, first you need to identify the root cause. The common denominator for most people is, you guessed it, poor gut health!
To maintain a healthy weight – this goes for those who struggle to lose weight too – you need to heal your gut! This can be done by working with an integrative health practitioner, or following a gut healing protocol, such as the GI Protocol.
If you’re underweight, my 21 Day Reset in this case is not recommended unless you work with me directly because I would give you specific instructions on how to tailor it to you. You can do a the full Reset once you’re back at a healthy weight range!
I have worked with countless clients that, despite consuming a large number of calories, couldn’t gain weight – and they had no idea why! Believe it or not, it’s not rocket science. We work out the ‘why’, then we work on the ‘how.’
THE BOTTOM LINE
It is not about putting on the kgs as quickly as possible, it is not about upping your carbs, and it’s definitely not about eating huge quantities of calorific (and often unhealthy) foods. You need to heal your gut, to overcome the root cause of being unable to gain weight, so that your body metabolises food properly.
It is so important to look beyond the symptom of being underweight, to address the deeper imbalances. If your gut is not functioning properly, then it won’t be breaking down food properly. This means that you are inhibited from absorbing nutrients. You could be eating the healthiest diet in the world, but if you can’t absorb the goodness, then it’s wasted!
You are not what you eat. You are what you absorb!
There isn’t a one size fits all solution, unfortunately. Low carb, high carb, high protein, keto, low fat…. Fad diets aren’t tailored to your specific bio individuality, nor are they tailored to overcome your specific health issue.
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