When You Can't Gain Weight

In people who have hyperthyroidism, inexplicable weight loss is a common problem. As the amount of thyroid hormone increases, the activity of your body cells speeds up, causing you to burn more energy than normal even without additional physical activity.

In some people, this extra energy burn causes a parallel increase in appetite. But for others, the appetite boost actually causes weight gain when the calories you ingest surpass your level of physical activity.

Everyone tells you you're lucky to be so thin, but in reality, being too thin poses its own set of health problems. You may be vulnerable to serious injuries if you fall, and you are also at higher risk for infection. In addition, being underweight can cause fatigue, irritability, and the inability to concentrate. Here are some tips from the ADA:

  • Try five or six small meals instead of three bigger ones.

  • Avoid drinking too much during meals, which can fill you up.

  • Exercise regularly, which will stimulate your appetite and boost your body's energy demands.

  • Enhance the appeal of your foods with more color, texture, and aroma.

  • Make mealtime pleasurable by dining with friends.

  • Take a walk before eating to stimulate appetite.

  • And whatever you do, make sure to continue loading up on healthy foods. Being underweight is not an opportunity to indulge in excess amounts of high-fat foods. Thin people will face the same health risks as heavy people if they eat too much saturated fats, cholesterol, and sugars.

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