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When Being Underweight is a Problem
While there’s such a big emphasis on losing weight in American culture, being too thin is a problem as well. For many people, having a fast metabolism and being unable to gain weight can be a health problem.
For naturally skinny people with fast metabolisms, being underweight can often mean a lack of energy to carry out daily activities. Being underweight is especially a problem for skinny athletes with fast metabolisms who may lack the muscle mass to keep up with their bigger, stronger competitors.
Luckily, with a healthy diet and exercise, it is possible to gain weight with a fast metabolism.
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What to eat to gain weight with a fast metabolism
Before you embark on a weight gain plan, consult your doctor. Along with a nutritionist, he can advise you on the right amount of calories you need for your specific body type and activity level. A physical exam will also rule out any medical conditions that may be causing you to be underweight. Don’t skip this step: many people who think they have a fast metabolism end up finding out that there’s an underlying medical reason for their naturally skinny body type.
People who really do have a fast metabolism will be advised to start consuming more calories on a daily basis. But those calories should come from foods that have high nutritional value, not empty-calorie junk food.
The key is to eat a balanced diet and get enough fat, protein, and carbs. Good sources of fat include Omega-3 essential fatty acids (like those found in fish and nuts). Good sources of muscle-building protein include lean meat, nuts and seeds, and beans. When you eat carbs, go for whole grain sources in addition to plenty of fruits and vegetables. Doctors suggest eating a diet that consists of a ration of 60 to 70 % carbs, 10 to 15 % protein, and a small amount of fat.
Your doctor can provide tips on how to include the right foods in your diet. There are also several easy ways you can add more calories and nutrition to your diet at home. (See "Fast Ways for Teenagers to Gain Weight" from Part I of the "Gaining Weight the Healthy Way" series for ways to add extra calories into your diet.)
Adding supplements to your diet will also aid your health. Taking a good multivitamin can ensure that you get all the nutrition you need while adding nutrition shakes at snack time can also help you consume extra, healthy calories.
If you’re looking to bulk up and build muscle mass, consider protein supplements like creatine and glutamine. These supplements are commonly used by body builders and contain amino acids that actually help your body retain water. This extra hydration gives the appearance of larger muscles. The water also aids in protein production.
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Exercise to gain weight
If you want to gain weight with a fast metabolism, it’s essential that you alter your exercise habits in addition to eating a healthy diet.
Resistance training with weights builds lean muscle that will greatly affect your body weight. Lean muscle weighs more than fat, and you can build it with a carefully-designed weight training routine. In addition to increasing your strength, you’ll see an added benefit: change in your body shape.
If you already hit the gym on a regular basis, you may have to tweak your routine. If you spend a lot of time on cardio machines, lay off of them. Excessive cardio exercise torches calories and will likely cancel out the effects of your high calorie diet. Switch to weights only.
Tips for Gaining Weight When You Have a Fast Metabolism
"Gaining Weight the Healthy Way" looks at safe, doctor-recommended strategies for packing on the pounds.