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26 years old. Trying to gain weight. Working in night shift. Suggest a diet plan

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Dietitian & Nutritionist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 123 Questions
My weight is not increasing though my diet is proper. I am 26 years old and height is 5 feet 7 inches but my weight is 49 Kgs. only, which is under weight. I have to work in night shifts also, due to which my diet cycle is not proper. So kindly suggest me any diet chart or plan to follow which can help me out. Your quick response is appreciated.
Posted Sun, 17 Mar 2013 in Weight & Lifestyle
Answered by Grace Abraham 40 hours later

According to your height and weight, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 17 kg/m, which is underweight; the normal BMI range is from 18.5-24.9 kg/m. Ideal body weight for your height should be from 65 kg to 70 kg.

Weight gain is as difficult as losing it, if you are naturally thin. It is not a good idea of increasing intake of junk foods and fatty foods to gain weight. You should be eating calorie dense yet nutritious food. Your calorie intake should come from foods that are healthy for you.

Diets which help to gain weight in healthier and fast way are foods which are high in proteins. Generally proteins are building blocks of the body. They also provide stamina and immunity to the body. A weight gaining diet should include high protein foods, high carbohydrate foods and healthy fats.

Following are some tips to follow to gain weight. You will take some time to gain the weight you need, but be patient.
•Consume more calories than you burn. Choose healthy foods to add calories.
Drink healthy beverages to add calories.
Mangoes are XXXXXXX in calories and carbohydrates; include them in your diet.
•Eat healthy food frequently, 5-6 times a day - 3 larger meals and 3 smaller meals alternately. Separate them by at least 3 hours so you can digest each meal fully. Don't go without food for 5-6 hours after having a major meal.
•Have a balanced diet.
•Exercise regularly for healthy weight gain. Some thin people think that exercise is not good for them. This is not true, it keeps the metabolism high. Remember that eating alone is not sufficient. You don't want to gain fat but lean mass, so exercise is important.
•Protein is the key for the muscle mass. Without adequate protein, muscle gain is not possible. Good sources of protein foods: whey, dairy products (low fat variety), nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds).
-     Milk is one of the best muscle foods.
It contains two high quality proteins, about 80 percent whey and 20 percent casein.
•Complex carbohydrates are also needed.
•Avoid tea / coffee after meals. Avoid sweets at the dinner time. Use full cream milk and curd.
•Soya flour should be mixed in equal parts to wheat flour and mix cream while kneading dough for making chapatti.
• Include soya products, nuts and dry fruits in your diet

Don't add calories to your meals by choosing unhealthy fried foods such as french fries. Choose foods that are prepared with cooking methods like baking, poaching, and stir-frying.

Remember that it can take a while to gain the weight you need, but be patient and continue to choose foods that are good for you until you reach your goal weight.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
•Have an extra slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter at breakfast.
•Add extra cheese to your sandwich.
•Slice an XXXXXXX and serve with almond butter.
•Stir chopped nuts into plain yogurt and top with honey.
•Serve yourself larger portions of starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet corn.
•Add calories with a nutritious beverage such as milk, 100% fruit juices, or vegetable juice.

Hope I answered your query.

Grace Abraham
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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