Underweight/Weight Gain: How Nutrition Counselling Can Help
Updated: Jun 19
While many people struggle with weight loss, it's important to recognize that being underweight can also present health challenges. Achieving a healthy weight is crucial for overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the factors contributing to being underweight, the impact on health, and how nutrition counselling can play a vital role in helping individuals gain weight in a healthy and sustainable way. We will also provide Canadian sources with links for further information.
Causes of Underweight:
Inadequate Caloric Intake: Consuming fewer calories than the body requires can lead to weight loss and being underweight.
High Metabolism: Some individuals naturally have a higher metabolic rate, making it challenging to gain weight.
Medical Conditions: Underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders, or eating disorders like anorexia nervosa can contribute to being underweight.
Genetics: Genetic factors can influence body composition and weight.
Impact of Being Underweight:
Nutritional Deficiencies: Inadequate weight can result in nutrient deficiencies, compromising overall health and immune function.
Muscle Wasting: Lack of muscle mass can lead to weakness, fatigue, and impaired physical performance.
Weakened Immune System: Underweight individuals may be more susceptible to infections and have a harder time recovering from illnesses.
Hormonal Imbalances: Insufficient body fat can disrupt hormone production, affecting reproductive health and bone density.
How Can Nutrition Counselling Help with Weight Gain?
Personalized Meal Planning: Registered dietitians can assess individual needs and create tailored meal plans that focus on calorie-dense, nutrient-rich foods to promote weight gain.
Balanced Nutrition: Nutrition counselling ensures the intake of essential macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support overall health.
Healthy Weight Gain Strategies: Dietitians can provide guidance on portion sizes, meal frequency, and food choices to promote gradual, sustainable weight gain.
Addressing Underlying Issues: If an underlying medical condition or eating disorder is causing underweight, nutrition counselling can work in conjunction with medical professionals to address these concerns.
Research and Further Information:
Dietitians of Canada - Healthy Weight Gain: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Weight-Management/Healthy-Weight-Gain
HealthLinkBC - Eating Guidelines for Healthy Weight Gain: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/hlbc/files/documents/healthfiles/hfile69a.pdf
Nutrition counselling plays a crucial role in helping individuals who are underweight by providing personalized guidance to achieve healthy weight gain. Working with a registered dietitian can ensure an appropriate and balanced approach to nutrition, addressing individual needs and promoting overall well-being.