Method 1Increasing Your Calories
- Eat protein to gain muscle. If your goal is to put on muscle mass, then you need to be eating protein-rich foods on a regular basis. It's especially good to eat protein after a workout. Lean meats (such as chicken, lean pork, and fish), eggs, beans, and lentils are all great sources of protein, as well as yogurt and nuts.
- Even something as simple as chocolate milk is a good way to get in your protein, although be mindful that most chocolate milks contain a lot of sugar, which isn't good for you in large quantities.
- Also try to eat protein right before going to bed. Drink some milk or eat some yogurt to fuel you through the night. This may also help you recover if you work out frequently.
- Stir in protein powder to your yogurt, oatmeal, and other foods to add a protein and calorie boost.
- Add calorie-dense foods to your meals. Try adding full-fat cheese to the top of your meals. Stir some peanut butter and honey into your oatmeal. These foods are high in calories and can help you increase your overall caloric intake.
- Another calorie-dense food is dried fruit, such as dried apricots, figs, or raisins.
- Eat complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, bulgur, barley, whole grains, and quinoa. Avoid simple carbs like white flour, sugar and white rice.
- Use milk powder. Instant milk powder is a simple way to beef up dishes, from casseroles to soup. Simply stir in the powder while you're cooking. Wait for it to dissolve before you serve the dish.
- Milk powder can make your dish creamier, though a tablespoon or 2 won't make much difference.
- Eat healthy oils and fats. Healthy oils, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts (which have healthy fats in them), are rich in nutrients as well as high in calories. Adding a dash of oil to a salad or topping your meal with some sliced avocado is an easy way to increase calories.
- For instance, if you're enjoying some mashed potatoes, stir in some olive oil to make them creamier. For a quick mid-afternoon snack, a handful of almonds or peanuts is a good option.
- Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds have a high level of calories and also contain "good" fats that raise your good cholesterol levels.
- Use coconut oil sparingly. Although it does boost your "good" cholesterol levels, it is 90% saturated fat and too much of it could cause health issues. Other oils, such as olive oil and soybean oil, provide more health benefits.
- Include treats. Though you want to keep your foods nutritionally dense, it's fine to include treats every now and then to help increase your calories. Have a brownie after dinner if you're craving chocolate. Just don't make sugar the bulk of your food.
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