Knowing how to gain weight after an illness is a problem for some people. A major illness or surgery leaves you feeling weak and with very low energy. It is important that you slowly regain your body weight after an illness to help with your recovery.
- It requires 3,500 extra calories to gain just one pound of weight. Make it a point to eat an additional 500 calories every day in order to gain a pound a week.
- Since you probably have a loss of appetite, divide your meals into smaller meals more often during the day in order to get the necessary calories. Protein is very important after an illness and should be included in every meal. Incorporate into your diet such things as chicken, turkey and egg whites.
- Try to make your portions larger than normal and eat the most when you are the hungriest. Gaining weight on a slow and regular basis is the best idea for your body after an illness.
Add items such as toast, pancakes, cereal, cheese, potatoes, sandwiches and pasta to your diet for extra calories from carbohydrates in order to gain weight. Avoid foods high in fat, such as many fast foods, sausage, bacon, certain cuts of beef and many snacks. Fats can lead to higher cholesterol.
- Eat healthy snacks between meals and at bedtime, including fresh or dried fruits, mixed fruit juices, yogurt and more. Smoothies made with various fruits and vegetables are nutritious, easy to drink when you don't feel like eating that fifth or sixth small meal of the day and can add calories.
- Light strength and resistance training as you regain weight stimulates muscles to re-build. The appetite is stimulated by light cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking.
It takes time, patience and wise choices to safely gain weight after an illness.