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Tips for Safe Weight Gain in Teenage Girls

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/29/2009

Girls who want to gain weight in a healthy way can consult these healthy eating and lifestyle tips. One should consult a physician or nutritionist to before making drastic changes to your diet.

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    Why Would You Want to Gain Weight?

    You’d think most teen girls would be concerned with keeping weight off. However, sometimes naturally thin teenage girls long for the shapely curves of movie actresses and more developed peers.

    Puberty plays the biggest part in determining how teenage girls develop curves. Some girls start gaining womanly weight as early as age 8 while others may not fill out until age 12 or even later. Every body is on a different schedule—as determined by genetics—so it can be frustrating for teenage girls who watch their peers develop more quickly.

    You’ve probably heard the term “late bloomer.” A late bloomer is simply experiencing a delay of puberty. It runs in the family: If your relatives experienced it, you probably will too. No matter how frustrating it may be to lack curves, the good news about delayed puberty is that it usually isn’t harmful. Late bloomers need only wait a few years and eventually they too will gain weight and muscle mass.

    Still, if you’re concerned about being underdeveloped because you’ve recently lost weight without trying or cannot keep weight on despite eating a lot, you may want to see a doctor to rule out the possibility that a medical condition could be causing your weight loss.

    Even though being underdeveloped isn’t necessarily a problem, some teenage girls still want to put on weight. Teenage girls can gain weight in a healthy way, but it’s important to keep a good perspective about it: you just can’t speed up the development of your body, and it’s best to emphasize good health over good looks. Learn to accept yourself the way you are, and you won’t have a desire to gain weight to look better.

    If you’re struggling with body image, talk with someone you trust about the way you’re feeling: a teacher, coach, parent, or doctor.

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    How can a teenage girl gain weight fast and a healthfully?

    So just how can a teenage girl gain weight fast? The key is to watch your nutrition and get regular exercise.

    It sounds counter-intuitive, but teenage girls should avoid eating high-fat, high-sugar junk foods to gain weight. If you eat too many of these foods, you’ll likely end up gaining body fat.

    Instead of shoveling down junk food, eat a variety of healthy foods that contain healthy fats. Make a point of scheduling regular meal and snack times to eat your healthy foods if you find that you usually don’t eat enough during the day.

    Here are some tips to help you gain weight healthfully:

    • Don’t skip breakfast.
    • Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.
    • Amp up your protein intake: add protein powder to a smoothie, choose peanut butter for bagels, or drink a nutritional shake like Ensure for a snack.
    • You can still have junk food like soda and candy, but limit your intake of these empty calorie foods.
    • Avoid weight gain supplements. Unless you’re a body builder, you don’t need them.

    Keep in mind that every body requires a different amount of calories on a daily basis. Consult your doctor to determine what that number is and how you can safely gain weight.

    You may also want to add weight training to your regular exercise routine. Building muscle mass will increase your weight and change the shape of your body. When performed safely, strength training with dumbbells or on exercise machines is a safe way to gain weight.

Gaining Weight the Healthy Way

"Gaining Weight the Healthy Way" looks at safe, doctor-recommended strategies for packing on the pounds.
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  4. Tips for Safe Weight Gain in Teenage Girls