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When teenagers express an interest in wanting to gain weight, it’s often for image-related reasons. Some boys don’t develop the broad shoulders they see in their peers as quickly as they’d like while teen girls often envy the womanly curves of celebrities.
Among teen boys, sports are a common motivator for wanting to gain weight. Football players, for instance, start playing the sport in middle school before everyone’s been through puberty. But when they get to high school, they may not be big enough for the varsity squad and want to bulk up.
Doctors advise that there usually isn’t a medical reason for most teenagers to gain weight. If sports is the motivator, helping your teen find another sport in which a long, lanky appearance will aid performance is the best course of action. It can be helpful for girls and boys to find a sport or some other sort of activity which helps them appreciate their body and treat it well. Both teen girls and boys could benefit from counseling in self-esteem can help ward off dangerous body image issues.
However, when a teenager is underweight a doctor may advise that he or she try to gain weight—in a healthy way. If your teen is very active and uses more energy throughout the day than she consumes in calories, a doctor would likely want her to gain weight. Following are some healthy tips on fast ways for teenagers to gain weight.
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Gaining Weight: The Healthy Way
There is one sure-fire way most teens can gain weight fast: eating an abundance of high-fat, high-sugar foods. Teens who eat a diet high in fat and sugar in an effort to gain weight will likely gain only body fat. This weight gain approach should be avoided at all costs. Even skinny people need to worry about eating too much junk food: when you’re still growing and developing, you need to get the right nutrition to feed body and mind. It’s important to follow a healthy diet to gain weight fast.
Before putting any diet or health plan into action, first consult a doctor and nutritionist. These specialists can help teens determine exactly how many calories they need to consume daily and monitor healthy weight gain so that the body isn’t put through too much stress.
If your teen needs more energy for daily activities or simply isn’t getting the nutrition he needs, a doctor may advise altering your child’s diet by adding nutritious, high calorie foods. Under a doctor’s supervision, the following fast ways for teenagers to gain weight can be safe:
- Maximize portion size. Gradually try increasing the volume of your teen’s food intake. For example, trying adding an additional food item to each meal one at a time. For instance, add fruit to your teen’s usual cereal at breakfast. Over the course of several days, start increasing the volume of the cereal itself. Once you increase the portion size at a single meal, move on to altering lunch and dinner portion sizes as well.
- Offer “extras." Offer additional food items at mealtime to increase both the flavor and nutrition of meals. Try adding Carnation Instant Breakfast, for example, to a glass of milk or ice cream shake. Or try adding cheese to grits or pasta.
- Use whole fat dairy products. As long as they’re consumed in moderation, these whole fat products can help your teen gain weight fast, safely.
- Add butter. As long as a meal isn’t already high in fat, adding butter to a meal is a great way to increase caloric intake.
A healthy weight gain is usually one to two pounds per week. Allow your doctor to monitor the weight gain in his office instead of at home on your own bathroom scale. It will be less emotionally frustrating for everyone if you let the doctor handle weigh-ins. If emotions are high, scheduling sessions with a mental health professional could be helpful in allowing your teen to maintain a healthy attitude towards food.
How Teens Can Gain Weight Quickly
"Gaining Weight the Healthy Way" looks at safe, doctor-recommended strategies for packing on the pounds.