Healthy Weight Gain

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
June 14, 2010

Ask the Diva: Healthy Weight Gain

Q. Do you have any suggestions for those of us who need to gain weight? Obviously, eating more junk food isn’t the answer. But healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are often very low in calories. I know it’s not something that most people need to worry about, but for those of us who have trouble keeping weight on, what’s a healthy approach to gaining weight?

A. There isn’t nearly as much advice (or sympathy) for people in your situation as there is for people who struggle to keep the weight off, is there? But being underweight can be just as big a struggle and frustration as being overweight. And, you’re absolutely right: You don’t want to gain weight by eating foods that aren’t good for you.

 You still want to eat those fruits and vegetables, of course, because they are full of good-for-you nutrients. But in addition, you also want to seek out nutritious foods that are more calorie-dense. Nuts and nut butters, olives, and avocados are all good choices. These foods are all relatively high in fat and calories, but the fats are the healthy kind. Try drinking low-fat milk instead of water or tea. Or, if your cholesterol levels are good, go for the full-fat dairy products.

 For more advice, check out this discussion on healthy weight gain from my blog.

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