Weight Gain Tips for Athletes

Weight Gain Dietary Strategies:

1. Aim to include an extra 400-500 calories/day in addition to your estimated caloric requirements. A registered dietitian can help you with this, or go to http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/food-aliment/ns-sc/nr-rn/surveillance/pdf/e_NVSCF_eng.pdf for
a copy of the Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods.
2. Eat regular snacks and meals. Eat every 2-3 hours.
3. Increase portion sizes at mealtimes, particularly of energy-dense foods.
4. Drink juice, milk, chocolate milk or sports drinks instead of water.
5. Include a smoothie (see recipes section) or meal replacement beverage each day between meals.
6. Include the use of more nutrient and energy dense foods in meal preparation such as vegetable oil, nuts and seeds, natural peanut butter, low fat dairy & dried fruit.
7. Include one extra meal or two extra snacks every day.

Ways to Increase Calorie Intake:

1. Choose hearty breads such as sprouted whole wheat (ex. Squirrelly bread), bagels, pancakes, hoagie buns, thick crusted pizza.
2. Drink juices such as cranberry blends, apple, grape and pineapple instead of orange juice.
3. Eat fruits such as bananas, grapes, figs, dried cranberries and apricots, persimmons, plantains.
4. Use oils during cooking and sauces for accompaniments.
5. Add avocado, raisins, cheese (grated or cubes), chickpeas, deli meat, olives, nuts and/or seeds to salads.
6. Add skim milk powder or fluid milk to soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.
7. Have toast with nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew butter) & honey or jam.
8. Top baked potatoes with cottage cheese and salsa.
9. Choose high calorie cereals such as granola, oatmeal and muesli and have them with milk, raisins, banana or chopped walnuts.

Calorie Boosting Snacks:

  • Dried fruit (fruit leather, apricots, raisins, fruit energy bars)
  • Sports bars
  • Meal replacement drinks (e.g. Nutrigy, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast)
  • Fruits (bananas, pineapple, pears)
  • Granola
  • Baby carrots
  • Roasted soy nuts
  • Trail mix (nuts and dried fruit)
  • Bagel with cream cheese Pudding cups
  • Low fat cereal or granola bars
  • Fig or berry newton cookies
  • Graham crackers with peanut butter
  • Sesame snaps or ginger snap cookies
  • Juice boxes (apple, cranapple, grape, pineapple, juice blends)
  • Hot chocolate


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