Many people are working to lose weight by consuming fewer calories. If you have the opposite problem and need to gain some weight to be healthier, you might be wondering what you can do to get more calories without compromising your health. According to Dale Hahn and Wayne Payne, authors of "Safely Gaining Weight," simply eating more food is not enough. If you need to eat more calories, your health depends on where you get those calories. Choosing nutrient-dense foods and eating larger portions are the healthiest ways to add calories to your daily total without consuming more fat, salt and sugar than your body needs.
Record everything you eat for one week. Write down what you eat for each meal, including beverages, snacks, desserts -- anything you nibble on during the day.
Use a calorie-count book or website to total your caloric intake for each day.
Make a new menu that includes some additional portions of food.
Add a fruit and yogurt smoothie for breakfast each day to add between 200 and 300 additional calories or slice some fresh fruit onto your breakfast cereal for around 50 to 60 extra calories.
Add a slice of low-fat cheese to your sandwich at lunch or pack an additional serving of fruit or vegetables to add between 50 and 100 calories.
Eat an additional 1/2 cup serving of rice, pasta or other grain with your evening meal. This will add about 100 extra calories to your daily total.
Eat two healthy snacks and one healthy dessert each day. Air-popped popcorn, dried fruit, yogurt or string cheese are all nutritious foods that will help you consume more calories without going overboard on fat, salt and sugar. Fruit dipped in dark chocolate or low-fat frozen yogurt will not compromise your health, but will add 150 to 200 extra calories to your daily diet.
Record your new menu for one week.
Use your calorie count book or website to add up your totals for the new menu.
Analyze the difference between the first and second week to see if you have added enough extra calories to your diet.
- "What to Eat"; Marion Nestle; 2005
- "Focus on Health"; Dale Hahn and Wayne Payne; 2003