How to GAIN Weight Healthfully

Underweight is an often-unrecognized nutrition problem. If not due to an eating disorder, the best way to remedy the situation is to design a program where the individual eats more calories than they expend. One must also ensure the calories are derived from a nutritious, balanced, variety of foods. Gaining weight healthfully is actually trickier than you might think. The object is to make the weight gain mostly lean body mass (muscle) and not much body fat. You can accomplish this by taking in more calories than you burn, in addition to partaking in at least 60 minutes/day of movement/exercise. A healthy rate of weight gain parallels a healthy weight of weight loss, 1-2 pounds per week can be expected when reasonably increasing energy intake. It takes an excess of about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per week to support the gain of a pound of lean muscle (the goal in weight gain).

Again, the best way to gain weight, healthfully, is to gradually increaseone’s consumption of nutritious energy-dense foods. Keep in mind that you can boost caloric intake healthfully without having to purchase expensive supplements-it just takes a little planning. What’s more, Americans tend to have a problem getting in enough fiber, calcium/vitamin D, omega-3 fat and vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies.Therefore, one should be especially attuned to increasing intake of higher-calorie (but still healthy) food sources of these nutrients. To learn more about which foods are highest in “nutrient density,” you can access the USDA site.

Here are some other suggestions for getting in extra calories:

  • Choose larger portions of healthy food sources: peanut butter or other types of nut butters (a great higher-calorie source of protein and nutrients), low-fat dairy such as yogurt and cottage cheese, nuts and lean cuts of chicken, turkey and fish, such as salmon and tuna.
  • Choose higher-calorie, no sugar added–100% juices more often, such as cranberry and pomegranate juice, as opposed to drinking calorie-free beverages like water or diet soda.
  • Choose a higher-calorie whole-grain cereal such as Post Grape-Nuts (208 calories in ½ cup serving) versus a low-calorie refined-grain cereal such as Kellogg’s Special K (only 117 calories in an entire cup).
  • Add generous amounts of healthy fats like olive and canola oil into your day
  • Add in a few high calorie snacks throughout the day such as a nutritious shakes or smoothies made with real fruit, fat-free milk, and some added non-fat dry milk and even peanut butter and ground flax seeds to boost calories and nutrient density. Commercial shakes are OK in a pinch, but it is always better to make your own, so you control the ingredients and additives.
  • Make sure to eat three meals a day, plus get in those higher-calorie snacks.

Athletes seeking to gain muscle mass often want to know how much muscle they can gain and over what time period. The answer depends on many factors: the resistance training program they participate in, prior weight training experience, genetics, gender, motivation, diet and finally use of anabolic agents (obviously not recommended).There are 2 KEY factors in a successful resistance training program designed to maximize muscle mass (promote muscle hypertrophy):

  1. Follow an intensive weight training program designed specifically (sets, reps and rest periods) to induce muscle hypertrophy (70-85% 1RM, 6-12 reps, 3-6 sets, 30-90 sec rest): Overload the muscles with hard work.Practice Progression in the gym. Include Recovery time.
  2. Get Enough Calories, carbohydrate and protein, packaged in a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet.

Try this delicious and nutritious higher calorie smoothie recipe:

Dr. Janet’s Blueberry Smoothie

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: approximately 2 cups)

  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 packet chocolate-flavored instant breakfast
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup frozen sliced peaches (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

In a blender combine all ingredients to desired consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (approximately 14 fluid ounces): Calories: 300, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 170 mg, Carbohydrate: 48 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 36 g, Protein: 12 g

Why should I cut back on eating red and processed meat?

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Why are people deciding to eat less meat, especially red meat? Red meat is defined as meat that comes from adult mammals that look reddish in colour before it’s cooked. This includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, goat and horse. Processed meat is meat that has been preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning. Common examples of processed meat include: Sausages, hot dogs, salami, ham, cured bacon, salted and cured meat, corned beef and pastrami.

Health benefits

Research has found that there are several benefits to cutting down on the amount of red meat we eat in our diets. Here are some of the research-based health benefits of reducing red meat consumption:

Decrease in the risk of heart disease

Red meats have more cholesterol and saturated fats than white meats. Cholesterol and saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol, which contributes to the development and worsening of heart disease.
Even more so, when the body is digesting red meat, it releases a compound called trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO). The higher level of TMAO in the body, the higher the likelihood is for arterial blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Decrease in the risk of cancer

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has categorized red meats as a level 2a carcinogen, which means they are a probable carcinogen. Processed meats are categorized as a level 1 carcinogen, which means they have as much of a risk of causing cancer as alcohol and cigarettes.

Decrease in the risk of inflammation

Saturated fat and iron in red meat can cause inflammation. Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer and arthritis.

Decrease in the risk of obesity

If you eat more than five ounces of meat a day, you are 27% more likely to become obese and 33% more likely to have central obesity than those who eat lean proteins.

Decrease in the risk of diabetes

Increased consumption of red meat has been linked to increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 48%.

Increase in lifespan

Lean and plant-based proteins are linked with a lower mortality rate compared to a diet that has high levels of red meat.

Environmental benefits

Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions refers to the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere. The higher the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, the worse it is for climate change. The livestock sector, as in raising cows, pigs and chickens, causes as much greenhouse gas emissions as cars, trucks and transport combined.

Agriculture not only plays a large part in keeping livestock fed and watered with large amounts of food and water, but it also contributes to 15% of Ireland’s total emissions. Half of these emissions come from keeping livestock, while the other half is from agricultural activities. Compared to cultivating staples such as potatoes, wheat, and rice, keeping livestock produces 11 times more greenhouse gasses.

Decrease in deforestation

Thousands of square kilometres of forests and trees are destroyed every year for the purposes of grazing pastures. This has a negative effect on the environment, as trees absorb CO2 and convert it into the oxygen we breathe. When deforestation happens, the CO2 which these trees store get released into the atmosphere, causing higher levels of greenhouse gasses.

By not keeping livestock, less land will need to be cultivated, and thus reduces the levels of emissions being released into the atmosphere. Compared to cultivating staples such as potatoes, wheat, and rice, keeping cattle requires 160 times more land. Livestock grazing takes up 26% of Earth’s ice-free land.

Increase in food and water for future generations

Keeping livestock requires huge amounts of grain and water. The total amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef is approximately 6809 litres of water and one pound of pork takes 2180 litres of water. 5 kilograms of grain is needed to produce one pound of feedlot beef. This is a cause of huge concern for researchers, as they are worried about feeding an extra 2 million people with the booming population by 2050. 33% of land which could be used for growing crops is being used to grow food to feed livestock.

Eat responsibly, cut back on your red meat consumption!

Talk To Your Friend With An Open Heart

Health should be the priority of each and every person. Maintaining good health requires effort and control in terms of the food that we eat, the right amount of exercise, the proper diet, and having balanced nutrition. It is never easy for a person who has an illness or a health diagnosis to open up and to communicate about their condition. It is one of the hardest situations that a person will be able to face since it is inevitable. Dealing with this type of situation in life requires a lot of courage which is why there are proper ways in which you could talk to a friend or a loved one who has health conditions. You should be able to approach them in ways that would not be uncomfortable and give them guidance all throughout.

No matter what age, there are two types of people; some want to talk about their health while some would rather keep their conditions to themselves.

The Right Amount of Support and Care

Keep in mind that a person who wants to talk about or open up about their health, whether it is their mental condition, overall weight, illness, and any other topics that are related to their health, takes a lot of guts to do. Deep down, you might feel shocked and uncertain, but on behalf of your loved one do not show that you are scared. Show them that you are concerned and that you are willing to listen to whatever they will say instead. Any kind of crisis in health has a huge impact on their life and it can be frightening, but what is important is that you will be there for them. This is the part of their life where they need immense support, especially from their friends and loved ones. It is your duty and responsibility to show it and act on it. Give them words of encouragement on a daily basis and make it your goal to keep them happy with whatever challenge they are facing in life.

Find the right time to communicate where both of you are not distracted, in a rush, or stressed. Consider inviting them for coffee wherein he or she will be able to discuss their concerns and your concerns at that time. Communicating at coffee shops tend to be relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee while talking about life or any private information helps us remain calm. There are many benefits of trying out coffee syrup flavors to suit your current situation and mood since caffeine helps improve focus, calmness, and it helps a person become more optimistic.

Listen Attentively and Take it Seriously

It is very important for you to listen and to let them finish their thoughts and complete their sentences without the urge to interrupt. Only respond once they have finished letting go of their feelings inside and have stated everything that they need to say. You should be able to let them know that you understand and make them feel that they are not alone in this journey. Focus on their needs by taking them and your conversation seriously. Do not be judgmental; value what they are going through by validating their feelings.

It is a big relief for a person who wants to talk about their health to someone who is understanding and respectful. Situations like this are not solved with just one conversation so make yourself available to talk whenever they need you. Let them know that they can always reach out to you whenever they need someone to talk to or if they are having a hard time.

Remember to be thoughtful and sensitive with the way you approach them and when stating your own words especially if the subject matter is painful or a secret that they have been keeping for a long time. Speak about your concern regarding their health and give them proper advice. In addition to this, offer lots of empathy and compassion. Tell them that you only want what is best for them and, of course, seeing them live the healthiest and happiest life possible. Your discussion should revolve around support and help which is why you should ensure that you are trustworthy and you will help them get the care that they need.

Transitional Housing: Help for Recovery or Homelessness

Over the years, the world has continued to witness an increasing population of homeless individuals. Being homeless does not mean that they are living on the streets. The fact that they cannot afford permanent housing because of their meager wages is what characterizes their homelessness. Hence, they rely heavily on transitional housing.

Transitional housing refers to the provision of temporary housing. More often than not, charitable organizations, such as churches, non-profit organizations and the government provides such an arrangement. However, it does not guarantee long-term housing. Instead, it is a stepping stone to stabilizing those who are transitioning from one life to another.

There are hundreds of alcohol-related activities, addiction and untreated mental health issues affecting millions of people today. The grip of addiction claims more than 90,000 lives yearly. Sadly, they do not have a pathway to recovery once they chose to turn to permanent sobriety. This includes those transitioning from jail or prison life.

Clean’s transitional living residences are a way for someone suffering from addiction to achieve clean, healthy and productive lives. There may not be cookie-cutter solutions. Nevertheless, the exposure to a new way of thinking, individual guidance and the right therapies always lead to a recovery road map. Transitional living is one of the ways those suffering from addiction can move forward. It is like a step at a time. The programs are beneficial in helping those recovering to start functioning in a home setting with others around them helping and encouraging them. You become part of a clean environment where peers and staff support one another.

Outside of a treatment facility, the applicant for transitional housing must meet various requirements. Of importance is to enter into a tenancy agreement with the housing providers. The program may sometime have a room or boarding fee, usually 25-30% of an individual’s income. This is refundable partially or in full once the person transitions to permanent housing.

The transitional period can run for one or two years, and it benefits the people between the ages of 16 and 22. By the end of that period, they must have obtained some gainful employment or income or permanent housing.

What is the role of transitional living in health management?

Recovery from a particular condition, for instance, an addiction is an ongoing process. As such, the community ought to be tolerant and supportive of those in transition living for recovery purposes. The community reinforces the foundation of a person’s sobriety.

As positive as getting sober can be, it is essential to have reality checks in place. Staying active is one of them, according to Dr. Janet Brill. Staying active is not only necessary for people needing to lose weight. It is not only beneficial to physical health but also mental health.

It is primarily helpful to those who are struggling with depression, stress or anxiety. It is a reliever because it keeps them distracted most of the time. Thus, pushing yourself into it even when you do not have the motivation is worth it, and it does not have to involve massive expenses if you cannot afford something like a gym. How about just walking or jogging in the neighborhood?

While every coin bears two sides, so is the aspect of transitional housing. The program has its share of challenges and limitations as explained in Wikipedia.

  • Sometimes the program is not sustainable dues to lack of government program funds or charitable grants. Some banks are also not willing to give loans for construction.
  • Rigid government policies and plans are shadowing the methods applied by philanthropic organizations in solving the homelessness problem. Some national, regional and local officials claim that those are inadequate solutions for the situation. This is despite the evidence supporting the viability of the solution.
  • Imperfect markets where the demand is exceeding the supply is also a significant problem because housing providers cannot admit all the applicants.
  • While there is a widening affordability gap in housing, there is also a lack of real estate acquisition. This in return hinders the development of additional housing stock. There is also the aspect of expensive development requirements and regulatory constraints, which more often than not halt the operations.

As the need for transitional housing increases, hopefully, there will be more options for those needing that help, whether homeless or going through recovery.