Weight & Size Gain

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Weight & Size Gain

History of Weight and Size Gain

If you’re concerned that you’re underweight, check your body mass index (BMI) using our healthy weight calculator.

if your BMI is below the healthy range, this suggests that your weight may be too low.

Or you may simply be underweight because your diet isn’t providing you with enough energy (calories). This can happen for a number of reasons. Stress or other emotional problems can sometimes cause a change in eating patterns that is hard to recognise.

If diet is the cause of your low weight, changing to a healthy, balanced diet that provides the right amount of calories for your age, height and how active you are can help you achieve a healthy weight. Registered DOCTOR ADITYA HEALTH CARE CENTER has provided the following guidelines.

Underweight can damage your health

If our healthy weight calculator has told you that you may be underweight, think about why ths might be:

Have you been unwell?

Have you been skipping breakfast or lunch and just eating snacks on the go?

Have you lost your appetite, perhaps because you’re worried or stressed?

Have you been trying to lose weight? Are you more focused on being “thin” or looking a certain way than on being a healthy weight?

Does not eating make you feel as though your are more in control? If so, you need to talk to someone about your weight and eating habits.

Take entrust someone about your weight

There may be emotional issues that are stopping you from eating a healthy diet.

If you feel anxious or worried when you think about food, or feel you may be sing control over food to help you cope with stress or low self-esteem, you may have an eating disorder.

Cut down on saturated fat, found in processed meats, cakes and biscuits.

Cut down on sugary foods and drinks such as chocolate, cakes and biscuits, and sugary soft drinks.

Learn more about the different food groups and how they form part of a healthy diet.

If you don’t eat meat, find out how to have a healthy vegetarian diet.

Underweight is bad for you

Being underweight can be bad for your health now and in the future, for the following reasons:

If you are underweight, it’s likely that you are not consuming a healthy, balanced diet, which can lead to you lacking nutrients that your body needs to grow and work properly. Calcium, for example, is important for the maintenance of strong and healthy bones. Being underweight increases the risk of osteoporosis in later life. if you’re not consuming enough iron, you may develop anaemia, which may leave you feeling drained and tired.

Women who have lost a lot of weight can find that their periods stop. This increases the risk of fertility problems.

Your immune system is not 100% when you’re underweight, making you more likely to catch a cold, the flu or other infections.

Healthy Diet for a healthy weight

The media is full of scare stories about how many of us are obese and how much damage excess weight dose to our health. But what happens whey our bodies have less fat or essential nutrients than we need for good health?

How do I know if I’m underweight?

Your body mass index, or BMI, is the relationship between your weight and your height. A BMI of 20-25 is ideal; 25-30 is overweight and over 30 is obese . If your BMI is under 18,5, You’re considered underweight. If your BMI is 18,5-20, you’re a bit underweight and can’t afford to lose more. Your GP or practice unrse will be happy to work out your BMI or try this online calculator.

Some people naturally find it hard to put on weight. If your weight is constant and you have on long-term medical problems and a good diet, you probably don’t need to worry. If you’re malnourished, on the other hand, you definitely need to do something about it.

What’s the difference between underweight and malnourished?

Scarily, over three million people in the UK are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. most of them are older and have long-term health problems - one in three people going into hospital or care homes have malnutrition. You don’t have to be underweight to be malnourished - if, for instance, you’ve stopped eating healthily because of illness, you can lose weight and become malnourished even if your BMI isn’t in the underweight range. If you’ve lost weight and you’re now in the underweight range, you’re at very high risk of malnutrition.

How do I know if I’m malnourished?

If you’ve been ill and not eating properly, or if you’re underweight, ask your doctor about screening you with a simple questionnaire called the MUST tool. In my practice, I often find relatives of elderly loved ones are the people who flag this up as a possible issue. If you’re concerned about a loved one, try the MUST score for them and speak to their doctor if you think they’re at risk.

The MUST score

Step 1 - what’s your BMI? (over 20 scores 0, 18.5-20 scores 1 and under 18.5 scores 2)

Step 2 - have you lost weight without meaning to in the last 3-6 months? (under 5% weight loss scores 0,5-10% scores 1, over 10% scores 2)

Step 3 - have you been seriously unwell so that you haven’t eaten any proper food for at least 5 days? (this rarely happens unless you’re unwell enough to be in hospital, but scores 2 if the answer is yes)

Step 4 - if your total score from steps 1-3 is 0, you’re at low risk of malnutrition; if it’s 1 you’re at medium risk; 2 or more means high risk

Being underweight

Being underweight is often not taken as seriously as being overweight.

The dangers of being overweight grab all of the headlines. It’s true we are in the grip of an obesity epidemic and the health risks of carrying too much weight are well publicized. However, with so many of us trying to lose a few pounds it doesn’t mean that being underweight is anything to be envious of.

It’s not much fun for those people who are desperately trying to put on weight. For some people it can be even more difficult gaining pounds than losing them.

Being underweight is often not taken as seriously as seriously as being overweight.

Studies about body weight usually refer to a measurement called BMI (body mass index). This is worked out by dividing someone’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

The result is a umber that doctors use as a guide to several categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese, or severely obese.

A healthy weight falls between a BMI of 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, and less than 18.5 is classed as underweight.

Reasons for being underweight

There are many reasons and causes for being underweight. They may be genetic, because of illness or a medical condition, or through a lack of food.

It may be down to your skinny genes, some people are naturally thinner than others. Usually there’s nothing to worry about from a health perspective but you may feel you want to gain a few pounds.

It could be caused by a medical condition. An overactive thyroid may lead to being underweight. Digestive problems like IBS and Crohn’s disease may also lead to weight loss. Cancer may also lead to people becoming underweight.

Some other conditions can lead to lead to a loss of appetite. If you have depression or stress it can affect your appetite, making you either eat less or more.

Emotional issues like bereavement or the bread-up a relationship may lead to weight loss and a lack of concern about food and eating.

Another reason for being underweight may be to do with extreme dieting and a general feeling in society that you can never really be too thin.

Excessively controlling your food intake may suggest an eating disorder. If this is a possibility, seek medical advice.

Health risks of being underweight

If you feel you are underweight and don’t know why it’s worth seeking medical advice and having a few tests if needed.

There are certain health risks with being underweight.

You are more likely to pick up infections as your immune system may not be as strong as it could be. So you may be more vulnerable to colds and flu, for example.

High-energy & healthy food ideas

if you’re trying to gain weight, eat foods that are not only healthy, but aiso high in energy.Try the following:

Unsalted nuts.

Yoghurts and milky puddings, such as rice puddings.

Peanut butter on toast for a high-energy snack.

For a healthier lunch, try a jacket potato with baked beans or tuna on top, which contains energy-giving starchy carbohydrate and protein.

Fruit smoothies or milkshakes for a great snack (made them at home and take them to work or college). But remember that fruit juice can be sugary, so try to limit this to no more than 150ml a day.

for breakfast, porridge made with whole (full-fat) milk with chopped fruit or raisins sprinkled on top, or eggs on toast.

How can I help myself?

Many people who are malnourished because of illness have simply been unable to eat enough calories. Here’s the good news. You may be able to take up all those unhealthy foods, like full- fat milk and cream, on doctor’s orders. Full-fat foods provide more calories in less volume.

Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietician to assess what you need

Eat small quantities frequently, especially if you get full quickly

Avoid filling up on fluids before a meal

Don’t fill up on ‘empty’ calories like sugary sweets - if you’re not eating much, getting enough vitamins and minerals is crucial

Ask about oral nutritional supplements. These are carefully designed to provide the protein, vitamins and minerals you need in small volumes. They come in a variety of sweet and savoury flavours. The National Institute for Health and clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended they should be considered for anyone who’s malnourished, as they may help you recover more quickly and avoid hospital admissions. you may only need them for a few weeks

Do exercise when you can (see below).

Exercise for good health

We all know exercise can help you lose weight, so you should avoid it if you’re underweight, right? Wrong. Regular exercise can counter the side effects of malnutrition and help you build muscle tone.

weight-bearing exercise guards against thinning of the bones. Swimming is great gentle exercise for your heart and muscles, but doesn’t help your bones

Yoga and Pilates can help you to tone up and keep supple without burning too many calories. They also help if you have joint problems like arthritis many councils run courses for older or less fit people, so you can start gently Exercise improves balance and muscle strength.


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