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Showing posts with label weight gain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight gain. Show all posts

Jun 12, 2010

Body Mass Index


The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a statistical measure of body weight based on a person's weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat, it is used to estimate a healthy body weight based on a person's height. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problems within a population, usually whether individuals are underweight, overweight  or obese.

Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height.
The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2.
 BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colours for different BMI categories.


BMI provided a simple numeric measure of a person's "fatness" or "thinness", allowing health professionals to discuss over- and under-weight problems more objectively with their patients. However, BMI has become controversial because many people, including physicians, have come to rely on its apparent numerical authority for medical diagnosis, but that was never the BMI's purpose; it is meant to be used as a simple means of classifying sedentary (physically inactive) individuals with an average body composition.  

For these individuals, the current value settings are as follows: 

  • a BMI of 18.5 to 25 may indicate optimal weight
  • a BMI lower than 18.5 suggests the person is underweight  
  • while a number above 25 may indicate the person is overweight
  • a BMI below 17.5 may indicate the person has anorexia nervosa or a related disorder; 
  • a number above 30 suggests the person is obese 
  • over 40, morbidly obese).

May 19, 2009

Weight Gain Tips :


Calorie Supplements :

Calories and Weight Gain :
Body needs vary within individuals for maintaining a stable metabolic function. Metabolic function is defined as how quickly a body uses energy - in this case how many calories it uses per day to maintain function. Between 2000-2500 calories per day is considered an average amount of calories needed to keep your metabolic rate in constant and consistent activity.

Adding 1000 extra calories per day is gaining weight at 2 pounds per week. Some caloric needs may exceed 2500 calories per day; the key is to increase the needed calories by at least 1000 calories per day, since you need calories to gain weight.

Burning Calories with Working Out

Exercise does burn calories so to gain weight while exercising requires having more calories in your diet when working out. Calorie supplements can give you the extra boost you need. The best weight gain supplements will provide the most calories and the most extra nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, fiber, vitamins and minerals.


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Calorie Supplements and Weight Gain :

If you are a patient fighting a disease like cancer or AIDS, there may be times when, despite your best efforts, you don't want to eat. Even if you have the option of high calorie, nutritious and tasty meals, you may be too tired, nauseous or just not in the mood. In times like these, calorie supplements can come in handy. Nutritional and calorie supplements should not be a staple in your diet, but they can be a real help in a pinch. These calorie supplements, especially when they are nutrient, vitamins and minerals can help you maintain a weight, or add calories when you are trying to gain weight.


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High Calorie Foods :

Packaged foods have the nutritional value and calorie count on the label. Chose the brand of product with the higher calories if you have a choice. Look in dietary and nutrition books for a list of high calorie foods for weight gain. Try to avoid packaged foods packed with salt and preservatives. Salt will help you retain water, which makes your weight appear higher then it really is. Focus on highly nutritious foods with natural fat content like eggs and avocados.


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Calories :


Calorie usage depends on activity levels, the more active, the more calories are used. It takes 1.5 calories a minute to keep the body operating smoothly, without additional activity. When the activity level increases the rate of calorie usage goes up. If you are exercising regularly and find that you are not putting on weight, in the form of muscle, you may want to look at introducing a calorie supplement into your diet. This will give you the extra calories you need for weight gain and should offer extra nutrients and vitamins to maintain your health and well being.


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Extra Calories

Gaining weight requires finding extra calories when you have meals or snacks. Add sugar to your coffee, put sugar on your cereal, add dressing to your salads, choose high calorie brands of a product, choose the higher calorie canned fruit, choose raisins over grapes, cook oat meal with milk, put butter and sour cream on your potato, put cheese on sandwiches, use mayonnaise with tuna. All can add extra calories for gaining weight.


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Gaining Weight and Calories :


Gaining weight requires more calories than your body needs. The body needs1.5 calories each minute just keeping the body functioning. With additional movements, that amount can more than double to over 180 calories per hour. High calorie foods and calorie supplements provide the extra caloric intake needed to exceed the functional amount of calories. Every extra calorie is needed to gain weight.


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The Effect of High Calories on the Body :

Gaining weight is a challenge and requires a dedication to add those extra pounds. It need not be a long term activity. A weight gain diet is rich but is not a permanent process. Reach your goal and then maintain with less rich foods. Proper dental hygiene will neutralize the effect of sugar, a six month plan to gain weight is not a lifetime of rich eating, and proper exercise will tone the body and exercise the muscles, including the heart. The objective is to gain only the wanted extra pounds not continue to add excessive weight with higher calorie foods.


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Protein Shakes and Weight Gain :


Protein shakes alone are not effective for weight gain. Protein has been found to speed up metabolism in the body, so the body utilizes more calories more quickly. The more calories you use, the more you lose weight, not gain weight. Protein alone is a spiral away from weight gain. A combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates gain weight. .

Getting Extra Calories :

Become a high calorie detective by reading food labels and nutritional books. Not all ice cream or canned fruit is alike for offering high calories. Choose the high calorie brands. Avoid the diet sodas and add salad dressings. Butter the toast and add jams and jellies. Add sugar to your tea and coffee. All calories add up. A high calorie supplement is also ideal for adding extra calories for gaining weight. Remember though, its better to add a lot of healthy extra food into your diet, than to gain weight eating a bunch of junk food.


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Caloric Content :

You need to choose high calorie foods for weight gain. A few examples of high calorie foods are: English muffin with butter: 345 calories, 1 cup mashed potatoes: 200 calories, apple pie slice: 400 calories, 4 slices of bacon: 700 calories, 2 fried eggs: 215 calories, 2 pork chops: 500 calories, coconut cream pie slice: 450 calories, 8oz chocolate milk: 290 calories, 1 cup chili and beans: 300 calories, avocado salad with dressing: 350 calories, ¼ pound T-bone steak with melted butter: 600 calories, 8 oz cheese ravioli: 625 calories.


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Exercise and Weight Gain :

Heavy Weights :

To build muscle mass for weight gain, you need to train with heavy weights, more specifically, heavy free weights. A heavy weight is one that is challenging for you. This means that it could be 5 lbs if you have never lifted a weight in your life.
You don't want to injure yourself, so challenge your muscles, but don't push yourself into injury! To ascertain if a weigh is challenging, try the following: complete 8-12 reps and if you muscles temporarily fail, you are using the right weight. Heavy weights will stimulate more muscle fibers, and therefore more growth, than lighter weights, therefore, additional muscle stimulation means additional muscle growth.


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Muscle Weight Gain :

To gain muscle weight, your muscles need to grow and get larger. Muscles need high calorie fuel and exercise to grow. With a combination of proper diet and exercise for weight gain, your muscles will grow and you will therefore achieve your weight gain goals. Without the exercise, the muscles can not grow. Without fuel, the exercise will burn calories, not build muscle.


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Overtraining :

When you are weight training heavily to gain weight, the exercise puts a strain on your body, so make sure that you get adequate rest and recuperation after each of your workouts. If you over train you are not giving your muscles enough time to repair which will impede the effectiveness of you next workout. If you are not at maximum strength you won't reach your muscular potential. You could also injure yourself. Make sure that you approach your weight gain and your muscle gain in a paced and balanced approach.


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Aerobic Exercise to Avoid :

There are some exercises that are better at helping you lose weight than gain weight. If you are trying to gain weight by building muscle, you will want to stick to weight training, the best anaerobic exercise. Examples of aerobic exercise that you may want to avoid include biking, jogging, swimming, running, basketball, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, roller blading and walking for fitness.


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Weight Gain Exercises :

Gaining weight with exercise works best when you target the larger muscles for growth and work to add muscle mass. Push-ups are excellent for adding weight to the upper body. Lunges and squats work best for the thighs while standing heel raises are highly effective for building the calves (works best on a step). Try crunches for the abs, and pull ups (if a bar is available) work well for the arms and back. All these exercises can add weight with muscle mass when combined with an appropriate weight gain diet.


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Anaerobic Exercise vs. Aerobic Exercise :


The reason that weight training is so effective for muscle weight gain is that it is anaerobic exercise as opposed to aerobic exercise, which is often recommended for weight loss regimens. Aerobic exercise includes running, walking, biking, aerobics programs and other exercises that burn calories without specifically building muscle mass. The term "anaerobic" is defined as "without oxygen." Anaerobic exercise uses muscles at high intensity in short bursts. When you are weight training and trying to maximize the benefits of anaerobic exercise, focus on all of your movements being short and fast.


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Multi Joint Exercise :

When using exercise to gain weight, you want to focus on working the large muscle groups that are commonly called multi-joint (compound) movements that simultaneously stimulate many groups of muscle. Compound exercises should be the basis of any weight training weight gain program because they offer the best results for the least amount of work (not that you won't be working hard!). These compound exercises include Bench Presses, Overhead Presses, Pull-ups/Barbell Rows, Squats, Dead lifts and Bar Dips.


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Gaining Weight with Exercise :

Some exercise will help to gain weight such as weight training where extra muscle mass adds to the body weight. Other exercise like running and cycling will burn calories and without extra calories you will lose weight, not gain weight. Remember though, that weight training raises your metabolic rate, so you will require more calories to maintain any weight gained through added muscle. A combination of proper diet, weight gain shakes and exercise for weight gain will maximize healthy weight gain with added pounds of muscle.


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Weight Lifting Techniques :

To maximize your weight lifting workout and build muscle mass for weight gain, lift hard for a short, intense period of time and then take time to recover until the next workout. You should focus on what are considered "big exercises" such as squats, dead lifts, bent-over rows, chin-ups and bench press. These exercises focus on many muscle groups but they are also focusing on the muscles that are easiest to build up. You should also increase your strength by adding a small amount of weight each workout. If you focus on building strength steadily, size will follow. If you are uncertain what to do and how to do these exercises or employ this technique, you could get help from a professional trainer or someone at the gym with experience. Don't be afraid to ask for help!


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Is Exercise Necessary for Weight Gain :


You don't have to work out to gain weight. Gaining weight takes eating more calories and nutrients each day than you use, whether through exercise or your normal daily routine. Working out can help with weight gain by increasing muscle mass because muscle is heavier than body fat. So, if you are maintaining a weight that is not optimal, you need to increase calories. If you are working out, you will need to increase your caloric intake exponentially to make up for the calories you are burning with exercise.


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Gym Memberships and Weight Gain :


A membership at a gym can help you exercise to gain weight, but home equipment works just well. Without equipment, regular strength exercises like push ups, pull ups, crunches and leg lunges can build muscle mass and gain weight. Be sure to add the high calorie weight gain shake when you workout to replace any calories you burn during your exercise routine.


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How to Gain Weight :

Eat More Than You Burn :

Pay close attention to how many calories you are ingesting and how many you burn. Use a pedometer to measure your daily activity and keep a food journal to measure your daily categories. Track any changes you make to your activity or your diet so you can measure the effectiveness of your weight gain program.


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Snack Away

Cheese, Peanut Butter, fruit, pretzels, oatmeal, a glass of milk - all this can be yours! Plan ahead and bring a snack with you for mid morning and mid afternoon. Chances are you can use the energy boost any of these snacks will provide and you will be getting closer and closer to achieving your weight gain goal! Once you have attained your goal weight, you don't have to eliminate snacks, just introduce celery or popcorn and you get your snack, without so many calories!


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Frozen Shoulders :

Visualize and Aim For Your Goal

Don't obsess over your BMI or your weight number. Focus on a weight at which you are comfortable and is within rough healthy guidelines. You and your doctor can assess the right weight range for your height and frame and once you have, visualize a more healthy you at that goal. Keep it in mind if you are struggling or just sick of your weight gain program. Make sure you surround yourself with supportive people and not those who will be insensitive to your unique health or self worth issues.


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Be Consistent

Healthy weight gain is not a quick fix. You need to be patient and consistent. This doesn't mean you have to eat the same thing day in and day out. Be creative, invent new dishes, spice up old favorites and indulge yourself in some high calorie treats. There is nothing wrong with an ice cream prescription for what ails you!

Build Muscles

The most common way that men combat being a "skinny guy" is with weight training. Not only do you gain weight, but you get bigger muscles, more definition and you feel great. Stick to free weights and big muscle groups. Work hard and fast but don't over train. With an extra calorie boost and the energy that comes with it, you will bulk up in no time!


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More Meals, More of the Time

Don't try to binge three times a day. Don't try to eat huge meals. Eat several small meals a day, of high calorie, nutrient rich foods. Even though this may increase your metabolism, but it will be an easy and slow weight gain, your ideal goal!


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Vegetarians can Gain Weight Too


Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't create a successful weight gain program. Vegetarians and Vegans often have trouble consuming sufficient calories and nutrients but you can gain weight in a healthy way and maintain that healthy weight. Look to lactose free weight gain supplements and try to integrate more foods like avocado, cheese, nuts, rice, pasta and legumes into your diet. Use olive oil and other natural fats in your cooking.


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Be Creative

Like weight loss, a weight gain regimen can be tedious if you don't get creative. Introduce new recipes and ideas into your program. Go back to basics in your cooking - make some delicious home made fried chicken if you never have, or make some cheesy lasagna or baked macaroni and cheese. Also, vary your activity. Even if it means you need to eat more, you don't have to live a sedentary lifestyle!


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Keep Track

Document your progress and your process. If you are under the care of a physician, they may want you to keep track anyway, but you need to get to know your body. You may be one of those lucky few who can keep all that caloric data and calorie burning in your head, but if you are like the rest of us, you should write it down! You can track which foods and what number of calories is the most effective for your slow and healthy weight gain. You can also write down which food gave you the most energy and which made you feel the best.


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Be Healthy

When people think of how to gain weight, they imagine eating piles of pizza, cakes and cookies. Truthfully, you should maintain as healthy a diet as possible with full servings of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and carbohydrates. Some of these foods are not going to have the caloric kick to spark your weight gain, but your health is about achieving a balance - hence trying to gain and maintain a healthy weight in the first place. Be healthy - but don't be afraid to indulge.


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Weight Gain Aids

If you are working out a lot and building muscle, or if you are suffering from a wasting disease, or even if you have a super fast metabolism, you just may not be able to eat enough to gain weight. This is when calorie supplements and weight gain supplements like weight gain shakes come in handy. They can give you the boost you need without the hassle of another big meal. Look out for weight gain pills though, they probably don't contain the caloric punch of a powder supplement that can be mixed in with other foods or liquids.


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Plan Ahead

Plan your meals for the week ahead of time to ensure you have all of the necessary ingredients and healthy weight gain foods in the house. Don't be tempted to run to the corner store for a snickers bar, have some peanut butter on whole grain bread or an extra piece of your extra cheesy lasagna to support your weight gain program. Also stock up on a variety of ingredients for weight gain shakes and weight gain smoothies which can make a huge impact on the success of your weight gain program.


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Health Risks of Being Underweight :


Determining if You are Underweight: Your BMI


The easiest way to determine if you are underweight according to the typical standards used today is to calculate your body mass index. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), BMI corresponds to body fat so women tend to have higher BMI's than men and elderly people often have more fat than young people who are more active.

There are different scales for adolescents and children, so do not use the following calculation to determine the BMI for your teenager or small child. To calculate your body mass, you divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and then multiply the result by 703. The weight status according to BMI is as follows: Below 18.5 = Underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 = Normal, 25.0 to 29.9 = Overweight, 30.0 and Above = Obese.


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Infertility

Infertility is an issue many underweight women face. Women that have suffered from an eating disorder, or who exercise a great deal may experience a cessation of menstruation, otherwise known as amenorrhea, but there can be some long term consequences that will effect fertility. For instance, being underweight is also associated with dysfunctional ovulation which can impede pregnancy. Going on a weight gain diet in these cases almost always improved the chances of the woman getting pregnant. A woman must have a certain amount of body fat to sustain a healthy and growing baby, so any woman who is underweight should try to establish a diet that is highly nutritious and will help her maintain and gain weight throughout a pregnancy.


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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common side effect of being underweight. Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and to break. In most people, the bone breaks occur in the hips, spine and wrist. Osteoporosis is caused by not ingesting sufficient calcium, not getting enough exercise, insufficient vitamin D, alcohol abuse and smoking. A balanced diet, with plenty of calcium will help prevent osteoporosis.


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Health Risks of the Elderly Being Underweight :

As an older person, you may not be paying as much attention to your weight, but it can have a major effect on your lifestyle if it becomes a problem. If you are underweight, you may be experiencing symptoms such as poor memory, increased colds and flu due to a less effective immune system, osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength and hypothermia. If you have experienced a sudden weight loss, you should consult with your physician. If the loss has been more gradual, and you don't have the resources to increase your caloric intake for weight gain, approach your physician as well, or a local food bank. Ask for help, you'll be glad you did.


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Children and Being Underweight :


If your child is underweight, or on the cusp of being underweight, it would be indicated by a body mass index that is lower than the 5th percentile for the child's age. There are some health risks of being underweight. In many cases, being slightly underweight can be perfectly normal, especially if your child has recently gone through a growth spurt, eats healthy foods, and is normally active. Being underweight can also signal a problem and deserves medical consideration if your child is not gaining weight or has recently lost noticeable weight, has diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a low energy level. Children can be at risk for developing eating disorders, especially if your child has a poor self body image, seems to exercise a great deal, has stopped having periods (amenorrhea), or is using laxatives to help lose weight. Additionally, children and adolescents who experience a sudden weight loss may be showing symptoms of Diabetes Type 1. Weight gain diets for children should be closely monitored by both parent and doctor to ensure maximum nutrition and growth.


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Health Risks Associated with Being Underweight

If you are underweight, you need to think about the risk you are posing to your own health. You increase your likelihood to have osteoporosis and the effectiveness of your immune system may be decreased. In women, you may lose your period or have irregularities and you may have problems with infertility. Maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet can help alleviate these problems.


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Anorexia and Bulimia: Health Risks

Eating disorders create underweight patients who may suffer from a myriad of problems. These conditions are extreme because their disease is about controlling what they ingest and how much they weigh. Anorexics frequently damage heart, liver and kidneys by not eating enough. They can also lose their hair, experience muscle weakness and joint pain, ultimately, some people have even starved themselves to death. Because Bulimia is about binging and purging, bulimics may have stomach damage from vomiting and damage to the teeth and throat. Most damaging is the potential loss of potassium from constant vomiting that can lead to heart failure, brain damage and death.


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Anemia

Anemia is a health risk of being underweight and is characterized by a lower number than normal of red blood cells. It is usually measured by a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin which is the red pigment in red blood cells that transports oxygen. Anemia can be caused by nutritional deficits common in people who are underweight and not eating a balanced diet rich in iron. Some symptoms of anemia are fatigue, pain in the chest and shortness of breath. If you are suffering from anemia, you should focus on a weight gain diet rich in nutrients and eat a lot of leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach.


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Weight Gain Needs

Many people are underweight for a variety of reasons: high metabolism, skipping meals, eating on the run, illness, injury, active lifestyles, stress, eating the wrong foods and not having enough nutrition. Some of these reasons raise no concerns, but there are health risks in being underweight. Losing weight due to illness, stress, skipping meals or not having sufficient nutrition are all issues. In these situations people set themselves up for further problems down the line by not maintaining a healthy weight and a balanced diet.


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Immune System Deficiencies

Vitamin deficiency and being underweight can affect the effectiveness of your immune system. For instance, if you do not get enough vitamin D your body won't be able to metabolize calcium and you can get a disease like rickets. If you do not get enough vitamin C you can get scurvy. If you do not get enough iron you get anemia. Nutrition is very important to your immune system and even if you are only have minor deficiencies you can suffer from illnesses that won't go away and from fatigue. You should avoid being undernourished and underweight by using weight gain supplements or calorie supplements.


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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin. You need insulin to process sugars, which is the most basic fuel for human cells. One of the signals of the onset of Type 1 Diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes is a sudden weight loss. If your child has just recently lost weight, you should have him or her screened to diabetes.


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Weight Gain Supplements

Weight gain supplements can help in gaining weight when they provide a combination of high calories, high protein, high carbohydrates, high fats and sugars with ample vitamins and minerals. High calorie supplements need to taste great or else they will not be used regularly.


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Alternate Uses

In some cases, a weight gain supplement can be invaluable as an energy resource for the outdoor enthusiast. Just as a power bars are a great idea, you can bring a powdered calorie supplement in your pack to mix with water on the trail. You get the calories you need, and the hydration, without having to carry a ton of food around with you. Calorie supplements can also be great for your teenage athlete who can't seem to stop eating you out of house and home! Get them a powdered weight gain supplement and make sure they are getting the nutrients they need, as well as the calories.


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Weight Gain Shake

The weight gain shake will work when it is high calorie and high protein, high carbohydrate, and high fats. Some weight gain shakes are primarily protein and protein only shakes are not adequate for weight gain if the high calories are missing. Pick a shake with protein, carbohydrates and fats with the highest calories.


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Weight Gain: Pills

Pills do not supply the body with the amount of weight gain nutrients and high calories the body needs to gain weight. To gain weight, the body needs a combination of high calories and nutrients. A pill is too small to contain all the needed weight gain nutrients. That is why effective high calorie weight gain supplements are in powder form, not a pill.


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How Weight Gain Supplements Work

A proper weight gain powder can provide the extra high calories and special nutrients the body needs to gain weight that are not being provided with regular foods. When a weight gain supplement offers the combination of high calories and high nutrition, the body stores this extra nutrition as needed weight gain. .


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Dietary Supplements Vs. Weight Gain Supplement


A dietary supplement is a product, usually taken by mouth, that contains an ingredient that might otherwise be missing from your normal food diet. The dietary ingredients typically contained in a supplement are herbal supplements, vitamins, minerals and calories. The FDA does regulate dietary supplements, as foods, rather than as drugs. Dietary supplements should not make claims that they can cure any diseases or conditions. According to the FDA: "...(A) product sold as a dietary supplement and promoted on its label or in labeling as a treatment, prevention or cure for a specific disease or condition would be considered an unapproved--and thus illegal--drug. To maintain the product's status as a dietary supplement, the label and labeling must be consistent with the provisions in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994."


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Weight Gain Shakes

To gain weight, 1-3 weight gain shakes are recommended each day, depending on the calories and nutrients. A proper high calorie supplement shake can provide over 650 extra calories per shake, more high calories when fruit and ice cream is added.


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High Calorie Weight Gain Shakes


To gain weight, high calorie shakes should also accompany regular food. You don't want to just substitute the weight gain shake calories for the diet calories. You need to add more calories to your diet with the weight gain shake. In combination, a high calorie weight gain shake and regular diet add more weight.


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What to Look For

Your weight gain supplement should be one that can be mixed with water or another liquid depending on your taste and preference. The supplement should have a balanced equation of vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and sugars and should give you the exact number of calories and grams of all ingredients so you can integrate the supplement into your weight gain diet appropriately.


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Helping You Absorb Necessary Nutrients

Your weight gain supplements should contain ingredients that aid the absorption of nutrients. Aspartate is one such ingredient. It is a protein that helps the body to absorb necessary nutrients. In the case of someone with an illness these ingredients can mean the difference between weight maintenance and healthy weight gain. Be careful no to confuse aspartate with Aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener.


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