Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Is there a healthy way to gain weight? I am looking to gain weight from muscle, not fat.
A: To gain weight, it is important that your digestive system is working optimally. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep and keeping stress at a minimum. Stress puts great strain on the body and weakens your digestive system, as well as your immune system.
Everything you eat and drink should be warm and cooked. Avoid cold drinks and cold foods, especially ice cream. Eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid eating later than 7 PM. Limit your intake of sugar, and use honey as a replacement for sugar. Soft drinks should be avoided as much as possible. Do not eat greasy, fried or processed foods. Instead, include more yams, rice, oatmeal, cooked greens, and vegetables in your diet. Eating organic and whole foods, rich in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, is important. Meat in small quantities is a great source of protein. Drink as close to 8 glasses of pure water per day as you can. And, of course, be sure you are getting enough exercise.
Also, I suggest you arrange a visit with a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine who can assist in creating specific nutritional and exercise plans that are right for you.
You can locate a practitioner in your area by going on www.acupuncture.com
Additionally, you can supplement your plan with the Traditions of Tao “Muscle Strength” herbal formula, which is useful for building muscle and stamina. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.