"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


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