The Pain of Weight Gain
I am very eager to gain weight and have been advised to drink honey and milk early in the morning and at bedtime. Will this help? Can you please advice me on how to put on weight and build a strong physique.


I am very aware that there is a group of you out there who are painfully thin and painfully trying to gain weight without much success. Believe me it is more difficult to gain than to lose weight. But we have been successful so here are some tips.

My first advise would be to have yourself dewormed. If you have not done this in the last 6 months do it tonight. You just have to swallow a single capsule at bedtime. The next step is to check if you are anemic. Examine your tongue, lips and fingernails to see if they are bright pink or reddish pink in colour . If it is pale, whitish pink then you may have to take an iron supplement for 3 months. You may consult your family physician on this matter.

Now for the diet. The first point to be understood is that we don't want to become fatter but we want to build up the muscles and tissues of our body so that we become stronger and feel and look healthier. This is not achieved by eating more and more fatty foods like large amounts of ghee and butter being added to all the meals. Also it is not advisable to indulge in ice cream and chocolates daily. This only increases the amount of fatty tissue in the body and pimples on the face.



On the other hand one has to become very aware of the nutrient content of foods and learn to combine them properly at every meal. For healthy muscle and tissue building one requires proper amounts of carbohydrate and protein rich foods. Carbohydrates are all starchy and sugary foods. The main source of carbohydrates should be whole cereals like whole wheat, corn, ragi, jowar, bajra and rice. Besides this vegetables and fruits also give us carbohydrates.

These are to be eaten in combination with protein foods. They are dhals and pulses (channa, rajma, moong,etc) nuts, milk and milk products-curd, cheese, paneer, eggs and chicken, fish and meats. Each meal should be a combination of cereal items and proteins foods e.g. bread and egg, bread and milk or bread and cheese. Wheat, oats or ragi porridge with milk or buttermilk. Cornflakes and milk. Stuffed roti with curd or a glass of milk. Only bread and butter or only bread and jam is wrong only roti and tomato chutney or roti and sabji (vegetable) is wrong.

Similarly idli and sugar is not as good as idli and sambar. Please guide children to make the right combinations so that they gain weight properly. For lunch and dinner only chapati and sabji or only lime rice or vegetable noodle is not right. The protein item is missing. Chapati and sabji must have dhal, or an egg or non-veg with it and some curd too if possible. Channa, rajma and moong or horse grams are good substitutes for dhals.



Those who carry packed lunches must make an effort to eat properly. Here is the ideal lunch or dinner. Half - one cup dhal, half -one cup vegetable, (palya/sabji) and 1-2 piece chicken or fish or 1 glass butter milk or curd and 1-2 cup rice or 3-4 chapati and 1 cup salad.

The last secret to weight gain is to increase all quantities at all meals or snacks regularly. e.g. If you now eat 3 slices bread start to eat 4 and build up to 5. If you now eat 1-cup rice try 1 and a half-cup and then 2. If you now eat 2 biscuits try to eat 4. You have to be very regular and consistent to see results. Never miss a meal! Do this for three months to gain 5 to 6 kgs.

Milk is very important for weight gain so try to have1 Cup on rising, 1C at teatime and one at bedtime. Also please ensure that you drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Bananas, other fruits, raisins and dates may be eaten liberally, when ever possible.

Regular walking for 20-30 minutes a day improves circulation and stimulates appetite. Those working out in a gym must be careful not to over work themselves. Do not exceed 30-45 minutes workout.