In your zeal to get in shape, you may have overdone it and want to gain weight fast. Fortunately, it’s possible to do it in a healthy way. Over-dieting doesn’t just affect your appearance, it can also reduce energy levels, muscle tone and leave you tired and vulnerable to illness. With just a few lifestyle changes, you can quickly recapture some of those pounds and replace them with the lean muscle you want.
What’s Considered “Over-dieting?”
- A diet that limits your caloric intake from both fat and carbohydrates to less than 700 calories a day is considered a “very” low calorie diet that can lead to overdieting if prolonged.
- Adding or increasing exercise while reducing caloric intake below 1,000 calories a day can be considered overdieting.
- Using too many meal supplements or replacements can become overdieting.
- Single food diet programs like a water or grapefruit diet can also lead to overdieting and extreme weight loss.
Regaining Healthy Weight Fast
- Don’t Skip Meals- You can’t regain or maintain weight without fuel, so plan for your meals. Instead of falling victim to the “I didn’t have time to eat” excuse, plan ahead with healthy, higher calories snacks so you aren’t caught at meal time or snack time without food.
- Increase Your Healthy Fat Consumption- Healthier unsaturated fats, like those found in fish, peanut butter and whole grain breads are packed with nutrients and energy to build muscle and help you put back some of those lost pounds in a healthy way. They provide essential fatty acids like Omega -3 and Omega -6 that the body needs but can’t produce on its own. Avoid saturated and trans fat that contribute unhealthy plaque and cholesterol to the body.
- Add Strength Training Exercise to Your Workouts- A great way to add healthy pounds while increasing fitness is through strength training exercises. Since muscle typically weighs more than fat, you’ll probably notice a slight increase in your weight, but the extra body mass will be lean, healthy muscle.
- Stick to Your Target Heart Rate for Cardio Workouts -Pushing your cardio workout past your target heart rate can make you anaerobic, burning muscle instead of fat. Calculate your target heart rate and stick to it during your workouts and retain that healthy muscle.
- Welcome Some Higher, Nutritious Calories to Your Diet – It’s time to look at those healthy carbs like fruit smoothies and whole grain pastas that you previously limited and increase your portions. Not only do you add some needed calories, but you have the benefits of the extra antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals!
Hazards of Overdieting
- Over-dieting confuses your metabolism, making it difficult to effectively maintain your desired weight over time.
- Over-dieting increases your temptation to binge and overindulge in fattening, empty calorie foods instead of more nutritious alternatives.
- Over-dieting puts an unhealthy strain on your heart and vital organs that need adequate nutrients for proper health and function.
Getting back to a healthy weight can actually be “fun work”–use it to investigate more nutritious choices for your regular diet plan without the pressure of strict calorie counting.