By SRK Editor
| Last updated April 26, 2019
Imagine spending your whole life trying to keep extra pounds off, only to be told by your doctor that now you need to gain some weight to stay healthy. This happens often, and given that healthy weight gain isn’t as simple as it sounds, it’s important to know how to gain weight safely when you’re down a few pounds.
“Some people find it difficult to add enough calories to their usual diet. It takes a lot of effort,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Where To Start
Formulating a well-devised eating plan can be important. This should be based on your specific caloric intake needs, and it begins with understanding how quickly you’ve lost weight and the reason it happened.
The answers to these questions vary from person to person, with age, size, activity and amount of weight lost, as well as other deciding personal health factors, all playing a role.
Mini-Meal Versus Large Feats
Eating balanced smaller meals throughout the day is better than relying on larger more sporadic feasts. “If you’ve lost weight, you’re used to eating a lower volume of food, and you get fuller faster. It’s better to spread several 300-calorie meals throughout the day than dump 900 calories at dinner,” McManus explains.
Finding it difficult to eat mini-meals throughout your day? McManus has the answer, “Have a protein drink. It could be something you make at home or something ready-made that you buy,” she states.
What To Eat
Nutrient-dense foods are your friend, and they provide the most nutrition bang for the buck with lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, lean protein or unsaturated fats.
To illustrate with a perfect example, let’s consider bread. A slice of white bread has about 70 calories, but very few vitamins and minerals. However, one slice of whole-wheat bread has about 70 calories, plus four times the amount of potassium and magnesium and three times the zinc.
Other examples of nutrient-dense foods: green, leafy vegetables (kale, spinach); fruits (berries, apples); whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa); beans and lentils; lean protein (fish, poultry, lean meat); dairy foods (low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt); and unsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, avocado).
Repeat After Us: BALANCE IS KEY
There is no need to count grams of nutrients or stress over nutrition labels. “Just aim for a balance of healthy carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and protein,” McManus says.
Be patient. “I look to see 2 to 3 pounds per month if they’re going in the right direction. It won’t be faster than that,” McManus says. “You have to hang in there and be consistent over time. Slow and steady wins the race.”
A way to do this is by power-packing each mini-meal with as many nutrient-dense foods as possible. Examples include oatmeal with berries and walnuts; a salad with spinach, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, shelled sunflower seeds, and avocado dressing; or brown rice with raisins, almonds, chicken chunks, and asparagus pieces.
Add cheese to your scrambled eggs, or peanut butter on top of your whole-wheat crackers. These additions make the difference and when kept up through the day they will help you regain the lost weight.
Square Roots Kitchen Can Help!
If you’re finding yourself short of ideas, are on the go or don’t have time to cook your own meals, Square Roots Kitchen’s menu could be the answer and solution to your weight-gaining dilemma. Our ordering system gives you full control of each meal, allowing you to pick and choose each ingredient that becomes part of your salad, bowl and wrap, thus allowing you to power-pack each meal with the nutrients you need to reach your calorie goals.
Our ordering system, available online on our site as well as via our iOS and Android app, makes it easy to build your next meal in just a few seconds, taking into account the exact ingredients your body needs to build up the weight youhave lost.
Not only can you take advantage of SRK in-store at our Greektown location, but you can order delivery to your office or home, or order healthy catering for larger groups directly from our catering site.
Source: Harvard Health Letter