With only 2% of the US population underweight and a staggering two thirds (66%) overweight, it is easy (though not right) to see why there is such little support. However, while obesity is often the result of poor lifestyle choices, underweight is mostly due to genetics and little to do with poor decision making.There are several reasons you may be struggling to maintain or gain weight and include the following:
WEIGHT GAIN PROBLEMS
1. UNDER-EATING DESPITE NORMAL CALORIE REQUIREMENTS
The first thing to examine is your average daily calorie intake and your energy expenditure. In other words, are you eating enough? Do you enjoy eating? Is it a chore? Do you dislike chewing? Some people simply don’t like to eat or don’t take the time to eat. Do you have a poor appetite? Do you stop eating when under stress? Do you feel full after eating relatively little? Are you very active? Does your job always have you on the go? Do you exercise a lot?
It is worth considering these points. It may be the case that instead of possessing higher than average caloric requirements, you have normal calorie requirements, but have not met these. To determine how many calories you have been eating, you need to take a note of the all the food and drink you consume in an average day and calculate to how many calories it amounts. To determine how many calories you should be eating use the calorie calculator.
2. FAST METABOLISM: GREATER CALORIE REQUIREMENT
If you have been meeting or exceeding your calorie requirements, you may be an ectomorph. Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism and require more than the average amount of calories to maintain and gain weight. Thus, ectomorphs who skip meals or don’t snack regularly tend to suffer with weakness, tiredness and irritability. If you have been losing weight or your weight gain efforts have been unsuccessful, you probably require more calories than the average recommended daily calorie intake.
For example, a particular person with an average metabolism based on their sex, height, weight and amount of physical activity might need 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight. However, if that same person has a metabolism that is faster and more inefficient than the average person, they might require several hundred more calories more than this.
3. AN “ADAPTIVE” METABOLISM: WEIGHT GAIN RESISTANT
If you have dramatically increased your calorie intake, but your weight gain attempts have still failed, you may be an ectomorph with a more problematic physiology. Your metabolism may be increasing as you increase your calorie intake. In other words, your body may be extremely adept at changing your metabolism to match the calories you consume. This means you can overeat, without experiencing weight gain. This type of metabolism is extremely frustrating if you are trying to gain weight. However, as long as you are healthy, you may have to resign yourself to your current weight until your metabolism slows down with age and weight gain becomes easier (usually starts to happen after your mid-twenties). Do not take extreme and unhealthy measures in a bid to gain weight, as they could have serious repercussions on your health and metabolism.
If your body type does not run in your family, your weight problems are recent or you have been losing weight, it is certainly worth checking with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to rule out any problems such as hyperthyroidism that may be making weight gain difficult.