"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

How can I eat consciously to maintain a healthy weight when I am underweight?

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your question answered:

How can I eat consciously to maintain a healthy weight when I am underweight?

If you are underweight it is important that you eat regularly and that you eat enough to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. If you are living a very active lifestyle and battle to get in enough nutrients you may need to supplement your diet.     

If one of the reasons you are underweight is because you enjoy being slim or "skinny", it is still important that you eat consciously and provide your body with enough nutrients to sustain health.  If your body becomes malnourished you may start to experience undesirable symptoms like dull hair, low energy, muscle wasting, disrupted hormones, broken nails, unusual hair growth, hair loss, skin outbreaks, cracks and sores, gum disease, bowel discomfort, body odour. 

Eating consciously involves listening to your body and nuturing it.  Here are some tips:

  • Eat nutrient dense foods like: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, eggs, fish, cold pressed vegetable oils
  • Eat regularly: around every 4 hours to prevent your body entering "fasting" or "starvation" state where it will burn even more of your reserves.
  • Eat when you feel hungry: you don't have to eat a lot, but eat something
  • Remember to eat, don't skip meals, it will make you lose muscle and upset your blood sugar, leaving you feeling tired, vulnerable, and irritable and compromise your metabolism
  • If you have a small appetite don't drink fluids with meals, it will full you up and you may be inclined to not eat enough proper food.
  • Make sure you eat enough carbohydrate to preserve your protein for muscle building and tissue repair and other functional activities (not a fuel source).  Eat some carbohdrate at each meal (3 - 7 serves a day). (Fruit, vegetables, grains, cereals all count as carbohydrates).
  • Eat protein daily (1 -2 serves) (Beans, eggs, fish, meat, chicken, soya, nuts, seeds, quinoa are examples of protein foods)
  • Consider taking a multivitamin and mineral (Usana probably provides the best all round multi vitamin, mineral and antioxidant complex)
  • Eat responsibly. Be conscious of not over indulging in "junk food" and unhealthy food just because you can and "it doesn't affect your weight", too many empty calories and many of the additives in these foods will put extra stress and strain on your body which may have lasting repurcussions. 
  • Find ways to manage stress, particularly if stress negetively affects your appetite and makes you lose your desire to eat.
  • Limit stimulants, if you are already underweight it is best to avoid stimulants like caffeine and sugar

If you are underweight and you feel you are eating enough it might be worth seeing someone to investigate what is going on for your body:  sometimes "wasting" can exist alongside diseases like cancer, or parasite infections or extreme stress or metabolic disturbances, psychological imbalances, nutrient deficiencies and thyroid problems.

Please contact me for any further information.

Recent Posts


sexy salads leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut cooking with allergies keep focused diet diary of a nutritionist comfort eating taking responsibility herbal toothpaste real food cholesterol lowering diet making time to relax nutritionists diet diary avoiding a choice Egg allergy childrens lunch boxes go for 2 and 5 should I eat organic veggies fruit and vegetable shortage recipe love food prostate cancer empty your mind diet diary heart foundation tick explained christmas delicious fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas assertiveness food allergies food intolerances food sensitivities energy love, loneliness 7 steps to detox soft drink and behaviour problems detox immune system addicted to chocolate organic vegetables healthy shopping list skipping meals overindulge focus music quick recipes alzheimers Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah breast cancer awareness happiness workshop nutritionist quick eating solutions cooking class in brisbane libido healthy cooking party improve your memory time management and healthy living fresh stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress healthy cooking demonstration celebrate life what is healthy food gluten intolerance is chocolate bad for me health for busy people sensitivity to milk healthy shopping to know and not do is not yet to know mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo make stress work for you health pioneers nutritionist in brisbane feels good control dance healthy cooking parties benefits of strength training, why you should strength train mood maintain a healthy weight, underweight recipes for allergies pop-eye and spinach 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart simple 7 day detox plan have fun in the kitchen sexy salad gift immune boosting tips Nina Simone image reducing coffee what is movember performance low calorie diet nutritious cooking dangers of multitasking while you eat 10 % principle Happiness brain health foods in season, seasonal recipes breast cancer prevention fruit life choices memory Sensational fun I've Got Life strength healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options health with 10 % effort Lactose intolerance best exercise low calorie meal plan natural alternatives to drugs are frozen veggies any good new year's resolutions do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources life lessons what is a good breakfast weight loss Laughter and stress life recipies lunch dancing which is better for you butter or margarine muffins seasonal quick and tasty recipes four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results anxiety fresh start relax great second hand books fussy eaters Cancer happiness course soft drink and behavior problems Alan Pease skip meals heart disease relationship with food nutrition how to get more of exercise is sugar bad salad comfort pig how to love exercise natural toothpaste low cholesterol weight success and you how to avoid injury during exercise benefits to keeping a diet diary Add new tag trans fats getting fit the tummy beast increasing energy obesity ask my doctor how to be happy sugar and add have more energy health homocysteine nutritious quizz breakfast comfort foods hunger and stress wrong type of exercise, exercise and results benefits of sleeping motivation fatigue drugfree alternatives the power to choose ways to improve prostate health sugar and adhd Nutritional Therapist how to say no Lisa's Diary ability to respond calorie controlled diet support your body soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity blood pressure are grains healthy cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia healthy fast food, healthy take away corporate wellness weightloss I don't get hungry muscle wasting high cholesterol health one step at a time reasons to eat foods in season taking a break allergies how to check your breasts indigestion