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TOO THIN - by Editor

Flat can be good, and flat can be bad. Flat screen television: awesome, flat beer: bad, flat breasts: pure evil.

Beauty and health magazines on the whole seem to have no respect whatsoever for the unhappily thin. Before you read any further, it is imperative you understand that though skinnies may feel they've got a raw deal, they should count their blessings. Skinniness is preferable to obesity, and there are far fewer medical problems associated with thinness than with obesity. You don't have to consult a doctor for various ailments due to being underweight unless you have undergone a drastic weight loss - or are anorexic. However, that's another story. We are now concentrating on those lucky few who are thin, healthy, look great but simply feel they could look slightly more attractive and appealing with a little more flesh on the bones.

First, how thin is too thin?

Don't go simply by the height and weight chart attached to your weighing scale. No one says you have to weigh 55 kg if you feel terrific at 50. If the only reason you want to gain weight is for cosmetic purposes, by all means, go for it. Change those bones and angles to soft curves, and then some, for just that extra voluptuousness and oomph.

Get Disciplined

The first thing you have to do is get disciplined. Thankfully, there is no
strict dietary regime you need to follow. What you do need to do though, is try not to skip any meals. So if you are a late riser, it is very possible you have an early lunch and skip breakfast, or have a late breakfast followed by a later, light lunch. See where you are going wrongNULL Others fail to put on weight simply because they are not too fond of food - or their daily food. One look at what's on their plates and they can't stop the 'ugh' that escapes their lips.

You do need to set a target for yourself. Psyche yourself into increasing the quantity you consume. Skinnies have a mysterious ability to stop eating the moment they are full. They can dig into that mouth-watering gooey chocolate cake and simply stop after they've had a piece without a moment of regret. The appetite regulator in skinnies is set lower than the norm, which is why you would also hear a lot of them grumbling about how they stuff themselves and yet fail to gain weight.

Studies show that skinnies burn more than they consume or habitually they simply do not eat enough. 'Not true!' You shriek. 'A blatant lie! I know someone who can gobble a plate full of rice, three chapatis, four pieces of apple pie and never gain a gram.' Well, your friend might be one of those born without adipose cells - the cells that store fat. No matter how much they eat, they don't put on any pounds simply because their bodies have no place to store fat. So they munch their way happily through life without a care in this world. Unfair, I know, but who ever said life was fairNULL I'm sure you also know of others who cannot take a sip of water without gaining weight!

Adipose Cells

People prone to gaining weight have these adipose cells in excess, while others have it in lesser quantities. So before you decide gleefully that you belong to the category of non-existent adipose cells, hold your horses. It is very possible you have a minimum of these cells, but they increase in time as you adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. So all your friends who have watched you stuff yourself without a care in the world, just might get their revenge of watching you pay the price and bloat for your indulgences. You don't want to give them that pleasure, then the best way to maintain a balance is to keep relatively active, exercise regularly and eat at meal times. Meanwhile, get yourself a cookbook, learn some exciting recipes and try to fix your mind more firmly on food's delectable manifestations.

Here are some tips to help you increase your appetite

1. If you are a slow eater and tend to push your veges around the
plate or draw circles with your fork, you probably eat less too. The rule of thumb is the faster you eat, the more you eat. Ever seen a glutton sit down to a meal? His hands fly to mouth with undivided concentration and the table is clear faster than you can say, 'Was that just a Feast with a big F that vanished before my eyesNULL' (A long sentence I know, but we're being realistic here.)

2. Don't drink water immediately before sitting down to a meal, or
in-between meals.

3. If you don't exercise, now is a good time to start. Go for a jog or
swim, sit down for a hearty meal and pig out like there's no tomorrow.

Exercise increases the appetite and though it may seem surprising, you there is a strong possibility that you would actually gain weight. This is because you have little fat to lose, and this would only get converted into muscle, while your intake of food will increase. So if you have been eating two chapatis, your stomach would demand a third.

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