It may come as a surprise to some of you, but many clients come forward looking to gain weight and bring their bodies up to a healthy size. Enough questions came forward that we dedicated an episode of Simplicity TV to shining light on this very subject; how to gain weight healthily and successfully.

A Holistic Guide to Gaining Weight or Size

  1. What is the state of your digestive and intestinal tract? When it comes to both weight loss AND weight gain, the health of your gut is of utmost importance. If you have an inflamed digestive system, it is likely that you are not absorbing or assimilating the nutrients you need in order for your body to thrive. You are what you eat, but you are also what you digest, absorb and what you eliminate (or rather what you fail to eliminate!). If your pathways of elimination aren’t working optimally, and you are not eliminating waste, this can lead to the re-circulation of waste, leading to further inflammation, and less absorption of vital nutrients. What is the quality of your food? We are aiming for organic, and NON-GMO produce.It is important, from a holistic stand point, to take a look at the picture of the whole person. These are some of the questions we would look at together to get the bigger picture as to what’s going on:
  2. Quality of Sleep – How much rest is your system getting? Quality sleep is such an important part to maintaing a healthy body weight. This is when we rest, repair and regenerate. Want more information on how to get better sleep? Go here to read my blog about how to catch better quality ZZZ’
  3. What is your hormonal state?When your hormones are in optimal balance, your body begins to reset itself to a healthy weight that you are meant to be at. Understand that your hormones play a huge role in your ability to sleep, metabolize and repair.
  4. Try stress reducing, low impact movement– a restorative yoga class, a meditation class, a gentle hatha yoga class – each of these will help to decrease stress and get your blood circulating, so nutrients and oxygen can flow throughout your system efficiently.

Supplement & Food Recommendations for Healthy Weight Gain

  1. Probiotics – probiotic foods as well as supplements help to re-populate the ‘friendly’ gut bacteria, which leads to better digestion, a strengthened immune system, and a healthy nervous system. Recent studies have indicated that the health of your immune and digestive system are directly linked to the number of healthy bacteria living in your gut. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, some pickles, kefir and cultured yogurt have gone through the process of lactofermentation, in which natural bacteria feed on sugars in the food creating lactic acid. This process creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, and various strains of probiotics, excellent for gut health. When searching for a quality plain yogurt rich in probiotics, make sure it says “live and active cultures” on the package. If you have gone dairy free, try a cultured coconut yogurt. This will ensure that you are getting living probiotic strains.
  2. Healthy Fats – increasing your consumption of great sources of healthy fats helps to support the nervous system, and leads to glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails. Including healthy fats is a nutrient dense way to help your body put on the weight and muscle mass it needs to stay strong. Healthy sources of fat include avocados, wild fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines and Herring contain the highest amounts of Omega 3 fat) coconut oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seed oil, olive oil, raw nuts and seeds (whole walnuts are pictured above!).
  3. Daily smoothies, packed with homemade nut milk, healthy fats, fermented protein powder, whole fruits and leafy greens is going to get you closer to meeting your daily goals in one simple drink – plus smoothies are easier to digest because they are already blended, so your body has to do less work in order to break it down.
  4. A whole foods fruits and vegetable supplement (like Juice Plus) or a good quality greens powder added into your shake will increase your intake of nutrient dense power foods, to increase energy and give your body the tools it needs to grow and strengthen.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free contact me.

 

Want to learn more about The Simplicity Project? Check out my most recent spot on RogersTV talking about The Simplicity Project, what its all about and why I created it.

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Disclaimer: The information contained is intended to be used for general health care information purposes only, and should not be considered complete or used in place of a visit, call, consultation or advice from a physician and/or healthcare provider. Individuals are encouraged to contact their own private physician or healthcare provider regarding continuation or changes in their symptoms.
Vanessa Fioretti
Written by Vanessa Fioretti
Vanessa is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Nutrition media expert. She is currently working as Jenn's Nutrition intern, and is a producer and developer of Simplicity TV.