Best Snacks For Weight Gain

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In trying to gain weight, what is the Best Snacks For Weight Gain? That’s really all it takes is one healthy snack a day. In order to be successful in gaining weight, you need to set a goal around how many extra calories you want to consume and make sure you consume the Best foods to gain weight. Are you tired of hearing about the benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight? I am too, but like it or not, you need to hear it. It’s just not fair if only skinny people can experience life’s greatest benefits.

Best Snacks For Weight Gain

While many people in the United States are focused on losing weight to improve their overall health, there is another group of people who are struggling to gain weight.

If you are trying to gain weight, or are having difficulty maintaining your weight, try adding some nutrient-rich snacks to your diet to increase your daily caloric intake. I recommend having a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates about 2-3 hours after your last meal.

If you’re resistant to snacking because you get full quickly and are worried you will not be hungry for your next meal, worry no more! Many studies show that eating a snack between meals has little effect on caloric intake during the following meal. Since the studies reviewed were in healthy subjects, if you are recovering from surgery or going through chemotherapy, you may feel this does not apply to you. However, in my experience, most patients who have consistently added snacks to their diets have been able to successfully gain weight.

If you don’t need to gain weight but enjoy snacking to curb your hunger, be sure to choose low-fat sources of protein and eat smaller meals. If you add too many calories at snack time and eat large meals, this may lead to unwanted weight gain.

Suggested snacks:

First choose a serving of fruit, vegetables ,or whole grains (may choose white grains if you’re having diarrhea):

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced bell pepper

Healthy snacks you can eat without gaining weight

Snacking gets a bad rap, but it can actually help you maintain a healthy weight—and even lose weight—as long as you pay attention to the types of foods you snack on and make smart choices. Eating smaller meals and snacks about every three hours or so can help maintain more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. And, it can help you avoid extreme hunger so you don’t overeat at lunch or dinner.

If you find yourself heading for the fridge soon after snacking (or worse, the vending machine), you may be choosing the wrong kinds of food. Calorie-dense snacks that are high in fat or sugar—like candy bars and potato chips—may satisfy an immediate craving but tend to stave off hunger for only a short time. That’s because junk food passes through the digestive system quickly.

Healthy snacking tips

A healthier way to snack is to choose foods that combine protein, fiber, and a small amount of heart-healthy fat, such as monounsaturated fat or omega-3 fatty acids, and not too much sugar or salt. These types of snacks are more likely to fill you up and keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Nutrition experts suggest you should keep snacks to about 100 to 200 calories. It’s also important to get in the habit of reading Nutrition Facts panels to check the healthfulness of a snack. More important, snack mindfully. Savor what you’re eating and chew it slowly. Pay attention to the flavors and textures. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full. Give yourself some time before reaching for another snack.

10 quick and easy snacks that can help you lose weight

  1. NutsNuts are packed with protein and healthy fats, so they help you stay full longer. Enjoy a handful of almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or unsalted or lightly salted dry roasted nuts. To make your snack last longer, choose nuts that you have to un-shell one at a time. Or, toss walnuts into an individual serving of unsweetened applesauce.
  2. GrapesA cup of frozen grapes is an easy, nutritious snack. It’s a fun way to satisfy your sweet tooth with just a handful of calories. If grapes aren’t your thing, try a frozen banana drizzled with a tablespoon of chocolate syrup.
  3. HummusMake a batch of creamy, smooth hummus at home and spread it on whole grain crackers or a six-inch whole wheat tortilla. Hummus also makes a savory dip for cut veggies.
  4. Oat BranOat bran is a complex carbohydrate, so it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. A small bowl of oat bran flavored with low-fat milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon makes a hearty, filling snack. Plus, blueberry oat bran muffins are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
  5. YogurtA single-serving container of light, low-fat yogurt (or Greek-style yogurt) is an easy snack when you’re on the go. Add fresh fruit, ground flaxseed, or reduced-fat granola to yogurt to pack an additional nutritional punch. Or, try freezing a container of whipped yogurt for something new.
  6. ChickpeasTry roasting them in the oven with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of ground cumin. Roasted chickpeas have the crunchiness of chips but with a meaty texture and a nutty flavor.
  7. AvocadosNutrient-dense avocados are a powerful source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Sprinkle avocado slices with sea salt or fill a halved avocado with salsa.
  8. PopcornAs a whole grain that’s naturally high in fiber and low in fat, air-popped popcorn is a gluten-free snack with staying power. Drizzle melted bittersweet chocolate over popcorn for a decadent treat.
  9. Trail MixFor a portable, healthy snack, whip up a batch of trail mix with high-fiber cereal, nuts, and dried fruit. Dried fruit is packed with fiber, but be sure to look for fruit with no added sugar.
  10. FruitFresh fruit is always a healthy snack. For a creative spin, pair a piece of fruit with a few nuts, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, or some whole grain cereal and low-fat milk. Or, try a cup of berries with a tablespoon of melted chocolate chips for dipping.

When you do not snack…

Some people are satisfied to eat one to two meals a day and still maintain their weight. But they will realize with time that their metabolism is slowing down and they’re accumulating more fat than in previous years. The reason is that they are burning fewer calories. Also when someone eats fewer meals when they get hungry, they tend to eat more and this can cause weight gain.


Why snacking can be good for you…

Healthy snacking for example 2 hours before your main meal prevents you from overeating on main meals as it also stops you from getting too hungry.

What do experts recommend?

Eating frequent smaller healthy meals or snacks will boost your metabolism and make you burn more calories and will help you lose weight or maintain your healthy weight.

Avoid unhealthy snack…

High-fat, high-sugar snacks have low nutritional value and loads of calories which will make you gain weight. Sometimes they may replace your main meal as they make you feel full which is not recommended in a balance diet. Avoid eating foods such as chips, cakes, sweetened juices, carbonated beverages, and regular ice creams as regular snacks, instead keep them as treats to consume from time to time.

Keep healthy snacks handy!

When you are hungry, eat a healthy snack that you already planned and prepared for. Keep healthy snacks readily available in your fridge; store washed and chopped vegetables and fruits, light fruit-flavoured yogurts, and low-fat portioned cheese…

And other snack ideas

  • A sandwich made with brown bread and low-fat cheese, or low fat labneh
  • Fresh fruit salad or platter
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruits
  • Low-fat or fat-free milk with whole-wheat cereals
  • Sorbet or low-fat, low sugar ice cream
  • Fat-free popcorn or baked chips
  • Fat-free puddings or jello
  • A handful of almonds or walnuts
  • Dried fruits such as dates and apricots (3-4 pieces each)
  • Instant soup (low in calories and fat)
  • Small amount of chocolate wafers

First, determine: Are you underweight?

Regardless of the reason, if your body mass index (BMI)—or your weight-to-height ratio—dips below a certain point, doctors will consider you to be medically underweight.

The exact formula to calculate your BMI is: weight in pounds/(height in inches)² x 703

“A BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight,” says Alicia Romano, R.D., a registered dietitian at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. “Of course, BMI does not take into account a number of factors, including age, muscle mass or bone structure, so it should not be the only marker used to assess weight status.” (Your doctor will likely also take into account your weight history and body composition.)

Assess why you’re underweight

So what might cause your weight to dip below an 18.5 BMI? Everything from lifestyle choices to your individual physiology could play a role. These are some variables doctors will consider:

Diet changes

A switch from a meat-based diet to veganism or another type of restricted food plan might cause you to not consume enough calories in the day.

Eating disorders

Deliberately restricting calories based on a desire to drop pounds—even if you are already at or below a normal weight—can result in a low BMI.

High levels of physical activity

Elite athletes, especially those who compete in endurance events like marathon running and cycling, may weigh less or have lower BMIs than the general public guidelines because of the physical demands of their sport.

Cancer

Serious illnesses such as cancer can result in unexpected weight loss for several reasons, including decreased appetite and smell/taste due to chemo, mouth sores that make chewing and swallowing painful, stomach/intestinal pain due to tumor location or medication and more.

Autoimmune diseases

This group of disorders causes your body to mistakenly attack itself, wreaking havoc on your gut, joints and overall energy levels.

  • Celiac disease: In this autoimmune condition, your body can’t tolerate gluten, leading to GI discomfort and absorption issues.
  • Type 1 diabetes: Here, an inability to correctly metabolize glucose makes it hard to use food for fuel, resulting in fatigue.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Inflammation in the body may increase your metabolism (a factor in weight loss) and the drugs used to treat RA, such as methotrexate, can lead to nutritional deficiencies, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Irritable bowel disease (IBD)

Sometimes characterized as an autoimmune or immune-mediated disease, chronic conditions like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis affect your GI tract, with symptoms that can include ulcers in your intestinal lining, diarrhea and difficulty absorbing the nutrients from the foods you eat. “IBD and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) both may reduce the body’s ability to digest and absorb food properly—plus, uncomfortable symptoms related to eating and dietary restrictions may pose an increased risk of weight loss,” says Romano.

Physiological constraints

While “eat more calories than you burn” is a valid strategy for the majority of underweight people, it doesn’t work for everyone. “There are people who are underweight and find it difficult to gain because of the way their body regulates fat,” explains Dr. Butsch. “They have a physiological response to weight gain, where their body increases its metabolism and decreases a person’s interest in food, all in an attempt to drive weight back down to where it was.”

Health risks of being underweight

What you’ve likely heard about: Obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. What you may not know: Being underweight can cause bone loss, osteoporosis, low energy, constant fatigue, irritability and trouble conceiving. “It can also lead to a loss in muscle mass and trouble with your immune system, raising your risk for things like colds and the flu,” says Dr. Butsch.

For women, the fallout from being underweight is highlighted with a handful of fertility issues, including amenorrhea (missed or irregular periods) and trouble getting pregnant. Blame it on an appetite-regulating hormone called leptin. “Leptin is secreted by fat cells in the body and communicates with your brain to tell it how much body fat you have,” says Dr. Butsch. “When women become too thin, fat cells shrink and secrete less leptin, signaling to the brain that there is less fat stored, which is not optimal for reproduction.” Realizing that a woman may not have enough body fat to safely carry a baby to term, the body essentially shuts down the ability to get pregnant.

How many calories should you eat to gain weight?

Your goal when you’re trying to gain weight isn’t to house a whole fruitcake in one sitting, but rather, to sneak in a couple hundred extra calories here and few more there, in a way that feels manageable and sustainable.

A little bit of calorie math: One pound of body weight is equal (more or less) to 3,500 calories. So if you eat 500 additional calories a day, you’ll gain about a pound a week. “As a general rule, start by adding an extra 250 to 500 calories per day on top of your current intake,” says Stefanski. “If this doesn’t lead to weight gain, calories should continue to be increased.” It can be a little overwhelming trying to calculate your caloric needs for every meal, and every person is slightly different. A registered dietitian can help you work out a weekly meal plan for optimal weight gain.

Best foods to gain weight

A bag of potato chips may tip the scale, but it lacks the quality nutrition you’d get from foods that are part of a more balanced approach, like the so-called Mediterranean diet (see: whole-wheat pasta tossed with olive oil). Overall, says Romano, your goal should be to include foods that are both nutrient- and calorie-rich.

The foods here can serve as building blocks or add-ins to increase the caloric content of any meal, which can help you gain weight:

  • Avocados
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cream cheese
  • Full-fat yogurt and milk
  • Hard cheeses
  • Mayonnaise
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils and salad dressings
  • Peanut butter (and other nut butters)
  • Sour cream

benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight

Benefit #1: Discomfort Relief

When someone has to carry around extra weight, the likelihood of being active drops. Losing even 5 to 10% of your body weight will aid in lessening various aches and pains associated with not being active. The extra weight causes more strain on the joints, bones and muscles, causing them to work harder than normal just to move around. Less weight on these portions of the body will allow them to work more efficiently and reduce damage.

Benefit #2: Healthier Heart

The higher your weight is, the harder your heart has to work, even when you are at rest. Even a small amount of weight loss can increase the amount of blood going to vital organs, while allowing the heart to work more efficiently. Maintaining a healthy body weight places less strain on the heart and reduces the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and angina.

Benefit #3: Lower Risk of Diabetes

It is well documented that people who are overweight are at a greater risk to develop Type II Diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, losing weight may allow you to better control the Diabetes. If don’t have this form of Diabetes, being proactive and working toward a healthy body weight will lower your risks of developing Diabetes in the future. In some cases, after losing weight, along with the other benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight, the Diabetes may be controllable through diet as decided upon by your doctor.

Benefit #4: Cancer Avoidance

Losing weight won’t prevent you from developing cancer, but it can greatly reduce the possibility of developing certain forms of cancer. Women who are overweight are more likely to develop uterine, gallbladder, ovary, breast, colon and cervical cancer. Men can also benefit by lowering the likelihood of developing prostate, colon and rectal cancer.

Benefit #5: Prevent Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is an affliction of the joints in the body and the extra pressure that is placed on them because of excess body weight can lead to this condition. By maintaining a healthy body weight, this crippling disorder can be easily prevented before it even starts. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, the joints of the body will carry less weight and suffer less damage over time.

These are only a few of the many benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight. The physical ramifications are evident in having more energy, having a healthier heart, lowering the risk of Type II diabetes, and helping to avoid both osteoarthritis and many forms of cancer. Eating a healthy diet and performing light exercise, along with advice from your personal physician, is a great way to begin to see the benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight.

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