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Weight Gain
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THE AIM IS TO GAIN: A Guide to Weight Gain, Whatever Your Reason - UPDATED

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The Aim is to Gain: Advice on Weight Gain, Whatever Your Reason

A new and updated sticky providing general advice to anyone wishing to gain weight, whatever your reason for it. Now with specific posts oriented at every weight gain group where possible, do note that I address this to everyone and the advice with in does apply on a general basis. So please, read up, I hope this helps, and if you feel anything should be added let me know!

BEFORE WE BEGIN - Doctor, Doctor!
PART 1a - How Many Calories?...: Eating Habits, Health Situations, and Catch-All Aspects of Weight Gain
PART 1b - How Many Calories?...: Restriction, Eating Disorders, and Weight Gain
Part 1c - How Many Calories?...: Special Situations
PART 2 - Food, Glorious Food (includes sample meal plan)
PART 3 - Food As Medicine, Not A Chore
PART 4 - Gaining Weight, Losing Money
IN CLOSING - It's All About You

Other Gaining Stickies:

A note on topics for the Weight Gain Forum: READ ME before posting!  
Weight Gainers: What did YOU eat today?
Gaining weigh-ins!!
Official High-Cal Foods List
Support Recipes
Healthy Weight Gain ... ideas and resources!

Edited Dec 22 2012 21:54 by coach_k
Reason: active for linked information; otherwise, not an active thread
46 Replies (last)

I was wondering if you could answer a few questions I lost weight from 124 to about 97. I am 16 and 5 7'. Now i want to gain weight back and i have been eating 3000-5000 calories a day. I want to know if this is safe and okay. I have been eating a ton of junk food but also healthy foods. Tons and tons of cereal though like 5 bowls every morning and 5 bowls at night. I crave sugar and junk constantly. I have been eating like 500 to 600 grams of carbs a day and tons of fat but i want to know at this point is it okay? Isnt it more important i gain some weight and get the calories i need? I have already gained weight i think because i weigh 105 now in the morning and have been eating like this for about 5 days now. Yesterday i had the most ridicilious binge though is this normal? I had already eaten a ton before earlier but i ended up having 20 pieces of sushi then a cup or more of icecream then 60 chips then i had about 5-6 bowls of coco crispies and milk. Thanks!  P.S I feel tons and tons better than i did a couple weeks ago, very energetic and happy. My muscles also feel stronger and better i feel like i can go on a run almost but im just mad i cant control binges and craving of sugar and junk constantly. One day for lunch i had 20 nuggets and 3 scoops of edys ice cream

I am a 22 year old young woman and I have type 1 Diabetes. I have lost so much weight in the last 2 months and am having a horrible time gaining any of my weight back. I use to weigh around 120-130 lbs now I am down to 101, I know some factors in losing a lot of this weight would be stress or loss of sleep, or high glucose readings (blood sugar counts) I have always been at a good weight but with in the last 2 months I have just lost it all, I just need to know if there is any advice or anything that I as a diabetic can do to gain my normal and healthy weight back, I am very scared because I have always been so small but had always had a healthy weight and appetite, I know there are different things I could be eating or drinking to gain but I have to take in as a factor that the sugars and carbohydrates can cause me to have high glucose counts....If anyone could please help me with any information



Thanks Jessica_Marie89

Jessica_Marie - have to spoken with your doctors about this? I'm assuming you have an endocrinologist and/or dietician who help you manage your diabetes and keep your blood sugar under control. They should be able to help you with this. 

Things I can think of that *may* be okay - peanut butter, all nuts, multigrain toast with butter, avocados, bananas, full-fat dairy, adding oils/butter to cooking (like rice, pasta, veggies). How about crackers with cheese or hummus? 

I really think you should speak with your health care providers. Unexplained weight loss of 20lbs in 2 months is very concerning, especially if you have pre-existing health problems. 

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My dietician gave me this meal plan to help me gain weight after losing being a vegetarian, not eating disorder. She says I can eat the same things each day but I wanted to know do you guys have any suggestions about replacements for say the tortilla or any of the other foods just to change it up. She says its about 2500 cal.


Breakfast (7:00) Breakfast
1 Milk 1 cup (8oz.) regular soy milk
3 Starch 1-1/2 cups oatmeal
2 Fat 12 almonds OR about 1/4-1/3 cup any nuts
1 Fruit 1 piece fruit ~ ½ cup or ~1/3-1/2 cup dried fruit (figs)

Morning Snack (9:30) Morning Snack
2 Starch 1 whole wheat mini bagel
4 Fat 2 tbsp peanut butter or 1/4 cup hummus
1 Fruit 1 piece fruit ~ ½ cup or ~1/3-1/2 cup dried fruit (figs)

Lunch (1:00 pm) Lunch
3 Starch 1 10" whole wheat tortilla
3 ounces Meat/Protein 1 soy product
2 Vegetable 1 cup salad AND 6-8 baby carrots
1 Fruit 1 piece fruit
Fat ½ avocado

Afternoon Snack (3:30 pm) Afternoon Snack
1 Milk 1 cup Greek yogurt
1 Fruit ½ cup fruit
2 Starch 1/2 cup granola

Dinner (6:00-8:00 pm) Dinner
3 Starch 1 ½ cup brown rice
3 ounces Meat/Protein 2 veggie patties
2 Vegetable 1 cup cooked vegetable (like broccoli)
4 Fat 2 tsp. margarine and 1/4 cup hummus

Evening Snack (8:00-10:00 pm) Evening Snack
1 Milk 1 cup (8oz.) soy milk
2 Starch 1 cup cereal

This information is amazing. thank you. I am 5'7.5 (small framed) about 106 lbs. I simply want to get to a weight that permits  a healthy BMI. My first goal, however, is to get to 110- not far away. How many calories would you recommend I consume? You seem so knowledgeable on this matter, and I am extremely interested in learning more! 

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You can use my meal plan and just change up the tortilla with brown or wild rice or whole wheat pasta or whole grain pasta/ barilla thin spaghetti is good or organic whole wheat pasta.  These add more calories. Have the tortilla for a snack if you want and add 1/4 cup hummus or 2 teaspoons almond butter.

you can also just do fresh fruit if you want and do 1/3 cup figs once a day or 1/4 cup extra nuts/almonds once a day ( pick one).

For afternoon snack you can also do 6 graham crackers ( 2 starch) or 3 cups popcorn ( 2starch) or 1 energy ( 2 starch) bar with no more than 140 calories if you are going to do the extra quarter cup nuts. 8 fats is good to aim for. We don't need too much, but we do need some. I do 8 fats.

I like oatmeal for a snack 1/2 cup ( 1 starch)


Grains such as quinoa, pearled barley, bulgur wheat, wheat berries are also very healthy and good in exchange for rice.

1/2 cup rice is 1 serving or starch and that goes for cereal oats or any.

For calcium you can also do rice milk, soy milk (chocolate, vanilla), cow. Try with less sugar if you are diabetic but if not you can go regular. Not too much sugar though. Moderation is key as with all food.

Olive oils,canola oils are also good  fats to add.


This entire meal plan aims at about 2500 calories as shown and if you are a girl this is good to aim for.

P.S. Try making your own granola, takes time but easy and good.

Granola recipe:

3 cups oats

agave syrup, put not too much but not too little for flavor

1 teaspoon cinnamon

water or apple sauce 1/3 cup of one or the other

mix wet ingredients and then mix into oats 

spread on cookie sheet and bake 325 for about 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

Lots of love and good luck.

This really worked for me the first  time. Keeping the rice and pasta works well and fast. Go with figs and graham crackers. If 6 is too many grahams try 3 or 1 cup cheerios.


Go to the BMI tool under Tools on the Calorie Count site and it'll tell you if your weight is healthy or not!

That's really helpful!
I've went to the doctor and they told me to drink boost? Isn't that for older people?I'm only 16.
I eat hardly any calories but I'm not hungry for more :( I'm so active I keep losing weight. :/ I'm only 105lbs and I'm 5'5" female in her 20's. I feel soo skinny. Been working out to add muscle. Still shaped like a stick.
Where is the advice tag u speak of.
How underweight am I, just wondering... 15 male 5 ft 9 in weight 117 lbs
I can't afford a doctor. ****
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I'm sorry, I am trying to find the "advice" tag you mentioned and have had no luck. Please help. Thank you, Bigern

Thank you SO much for this article! I found your advice extremely useful for my situation and I just wanted to let you know that I traduced this into my mother language (italian) and posted it to my personal blog/recovery journal (with all the credits of course). I am underweight (my BMI is 15,8 at the moment) and I'm trying to recover (literally STRUGGLING) from anorexia nervosa like many other people here as I can see. As you know, probably the weight gain may be the easiest part of the recover - even though it seems that I'm not able to do it properly - since the biggest problems have to be defeated inside the mind first... nevertheless, I was really impressed and "inspired" by the tips and suggestions you gave here. Thanks again!

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Hi everyone - I'm new to this site and this is only my second post but would really like some help. I'm currently trying to recover from anorexia and have a BMI of 15. I really am struggling though to see that I need as many kcals as is generally recommended for weight gaining (2200-3000kcal). Especially as my weight went up this week by 500grams when I've not even eaten that much more at all - I'm scared I'll balloon and I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm the odd one out and my body doesn't need those calories - I just don't know and feel well and truly stuck. Please can you help?

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Hey I"d really love some help with knowing what to eat guys - really struggling. Am 24, BMI 15 and working full-time in a school so on my feet most of the day. Please help :( feel stuck in a big fat rut :(

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You can try using my meal plan above given by my dietician if you want, botbee. You can change up ithe starch quantities if you want to make it less. This meal plan works;it was given by my dietician at Kaiser.

I could really do with some advice. Recently upped my Cals gradually from 1700 to 2100 over 5 weeks and gained 5 pounds. I am still gaining though. I'm really scared this will no stop since I'm still technically restricting (very active job and lifestyle). I panicked and went Bach to 1600 for past 3 days but feel bigger. Any advice? I'm panicking!
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Gain = health... you've got to ride the storm of those horrible thoughts of being 'bigger'.. they pass xx

46 Replies (last)