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Sep 18, 2012

Why Can't Some People Gain Weight?


  • Genetics often has a lot to do with why a person might not gain weight. While some people's appetites do not fluctuate, other people just like to eat more and never seem to get full. Then there are those individuals who put on excess weight as muscle and not fat. Researchers at the University of Maryland recently investigated the role of human growth hormone in gaining or losing weight. The study was designed to take a closer look at why individuals gain weight at different rates, despite maintaining similar activity levels and consuming the same number of calories. The theory is that increased levels of growth hormone may cause a person to burn more energy, thereby preventing weight gain. On the other hand, although exercise can boost the production of growth hormone in the body, weight gain reduces growth hormone levels.

    Medical Causes

    • The truth is that some individuals who struggle to gain just a couple of extra pounds do not eat enough protein to put on weight. Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can contribute to being too thin. Like losing weight, gaining weight takes time and cannot be achieved within a few days. People trying to gain weight must learn to eat healthfully, just the same as those individuals who are trying to lose excess pounds. The nutritional content of the foods you eat makes a difference, along with eating more than the amount of energy you use.
      Other medical conditions can contribute to the inability to gain weight. Graves' disease, or hyperthyroidism, often causes people to lose weight despite having an increased appetite. If hyperthyroidism goes untreated for a prolonged period of time, muscle tissue begins to waste away. Chronic lung disease can cause unwanted weight loss as well. Considering that it takes a lot of energy to breathe, proper nutrition is essential. Eat a high-protein diet and do not drink fluids with your meals. Drinking fluids makes you feel full, so you might not eat as much. Increase calorie consumption by 300 to 500 calories each day
      Gaining Weight
      One way to gain weight is to increase caloric intake by eating more. Since people typically should not consume more than 15 times their body weight in calories to maintain, when trying to gain weight, you need to increase the number of calories. A person should eat about 20 calories per pound of body weight in order to gain ½ to 1 lb. each week. After two weeks, if you have not gained any weight, increase the number of calories you consume by 10 percent. In other words, if you have been consuming 2,000 calories each day, increase the number to 2,200. These tips are based on averages, as an individual's activity level and rate of metabolism can make a difference. Individuals who fail to gain weight within a few weeks of increasing their caloric intake likely have a fast metabolism.
    • No matter your metabolic rate, the key is to not let yourself get hungry, or else you may end up losing muscle. Eat at least six times throughout the day, which means eating a meal about every three hours. Be consistent and consume the same number of calories each day. Eating lots of healthy carbohydrates and protein, and building more muscle cells through weight training, can help you to put on more weight.