Even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still gain weight in an effective and steady manner. The only real alteration that you will have to make is additional carb counting to keep your overall blood sugar and insulin levels in check. However, at its root, the process of weight gain is nothing more than increasing ingested calories above and beyond the amount that you are burning. What follows are some dietary recommendations to help you gain quality mass as safely as possible.
Establishing a Core Diet
56 percent of participating diabetics who followed a diet consisting of less than half of their daily calories from healthy carbs were able to control their disease without resorting to external medications. This was in contrast to the control group, of whom only 30 percent were able to do the same on a low-fat diet. Thus, if you are suffering from diabetes, no matter whether you are trying to gain or lose weight you should base your core diet around a carb-controlled approach.
To follow this approach, eat a “Mediterranean-style” diet. Base your dieting approach around lean protein sources such as nuts, fish and chicken. Supplement this with healthy fats, including olive and fish oils. Finally, consume all of your carbs from natural sources like fruits, vegetables and whole grains–wholly eliminate all processed foods and refined sugars.
Converting the Core Diet Into a Weight Gaining Diet
Understand energy balance–the idea of calories in versus calories out. You need only eat more calories on this diet than your body is burning in order to gain weight. To do this effectively, the best approach is to keep a daily food log and monitor your progress biweekly. In your food log, write down the foods you eat alongside the calories contained in the foods and the macronutrient breakdown, the number of grams of protein, fat and carbs in each item. Total up your numbers at the end of the day, aiming to eat roughly the same amount of food every day. Plan to gain 0.5 to 1 pound per week–aiming for slow weight gain will minimize the chance of the weight being fat. Weigh yourself every other week, comparing your progress against your goal weight. If you are on track, keep calories constant. If you are not, either increase or decrease your daily calories by 200 (but still keeping carbs to less than 50 percent of total calories) and reassess again in another two weeks. Constantly monitoring and adjusting progress will ensure that you reach your target weight sooner rather than later.