Gaining weight can be tricky in summer, with the heat killing your appetite and meals making you feel uncomfortably full and lethargic. Here are some tips that can help you gain weight in the summer months, but you should also consult a doctor for a weight gain diet tailored to your needs.
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Maintain a High Calorie Intake
According to a small pilot study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition in August 2015, warmer external temperatures affect your appetite and cause your calorie intake to drop. Therefore, you will have to make more of an effort than usual to ensure that you get the calories you need to gain weight.
The general rule is that you need to add roughly 500 calories a day to your diet to gain 1 pound a week. However, if you are struggling to gain weight due to genetic reasons, a health condition or a very active lifestyle, you should see a medical professional to help you set weight and calorie goals.
Healthy weight gain requires a balanced approach and being under your target weight does not give you permission to eat endless junk food, cautions the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Drink Your Calories
One way to gain weight in summer is to drink cold, refreshing beverages that will help increase your calorie count and keep you hydrated. Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is an easy way to add calories to your diet. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice has 134 calories and a glass of apple juice has 114 calories.
Fruit smoothies are another great option and you can throw in some honey, dates, flax seeds or coconut milk to load up on healthy calories. For a quick and easy fix, make yourself a 606 calorie milkshake with ½ cup of vanilla ice cream, 1 cup of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
Read More: Drinks to Help Gain Weight
Add More Calories to Every Bite
With a limited appetite it can be hard to bring yourself to eat more food, so try to boost the calorie content of the meals you're already eating to make each bite count for more. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests adding 1 to 2 spoons of dry milk powder to soups, casseroles, mashed potatoes and milk to increase the calorie content.
You should avoid skimmed or low-fat dairy and opt for full-fat versions of milk, yogurt, butter and cheese. Cook your meals in olive oil and add it to your salads, breakfast bowls and grains. At 40 calories a teaspoon, you can even drink it if you're up for it. Add nut butters to your smoothies and oatmeal and slather them on whole-grain toast or muffins. A tablespoon of nut butter has over 100 calories, so get creative with it.
Weight Gain Foods List
Avocados, potatoes, nuts, dried fruits, quinoa, hummus, eggs and salmon are other examples of foods with healthy calories that can be easily added to your diet. Instead of making a salad with just leaves and veggies, throw in some quinoa, chopped nuts and avocado. Replace tomato salsa with guacamole.
Eat eggs or salmon for a boost of protein, a critical component when it comes to weight gain. Layer hummus into your sandwiches; it makes a delicious and protein-rich spread. Sprinkle dried fruit and nuts on your yogurt for some flavor and crunch.
Read More: The Best Weight Gain Supplements for Women
- Frontiers in Nutrition: "Warm Ambient Temperature Decreases Food Intake in a Simulated Office Setting: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial"
- American Academy of Family Physicians: "Healthy Ways to Gain Weight If You’re Underweight"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Beverages, Orange Juice Drink"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Apple Juice, Canned or Bottled, Unsweetened, Without Added Ascorbic Acid"
- USDA: "My Food Data: Nutrition Comparison"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Oil, Olive, Salad or Cooking"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Nut Butter"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Healthy Weight Gain"
- LIVESTRONG.com: “MyPlate”