For some individuals, the ability to gain weight and improve body composition can be a major challenge. Being underweight can have significant health consequences resulting in fragility, poor energy, reduced quality of life and shortened lifespan. Sustainable weight gain provides many health benefits including:
– Increased muscle mass
– Improved strength, balance and coordination
– Reductions in the onset of muscle wastage (sarcopenia) in the over 50’s
– A weight ‘buffer’ to help during periods of compromised health
– Re-instatement of regular hormonal cycles and improvements in bone mineral density, in women
I have found that successful weight gain requires multiple strategies operating at the same time. I focus on food type and volume, meal timing, snacking and supplementation. By applying my knowledge in sports nutrition, I link appropriate strength-based exercise with the nutrition plan to ensure that the weight gains also result in improvements in body composition. As with any weight management plan, consistency, accountability and the willingness to challenge eating patterns, are key to long term success.