It is such a cliché that while most of us are trying to eat fewer calories in an effort to lose weight, there are some people who need to up their calorie intake. But while it is an oft-used joke that those people can just gorge on whatever they want, the reality is that for people who are looking to gain weight because they need to pack on muscle, or they’ve been told by the doctor they need to consume more, the reality is that it isn’t just about stuffing your face with doughnuts day-in, day-out. You need to look at quality calories that are healthy. So what does it really take to ensure that you are eating more, but are not compromising your health in the process?
Go for Healthy Fats
Fat is not the enemy. The fact is that the world of medicine has now proven that fat and indeed saturated fats are not the causes of heart disease and a huge other collection of illnesses. There are unhealthy fats out there like trans fats, but fat found in foods like avocados and nuts are your friends. More healthy fats in the form of olive oil and guacamole can make a big difference. If you are looking to up your fat quotient, this 7 layer taco dip is an amazing Mexican recipe full of guacamole as well as good fats like cheese, as well as fiber from the beans.
Nuts in the form of peanuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, and many more, are high in good fats. These can be your friends when you are slowly increasing your calorie intake. If you are someone that has been used to eating salads all of the time, it can be a massive shock to the digestive system when you are trying to up your fat intake, but this is when nuts or seeds like pumpkin seeds sprinkled into meals like stir-frys, oatmeal, or yogurt will do a lot to increase the calories.
Start Eating Snacks
Some people who are told to increase their calorie intake may not be big fans of snacks. While there are many people out there who will tell you to start eating chips and chocolate, the best approach when it comes to eating snacks is to choose the right ones. For example, peanuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and fat. But this is also where you can start to enjoy your good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In-between meals, one slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and jelly can keep you feeling full. There are also plenty of other ways for you to increase your intake of peanut butter, such as with fruit.
Eating More Cheese
Cheese is an excellent source of protein and fat. If you are slightly lactose intolerant, you may want to avoid huge amounts of cheese, but you can still get low-lactose cheese such as Swiss cheese, Cheddar, and parmesan. Parmesan can be an amazing addition to pasta dishes like spaghetti bolognese. There are also cheeses made from sheep’s milk, like pecorino. In fact, anything made from sheep’s milk is naturally lower in lactose as sheep’s milk has lower amounts of lactose in comparison to cow’s milk. On the topic of cow’s milk, if you like drinking milk, it’s a wonderful way to increase your calories, but you can also opt for a lactose-free version or you can purchase lactase tablets to help you digest it better.
More Meat and Fish
A lot of people who have been told to increase their calorie intake can feel overwhelmed by the prospect. Eating so much when you are feeling full all of the time is just not comfortable. Therefore, one of the best ways to start increasing calorie intake is by raising the fish and meat quotient. Fatty fish such as salmon can be fantastic for our brains and body. Additionally, fatty meats like steak are incredibly beneficial, not just because of the protein, but the levels of iron, selenium, niacin, vitamin B12, and so much more. When in doubt, go for beef, as it is the most nutrient-dense meat out there.
If you have been told that you need to increase your calorie intake, it’s important to ensure that you do it in the right ways. If you want to live healthier, it’s not about starving yourself, nor is it about undereating. It’s always about ensuring that you are in the middle ground for your body and brain to thrive.