There’s so much rhetoric on the internet about how to lose weight that sometimes the opposite issue gets neglected. Being both overweight and underweight can have a detrimental effect on our confidence. It’s not always about having an eating disorder – sometimes we just find ourselves living a bad lifestyle and we lose control of our bodies.
When I left my finance job a year and a half ago, I was seriously underweight. I had always been slim but when my face started to look gaunt, my friends and family started to comment. I became extremely self-conscious, mostly about my overly prominent collarbone and visible breastbone so I avoided all open tops. I had developed a lot of bad habits. With my long work hours, I was eating all my meals at the office so I tended to rush through them, which eventually led to me eating less and my appetite shrinking. It wasn’t until I left my job that I really took time to address the issue.
I wanted to write this post for anyone else who might be in a similar position. Here are a few things that helped me get back to my healthy weight:
- Eat your big meals at home – when your appetite has shrunk, you need to gradually increase your food intake. Because you’re not used to eating large quantities, you’ll probably be a slow eater so need to be in an environment where you can take your time without feeling self-conscious. Restaurants are full of pushy waiters who are eager to clear your half-full plate and you can start to feel awkward when they ask you if you’re finished for the third time. Close friends will want to help you get back to your goal weight but in large social gatherings you may not want to feel like the odd one out still working on your now cold steak. Until you’ve built up your appetite (which may take months), try your best to eat the major meals in the comfort of your own home.
- Stay healthy – this may seem obvious but lot of people will be telling you to eat whatever you want. Sweets and deep-fried food are not the answer. Healthy weight gain cannot be achieved with a quick fix. Many slim women think that their size gives them immunity to heart related diseases but in fact many of them may suffer from high cholesterol as they’ve never had to adjust their diet to change their size. Stick to the good fats (fish, nuts, avocado, olive oil) and keep your fridge stocked with healthy snacks so that you can quickly respond to any hunger pangs you might have.
- Workout – just because you’re trying to gain weight, doesn’t mean you should shy away from exercise. The best part about working out is that you finish hungry! Make sure you take advantage of this increased appetite my eating immediately. Your weight loss would have left your weaker so focus on strength building workouts like yoga and pilates instead of fat burning spinning. Once you feel like you’ve gained some strength, then you can move onto cardio. Just remember to pace yourself.
Shaleena and Roshni
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