Although the way you rock your skinny jeans might be envied by other moms, looking like a toothpick might not be by choice. To many women, being underweight can be just as bothersome as being overweight. There's a thin line between gaining weight and losing weight, because both come down to your diet and exercise habits. Rather than resorting to eating doughnuts, cakes, chips and cookies to trigger weight gain, learn how to adjust your lifestyle to gain weight in a health way.
1 Set a weight-gain goal of about 4 pounds per month, because experts recommend gaining weight healthily at a rate of 1 pound per week. Since 1 pound of fat has 3,500 calories, plan on consuming about 500 calories more every day of the week.
2 Consume foods rich in nutrients rather than eating unhealthy foods that contain a lot of empty calories. Include fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean protein, such as skinless chicken and fish, and complex carbohydrate sources, such as brown rice and whole-grain breads. Make healthy combinations to increase your caloric intake. For instance, instead of eating just celery sticks, eat celery sticks with peanut butter. Instead of eating a turkey sandwich on white bread, use whole-grain bread and add vegetables to it.
3 Eat more often throughout the day so your total calorie intake increases. Stuffing yourself during breakfast, lunch and dinner time might not be appetizing and can be uncomfortable. Instead, add three or four small meals between the regular times that you eat so you end up eating a meal about every three hours of the day.
4 Add extra calories to the foods you eat by topping them off. Add cheese to scrambled eggs and casseroles, and use nonfat, dried milk in soups and stews.
5 Drink shakes, smoothies or a commercial meal-replacement beverage instead of tea, coffee and diet soda. In addition to being more nutritious, these drinks contain more calories. Avoid drinking directly before or during meals, because you don't want to fill up on liquids -- drink after you eat.
6 Incorporate strength training into three days of the week, because it builds muscle tissue and encourages weight gain. It also speeds up your metabolism, so your appetite increases, making it easier to eat the extra calories required for weight gain. Focus on working all major muscles groups including your legs, arms, chest, abs, shoulders and tush. Use enough weight so the last repetition of each set is challenging to finish.
- Hire a certified personal trainer if you're new to strength training so you can safely learn proper form.
- Consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise routine, especially if you have a health condition or injury.
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