"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


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