Reasons for the missing kilos
Most people think of weight problems in terms of losing weight. But even if you want to gain weight, it’s not always easy. The battle of the missing kilos is fought by almost 4% of the Swiss population who, based on the BMI definition, are underweight. The condition affects women much more than men. The reasons for the missing kilos vary widely: nutritional habits, genetics, general health, stress or competitive sports are just a few. Especially in old age, dental problems, medication and reduced appetite exacerbate the problem.
Unhealthy calorie-laden foods may deliver plenty of welcome calories, but they also cause unwanted fatty tissue. And the risk of health problems such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases doesn’t only apply to those who are overweight, but also to people of normal weight. So if you want to normalise your weight, you should eat good tasty food and pursue an active lifestyle.
Gaining weight the healthy way: here’s how.
The general rule for gaining weight is: eat 500 kcal more per day than the recommended energy requirement. Follow this rule and you will gain one kilo within two weeks.
1. Small meals – but lots
Often, your appetite doesn’t rise to the challenge, which is why lots of small meals can help raise your calorie intake. 3 meals across the day and 2-3 snacks in between is one possibility. The extra calories are contained in snacks like dried fruits, nuts, fresh fruits with nut butter or bread with avocado.
2. Low-volume high-calorie
Select more foods with a high energy density. This will load your meals with calories without harming your health. At 9 kcal per gram, fat is the most calorific food of all. Small amounts are enough to significantly increase the energy you consume per meal: an extra spoonful of olive oil when cooking, an avocado in your salad or a slice of bread with lunch. Or crispy nuts as a topping in muesli or soup. Carbohydrates such as bread, oats, pasta, rice or dried fruits are rich in starch which also makes them particularly effective.
3. Protein to build muscles
The recommended daily requirement is between 1 and 1.5g protein per kg body weight. You shouldn’t eat more than this, because larger amounts of protein can be harmful in the long term. No shakes or powders are needed to reach the daily requirement. Just 100g of fish provides almost 20g of protein, 100g of quark provides 10g of protein. Plant-based foods can also contain a lot of protein: one portion of lentil curry with rice contains 30g of high-quality protein.
Exercise not only stimulates the appetite – weight training in particular also helps to build muscles and thus weight.
5. Home-made shakes
Smoothies and shakes are ideal: they pack in the calories, and cleverly combine fresh fruit, dairy products, nuts and oats.
Cacao smoothie: a delicious snack with high energy density.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 small pot of Greek natural yoghurt
- 3 tbsp. oats
- 1 tbsp. pure cacao powder (without sugar)
- 1/2 cup milk, plant-based if preferred
- 1 tsp. pure Bourbon vanilla powder (e.g. Alnatura from Migros)
- 1 tbsp. cashew nut butter
- 1 tsp. flaxseed
- 3 dates
- Place all the ingredients in a blender. If necessary, a hand-mixer will do.
- Blend until the smoothie has an even consistency – if it's too thick, just add a little milk.
Energy: 650 kcal
Protein: 20 g
Fat: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 69 g