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Healthy Weight Gain For Fertility

Healthy Weight Gain For Fertility

Being underweight may affect conception. How do you gain weight healthily without piling on the junks?

Weight in relation to fertility is a curious thing. If you’re trying to get pregnant, or intend to start trying, know that being overweight – especially significantly so – can affect your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

Being underweight can also reduce a woman’s fertility. Being underweight doesn’t affect the fertility of all women. The affects of weight vary with each individual; it isn’t an issue unless it disrupts ovulation and the menstrual cycle. If you are planning to get pregnant in the next year or few years, healthy eating and regular exercise can boost your fertility.

Today’s segment, we’ll be talking about how you can gain weight healthily for fertility.

There are many nutritious foods that help you gain weight that most people don’t consider when they think about gaining weight. You don’t have to jump the gun and automatically down burgers, shakes and candy bars to gain weight. It will take you longer to gain weight on healthy foods than it would have by visiting fast food places, but what most people didn’t understand was this was the only way anyone could handle gaining weight, without resorting to disordered eating.

A healthy diet for a healthy weight

It’s crucial that you gain weight the right way, and not by eating chocolate, cakes and other high-calorie junk foods full of saturated fat and sugar, or with fizzy drinks. These foods can increase your body fat instead of your lean body mass. While eating junk food may result in weight gain, it will not address the nutritional deficiencies that come with being underweight. Further, even if the fat, sugar and salt common in junk food don’t show up as extra weight, they can still harm your body. To maximize healthy gains, try the following tips.

  • Eat more frequently. When you’re underweight, you may feel full faster. Eat five to six smaller meals during the day rather than two or three large meals.
  • Choose nutrient-rich foods. As part of an overall healthy diet, choose whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; lean protein sources; and nuts and seeds.
  • Add healthy calories. Without radically changing your diet, you can increase your calorie intake with each meal by adding nut or seed toppings, cheese and healthy side dishes. Try almonds, sunflower seeds, fruit or whole-grain wheat toast.
  • Top it off. Add extras to your dishes for more calories — such as cheese in casseroles and scrambled eggs, and fat-free dried milk in soups and stews.
  • Have an occasional treat. Even when you’re underweight, be mindful of excess sugar and fat. An occasional slice of pie with ice cream is OK. But most treats should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Bran muffins, yogurt and granola bars are good choices.
  • Go nutrient dense. Instead of eating a lot of empty calories and junk food, focus on eating foods that are rich in nutrients. Consider high-protein meats, which can help you to build muscle. Also, choose nutritious carbohydrates, such as brown rice and other whole grains. This helps ensure your body is receiving as much nourishment as possible, even if you’re dealing with a reduced appetite.
  • Snack away. Enjoy snacks that contain plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates. Consider options like trail mix, protein bars or drinks, and crackers with hummus or peanut butter. Also enjoy snacks that contain “good fats,” which are important for a healthy heart. Examples include nuts and avocados.
  • Eat mini-meals. If you’re struggling with a curbed appetite due to medical or emotional issues, taking in large portions of food may not seem appealing. Consider eating smaller meals throughout the day to increase your calorie intake.
  • Try smoothies and shakes. Don’t fill up on diet soda, coffee and other drinks with few calories and little nutritional value. Instead, drink smoothies or healthy shakes made with milk and fresh or frozen juice, and sprinkle in some ground flaxseed. In some cases, a liquid meal replacement may be recommended.
  • Watch when you drink. Some people find that drinking fluids before meals blunts their appetite. In that case, it may be better to sip higher calorie beverages along with a meal or snack. For others, drinking 30 minutes after a meal, not with it, may work.
  • Make every bite count. Snack on nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruits and avocados. Have a bedtime snack, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a wrap sandwich with avocado, sliced vegetables, and lean meat or cheese.
  • Bulk up. While too much aerobic exercise will burn calories and ultimately work against your weight goal, strength training– such as weight-lifting or yoga–can help you gain weight by building muscle. Exercise may also stimulate your appetite.

Food that helps with healthy weight gain

Salmon

Salmon has essential fats that also stabilised my mood and balanced my brain chemistry, which was most definitely off balance from my disorder. I ate roughly 5 servings a week, and looked and felt like a new person.

Raw Protein Powder/ Plain Whey Powder

I know protein powders get a lot of bad rap, but if you choose a good one, that’s free of additives, highly processed ingredients, sugar, fillers and stabilisers, it can actually be a very helpful way to gain weight. One of the easiest thing I did to gain a healthy muscle mass without gaining what I feared as “fat”, I added two scoops of a raw protein powder and sometimes plain whey powder to my smoothies. This helped me gain lean muscle mass and my weight increased slowly over time. My blood sugar was also much more stable this way as well, throughout the course of the day from the beneficial plant proteins. I do suggest avoiding high processed proteins like whey isolate, soy and even some forms of vegan proteins. Be careful to buy protein powders that will help you gain, but also won’t cause inflammation in the body such as the ones I listed above.

Sweet Potato

They will help add weight to the body, but don’t have the same high glycemic index that white potatoes do, or the fat-storing properties. Instead, sweet potatoes just add healthy carbs to the diet, which mine was lacking in, so it helped balance out my macronutrient intake, and helped me gain a healthy amount of weight.

Grass Fed Lean Red Meat

Steak contains a ton of protein and iron. But food experts warn that not all steak cuts are made equal. You want the fatty cuts where the meat is marbled. These cuts of meat will contain more calories, but they’ll also be way more delicious too! Look for rib-eye, t-bone, New York strip, and beef tenderloin.

Almond Butter

Almond butter is a high calorie food and it, along with any nut butter (preferably raw, and unsalted), will help you gain a healthy bit of weight in a short amount of time. Try to eat several tablespoons throughout the day, but be careful as it’s easy to binge on nut butter when you’re hungry for a meal. Never eat it out of the jar when you haven’t eaten a meal yet. Instead, include it in your snacks and be sure to include whole meals into your day.

Quinoa

Most people assume quinoa is an automatic weight loss food, and it can be, but to someone who’s not eating enough food, or healthy carbohydrates, quinoa is a great answer. It’s rich in protein, and carbs, which help it to put healthy weight on the body slowly, but surely. For variations, it can be made into quinoa pancakes, muffins, or eat it cooked a couple times a day.

Smoothies

Depending on what you put in your smoothie, it can be a tool for weight loss or gain. So to keep your smoothie healthy, and still help you gain weight, include 2 tbsp. nut butter, yogurt (no sugar added), protein powder, leafy greens if you wish and berries with chia, flax and even a banana if you wish. The combination of fat, protein and healthy carbs will help you gain weight healthily, and it’s also really tasty!

Full Cream Milk

Milk is a great source of protein and carbohydrates, along with many other nutrients making it great for weight gain. A 100 ml serving contains around 3.4g of protein and if you drink 2 glasses every day, you would have consumed 14g of protein.

Healthy Fats and Oils

Adding extra fat to your food is an easy way to add calories, but you want to be sure to choose fats and oils that are good for you. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and can add calories and flavour to pasta, bread, or vegetables. Canola oil is a good source of omega and monounsaturated fats and it makes a terrific all-purpose cooking oil. Walnut and grape seed oils are lighter in flavour and perfect for topping salads.

Eggs

Eggs too are a great source of protein, with 100 g containing as much as 13 g of protein. They are also loaded with several vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 making them an excellent health food.

Oats

Oats are rich in fibre, and a 100 g serving contain 17 g of protein. They are also rich in iron, making them a great health food for everyone and not just for those who are trying to lose weight.

Avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids plus vitamin K, potassium and fiber. One avocado has more than 200 calories.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain polyunsaturated fats that add healthy calories to your diet. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are all good for you. Eat roasted nuts and seeds by the handful or slather some nut butter on an apple for a nutrient-dense and calorie-dense snack.

Brown Rice

With generous amounts of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates per serving, brown rice is certainly a healthy food to have in your diet. It’s also a worthy component of a plan for healthy weight gain. To achieve the best results, combine rice with other nutrient- and calorie-dense foods to gradually put on weight without sacrificing nutrition.

Banana

Bananas are often recommended in most diet plans for weight gain. A single banana contains 105 calories and gives you an instant source of energy. Also, they contain a lot of carbohydrates making them a great food to have to replenish yourself after a workout for instant energy.

Butter

If you like the taste of butter and want to put on weight, then you should definitely include it in your diet. It is extremely rich in fat with 100 g of butter, containing 81 g of fat. Butter is made up of a unique molecular structure of saturated fat. This structure helps it retain a whole load of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A and D. It also has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. All these constituents boost one’s immune system. However, make sure that you eat it in moderation as a healthy percentage of this fat is saturated fat which can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.

Foods that should be included every day:

  • Full-cream milk: 750 – 1000 ml (3 to 4 cups)
  • Meat, fish, eggs and other protein foods: 3-5 servings (90 to 150 g)
  • Bread(wholemeal), grains, brown rice or oats: 8-12 servings (e.g. up to 6 cups of starch a day)
  • Fruit and vegetables: 3-5 servings
  • Fats and oils: 90 g (6 tablespoons)
  • Healthy desserts: 1-2 servings

You can add 300 calories a day by incorporating the following into your diet:

  • Three tablespoons of olive oil added to breads or vegetables
  • One scoop of ice cream
  • A nut butter sandwich with wholemeal toast
  • A large bowl of cereal with low-fat milk
  • Three handfuls of nuts
  • One bar of dark chocolate
  • A serving of fruit cobbler
  • Substitute three cups of juice for three cups of water
  • Three slices of cheese
  • One slice of quiche
  • One avocado
  • A glass of smoothie with good protein and full cream milk

Guidelines

Stick to a goal of putting on 1/2 pound to 1 pound per week. That means you need to eat or drink an average of 250 to 500 calories more than you burn every day. Ideally, those calories should all come from nutrient-rich sources. No single food is responsible for weight gain or loss – instead, it’s your total calorie intake in relation to how many calories you burn. It’s healthiest to balance your weight gain plan by eating a wide variety of high-calorie, nutritious foods from all main food groups rather than relying on one type to help you meet your goal. If you have trouble putting on weight even after increasing your calorie intake or if you need personalised guidance with putting together a meal plan, speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Smoothie Recipes

Banana chocolate smoothie

1 Banana

1 Medjool date

1 cup (250ml) Milk – your choice of almond or any nut or seed milk, coconut, rice,

full cream organic dairy

1 TB Quality cacao powder or raw cacao powder

or

1 handful 85% dark chocolate pallets

6 Raw almond

2 TB Raw protein powder or Plain Whey Powder

optional

1 TB Cacao nibs

Combine Ingredients into a high performance blender

The hulk smoothie

1 Avocado

1 cup (250ml) Milk – your choice of almond or any nut or seed milk, coconut, rice,

full cream organic dairy

1 cup (metric) Spinach

6 Raw almond

2 TB Raw protein powder or Plain Whey Powder

1 TB Honey

Quality cacao powder or raw cacao powder to garnish

Combine Ingredients into a high performance blender

Garnish with a dusting cacao powder or raw cacao powder

Basic weight gainer smoothie

1 Banana

1 cup (250ml) Milk – your choice of almond or any nut or seed milk, coconut, rice,

full cream organic dairy

6 Raw almond

1/2 cup (metric) Fruit – your choice of berries, mango etc.

2 TB Raw protein powder or Plain Whey Powder

optional

1 handful Green – your choice of spinach or kale

1 ts Seed – your choice of chia seed, flaxseed, sesame

Required amount Booster i.e. Acai, Maca, goji berries, bee pollens

Combine Ingredients into a high performance blender

Mango Lassi
1 Mango (see notes)

2 cups (500 ml) Probiotic yoghurt or kefir ( organic natural yoghurt / coconut yoghurt /

or kefir ) see notes on almond milk and alternatives

1 ts Ground turmeric

2 ts Bee pollen (optional )

½ ts Fresh grated ginger

2 ts Chia seed or ground flaxseed

1 ts Vanilla bean paste, extract or ground vanilla

handful of ice to blend

chopped pistachio to garnish

Combine Ingredients into a high performance blender

Blend until smooth, lush and creamy. Add a little water if necessary to adjust consistency.

Garnish with a dusting of crushed pistachios and a little extra turmeric

Notes

  • You can buy quality fermented kefir or natural yoghurt from good health food stores and supermarkets.
  • You can also use 2 cups fresh young coconut milk, macadamia milk, cashew milk or almond milk, pumpkin seed milk if you don’t want to use yoghurt of kefir.
  • Frozen banana, papaya, pineapple or peaches can be used in place of mango.  I love to use 2 frozen bananas for this recipe.
  • Enjoy topped with granola and fresh blueberry or pineapple for a purely delicious breakfast.

Healthy hot chocolate (2 serves)

1 cup (250 ml) Milk – your choice of almond or any nut or seed milk, coconut, rice,

full cream organic dairy

1 cup (250 ml) Water

1 TB Quality cocoa powder or raw cacoa powder

1/2 ts Ground cinnamon

1 stalk Scraped vanilla bean

1/2 ts Vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon extract

1 ts Honey

Combine milk, water, cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla into a small pot.

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