1. Eating three meals a day, plus healthy snacks, will add the calories you need to gain weight, as well as the balance and variety you'll need in your diet.
2. Believe it or not, exercise is an important part of putting on the pounds. Recent research even suggests that aerobic exercise is better for weight gain than weight loss. Learn how to exercise safely from a certified exercise instructor, one who understands your specific needs. NOTE: Always discuss any exercise plan with your doctor before you begin.
3. Protein shakes, energy bars, and meal replacements may seem like an easy fix, but they're typically packed with carbohydrates and sugar. If you're looking for something comparable, Glucerna and Glytrol are two supplements designed with diabetic dietary concerns in mind.
4. Healthy fats are not only good for adding calories, but good for your heart as well. Olive oil, natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter, almonds, or avocados make a delicious addition to your meal or snack.
- Olive Oil (1 tbsp): 0g carbs, 120 calories, 2g saturated fat
- Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added, 2 tbsp): 7g carbs, 200 calories, 2g saturated fat
- Almonds (whole, 1/2 cup): 3.6g carbs, 102.5 calories, 1.3g saturated fat
- Avocado (fresh, sliced, 1 cup): 6.2g carbs, 116.8 calories, 1.6g saturated fat
5. Lean protein is another great source of energizing calories. Foods like grilled chicken breast, egg whites, and white meat turkey are tasty and filling.
- Grilled Chicken Breast (1 cup): 2g carbs, 200 calories
- Egg Whites (2 egg whites): 0.4g carbs, 31.6 calories
- Turkey (1 cup): 0g carbs, 275.8 calories
6. Get your carbohydrates from fresh fruits and whole grains. As always, be very conscious of how many carbs you're consuming, but don't dismiss the grain family altogether. Whole-grain foods contain fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants, and you don't want to miss out on those.
This past weekend was my STAR TREK group's anniversary picnic. Our hostess was one of our chapter's newer members, though she's definitely a second-generation member (perhaps since birth!) of the larger organization. She's also dealing with a couple of agressive, quality-of-life-limiting autoimmune conditions, at least one of which has been somewhat mitigated by the effect of bariatric surgery. In the relaxed atmosphere of a group picnic, she was able to explain a bit more about...