Weight Gain

Gaining weight can be difficult! For people who are thin, eating can be a chore. Following the basic Food Pyramid guidelines—and eating more servings from the five major food groups—can help guide your food choices. Trying to gain weight by overdoing foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat isn’t a healthful answer, even for someone who’s thin!

  • Eat more frequently—five to six small meals a day—if your appetite is small. For example, eat breakfast at 7:00 am then have a morning snack at 10:00 am.

  • Drink fluids 30 minutes before and after meals—not with meals. By limiting beverages at meal time, you’ll have more room for food.

  • ADD a liquid meal replacement or make a shake or smoothie.

  • Eat Caloric and Nutrient Dense Foods using Choose My Plate.

  • Emphasize some of the foods below.

    1. Grains: Granola, bagels, biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, whole grain breads, whole grain muffins, whole grain cereals

    2. Fruits: canned fruit in syrup, dried fruits, and fruit nectar

    3. Vegetables: Avocado, olives, potatoes, peas, squash

    4. Protein: beef, poultry, salmon, swordfish, omelet, nuts, nut butter (e.g., peanut butter), kidney beans, chickpeas

    5. Dairy/Substitute: milk (soy or dairy), fruited yogurt, hard cheeses, ice cream, puddings, custards, milkshakes, smoothies

    6. Fat: olive oil, flax oil, nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, olives

  • Add Nutrient and Calorie Dense Foods to meals
    1. Use milk instead of water when preparing hot cereals, soups and sauces

    2. Fortify soups, casseroles and fluid milk with dry milk powder

    3. Add avocado, cheese and salad dressings to sandwiches

    4. Garnish salads with olives, avocados, nuts and cheese

    5. Mix cooked chopped meat, wheat germ, nuts, beans, or cheese into casseroles, side dishes and pasta

    6. Enjoy high calorie dense condiments such as sour cream on a baked potato

  • Eat a healthy snack before going to bed. Allow at least 30-60 minutes for digestion before laying down.

  • Exercise

    1. Add some strength training to your exercise routine to build muscle, which can help with weight gain.

    2. Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps

    3. Remember that an increase in physical activity calls for an increase in calories