From this blog we are always promoting healthy lifestyle habits. That is why I want to explain what hypercaloric diets consist of , to work the problem from common sense and avoid some mistakes that are usually made due to ignorance.
When we hear the word diet, directly or indirectly associated with weight loss, first mistake, there are as many diets and as different as there can be people on earth. However, there is a more extensive classification of therapeutic diets, among them are those controlled in energy:
- Low calorie diets: for weight loss.
- Hypercaloric diets : for weight gain. In this second one I am talking about today.
A person who is thin sometimes has to listen to phrases of the type: “How lucky you are, give thanks to your metabolism.” But gain weight when you have a very active metabolism or the person itself is very active and nervous or there is a health or malnutrition problem, it is complex , especially you have to control other parameters so that food does not cause major imbalances, how? With a balanced and personalized diet. In most cases luck is not such if you need or want to gain weight due to malnutrition caused by a disease, as a result of aggressive treatment (chemotherapy) or a complex disorder such as anorexia.
In the best case, the patient wants to gain weight by aesthetics, to improve a neglected nutritional status, because he undergoes a hard sports training or has an extreme energy wear test such as a challenge under low / high temperatures, which is a stress for the body and large energy reserves are needed. In pathological states, more complex to treat, the advice I give later on “ characteristics of a hypercaloric diet ” are also useful .
Causes of thinness
Thinness can be constitutional or be caused by various reasons. These can be:
- Poor feeding
- Loss of appetite
- Disorders of intestinal absorption of nutrients.
- Diseases such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
- Debilitating diseases such as cancer or AIDS.
- Excessive or exaggerated physical activity.
- Stressful situations.
What should be treated as a priority is the situation that caused the low weight. Knowing the causes, the next step is to correct the feeding. When this thinness is constitutional, a diet rich in calories increases the size of the few fat cells of the affected, thus gaining some weight. But this gain is also easily lost in an unusual situation.
What is a hypercaloric diet?
Hypercaloric diets are those that contain a greater energy intake than an individual needs . Not only is it a high-calorie diet that allows weight gain, it also improves the quality and quantity of what you eat. It is necessary to quantify and increase calories, therefore, macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
It will depend on each patient (personalized nutrition) and must be established after a thorough nutritional study, adapting it to the tastes of each person, taking into account the degree of appetite and not generating through the food a great feeling of satiety so as not to hinder the intake desired in recovery.
Nutrients in their right measure.
Fats are the ones that provide the most satiety, they should not be used excessively to increase calories. On the other hand, proteins should not be used too much, since the distribution of nutrients should be as balanced as possible. Carbohydrates are a good option when it comes to increasing caloric intake, the fast ones because they are usually sweet and appetizing and are considered a good resource in hypercaloric diets, and the slow ones, although they satisfy, usually provide greater nutritional value.
A diet that causes weight gain should have a caloric intake between 20 and 50% higher than the normal caloric value. This should be increased gradually depending on the needs of each person according to age, sex, physical activity and pathology if it exists.
Characteristics of a hypercaloric diet.
- Calories should be increased at the expense of the quality and quantity of food eaten: increased carbohydrates and proteins, to a lesser extent fat because they are more satiating.
- Do not skip or forget the main meals, add one or two snacks between meals.
- Proteins should be sufficient, between 1 and 1.5 gr / kg of weight.
- Eat foods that provide vitamins (not processed), especially from the B complex.
- Given the high satiety value that fiber-rich foods give, they should be consumed in moderation. Preferable foods that provide many calories with low volume: nuts, vegetable oils, butter, sugars or honey.
- It is not recommended to eat salads or soups at the beginning of the meal, since they decrease appetite towards main or subsequent dishes.
- Food must be easily digested, this is one of the causes for which carbohydrates are used. Fats and proteins delay gastric emptying and prolong digestion.
- Raw fats are digested better than if we subject them to some type of cooking, the oil as a dressing, as well as beneficial, adds flavor and unctuousness to the dish, adds one more tablespoon to the diner’s dish with a hypercaloric diet. On the other hand, a frying generates more satiety, even if it apparently contains more calories, the patient will be satiated earlier and eat less.
- In many cases, a dietary supplement such as drinks or hypercaloric formula products is usually included to enrich meals, thus providing extra calories.
- It is advisable to include whole dairy products. Powdered milk is used to enrich preparations as purees. Yogurt can be enriched with nuts, seeds, brewer’s yeast, cocoa powder, jam or honey. You can also use condensed milk in a controlled way without exceeding, a high intake of refined sugars from a sitting is also not advisable.
- Cheeses are a great contribution since they have proteins of high biological value, provide calories with low volume. Add grated cheese to your preparations and use spreadable cheeses on your toast or sandwiches.
- Eggs can be consumed without inconvenience, provide fat, protein and enrich your preparations. Add it also cooked and grated or chopped to your dishes.
- The meats that are recommended to consume are white, do not require so much chewing and are more digestive.
- Fruits and vegetables are recommended whenever possible cooked and not raw, this is because it decreases its volume and satiating capacity. You can make quiches or tortillas with vegetables; and cakes, biscuits or nutritious smoothies with fruits.
- Pasta, rice, cereals and potatoes can be used daily and in the main meals. If you accompany them with sauces that these are nutritious and not too satiating.
- Large legumes are difficult to digest, opt for lentils or taken in hummus type peas to peck. You can use vegetable flours to enrich or thicken your dishes or make elaborations.
- Sugars and sweets can be used sparingly, preferably honey, jams, nuts enriched with nuts, almond paste or sweetening dates.
- You can prepare the infusions in a glass of milk by replacing the water.
- Choose drinks without gas to avoid satiety.
- Introduce bread in each meal, better soft, easy to chew and enriched brush with olive oil or butter if the patient wants.
- Dried fruits and dried fruits are highly recommended to increase the calories and nutrients of the diet.
- The temperature of the food you eat should not be too high, the hotter the more satiating power. You have to make the patient eat more before perceiving the feeling of satiety. Temperate or cold temperatures are the most appropriate.
Gaining weight, a healthy task.
We have the task of doing things right from the start of treatment, guidance and advice should always be done by a Dietitian or a Dietitian-Nutritionist, it is the best option if you want to reach a certain weight in a balanced way. Weight gain should be slow and gradual. If the person is healthy, the goal is to reach an ideal weight. But if there is an associated pathology, weight gain will improve and overcome the general state of health, prevent future complications (infections) and compensate for the side effects caused by other treatments.
The shortcuts are not worth and clinging to chocolate, pastries and food loaded with unwanted / harmful fats and / or refined sugars to gogó to achieve this purpose since, in addition to being a failure for our goal, it threatens the body predisposing to the development of others diseases: atherosclerosis, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia, etc.