Some people are naturally slender due to genetics and are healthy, but for others being underweight may indicate that nutritional needs are not being met.
Factors that contribute to the problem of weight loss and undernutrition include:
- Poor appetite
- Illness that increases requirements such as cancer, kidney or lung disease
- Surgery or medical treatments such as chemotherapy
- Medication side effects such as nausea, taste changes
- Significant emotional stress or depression
- Disordered eating
To manage underweight will require increasing calorie intake to not only meet daily needs but to exceed daily requirements by a small amount on a daily basis. This can be very challenging for someone with minimal appetite. A variety of high protein & high energy foods are used as add-ins to the diet. Often nutritional supplements are required.
For those who are underweight, gaining weight is just as difficult as weight loss. The biggest thing to keep in mind if you are trying to increase your calorie level is that a consistent routine is required to see results. If you only eat extra calories for a few days but fall off later in the week, your weight just won’t budge. I believe that providing support and encouragement is the most important part of my role in assisting you to be persistent in the struggle against underweight.
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