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Diet & Nutrition Message Board

Diet & Nutrition Board Index

If you go for full fat dairy products, keep an eye on your blood cholesterol levels, since the saturated fat in dairy fat may raise them. But the general idea is that you have to eat more calories than you use. Unfortunately, a lot of high calorie density foods are junk foods or otherwise not that good for you in other ways. Besides more nuts, dried fruit, fatty fish, avocados, etc., you may want to try adding more olive oil to your food (e.g. more olive oil based salad dressing, or more olive oil in your hummus). Fruit juices are also highly concentrated calories, but if you are sugar sensitive or have a family history of diabetes, it may not be a great idea to drink a lot of sugar in that way. The other thing is that you may simply have to eat more food.

16% body fat is in the range where female athletes tend to be (14-20%), according to the American Council on Exercise. They list "fitness" as 21-24% and "acceptable" as 25-31%. Some other sources have slightly different numbers. It is known that too low body fat percentage causes women to stop ovulating, but there does not seem to be too much about what the minimum body fat percentage for a safe pregnancy is (probably because most health and medicine literature seems to be focused on body weight, rather than body fat percentage). But note also that during pregnancy, a woman gains additional weight (fetus, placenta, blood volume, breast tissue and fat for milk production, etc.), so if you have trouble eating enough to gain weight, that may not be good for pregnancy.

For your height, the usual "healthy body weight" range is 114 to 150 pounds, based on BMI of 19 to 25.

What type of exercise do you do (including daily activity)? If you do a lot of cardio type exercise, you may want to back off on that, doing just enough to maintain general cardio fitness (while also doing strength and weight training to maintain or gain muscle when you gain).

If you still have trouble gaining weight, you may want to be checked for hormonal irregularity. Seems that lots of women have trouble (or think they have trouble) [i]losing[/i] body fat due to hormonal irregularities (e.g. thyroid); if you have the opposite problem, you may have trouble [i]gaining[/i].

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