With many people focused on weight loss, you may feel alone in your quest to put on the pounds. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that than 2 percent of all women over the age of 20 are underweight. Adults with a body mass index at or below 18.5 are considered underweight, the CDC adds. If you're underweight, talk to your physician about treatment options, including supplements to help you gain weight.
Eating more frequently is one of the most important steps for healthy weight gain, reports Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic. However, preparing five or six meals or day can be impractical. Energy bars are a convenient high-calorie snack that you can eat for a calorie boost between meals. Choose energy bars that are rich in protein and low in sugar and saturated fat. A single GOLEAN chocolate bar contains 290 calories and 13 g of protein.
Liquid Meal Replacements
Liquid meal replacements, or LMRs, like Ensure are used in hospitals and clinics to help underweight patients gain weight. You can drink them at home to aid in weight gain too. LMRs are much more energy dense than other high calorie beverages like milk and soda. An eight-ounce bottle of Ensure Plus contains 350 calories, the manufacturer's website reports. That's triple the calories in a glass of low-fat milk. LMRs can be tossed into a blender with fresh fruit and yogurt for a higher-calorie snack. Another benefit of LMRs is their liquid form. AJ Stull of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center reports that liquid meal replacements don't reduce appetite as much as solid versions. Stull's study, published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association," found that a liquid LMR reduced appetite about 10 percent less than a meal replacement supplement in solid form with the same nutrient composition. Choosing liquid LMRs means that you'll have a greater appetite to encourage eating throughout the day.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is a simple way to increase the calories dishes that you already eat. Unflavored whey protein can be added to pancakes, oatmeal or desserts for a healthy calorie boost. Additionally, whey powder can be mixed with water, milk or juice. Peer Trainer reports that a 100 g serving of whey protein contains 23 g of protein and over 120 calories.
- CDC: Prevalence of Underweight Among Adults Aged 20 Years and Over: United States, 2007--2008
- Mayo Clinic: Underweight? See how to add pounds healthfully
- Peer Trainer: GOLEAN Bar
- Ensure.com: Ensure Plus
- "Journal of the American Dietetic Association": Liquid and Solid Meal Replacement Products Differentially Affect Postprandial Appetite and Food Intake in Older Adults
- Peer Trainer: Whey Protein