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    EDIT: I miscalculated: my BMI is in fact 16.5


    Hi everybody, I'm looking for some advice on my situation.

    I am 20 years old, male. I am 6.0 feet, and I weight 8 stone 10. This makes me BMI at 16.5 quite a bit under the recommended 18.

    I don't understand why I am so skinny, as I eat a very good diet. A typical day for me at university will consist of:

    Breakfast: A whole grain bagel with turkey slices, butter, black pepper and salad. A large banana and a packet of Belvita breakfast biscuits.

    Lunch: A brown bread sandwich stuffed with chicken, turkey or ham, again with salad and condiments. Perhaps another banana and a packet of Go-Ahead biscuits and/or a Nutri-Grain breakfast bar. (If I am not at uni I might not have a sandwich and just settle for some toast and yoghurt, and snack my way through lunch)

    Dinner: Home cooked meal, usually some form of meat with carbs and starch and vegetables. Shepard's Pie, lasagne, curry and rice, roast dinners, chicken stir frys, baked potatoes...that kind of thing.

    I drink milk every day, take Wellman multi-vitamin after every dinner. I drink plenty of water (clear urine), decaf black tea and non-decaf green tea and I don't drink soda ever.

    Between meals I often snack of various things, perhaps a packet of wholegrain crackers or some natural yoghurt. I don't eat sweets, but might eat chocolate and biscuits and occasionally eat baked things as a treat (donuts, cream cake etc).

    Clearly I eat well enough and this isn't a problem. I've never had an eating disorder, but perhaps didn't eat quite enough during my teenage years as I used to be thinner. The rest of my brothers are also thin, and my older brother is even skinner than I am.

    I would like to know if my diet and weight are affecting my health, and what I can do to put on weight? I have considered seeking a doctor but I don't feel unhealthy. I'm not often ill, although I do sometimes get anxious at times of stress, and tend to hyperventilate. My resting heart rate is usually between 60-70.

    Any thoughts? Anybody else out there who are light but still healthy? I've been looking over the internet and from what people have been saying on other forums, a BMI of 16 is DANGEROUSLY underweight. Surely that's pushing it a bit if I feel good day after day?
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    This may just be your natural body shape, or your metabolism may be naturally very high, don't dismay! Many people would love to be blessed with a high metabolic rate. If you want to put weight on though, you could try hitting the gym and gaining some muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so it wouldn't be a bad kind of weight.
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    See your GP and if they think you're in danger they can advise you what to do Some people are naturally underweight and it might fine as long as you're not experiencing any side effects like fainting or hair loss etc... You can sometimes get diet supplements that help you gain weight on prescription so see the GP I'd say.
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    BMI isn't that accurate. As you say, you eat really well seem to be eating enough although it does depend on your portions, plus how active you are. You should probably go to the doctor, explain that you're worried and say what you eat. It might just be that you have a very fast metabolism, I do know a girl who is the same except her BMI is 16 and her doctor has said she is perfectly fine. Some people are just very thin naturally and can't help it. If you wanted to gain weight though you could try adding something in like a protein shake made with full fat milk, would total around 300 calories and could help you gain.
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    For a couple of days track your calorie intake and compare to what you should be roughly in-taking? Your meals look fine but it's hard to say without knowing amounts etc..
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    BMI is flawed!
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    all i can say is: LUCKY YOU!!!!!

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    Thanks for these replies, they are appreciated.

    My portion sizes are usually pretty large, especially for dinner. My mum takes pleasure in feeding people so our dinners are usually enough for two, sometimes even three people!

    My lifestyle at University is quite active. I am a training actor, and so a lot of my training is learning movement, Yoga, Tai Chi, as well as doing physical theatre stuff. I have quite a long journey, so I am doing a lot of flights of stairs a day. The joys of studying in London!

    I have never fainted, although if I have been a few hours without a meal I can get what feels like low blood sugar and get anxious and sort of light headed. I do have a large appetite and seem to require a meal more often than most other people who don't seem to give it a sh*t.

    Hair loss is not a problem, it reaches my shoulders and I rarely notice it falling out

    My main worry is that I have an overactive thyroid. Obviously I would need to go to a doctor to get this checked out, but I fear the blood test.
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    Your BMI is only an indicator of potential issues, it doesn't define whether you're healthy or not. It's definitely worth going to see a GP or similar if it's concerning you but unless you're getting actual medical issues, I wouldn't worry.
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    I feel your pain, except I'm female and get labelled anorexic or bulimic even though I eat the most out of my friendship group. People treat me as if I'm some form of alien species and then make sly comments like 'Real men want curves, only a dog wants a bone'.

    FRUSTRATES ME SO MUCH

    *i'm done*
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    Aww, I'm sorry you get labelled like that, people are very quick to judge usually. I sometimes get that too actually, although I really don't look anorexic. I've been told I look very healthy and sturdy. Mostly I just get girls sighing and looking at me saying "I wish I were as skinny as you". To which I spend a few minutes trying to convince them that actually, no, you wouldn't, and you look lovely as you are.
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    Yeah I'm used to it now but on the odd occasion it's actually quite hurtful and then I'll just sit and eat loads of fatty food which I'll feel bad about a couple of days later when I go for a run - its a vicious circle! Thankfully I have a good group who fight my corner if people turn too abusive
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    If you're worried do go and see your Doctor, thats what they are there for.
    It might be worth looking out for symptons of an overactive thyroid which tend to include:
    -weightloss
    -constant hunger
    -shaking/tremmors
    -mood swings
    -hyperactiveness
    -fast heart rate
    -swelling of the neck/ thyroid gland

    Hope this helps, wishing you well

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    If you're concerned about your BMI then go to the doctors so they can rule out any underlying problems! You're evidently eating well but maybe try upping your calories. Do you do a lot of cardio?


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    BMI isn't always an accurate measurement.


    You should find out your BMR because then you can find out how many calories you should be eating per day to maintain weight. You seem to eat fine, but maybe you do just need a bit more. You're quite tall, and a guy so it should definitely be over 2000 calories a day!
    My BMR tells me I should eat between 1800-2000 calories a day to maintain and I'm 5'4 and I exercise at least three times a week.
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    Can we swap metabolism please?

    In all seriousness though you may just lack muscle (which weighs more than fat), you could start lifting?
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    Ya hear, dont matter what da number say, it about how you feel inside
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    BMI is just one indicator among many, it's not the be all and end all. Some people are just naturally thin.

    Keep track of how many calories you eat for a few days and see if it's sufficient considering your activity level? If you're eating enough (it sounds like you are) and you don't have any other indications of ill health then in all likelihood you are absolutely fine.
 
 
 
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