The following is input from a visitor to our healthy eating website.  We appreciate hearing from our readers with questions, comments or guest blogs since the compendium of healthy eating information is large and complicated and is growing and changing all the time.  

Please feel free to add your feedback in the comments section if you have information or questions that will help further our pursuit of a healthy eating lifestyle! 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

Foods to Gain Weight

by Bill
(Columbus, OH)

Bill's question...

What foods will aid in gaining weight? I am 6' and 125lbs.

Normal weight for me is 165, but I have been sick and lost weight over the last so many months.

I am 58 years old.

Suzy's answer...

I'm sorry to hear that you have been sick, and hope you are now well. Based on the information you provided, you have always been slim at 6' tall and 165 pounds, so, unless you have always worked at being slim, gaining weight is probably not something that comes naturally to you.

I also don't know the nature of your illness, so the suggestions for gaining weight I can give you are only general and not specific to your situation.

I'm not sure how much you know about nutrition and the energy (calorie) value of the nutrients, but here is a quick primer.

There are three categories of nutrients—Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats—that provide energy to your body. Another way of saying this is that they have calories. In fact, Protein and Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, and Fats provide 9 calories per gram. In addition, each of these three nutrients has other important functions in the body, including providing the necessary materials for making the body's tissues.

If you are trying to gain weight than you should include more calories in your diet. As you can see, fat has a higher calorie value per gram, so be sure to include healthy fats in your diet, along with protein and good carbohydrates.

As you are adding calories, be sure that they are the healthy kind. If you have been sick, you can appreciate the importance of maintaining good health. Junk food, fast food and overly processed food may make you gain weight, but it may be at a cost to your health.

Here are some suggestions that may help you:

*Educate yourself about food and nutrition. This site is loaded with information that will help. Start with the basics at the top of the button list on the left of the page, and go from there. The more you know, the more successful you will be.

*Eat three meals plus two snacks each day, made up of selections from several food groups. It is important to eat regularly. For a while, you will have to focus on eating until you establish a weight gaining pattern.

*Have second portions. Even an extra piece of meat or an extra slice of whole-grain toast or a muffin for breakfast can make a difference.

*Add nuts and seeds to your
snack choices.
Walnuts and sunflower seeds (like baseball players eat to maintain energy levels!) are excellent choices, since they provide healthy fats, fiber and protein. There are a large variety of nuts and seeds to choose from. You can find more information by clicking on the "Nuts and Seeds" button on the left of this page.

*Choose the calorie-dense foods when given a choice, such as avocados on your salad, higher fat dairy products instead of skim, salmon instead of white fish, peas instead of green beans. Be sure not to overdo on high-fat dairy products and fatty meats, since they have saturated fats, and the more unsaturated fat is preferable. You can read more about healthy fats by clicking on the "Fats" button on the left of this page.

*If you are really having trouble gaining, you might try one of the high-calorie liquid supplements that are on the market. These are generally used for people who have been ill and are having trouble gaining weight.

*Meet with a dietitian, who can help you set up an eating program that will help you meet your goal of gaining weight and staying healthy.

*Add some strength training to your exercise routine so that the weight you gain includes some muscle and not just fat. This will also help you to get stronger and feel better. Be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning a weight program, start slow and stretch out afterwards to help avoid soreness.

Keep in mind that you will feel more full at first, until your body gets used to the extra food, but you will adjust.

Also, be patient, since it will take time to gain the weight you need. It may only be a pound a week, but that would put you at your goal in under a year.

I hope this helps and please contact me if I can be of further assistance!

Warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell

Nutrition page


Foods to Gain Weight
by: Don Randall

Bill, I'm sure you will find a healthy way to gain weight, including muscle mass and bone mass that will make you feel great. It's a good idea in my opinion to use oregano oil, citrus fruits and peppers to ward off viral and bacterial infections.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic by a physician, then discuss with a dietitian the many ways to maintain intestinal flora. I'm sure the website will provide a "pro-biotic and pre-biotic" section fairly soon.

I hope you have a healthy year ahead of you, and a long happy and healthy life.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Suzy.