How To Sneak Calories Into Meals For Weight Gain
Individuals in recovery from anorexia (and eating disorders) need to eat a lot more food than they are used too, as they need energy for weight gain. This can be done by eating more often, larger meals and eating higher energy foods. A typical day would likely involve three meals and three snacks. Obviously this is going to seem like a lot of food and become extremely overwhelming. Luckily, calorie dense food can help ease you into the first few stages (and weeks) of recovery… and sometimes even towards the end when your body starts to adapt to these meals, your not gaining weight anymore and you feel full sooner from large meals. This helps when you need to increase calories once again to break through the plateaux that is occurring.
PACKING CALORIES INTO MEALS AND SNACKS
Here are some examples of food combinations that will pack a ton of calories into a single meal or snack:
vegetables with high fat dip
add cheese on top of foods like pasta and sandwiches, or melt into soups
use extra oils when cooking vegetables or potatoes
avocado for sandwiches or dip
add dried fruit to oatmeal, salads or cereal
spread extra butter, jam or honey on your bread
granola to add on top of cereal or yogurt
use bread crumbs or oatmeal when making meat
extra nut butters added to smoothies or on toast
use mayonnaise or oil when making egg (or tuna) salad
lots of maple syrup for pancakes and waffles
add nuts to ice cream, cereal, oatmeal, salads, etc.
use higher fat milk (2% – 3.25%) when making pancake batters
choose cream based soups over broth based
butter whipped into mashed potatoes
powdered milk into scrambled eggs, yogurt, cereal, etc.
choose to eat bagels over bread
CHOOSING PROPER DRINKS
Try to avoid drinking lots of water during recovery. Water will fill you up too much and interfere with recovery and your meal sizes.
Some drink options & hacks to try:
add heavy cream to coffee or tea
use 2% or high fat milk as a base for smoothies
get sweetened versions of nut milks or those with a higher fat content
add powdered milk to drinks such as hot chocolate
caloric dense smoothies
milk shakes (i.e. when having hamburger and fries)
order your drinks with high fat milk and don’t remove or alter ingredients (i.e. Starbucks drink order)