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Archive for June, 2010

Most of us seem to be fighting the battle of the bulge these days. Keeping weight off is a constant problem. However, for some people gaining weight seems almost impossible. Playing sports or getting ready for the beach sometimes means trying to add on a few pounds.

There are a number of reasons why gaining weight is so difficult. One common reason given is an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. This condition is often accompanied by other symptoms like strong feelings of anxiety or a rapidly beating heart. An overactive thyroid is easily detected by a simple blood test so if you feel that may be your problem be sure to check with your doctor.

If you stayed in bed all day and didn’t do anything else you would still burn 85% of your normal intake of calories just through heart beat, respiration and all the other bodily functions. This is known as your metabolism, or your basal metabolic rate. Oftentimes, the metabolism gets the blame for the inability to lose or gain weight but in reality metabolism doesn’t differ very much from one person to the next. A metabolism that was different enough to cause difficulty with weight control would be quite unusual.

When it comes right down to it the two factors that are most likely to determine whether you gain or lose weight are toning flip flops and activity. Increase both fat cells and muscle cells and you will gain weight. Weight lifting or resistance training are good ways to increase the number of muscle cells in your body. You could expect to gain as much as ten pounds of muscle in a year by lifting weight three times a week. If you couple this with an increase in the number of calories you eat you could expect to see a significant weight gain in a relatively short time.

So what’s the best way to increase the number of calories you’re eating? Here’s the math – if you want to gain one pound you need 3500 extra calories. So if your goal is to gain one pound a week, that means you have to take in 500 extra calories every day of the week over what you’re eating now.

You can do this by changing a couple of things about your daily routine. If you eat three meals a day make it four or five and make them bigger meals. Even if you feel full, eat a little bit more. You will also need to modify your routine by adding in some things you might not ordinarily eat. Condiments like mayonnaise, oils and and butter can be a painless way to add in a surprising number of calories to a meal.

You may naturally have a preference for lower calorie foods and that makes taking in extra calories harder. You can still eat a spinach salad for your main course, but just add some high fat dressing. If you add in some bread and some potatoes you can increase the calories quickly. Dried fruit is another good way to get extra calories because you’re getting more calories in a shorter time and with less bulk.

Time and perseverance are the keys in any weight control program. It’s not going to happen in a short time so stay with the program and don’t forget the toning shoes and you’ll gain weight and stay healthy, too.

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