Healthy weight gain is important if you are underweight. You may be underweight due to being very active, sick, or just unable to eat enough on a daily basis. In this article, learn about adding calories to your diet through a high calorie smoothie and other ways to gain weight healthily.
Excess calories needed to gain a pound of weight
A female needs about 2000 calories on a daily basis (this depends on their age, size, height, lifestyle, overall health, and activity level). To gain a pound of weight per week, you will need to consume an additional 500 calories per week. It’s good to know this as you can plan out your daily meals to ensure you are consuming additional calories.
Do weight gain smoothies need to contain protein?
A scoop of protein does add calories to the smoothie and it helps you to build muscle, so it is a good thing, but not a necessity. One scoop of protein powder contains about 120 calories and 30 grams of protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.36g per pound of body weight (or 0.8g per kg of body weight).
So consuming 30g of protein in one smoothie is a good way to consume enough protein across the day.
High-calorie ingredients a must
If you need a high calorie smoothie, it goes without saying that you need high calorie ingredients. If we look at macronutrients, that is, carbohydrates, fat and protein, fat contains the most amount of calories. There are 4g of calories in carbohydrates, 4g of calories in protein and 9g of calories in fat.
So we want to include as many ingredients with high fat content. For a smoothie to be a high calorie smoothie, you’ll want it to contain at least 500 calories.
Health risks associated with being underweight
Osteoperosis – Being underweight can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis where the bones are brittle and more prone to breaking. A study conducted in 2016 supports this.
Fatigue – not getting enough calories can leave you feeling tired because your body doesn’t have enough to burn.
Getting sick frequently – if a person doesn’t get enough calories, it may be hard to fight off infections.
Hair skin and nails – A person on a low calorie diet may experience thinning hair, dry or thinning skin and poor dental hygeine and teeth strength.
Other ways to add calories to your diet
Although having a high calorie smoothie is a quick way to add to your daily calorie count, it’s important to eat a balanced diet. High calorie smoothies can be high in sugar so it’s important to watch your sugar intake.
Here are some ways to add calories to you diet:
Eat more snacks – High protein and complex carbohydrates (carbs containing more fibre and nutrients) are a healthy way to increase your calorie consumption throughout the day. Healthy snacks include avocado dip with crackers, hommous and celery sticks or crackers or healthy muesli bars.
Eat more frequently – Eating smaller meals but more frequently can help you if you have trouble eating large meals. So 6 small meals may be easier than 3 larger meals.
Eating more healthy fats – We mentioned calories in macronutrients and we know that fat contains more calories per gram. So eating more healthy fats will increase your calorie count for the day. Some healthy foods high in fat include salmon, avocado, and nuts and seeds.
Healthy chocolate smoothie for weight gain
Chocolate Weight Gainer Smoothie
- 3 tbsp Nutella (or other high calorie nut spread)
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 scoop protein powder
Add ingredients to a blender and mix. You can add additional seeds or nuts to taste. You can also add some mint if you like a chocolate mint combination. If you prefer a stronger chocolate flavor, you can add cacao powder.