Unexplained Weight Loss: Treatments

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

While many people are trying to lose weight, there is something particularly worrying about unexplained weight loss, as it is typically indicative of an underlying medical condition that requires attention. Losing a pound here and there may be the result of fluctuations in your diet, exercise regularity, work schedule, sleep, stress levels, medications, and substance abuse, among others. However, unexplained weight loss is typically defined as the loss of more than 5% of your body weight in less than six months. That represents a significant loss, especially if you aren’t trying to lose that weight.

Treatments for Unexplained Weight Loss

Given the long list of potential causes of unexplained weight loss, addressing those more serious issues is the best way to treat this type of weight loss – or at least prevent it from continuing. Once the underlying condition is treated or mitigated, you can gain the weight back by speaking with a nutritionist about a healthy high-calorie diet that can get your body back to normal. Some of the classic weight-gain techniques include the following: [1]

Eat More Meals

A woman holding a pair of large jeans around her waist to show how much weight she has lost

Unexplained weight loss is indicative of an underlying medical condition that needs attention. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Perhaps the most obvious solution to the problem of weight loss is to simply eat more meals. Ensure that they are high in calories and “good” fats, which can boost your body weight without putting your heart health and overall wellness in jeopardy. You can also bulk up your meals by adding dried milk powder to soups, oils like avocado oil and olive oil to your salads, and cheese in sandwiches. [2]

Less Water Intake

When attempting to lose weight, many people drink 1-2 glasses of water to help fill their stomach and suppress their appetite. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it is best to drink beverages before and after your meals to ensure you consume more calories before you feel full. [3]

Bigger Plates

A psychological approach to gaining weight is to use larger plates, just as a psychological approach to losing weight is to use smaller plates. This will encourage larger portions and more calorie intake per meal, helping to bulk you up and prevent malnutrition.

Protein Shakes

Protein is an essential part of muscle building and as many regular exercisers know, muscle weighs more than fat. By adding a protein shake between meals, you can ensure that your body has the raw materials to increase muscle production and boost your overall mass.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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