How to Gain Weight Healthfully

Six Tips to Boost Calories

Although you cannot change your genetics and your tendency to fidget, you can boost your calorie intake. Here are five tips to help you bulk-up healthfully.

1. Eat consistently. Don't skip meals; doing so means you'll miss out on important calories needed to reach your goal! Every day enjoy a breakfast, an early lunch, a later lunch, an early dinner and a bedtime meal.

2. Eat larger than normal portions. Instead of having one sandwich for lunch, have two. Enjoy a taller glass of milk, bigger bowl of cereal and larger piece of fruit.

3. Select higher calorie foods. By reading food labels, you'll discover that cranapple juice has more calories than orange juice (170 vs. 110 calories per 8 ounces); granola has more calories than Cheerios (500 vs. 100 calories per cup); corn has more calories than green beans (140 vs. 40 calories per cup).

4. Drink lots of juice and low-fat milk. Instead of quenching your thirst with water, choose calorie-containing fluids. One high school soccer player gained 13 pounds over the summer by simply adding six glasses of cranapple juice (1,000 calories) to his standard daily diet.

5. Enjoy peanut butter, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. These foods are high in healthy fats, and can be a positive addition to your sports diet by helping knock down inflammation. The high-fat content means they are calorie-dense. Add slivered almonds to cereal and salads, make that PB&J with extra peanut butter, and dive into the guacamole with baked chips—without the 'bad" trans and saturated fats.

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6. Do strengthening exercise as well as some cardio. Weight lifting and push-ups stimulate muscle growth so that you bulk-up instead of fatten up. Sooner or later, exercise will stimulate your appetite so you'll want to eat. Exercise also increases thirst so you'll want to drink extra juices and caloric fluids.

MoreStrength Training Improves Muscle Mass and More

Weight-Gain Supplements?

Save your money! As you can see from the chart below, weight-gain supplements are expensive and offer nothing you cannot get via food. A hefty PB&J with a tall glass of milk adds about 1,000 calories for about $1.50. You'd spend about $5.50 getting those calories from Muscle Milk that you mix yourself from powder, or $14 if you pick up ready-to-drink bottles of Muscle Milk at the convenience store.

To make your own weight gain drink in the morning, blend 1 quart of low-fat milk with four packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast and 1/2 cup powdered milk (1,000 calories total). Toss in a banana or other fruit for more calories. Drink half at breakfast and take the rest with you in a travel mug. Easy.

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