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How to put on some weight

(22 Posts)
craziedaisy Fri 12-Apr-13 12:29:29

I am 5ft 1 and currently weigh 6 stone 9. I know that probably sounds very light but I am a tiny frame but do recognise that I am too scrawny. I would love to put on some weight so apart from eating healthy I have started eating a bag of crisps daily and a cake. But I worry that this isn't particularly healthy eating. Can anyone give me any ideas of healthy snacks with high calories. I am allergic to nuts, egg and intolerant of milk so it makes even more tricky. I used to weigh about 7 and half stone and felt much better but that was I had a desk job so found it easier to keep weight on. Now running around after 2 little ones I just seem to burn the calories.

Hadassah Fri 12-Apr-13 12:43:50

The question is, are you happy for the weight gain to be fat, or do you need muscle? If it is muscle, then you have to exercise as well as eat (eat protein after exercise, that is). But if fat is OK, then cake is good. Muffins are good as well because they are basically cake and just as fatty but I find they are easier to eat more of because they are less dense than most cakes. Also pastry is good - e.g. croissants. Many dips are really good. Houmous is brilliant - small volume but loads of calories. Guacamole and taramasalata are very good like that too. If you can tolerate sesame (which is often added to houmous anyway), you can make tahini - also very calorific. I'll post again if I think of anything else. Many pâté are very calorific (but can be difficult to eat a lot of).

craziedaisy Fri 12-Apr-13 12:49:28

Thank you. I will try adding your suggestions into my diet. I think I need extra calories because I am always striding out with buggy so I am quite fit.

Hadassah Fri 12-Apr-13 12:55:35


I guess what I meant was, one can be very fit, but to actually gain muscle mass requires conscious effort and eating. A lot of smoked fish (salmon, mackerel) is quite fatty. Also trying to eat more oil in general food: on salads, and frying potatoes, aubergines etc. - they soak up lots of oil. Not terribly healthy, but calorific!

LeBFG Fri 12-Apr-13 13:33:55

My DH can never eat enough. He always insists on sauces/gravies to help the carbs down. There are lots of calorific healthy foods - avocado and egg obv. Dairy in general (this is one the dieters always want to eliminate first) lovely cheeses and custard tarts...oh, yes, pastries too [expert in putting on weight]. But the best way DH finds is to have two snacks a day - mid-morning and teatime - eat fruits, bananas and cream, nuts, teabreads and butter. However, I fear if you haven't the appetite this won't work very well. Good luck though.

mamij Fri 12-Apr-13 13:51:45

In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, you could snack when your DCs have their snacks?

A handful of dried fruit or fresh fruit, pitta bread/breadsticks with hummus/dips, add an avocado in salads, add a few drops of olive oil in when you cook rice, soya yoghurt, homemade cupcakes (so they are dairy free) made with carrots/banana/blueberries etc to make it healthier, muesli bars.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 12-Apr-13 13:58:37

Nut Butters are also very calorie dense.

LeBFG Fri 12-Apr-13 14:50:18

Sorry OP - just realised you allergies etc. My suggestions not too helpful!

sharond101 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:41:19

I have the same problem but no allergies. It's really quite simple, do less or eat more. It's just not so simple to do when you have small ones. Cut down on your striding with the buggy, add in at least one snack and one pudding and try more calorific juices like fruit juice or soy milk. Seeds, yoghurt, crackers and cheese and dried fruit are all good snacks. Some fat is essential in your diet so enjoy a piece of cake for pudding or your favourite treat.

pumpkinss Sun 14-Apr-13 12:47:20

I'm in a similar position, but like sharond101 don't have the allergies. I have struggled for some time trying to put on weight and of the advice there is, it seems to be 'add more sugary, sweet, carbohydrate based or puddingy(!) foods to your diet (plus oils to savoury things).

Am I wrong in thinking a balance of savoury + sweet is best, and not a predominance of things like granola, croissants, biscuits, cakes etc, or when it comes to trying to gain weight, it doesn't matter?

sharond101 Sun 14-Apr-13 23:04:53

pumpkinss if you want to gain weight and keep it on then a balance would better as you have to think of changes you make to be longer term and thus not negatively affect your health in other ways, like raising your cholesterol.

pumpkinss Mon 15-Apr-13 09:52:40

sharond101 - I'm pleased you are suggesting what I thought, but in terms of the situation where being underweight can be detrimental to health anyway, is it better to gain by any means then think about things like cholesterol?

sharond101 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:58:38

It depends on how quick you want the weight to go on I reckon and also how much food you can manage to consume. If you cannot manage to eat alot then energy dense foods are better. Otherwise healthier alternatives in higher quantities will work also. As will swapping to higher calorie liquids like milk instead of water. You need to eat around 500 extra calories per day, every day, over the recommended amount to gain 1 pound per week. I have a copy of a mealplan which where if you do only gentle exercise (e.g 20-30 minute walk per day) should put on 1-2 pounds per week. I can post a rough copy if you like.

pumpkinss Mon 15-Apr-13 15:44:46

Ooh, that would be very useful (re:meal plan) just so I can compare with what I'm currently having, and see what I could change. Thanks for your advice too. There is so much provided for those who want to lose weight but not really much for those with the opposite problem.

minipie Mon 15-Apr-13 16:04:02

I would try to avoid adding lots of sugary foods and white bread, instead up your fats and proteins.

Avocados are brilliant - try to eat 2 a day? Just on their own, with oil and vinegar dressing, or mashed with some seasoning on toast or as a dip. Add cream or butter to soups and sauces. Oily fish are full of healthy fats. Smoked mackerel on toast is a great snack for example. Can you eat seeds? If so try adding pumpkin or sunflower seeds to salads. Meat fat is not as bad for you as it is often said to be, so try choosing fattier cuts of meat like pork belly or chicken thighs with skin on. Salami would be a good snack. So would cheese if you can tolerate it.

sharond101 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:13:30

Ok rough idea with many options. All milk is semi-skimmed and nothing is reduced fat or low calorie. This is based on someone who is sedentary and walks 30 minutes per day at a slow to medium pace.

Breakfast: Cereal (2 weetabix, 40g porridge oats, 40g cornflakes/all bran/frosties/bran flakes etc) + 250ml milk + piece of fruit or 250ml fruit juice or 2tbsp dried fruit

Mid Morning: snack (2 slices toast and butter/3 digestives/1 large cookie/1 doughnut/1 packet non low fat crisps/ 1 non low fat yoghurt/1 nutrigrain bar/1 large pancake/3 crackers with cheese/1 chocolate bar/1 toasted bagel and jam) + 200ml milk or fruit juice or piece of fruit or 2tbsp dried fruit

Lunch: 2 slices bread/large roll/baguette/large wrap/small baked potato + spread + salad + filling (meat/cheese/egg/humous/peanut butter + coleslaw/mayo/mustard/pickle) + 250ml milk or fruit juice or full sugar cordial + pudding (3 scoops ice cream/non reduced fat yoghurt/3" slice cake/apple crumble + custard/strudel + custard/chocolate bar/crisps)

Afternoon: snack as morning.

Dinner: protein ( e.g chicken breast or leg or 2 thighs/fish fillet/120g mince/120g beef steak etc) + veg 1-2 portion of +carbohydrate (3 scoops mashed potato/3 egg sized boiled/roast potatoes/ramekin full of rice or cous cous/100g pasta (uncooked weight) + 250ml milk or fruit juice + pudding as before

Before bed: cereal and milk as per breakfast or 2 slices toast and spread or mug or horlicks or hot chocolate

If this doesn't make sense just ask. HTH.

sharond101 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:37:59

Also useful to note, your BMI is 17.6. A healthy weight as per any healthcare professional is BMI 20. You would need to gain around 1 stone to achieve this.

pumpkinss Tue 16-Apr-13 17:29:45

I feel like I've hijacked this thread but hopefully the suggestions provided will be of good use to others as they are to me. Thank you sharond101 for spending the time to write up the meal plan. Very useful indeed. I will certainly up my milk intake (I do tend to have whole milk, so that should aid things), and not worry about having more sweet things as snacks. I'll also give avocado's a go too.
Wish it was as easy as flicking a switch and hey presto I'm in the healthy BMI range, but I think it will be a slow progression to that point as my insides adapt to having more and also my head consistently makes sure I make the effort too.
Thanks again.

ThereGoesTheYear Tue 16-Apr-13 17:43:08

Can you identify any 'bad' habits? I was underweight, and usually skipped breakfast as I thought I 'couldn't eat in the mornings'. turns out i could when I got into the habit. I put on about a stone (over time) by religiously eating breakfast - quite a high calorie one of porridge with milk, honey and cream.
sharond101 I've been working on the assumption that 18.5 (rather than 20) was the lower threshold. Maybe I've still got some way to go?

sharond101 Tue 16-Apr-13 22:13:55

Most sources say between 18.5-25 is normal. The British Dietetic Association says below 19 is underweight. Alot of NHS practitioners go with 20 and where a procedure needs you to be within the normal weight range the criteria is based around the 20 mark. I suppose they look at 18.5 being on the lighter side of normal? also if you are as low as 18.5 and you are poorly it wouldn't take much to put you into the underweight zone again. I saw a dietician before and she was adamant, as was the Consultant I was under, that a BMI under 20 was underweight. So it's a bit confusing but 20 seems a good midway point to me.

ThereGoesTheYear Thu 18-Apr-13 19:22:43

Thanks sharond101, that helps.

craziedaisy Thu 18-Apr-13 20:56:17

Thank you all so much I will be putting your suggestions into practice.

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