Our expert says:
Being underweight and disliking certain foods are not necessarily signs of anorexia or bulimia, but do check carefully if you are obsessed with being thin, or of you skip meals, or only eat a few foods in tiny quantities, if you have a distorted body image (i.e. you think you are fat when your ribs are sticking out), or use harsh laxatives or vomiting to purge yourself of food after having 'sinned' by eating foods like carbohydrates, sweets, chocolates, etc. If none of these behaviours apply then you are probably just underweight due to factors such as an overactive thyroid gland or a high basic metabolic rate. If 2 or more of the above symptoms apply then you must seek professional help from a dietitian and a psychologist or an Eating Disorder Clinic. If not, then try the following: If your metabolism is very fast, then it may be a good idea to have your gp check your thyroid function as an overactive thyroid can cause pronounced weight loss and prevent weight gain. Gaining weight is just as problematic as trying to lose it. Basically individuals who struggle to gain weight do not ingest sufficient energy for the high demands of their Basic metabolic rate and/or physical activity. I have written some articles on this subject. For basic information click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Diet Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services in the UK and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost your energy intake. You can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. Talk to the pharmacist about your need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically you need to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much you eat at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to your regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If you use a liquid meal supplement at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then you should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
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