Our expert says:
Your present BMI = 18,9 which is close to underweight and it would be good if you could gain some weight. 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 'DietnFood' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 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. I trust that the dr who diagnosed your anaemia has prescribed the necessary supplements (iron and folic acid, or vit B12)? If not, then please ask him/her to provide you with such a supplement. The following foods are good sources of easily available iron and also of vit B12: liver, red meat, fish, egg yolk, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, maize meal porridge and wheat bread (all maize meal and wheat bread sold in SA is fortified with iron by government regulation), and dried fruit. Having a glass of orange juice or half a grapefruit with your iron-fortified cereal will help your body absorb the iron more efficiently. Make sure when you increase your food intake to include these foods in your diet.
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