woman holding a tap measure to her waist
Fitness, Nutrition

Hard Gainers Need Support, Too

Too often we read the headlines about how to lose weight quickly or the latest diet that will trim inches from your waist. But, what about those who are actually trying to gain weight and/or muscle? We do exist and we may not always be in the minority. A quick scan of Instagram profiles will show you countless women who are motivated to put on muscle and make gains rather than try to lose weight. In fact, I would posit that it’s much harder for a small-framed woman to put on pounds than it is for the average woman to lose pounds.

It’s long been a taboo subject to talk of trying to gain weight. Personally, as a petite, 5′ woman who just recently hit 102 pounds after years of barely making it out of the low 90s, I’ve heard so many say, “I wish I had your problem!” “You are so lucky!” and “Do you ever eat?” Trouble is, I haven’t felt lucky. It took literally years for me to figure out the formula for how to build mass on my small frame. It’s a challenge!

I’m here to support the hard gainers — the ones who want to feel curvy rather than slim. And it’s not just self esteem that could be at stake for hard gainers. Sometimes women need to gain weight to help alleviate fertility issues or simply fit into their clothing better. A healthy body mass index is essential to all and some of us naturally track below that average of 18.5.

It’s just as important to support those who want to gain as it is to support those who want to lose. And, while I don’t think we’ll see a reality show for hard gainers on Netflix anytime soon, I do applaud those influencers who are chronicling their gains on social media, normalizing it in a big way.

And, now that I have figured out the formula for gaining muscle and mass, I’m please to offer my secret to others. Soon, I will be offering nutrition coaching services both to hard gainers and those trying to lose weight. It all starts with a baseline and careful tracking, paying attention to energy in/energy out. Yes, nutrition is vitally important and it’s not all about eating a ton of carbs or going on a high-fat diet either. It’s about a balance that’s right for you and it includes movement. Resistance training and cardio are necessary to complement the meal plan. Adequate sleep and limited alcoholic intake are also key. It’s a strategic plan for your body that will help it either lose or gain the weight, while maintaining or building muscle.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about the latest diet. It’s back to basics. It’s developing good habits that you can stick with long after the masses have moved on from the fad diet. And, it’s a head game – a lesson in persistence, motivation and commitment. Often, that’s the biggest challenge of all and that’s where a certified nutrition coach can help.

I want to help others discover the secret to success as I have. I’m thrilled to be able to pay it forward and can’t wait to get started. The New Year is a great time to reset. I am happy to play a role in a bunch of 2020 resolutions!

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