Gaining Healthy Weight

While the great majority of today’s population seems to be interested in dropping the excess weight they’ve accumulated, there are still others who find themselves facing the opposite problem—how to gain weight or at least prevent further weight loss.

Some individuals—for numerous reasons—experience a drastic change in their metabolism, making a healthy body weight very difficult to maintain. In diseases like cancer, excess weight loss is referred to as cachexia or wasting syndrome, and it affects both body fat and lean muscle mass. It is believed to be caused by increased inflammatory messengers as well as tumour-derived factors that cause appetite suppression, and an overall hyper-catabolic (wasting) state.

The fact is, weight loss—especially from muscle—can cause premature aging and has been shown to shorten the survival time of people with diseases like cancer. So whether you are suffering from an illness, or just can’t seem to gain healthy weight (lean body mass) no matter what you seem to try, the following are some research-proven methods to help maintain andregain healthy weight:

  • Ensure an adequate diet by consuming between five and eight mini-meals each day.
  • Use high quality cold-processed whey isolates with high levels of alpha-lactalbumin (High-Alpha Whey Protein) to maintain adequate protein intake, as the essential amino acids will help maintain protein stores and counteract muscle wasting.
  • Pick foods that contain the most calories but are still nutritious, such as organic seeds and nuts. Instead of filling up on low-calorie dense foods—like soup and salad—consume the most calorie-dense portion of your meals first.
  • Embrace good saturated fats, like grass-fed butter and organic coconut oil. These fats help the body manufacture sex hormones, which help the body maintain and grow new muscle tissue.
  • Do resistance exercise at least three times each week. Progressive resistance exercise (using heavier resistance as your muscles adapt to each exercise load) creates just enough muscle trauma for the muscles to become larger and stronger. Resistance exercise also helps protein become more effective at repairing muscle. Make sure to ingest a liquid protein shake as close to finishing a workout as possible.
  • Avoid highly refined “white” foods, excess sugars and hydrogenated trans fats. It’s interesting to note, the most medically endorsed weight gain liquid formulas are loaded with sugars such as pure sucrose, corn maltodextrin and corn syrup.
  • According to research presented close to a decade ago, high grade fish oils may reverse some aspects of muscle loss. Other research from the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Institute in Birmingham, UK, indicates that the fatty acid EPA is the only natural agent that can interfere with the action of a tumour factor called PIF, believed to be a major cause of muscle wasting. Further studies indicate, it takes about two grams of EPA daily to help counteract weight loss.