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eferrara's avatar

Looking for weight gain tips (tired of hearing "just eat more")!

Asked by eferrara (145points) September 17th, 2013

I don’t weigh myself often but I’m guessing I’m currently about 108 lbs. I am 5’5”. So, very slim. And I have always been this way – all through high school I was made fun of for being “bulimic” – which I most certainly am NOT. I was a sickly child and have never had much of an appetite, but I do eat. I am sick of people telling me to just eat more… because I never gain a pound! Obviously I realize that I need to increase my calorie intake if I want to gain… but are there any other things I can do? I don’t want to look “sick” on my wedding day!

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27 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Take two extra bites every time you eat, once you feel full. It will stretch your tummy a little, and make it easier for you to eat a larger protion. Don’t overdo it, because later in life you will probably regret it. You could eat higher caloric foods, but I don’t necessarily recommend that, because it will likely be unhealthy. Although things like legumes (nuts, beans like pinto and black beans and chickpeas) are healthy, have fiber, and also are highish in calories.

ragingloli's avatar

Enjoy your low weight while it lasts. You will expand like a balloon when you get older anyway, so why rush it?

JLeslie's avatar

I have a question, do you look sick because you look skeletal? Or, other reasons also. Are you very pale? Look tired? Thin hair? Make sure your iron level is good, that affects “looking” and feeling healthy.

janbb's avatar

Any thyroid problems?

You might try milk shakes/

Sunny2's avatar

Enjoy eating higher calorie foods while you can. You’ll gain weight. I was able to eat enormous amounts of food and didn’t start gaining until I was in my 20’s We had to figure what our ideal weight was and mine was 15 lbs more than I weighed. I didn’t get there until I was 30 years old. Now, when I look at photos of me at the lower weight, I can see how underweight I was. I didn’t feel that skinny at the time.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My Vietnamese friends were all skinny ‘we forget to eat’ so they had to try the high calorie stuff more often.

dxs's avatar

If you increase your caloric intake, make sure that it is with healthy calories. Don’t just stock up on junk food. That can even have a negative effect depending on your type of body. Look at nutrition labels.
Eat lots of meat—chicken, beef, fish, eggs, etc. Get good carbs, too…Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, wheat is better than white apparently, pasta is excellent, sugars not so much. Gets fats, but only the good ones. This means any fat that isn’t saturated fat or trans fat. Usually the other fats (the good fats) aren’t listed, but they are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. By the way, it’s not going to kill you if you eat some unhealthy things or some unhealthy fats since you are thin, but keep them to a limit.
Don’t go too long without eating. Make sure you don’t eat too early before going to bed and too late after waking up, and don’t take too much of a gap during the day either. Have granola bars, nuts, fruits, or peanut butter or something to eat between meals. It’s really hard to count calories, but try to get at least 1500–2000 per day for your size.

Pachy's avatar

Unfortunately, the need to gain weight hasn’t been my problem for many years, but in my skinny twenties, lots of milk shakes worked for me.

dxs's avatar

Are you a guy or a girl?

eferrara's avatar

Thanks for the advice so far, I am a girl.. in my early twenties.

JLeslie's avatar

Please don’t eat a lot of high cholesterol foods unless you know your body is great about controlling its own cholesterol. When I was a teen I was 5’6” and 120 pounds, not quite as thin as you, but thin, and my cholesterol was 270. It should be below 200. My family has a lot of heart disease. Your body could easily be totally different than mine, the only way to know is with a blood test. Cholesterol is in animal foods. Milk, meat, eggs, etc. Maybe you have had your cholesterol tested before.

How many calories do you eat per day?

dxs's avatar

@eferrara I totally assumed you were a guy since I’m so used to guys talking about gaining weight. My apologies. Women function differently than men.

Seek's avatar

I’ll help with the standard disclaimer.

any significant change in diet and exercise should be done under the care and supervision of your trusted medical practitioner.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Strength training and increased caloric intake, you want some muscle and not all fat.

livelaughlove21's avatar

You need to log calories. Someone said it was hard but with a smartphone and a trusty little app called MyFitnessPal, it’s a piece of cake (pun intended). You may think you’re eating a lot and then find out you’re not once you start logging.

At your height and weight, you need about 1600 calories per day to maintain your weight. You should be eating about 2100 a day in order to gain one pound per week, 2600 to gain two pounds per week. And that’s net calories, meaning you should eat more on days you work out to make up for calories burned.

Speaking of working out, cool it on the cardio if you do a lot of that. Up your protein intake and lift heavy weights.

These tips might help.

If you are truly eating 2100+ net calories per day, every day, and you’re not gaining within a couple of weeks, see a doctor.

Oh, why can’t this be my problem?! Eating 2600 calories per day sounds amazing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Iā€™m currently about 108 lbs. I am 5ā€™5ā€. So, very slim.”

I don’t consider that to be “very slim”. It’s right about where you should be. You’ll look fabulous in your gown.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You think 108 lbs is where someone at 5’5” “should be?” Yikes. What would you consider thin? 85 lbs?

The ideal weight, medically speaking, at that height is 125 lbs. Her BMI is 18 – clinically underweight.

Sounds like the women you see on TV and in magazines are giving you a warped idea about what a healthy weight is.

I do agree, however, that the OP will undoubtedly look great in her wedding dress, regardless of weight. All brides do. I say if she wants to gain weight, though, she shouldn’t be discouraged.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Sounds like the women you see on TV and in magazines are giving you a warped idea about what a healthy weight is.”

Not at all. I’m a fashion photographer. I shoot bridal fashion on a regular seasonal basis. The women I work with are 5’10” to 6’1” at 110 – 115lbs. That’s what I consider very slim.

Five to seven inches shorter is not very slim. It’s darn near perfect for a real bride to look fantabulous on her real wedding day. Will make her a prize for the wedding photographer, and they’ll probably want to use her images for their new portfolios.

filmfann's avatar

When Stallone wanted to put on weight for “Copland”, he did the same thing DeNiro did to put on weight for “Raging Bull”. They ate lots of pancakes.


Seek's avatar

did somebody say, “Pancakes?”

Judi's avatar

If I had this luxury I would eat more low volume high calorie foods that were still pretty healthy.
Olive oil
Whole milk
And whole grains.
Having the opposite problem I have to be careful with my use of these yummy foods.

Erich's avatar

You should eat more carbs like rice, pasta, potatos, bread and to log your calories would be a great thing…

livelaughlove21's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies 5’10” and 110 lbs is not “very slim,” it’s sickly and dangerously underweight. But hey, who cares if it’s unhealthy? As long as people like you think it looks good.

antimatter's avatar

Well slow down your metabolism by eating before you go to bed.

SmartAZ's avatar

Dance. Dancers always have the best figures. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you want to add muscle more than fat. Study some books about nutrition so you know how to eat right.

Qav's avatar

When my first husband was killed, our daughter was 5 and our son 2. Our daughter gained weight; our son nearly stopped eating. Especially, he quit eating meat. He was already so tiny, yet he lost a lot of weight, to the point at which I could see his little blue bones through his skin. I panicked.

So twice a day, I gave him a milk shake, using ice cream, healthy dry cereal, fruit, nuts, and a raw egg. I put it all through the blender, and he drank it. When I took him in for kindergarten-readiness testing, the nurse asked, “Did you know your son is a pound overweight!?” I laughed at her astonishment, and the number milk shakes went down to one or two a week, sans egg.

This was 40 years ago. My son now is more concerned about gaining unwanted weight, which he does do at times. He is very solidly built, like his father. My daughter is still fighting being overweight.

Writing this because, as Pachy also wrote, maybe this could help—if you are careful with it?

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