Wednesday, March 10, 2010

thyroid diet and weight

I was asked by a friend what to do about an overactive thyroid.

He was desperate to gain weight and had been told that due to his thyroid his metabolism was very fast i.e. he was burning loads of calories all day long.

Having said that he's also the really active kind (you know the one, lots of sport, goes to the gym, walks to work, etc.) so his muscle mass is above average in any case.

There are lots of sites who specialise in giving thyroid diet advice, but not many who give advice on how to gain weight with a fast metabolism.

The cambridge weight gain centre is one of them but the key items I mentioned to him were:

1. more regular meals (better 5 or 6 meals than a couple of large ones)
2. don't increase calories by to much - about an extra 600 per day
3. Eating the right foods, especially being careful with the level of protein intake
4. sport nutrition - very important to eat something before training and again afterwards.

If you follow the advice in my book, or the details in the free fact sheets from the cambridge site you will gain weight - even with a fast metabolism

Hope this helps, more details on the cambridge site.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Part 1 - How to gain weight when eating lots

Isn't it annoying? You eat the same or more than your
friends and never seem to gain any weight.

We speak to many people every day who are desperate to gain
weight - and the one comment they absolutely hate is
"I wish I was like you - I just have to look at food to put
on weight"

So what is the secret?

There are 3 key items to consider:

Firstly you need to work out your energy balance.

Even if you are eating lots it could well be that you are
burning every item of food consumed.

Your energy balance will be unique to you. It is based on
your current resting metabolic rate (how many calories you
burn before any activity) combined with your daily activities
- the amount of calories you burn as a result of your job,
looking after children, sport, weight training, etc.

As a start you need to find out this number – my book takes
you through the best method for calculating this – based on
your individual circumstances.

It’s a bit like an investigation – once you know this figure
you can move to stage 2.

To gain weight, as a basic ballpark figure, you need to take
in at least an extra 500 calories per day over and above what
you burn every day. If, for example, you know you are taking
in more calories then you burn – and not putting on the lbs
- then you will need to consider item 2 and 3 below.
Because your energy balance is ok.

However if you are not taking in enough calories – very easy
to do even if you are eating lots – then you will need to a
different action plan.

Secondly, you will need to consider your absorption rates.
Although it could be your energy balance needs improving, if
you are eating lots then we usually find your absorption rate
is to blame.

If you are not absorbing all the nutrients from the food you
eat, then you are wasting a lot of money and benefits.

A condition called negative nutrition affects your ability to
absorb nutrients from food. If you are not absorbing to the
max then you won't be getting the maximum benefit from the
food you eat. You can eat and eat but if your body isn't
absorbing nutrients you won't gain weight

Lots of factors can affect absorption – it’s easy to say I
don’t smoke or drink but I speak to so many people every day
where stress is the main cause. Changing jobs, separation,
money problems, etc.

It doesn’t have to be that difficult to improve your absorption
rate – I have often found it can be just the simplest changes
that will have the biggest results. For example do you
drink enough water?

You can guess, or do a 'health and wellness' assessment to
find out exactly your current status, and if (or how) the
changes needed to improve your absorption rates.

Not only will it lead to quicker results – you will also
feel absolutely fantastic as you are really benefiting your

Thirdly – you need to focus on what you are eating and when.

The types of calories you eat are just as important as how
much. Try to avoid 'empty calories' such as fast food, which
only generate fat in the wrong places. You need to focus on
high-power foods rich in essential nutrients (vitamins,
minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, and
unsaturated fats).

On purpose in my book I have not included daily meal planners
– because everyone’s tastes are different. However instead
I have included different food groups for you to choose from
– that way you can select those foods you enjoy, and which
will give you the quickest results.

It is always amazing how quickly you can fill out by
following the basics.

I hope you enjoyed this information, the next one (day after
next) will include information on what to eat if you are
just not hungry)

Don't forget - for less than a tenner - you can get the book
and have your own full plan within the next hour!


part 2 - : Just not hungry?

Just not hungry?
I tend to speak to 2 main groups of people each day - there
are the ones you eat and eat and just don't put on weight.
And then there are those who are simply not hungry.
Either they have never had a great appetite, or sometimes
they lose it due to circumstances. (stress, illness, etc.)
In most cases it tends to be "patchy" - skipping breakfast is
by far the most common. Or just not having time for lunch due
to the job / looking after children, etc.
So what can you do to boost appetite ?
Might sound strange, but bear with me !, but the first item
is to find out exactly how much you are eating each day.
It comes back to your energy balance from the last email. You
need to know exactly how much energy you burn each day - that
is individual to you, and will depend on your resting metabolic
rate, job, sport, other activity, etc.
You then need to balance this with exactly how much you are eating
each day - taking into consideration not only your meals but
also snacks, etc.
Why is this important ?
I have lost count of the number of times I have asked people
to keep a food diary. Checking exactly how much they were taking
in each day - often with surprising results.
That mars bar / biscuits / etc all count towards your daily
calorie intake, will fill you up (also affecting your blood
sugar levels leading to yo-yo mood swings but that is another
issue!) but won't help you gain weight.
Once you have analysed exactly what you eat each day you might
find that simply switching from snacks to different
power-foods your appetite will improve, as well as your weight
gain results.
So the first step is to find out your energy balance

Step 2 - Boosting your appetite
The first point to realise is that for ultimate weight gain
result it's far better to have more smaller meals then a few
large ones
There is absolutely no point in forcing yourself to each
large meals - it won't help your weight gain results
However - one of the most important meals of the day is your
breakfast. You do not want to start the day on an empty tank,
because everything you do - until your first meal - will result
in your muscles draining your system.
So if you don't feel like breakfast ?
There are some practical steps you can take:
Might sound strange (as you will be burning calories) but try
to do exercise - even if it's walking or taking the stairs.
Exercise boosts the appetite.
Get up earlier !
Weight gain drinks (home made or bought) will help as they are
easy to consume. (my book described the best ones to use)
However if you are not doing sport / weight training in the
morning then avoid the ones containing protein.
For the rest of the day ?
Try adding supplements (even coffee or tea will do) because
again they will stimulate your appetite.
Also concentrate on what you are eating - if you don't have
an appetite then you need to eat exactly those foods which
will help you get maximum results.
How about Adding Products ?
It is definitely an easy way - as you won't need to worry about
what to eat, etc. But beware - there are lots and lots of
different products. Some are aimed at body builders (i.e they
contain protein) and others just won't be very good for your
long term health. We tend to work with herbalife products but for
a comparison have a look on our site.
What's the difference between this course and my book ?
This is a basic introduction to weight gain - key items to focus on and general information.
My book goes into much more detail - in addition it also
includes full access to our specialised weight gain site.
(And if prefer we will also email you a personalised
recommendation - when you order the book you will get an email
with details of your own personal advisor)
For more details just visit the how to gain weight site

Part 3 - Resistance training, weights and sport

Resistance trainig, weights and sport

If you remember in my last email I made the comment about the
importance of not starting the day on an empty tank.

In the same way you won't get very far in a car, when running
on reserve, your body simply won't perform if you haven't
provided it with the right type of fuel.

Now when you are going to the gym, or take part in any sort
of sport, in addition to making sure you have enough you also
need to have the right type fuel.

The secret to your success will be when and what you eat or
drink. Yes all the commercially available protein drinks
will help - but only if taken at the right time.

Most top athletes (could be running, football, riding, moto
cross, body builders, etc.) use a fuel - refuel method :

Thirty minutes before working take in easily absorbed carbohydrates
- this helps spare the stored fuel in muscles (muscle glycogen).

During training, competition and your workout, drink fluid
– at least every 15 minutes.

Every adult should be drinking at least 2 litres of pure water,
still NOT sparkling, every single day. Whilst exercising we
must replenish those stocks with even more water. Fizzy and
carbonated drinks do not allow the cells of our body to absorb
nutrients correctly and can easily upset our body's delicate

Keep in mind that our window of opportunity for maximum-potential
glycogen replenishment occurs within the first 30 mins after
exercise. This simply means that we have a 30 minute WINDOW
when our fuel tanks-our muscles-are most receptive towards
being refilled.

Protein =Repair
After exercise, we should also take in high quality protein.
Every activity in life damages muscle cells; the more strenuous
the activity or the exercise, the more damage that occurs

Research suggest that antioxidants nutrients assist in reducing
recovery time by helping the body combat free –radical
damage. Athletes create large amounts of free radicals in
several ways. One way is by simply breathing in far more
oxygen than a non-active person does.

This sounds more complicated then it is, it is just a matter
of eating and drinking the right foods at the right time.

Sorry - quick advert - but my book will help you select what
to eat and when to get best results.

Also don't forget that if you are going to the gym, or train
at home - then the plan you use will have a huge difference.
Personally I like Sean's plan

Don't forget you are also welcome to contact me if you would
like advice.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Part 4 - How To Develop your own plan

From part 1 to 3 below you will have seen that gaining weight
is very much a personal experience.

Everyone is unique and a plan that works for one might not
work for anyone else. Which is why I am also so disappointed
with the misleading advice given in most health food shops.

Usually based on very little experience they will often
recommend drinks with the highest calories or with the
right sounding label!

If you have read my comment below you now know better and that to gain weight
you need to focus on a 3 step plan:

1. You need to identify how much you need to eat to gain weight
You need to work out your resting metabolic rate, and then
include in that your daily energy usage.

When you know this you know your minimum calorie needs - you
then need to up this by about 500 to 1000 calories per day.

However there is more to it then calories - you need the right
type of foods to put on weight. (for example that would be
4 mars bars - you and I know that if you had 4 mars bars per
day for a month you wouldn't gain much weight and feel pretty
yukky !

Eating the right types of food will make a huge difference -
it doesn't have to be diffucult and you don't need to turn
into a health freak! Just simple everyday foods will work
if you know which ones to select.

2. You need to do a full wellness assessment
Even if you have a fantastically healthy lifestyle you will
be surprised by all the elements you need to focus on.

I do a lot of one to one assessments and people are often
surprised by how easy it is to forget some key elements
which will really help weight gain

3. Combine this in a weekly weight gain plan
Based on the above 2 you need to develop a detailed plan on
what you need to eat and drink to put on weight.

Again that will be individual to you - are you a mum who
skips meals (but picks all day long at the kids meals !) or
someone who works in an office and skips breakfast. Alternatively
are you someone who works in a physically demanding job, eats
loads and still don't gain weight.

Your plan is unique to you and simply buying the nearest drink
won't be the right answer!

Please don't forget that my book includes a full weight gain recommendation, or alternatively it is also automatically included with any products from the herbalife weight gain site.