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Question
Posted by: Emma | 2003/02/23

Weight gain

I am a vegetarian and have started to exercise regularly but I am becoming concerned that I am losing too much weight, I weighed 9 1/2 stone 6 months ago now weigh only 8 1/2 stone ( I'm 5.11 tall ). I want to become pregnant soon and would like to know the best way of gaining some weight healthily. Could you please advise me on the best way to go about it?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Emma
Whew you've got me calculating frantically - it is about 20 years since I tried to work out what someone weighs in kilograms if given weight in stone! I speak under correction, but think that at present you weigh 53 kg and your height is 1.8 metres? Please check this using metric measures. If these figures are correct your present BMI = 16 which is far too low for your height. Just to fall within the normal range you should weigh 58 kg and more. You need to increase your intake of high energy food by eating small amounts of poly- or monounsaturated fats and oils with your vegetarian food - e.g. salad dressing on salads and polyunsaturated margarine with your vegetables and on bread. Also try to increase your total food intake by eating a little more at each meal - it will take time for you to increase your intake, so do it gradually, e.g. more full cream milk with breakfast, full cream yoghurt with fruit, honey on bread, etc. If you intend falling pregnant then I would also advise you to take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement like Centrum or Supradyn Forte to supply you with essential nutrients such as B12, folic acid, iron, zinc and additional calcium. Take Salmon oil capsules to boost your omega-3 intake to ensure a healthy, clever baby.
Take care
DietDoc

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