Thursday, August 07, 2008

Putting On Healthy Weight

The desire to shed extra baggage and firm up is a goal for lots of folks, but not everyone.  If you’re underweight for

your body structure and have started your program to PUT ON healthy weight, or if your current weight is in good range, but you want to transform it into healthy proportions of skeletal, muscle, and fat; this tip is for you.


In addition to building your major and skeletal muscle groups through your fitness program, developing healthy eating habits (including what you eat and how you eat it) are essential.  Here’s why:


If you’re significantly underweight, chances are you may have a weak digestive system.  A healthy digestive system is what makes absorbing and using the nutrients in the foods you eat possible.  Being at a healthy weight doesn’t guarantee that your major organs are working well, but getting up in the normal range does improve your chances of regulating blood sugar and insulin levels and avoiding osteoporosis – and this means a lot for your overall health and longevity.


Building and maintaining healthy cells (including muscle cells), means supplying them with a steady stream of healthy nutrients. And you need all your organ systems, including your digestive tract and liver to function at a high level in order to achieve this.  Nourishing cells for growth and maintenance begins in the digestive tract.
Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure optimal digestion:

1.       Chew your foods until liquid.

Especially if you are underweight and your digestive system is weak, by chewing your foods until liquid, you take burden off of your digestive organs and increase the likelihood that most of the nutrients in the foods that you eat make their way into your bloodstream.


2.       Eat at rest, not on the go.

Being physically active or emotionally upset while you eat diverts blood away from your digestive organs and to your skeletal muscles and nervous system. Optimal blood supply to your digestive organs is crucial to keep them functioning well.


3.       Ensure regular exposure to friendly bacteria.

Having healthy colonies of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract is critical to optimally break down and extract nutrients from the foods you eat. Easy fix?  Eat yogurt every day.


To keep your liver healthy, avoid regular consumption of alcohol, deep-fried and sugary foods, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Regular exposure to these substances can impede liver function and even cause injury to your liver cells over time.
In addition to doing simple things to maximize digestive tract and liver health, gaining healthy weight means getting those extra calories from healthy, nutrient-rich foods. 
Foods like sweet potatoes, organic eggs, avocados, olives, and yummy smoothies made with nut or soy milk are all good choices for promoting growth and providing your cells with health-promoting nutrients. Raw, organic nuts are also good choices, but it's best to eat only about a handful of nuts per day since eating more than that on a regular basis can lead to a decrease in digestive efficiency.
Adding extra protein to your diet does help build skeletal muscle mass, but you don’t want to overdo it.  Aim to consume about half your body weight in grams of protein.  So, that means if you weigh 150 lbs, consuming 75 grams of healthy protein per day is right on track.


Christopher said...

Hey Tony,

Interesting article. Reflects back to a time when I was underweight. I weight 110 lbs to 120 lbs in high school and in college, I started out weighing 130 lbs. I had an intense workout system from being in martial arts and I ate like a horse (I could eat a whole large pizza and not gain a pound).

I was fortunate enough to have had a roommate that was on the college football team but was also studying nutrition. I told him I wanted to gain weight and so he put me on a food diet that was alot different than I was used to along with taking a protein supplement and, believe it or not, drink beer.

I was able to gain 30lbs and expand my muscle mass through the workouts that he gave me. It worked but we're talking back in 1988 and 89. Seeing what you're saying means that the science and the knowledge have greatly expanded, or, I was counseled by an idiot.

Either way, I was able to gain weight and was at a great weight until later. As I got older, I became a fat guy.

So I've been a super skinny guy, a super fit guy, a fat guy, and a super fit guy again. I've ran the gamut so I seriously can say that I understand the feelings of the underweight, the good weight and the overweight. How many people can say that huh? Not that I'm proud of it, both were unhealthy, being fit is the best way to go.

Christopher Ortega
(menelaus) in chat

Khashayar said...

Dear Tony,

Though I only recently discovered your blog, I've alrady been through everything you have posted. Now one of the things I love the most about your blog is the food tips you write about every once in a while. Your tips are absolutely of great value to me as I keep looking for informative tips to adjust and improve my diet. (For example what you said about Protein consumption in this post was just what I really needed to know. Thanks for that.)

By the way, I finished P90X Core/Synergestics an hour ago and you know what? It's already one of my absolute favorite work-outs. Thank you so much for that as well.

Khashayar from Toronto.

nick from NY said...

Yo Tony,

Mmmmm ... avoid fatty, fried foods, sugary foods, alcohol, and OMG Tylenol! I think you eliminated more than half the country with that one statement, my good man! Anyway, great advice once again! I'm also a big proponent of digestive health as it relates to body weight and overall fitness. We all definitely need to form a healthy and productive relationship with the food we eat, and that relationship should be as natural and smooth as transitioning from warrior one to two and back;) I, personally, am a big believer in probiotics, especially bacteria called lactobacilli GG. You can get it over the counter in pill form by the name of Culturelle, great stuff. They've been using it over in Europe for a long time now with great results. But keeping the food intake clean and nutritious is probably the best thing you can do for yourself--and great point on the protein intake, we really don't need a heck of a lot of it.

Oh, Tony, awesome appearance on QVC the other night. I was watching with my dad, who is a doctor. He couldn't believe the size of your arms and how good Traci looks after 4 kids. My answer simply was, they did the X.



Zach McIntyre said...

Thanks for the tips, Tony! I'm currently on the eleventh week of the challenge and have been wondering about diets. Hopefully these ideas will help me with the program.

I think Nick (the above post) said it right. Eliminating alcohol, fatty, fried, sugary, and Tylenol eliminates a lot of the country, especially in today's obesity levels.

Anyway, thanks again!

Bring it!

Anonymous said...

Tony can you or your "peeps" set up an RSS feed for your blog? I like to read it but it would be great to get it straight to my RSS reader. Its a free service on Blogger.

Thanks bro!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tips, and congrats on the "shoutout" article with respect to the Philadelphia Eagles! Well earned and well deserved!

Anonymous said...


Hope you don't mind, but I copied your blog and emailed it to a friend of mine who is skinny as a rail. She had a liver transplant about 6 years ago and cannot seem to gain weight. She's always been skinny, so maybe it's just her metabolism, but I think she could use a few pounds.

Thanks so much for the tip.


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