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minniemau5's avatar

Tips on gaining weight?

Asked by minniemau5 (432 points ) March 20th, 2011

I am 101 lbs and 5’6”... with a BMI of around 16.3. I desperately need and want to gain weight for my own health. I would like all the tips and advice you guys could give me on ways to gain weight. I need to do this alone, without the help of a nutritionist or dietitian as I cannot afford them. I am a very picky eater and I have several health problems.

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21 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Can you share your health issues and what you call “picky eater” ?

TexasDude's avatar

It may sound overly simplistic, but assuming you don’t have any disorders that affect your body otherwise, the best way to gain weight is to take in more calories than you burn.

Facade's avatar

Eat more–good food, not junk food.
Weight train. there are tons of good websites out there about exercise.
Also, accept that you may just have a small frame. You won’t be able to (healthily) gain 20–30 lbs, for example.

Seeing a doctor about your health issues and voicing your concerns would help as well.

minniemau5's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, I am in remission from cancer and I have irritable bowel syndrome and frequent diarrhea because of radiation to my abdomen. I have absorption problems. I am a picky eater because I avoid meat.. just because I don’t like it. I will eat turkey and some chicken, but I generally avoid pork, beef, etc.. my diet consists mainly of junk food and things like bread and pasta.

Aster's avatar

Become a couch potato and you’ll gain weight. Sit around most of the day, snacking. Make sure everything you eat is fattening—no celery sticks. Buy the best tasting dips you can find, eat Velveeta cheese sandwiches, whole milk, guacomole and chips, Oreo cookies, ice cream and Cool Whip, beef, eggs and bacon, lots of butter and just keep sitting.
Each time you get up from the couch you’re burning calories so be sure to restrict movement. It really works.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@minniemau5 Try extra meals each day. I’ve added weight by eating pizza and dark beer as an extra meal. I had a friend that needed to gain weight and had milk shakes and fruit cake for dessert after every meal.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Stick to things like pasta, potatoes in any form that you can get them. Bread and butter. Does dairy bother you? Things like fettucini, cream sauces, potato soup will put in on. Also, eating more meals. Smaller, but more. Milkshakes.

Randy's avatar

A big milk shake, especially one containing some sort of protein powder, after every meal is a great and delicious way to add on some weight.

Fyrius's avatar

@minniemau5
If you need energy, you need to eat stuff with carbohydrates in it. Pasta, bread, cereal, potatoes, oatmeal.
You can see in the nutritional value table on the packaging of most food stuffs how much of it they contain. If you have time, try comparing stuff.

Do you have problems with eggs, (cottage) cheese and tofu? How about fish?
Those are all good sources of protein. You’re going to need protein.

john65pennington's avatar

Loosen your belt and be prepared to buy a new pair of jeans. The following is a sure-fire method of gaining 25 pounds in 30 days. Ready?

Once or twice each day go to Baskin-Robbins and order a double-malted, chocolate, marshmallow, banana milkshake. Keep your scales handy and watch the pounds stack up. I did this for 30 days, while working an extra security job at a Farmers Market. The market had a fantastic ice cream bar and a guy that knew how to make a very fattening milkshake. I gained 25 pounds in 30 days there.

SamIAm's avatar

Thai food can be kinda fattening (coconut milk is) and you can get any dish vegetarian! Also, lots of pizza, cheese, and more bread. But you should work out too because muscle weighs more than fat… you don’t want to be unhealthy. Why don’t you check in with your regular doctor and see if they can help you.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Can you digest dairy such as cottage cheese? Are you able to eat eggs? Do you feel well enough first in the morning to eat breakfast? I read somewhere we can eat an egg a day if they’re the small sized ones- eggs have a lot of protein you need and maybe you can digest them better. Snack on good foods but snack often since you need to catch up with your body trying to flush everything as soon as you eat it. Do you like solid pack white albacore tuna? If you do then you can make a yummy bread filling or crackers topper with it by addding cottage cheese, shredded cheese and minced vegies.

lbwhite89's avatar

If you want to do it in a healthy way, which it sounds like you do, here are some tips:

* Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts). Heinemann suggests the following ratio: 60%-70% carbohydrates, 10%-15% protein, and a small amount of fat.

* Eat foods higher in calories, vitamins, and minerals, as opposed to higher in fat or sugar.

* Pack more nutritious calories in each serving. For example, you may add grated cooked eggs to mashed potatoes, ground chicken to soups and gravies, cheese in casseroles, eggs, and soups, and nonfat dried milk in soups, shakes, milk, and mashed potatoes.

* If you get too full too fast, try having more high-calorie foods or slices of foods as opposed to consuming the whole thing (raisins versus grapes, granola and Grape Nuts versus corn flakes, mango slices versus the whole mango).

* Limit drinking beverages to a half-hour before and after a meal.

* Drink mixed juices (apple/berry, peach/orange/banana as opposed to one juice beverages) for a higher calorie intake.

* Try a small amount of alcohol (4 ounces of wine, 6 ounces of beer, or a half-ounce of liquor with juice) before a meal, as it could stimulate appetite. Moore warns, however, that this recommendation must be cleared with your doctor, especially if you are on any medication. Too much alcohol can be detrimental to health, and could lessen your resolve for eating healthy.

* With moderation, you may add in good fat sources to meals such as nuts, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).

* Snack in between meals. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are good options, but it’s also important to find nutritious foods that you will enjoy.

* Have a nutritious snack before bedtime, such as a peanut butter sandwich.

As for exercise, weight lifting is the best thing to help build muscle. Cardio is fine for health purposes as long as you’re lifting more often. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it’s also much healthier than fat.

Mariah's avatar

Wii Fit put my BMI at 15.8 today so I’m obviously not the most successful person at this for giving advice…

Enormous weight gain was a side effect of a steroid (prednisone) that I have taken in the past. I highly doubt anyone would prescribe it just for this purpose (because the other side effects aren’t worth it, and because it’s mostly water weight which you lose quickly after going off of it) but I have at time talked to my doctor about medication to increase my appetite and therefore gain weight. I never actually tried it so I can’t vouch for it, but I know it’s out there. I believe it works through hormonal alteration. Your call as to whether it’d be worth it or not. :\

I can sympathize fully with malabsorption due to digestive problems. Unfortunately this is one of those situations where everyone’s body is different, so you’ll have to find for yourself what things you tolerate. For me, and I believe this is fairly common, carbs are a go-to food. You can also try to eat a lot of foods that contain healthy fats, like olive oil, avacado/guacamole, and peanut butter. See how those work out for you.

Do you have trouble with your appetite? That is my downfall. If you aren’t already, try and wake up plenty early so that you have a lot of hours in which to fit in three (or more) good meals.

I think also, a lot of people have this problem: they’re trying to gain weight but also trying to eat very nutritionally. But, foods that are traditionally nutritious are often low in calories, and quite frankly, often aren’t the things you crave to consume in mass quantities. Eating nutritionally is important to be healthy, but not being underweight is important for that too, and if you can’t make the two mesh, in my opinion it is okay to spend a little time just eating that which you crave within reason in order to put some weight on. It’s really hard to put weight on if you try and go against your cravings!

Have ice cream every night!

RocketGuy's avatar

I gained over an inch in the waist after eating KFC 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Not healthy, though. I think @lbwhite89 has a good approach.

zendielacson's avatar

try to eat more rice.. by the way are you eating rice? coz’ here in the Philippines we eat more rice and then take a sleep so we can gather more weight..

pathfinder's avatar

Feta chees is good for that

zendielacson's avatar

@pathfinder what is feta cheese?

dxs's avatar

I just want to second @Tropical_Willie about more meals. I need to gain weight myself, and a trainer person told me to eat four meals a day with snacks, etc. because this slows down your metabolism. I see you do not like meat, and that’s a really bad thing. Try to, unless you completely can’t. I abhor eggs I can’t eat them to save my life but they are so good for gaining weight. If not, at least try to eat a lot of white meats (which are better anyways—more protein, less fat) and fish (the most protein of all believe it or not). As many people have said, avoid junkfood. I have gotten many people who say “eat a lot of junk food” but the professionals (doctor, trainer) always say not to. I don’t know if that’s just because it’s junk food or if healthy foods really make you gain weight better, but I trust the professionals. So in summary, try to get more proteins and fats, not just open carbs like bread or pasta. And eat lots of dairy, especially drink whole milk. I hate milk, too, which is also a problem :) but i love cheese and yogurt.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

Weight gain and loss really boils down to calories in/calories out. Gaining weight is easy, but putting it on in the right spots is hard. Large quantities of ice cream at bed will eventually put on pudge, and give you heartburn too. Age plays a big part in retaining weight as well. Cancer patients who are too weak and small to endure the treatments are given steroids/hormones to gain weight. You must like some calorie heavy food, so start there. If you don’t care where the weight is, just eat before bed and manage heartburn with medication. Balanced weight gain will require a training program and a whole new commitment from you.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I had a similar problem. The only advice I was given was to write down what I eat. Presumably that was so the nutritionist could verify that I was actually eating plenty of food. Once they checked that, I was told to drink two protein shakes a day (the kind weight lifters use.) Unfortunately, this did not work for me because I would be so full from the shakes that I could not eat regular meals. Perhaps if you substituted one meal (like breakfast, as was earlier suggested), you could gain the extra calories and continue to eat regular meals. At 5’, I used to fluctuate between 85 to 95lbs. Fifteen years later, I now weigh 105lb. I never found a solution just aging.

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