Tips for Healthy Weight Gain


Most folks, myself included, are more focused on healthy options for LOSING weight, but for some, especially the elderly, rapid weight loss is an unwelcome and dangerous problem.

For people in this situation, especially when facing decreased appetite, healthy options for GAINING weight, can be just as important…

First and foremost, whatever your weight-change goals are, then need to be HEALTHY. Double cheese burgers and sugary drinks may add weight, but they’re also going to bring a whole new set of health problems along with them.

After speaking to a nutritionist friend, here are some tips for healthy weight gain:

Increase the calorie contents of existing meals and snacks.

~ Add olive oil to pasta, and whole milk to mashed potatoes.
~ Use whole milk, NOT skim, whenever possible in your recipes.
~ Have an extra slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter.
~ Add extra cheese to an omelet or frittata.
~ Slice an apple and serve with peanut or nut butter.
~ Stir chopped nuts into plain yogurt and top with honey.
~ Carry a bag of trail mix for a convenient snack.
~ Increase your protein intake (and calories) with protein bars.
~ Eat larger portions of starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet corn.
~ Add calories with a nutritious beverage such as milk, 100-percent fruit juices, or vegetable juice.

In General:

Schedule you meal times, and have reminders in place.

Create eating rituals: Make breakfast before you sit down with the paper (or check email) in the morning. Take a sandwich along to your favorite park. Have a snack while watching a favorite show each day.  Get your body in the habit of eating while it’s doing something else you enjoy.

Avoid drinking too much with meals, which can dampen your appetite.

Try new flavors, add a little heat (baring stomach/digestion issue), wake up those bored taste-buds!

Eat often, especially if you have a poor appetite. Try six to eight small, calorie-dense meals containing protein and healthy carbohydrates rather than three large meals. If you’re having trouble eating the full portion of your hautemealz dinner, eat half as an “early dinner” and have the rest as a “bedtime snack.”

Add light exercise, within your abilities, to stimulate your appetite. Seek out special seniors classes at the gym, invest in some light hand-weights, or simply take a walk each day.

Set weight-gain goals and track your own progress. Talk to your doctor about how much weight gain is realistic within a span of time and work to achieve those goals so that there is no health risk presented.

Most of all EAT!

-Chef Perry

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