While many individuals struggle with excess amounts of body fat, some people have a hard time gaining weight. Depo-Provera, often called Depo, is a prescription contraceptive drug that contains progestin. Your doctor must prescribe and administer this injectible contraceptive once every three months. Although weight gain is one possible side effect of Depo, eating a calorie-dense, nutritious diet can improve your chances of gaining weight as well.
Weigh yourself before you begin using Depo and before you start your new diet. Write down your current weight on a calendar to help you keep track of your gains. Aim for a healthy weight gain goal of about 1 lb. each week by adding about 500 to 1,000 calories a day to your normal diet.
Eat regular meals. Consume about 20 to 35 percent of your calories in the form of healthy fats, such as nut butters and plant oils. Consume heavy, whole-grain breads, rather than plain, white bread. Calorie-dense breads include pumpernickel, honey bran and rye. Increase the caloric content of your bread by spreading on butter, honey or peanut butter. Include starchy vegetables, such as carrots, corn and peas, with your meals. Consume high-calorie beans, including refried beans, lima beans and chili beans.
Eat two to three snacks each day. Choose bran muffins, avocados, crackers with cheese, cereal with milk, toast with peanut butter and dried fruits, which contain plenty of calories. Snack on meaty fruits, rather than watery ones. For instance, choose bananas, mangoes and pineapples over apples, watermelons and peaches. Choose sweets that include nutrients, such as yogurt, granola bars and fruit pies.
Drink beverages that contain calories, rather than sticking with plain water or drinks that contain low-calorie sweeteners. Include milk, smoothies and juices in your daily intake of fluids. Consume your caloric beverages at least a half hour before your meals to avoid ruining your appetite. Drinking these mid-afternoon or before you go to bed can help increase your weight without affecting your regular meals.
Begin a strength-training program to help you increase your weight by building muscle mass. A regular exercise routine might also help stimulate your appetite and make you want to eat more calories throughout the day.
Talk to your doctor about any unusual side effects you experience while on Depo. These can include headaches, weakness, abdominal discomfort, abnormal vaginal bleeding and dizziness.