Your doctor tells you that you need to gain some weight. Your friends and family look at you with envy. They picture the donuts and French fries you’ll get to nosh on. They’ll imagine that you get to go back for seconds and thirds during every meal. They’ll dream of about the no-rules life you’re going to soon be living.
Unfortunately, gaining weight safely isn’t so simple. Introducing highly processed food and tons of refined sugar will definitely cause you to pack on the pounds. Unfortunately, these pounds probably won’t be the kind you would like.
And – that weight gaining diet comes with harmful chemicals that can do serious damage to your overall well-being.
Instead, make these diet adjustments to gain weight safely.
Kiss ‘Low-Cal’ Goodbye
We’re not big fans of ‘low-cal’ or ‘fat free’ foods to begin with. To make these items taste even remotely edible, companies pump them full of flavor additives (aka chemicals).
Additionally, when you’re trying to put on weight, you need calories. So, don’t intentionally cut them from your diet.
Say Hello to Calorie-Dense Foods
Think of your stomach like a suitcase. In the end, it only has so much room. By filling it with calorie dense foods, you can consume more calories without filling up too fast. These choices could include:
- Nuts – Nuts are high in fiber, protein, and the good kind of fat. A few handfuls make a fantastic snack. But, they are also a delightful addition to most meals. Bringing an addition depth of flavor and tons of texture to a dish, they can be added to everything from salads and roasted veggies to soups and oatmeal. They’re even great in and on cookies!
- Nut Butters – Nut butters are another great way to get your nuts. They are tasty in smoothies and spread on fruit, such as apples. Heck, they’re even great eaten straight from the jar with a spoon!
- Dried Fruit – Compare the size of an apricot to a dried apricot. The dried version has been reduced in size by more than 300%. But, it still contains nearly as many calories!
- Avocados – Ultra-dense, avocados are high in nutrients, vitamins, and good-for-you fats.
- Starchy Vegetables – Sweet potatoes and squash don’t just make for a beautiful plate. They are calorie-dense veggies loaded with nutrients. Artichokes are another good option. So too are items like parsnips and carrots.
Don’t Skip the Sauce
Dressings and sauces are typically higher in fat and calories than the majority of your dish. If you were trying to lose weight, you’d want to limit how much and how often you were topping your plate off with these garnishes.
But when you’re trying to gain weight, make sure to enjoy that little something extra on top of your dish. This might be roasted sweet potatoes dipped in avocado sauce or bright balsamic dressing on your mixed green salad.
Make Your Eating Schedule Regular
Snacking here or there can fill you up and making it difficult t even eat a full portion come meal time. Rather, set a regular eating schedule. Aim for at least three full meals a day with three dedicated “snacks.”
Make Your Snacks Drinks
Think of a jar filled with pebbles. Then consider the same jar filled with water. You can fill up a lot more of the space with water – as in all the space.
Your belly is a lot like that jar (or the suitcase we mentioned above). Eating food is nice, but even the most efficient chewers still swallow food in pieces. These pieces take up more room your belly than liquid.
By consuming juices and smoothies during your snack, you’re able to load up on calories without feeling full as quickly.
Give Yourself Time
Like losing weight safely, gaining weight safely takes time. You’re not going to see the results you want overnight. You most likely won’t reach your goal in a month. Be patient. Putting on weight safely allows you to gain the kind of pounds you want without putting your body through undue stress.
Need Some Help?
It’s not always easy navigating the food world. With so many how-to articles out there, you can get a lot of conflicting advice. And, everyone’s body is different.
That’s why our naturopathic doctors work with each individual patient to meet their unique needs.
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