Monday, January 13, 2014

Low-Cal Menu = Weight Gain!

  Gaining Weight Off the Low-Cal Menu:
Sitting Steadily between 105-109 lbs. YAY!
     I'm gaining weight by eating off the Low-Calorie Menu's. How? Crazy, huh. Well, here is why. When I used to go out to eat, I would purposely order the highest calorie items, even when they didn't really strike my fancy. Side Note: I love spinach, fruit, soups, lighter meals, fish, seafood, grilled chicken. I'd pick those over pasta, burgers, fries, or anything greasy. It's just my taste buds prefer lower calorie food. Go figure. I love grapefruit the most! So how can I gain weight like this? Well, follow my taste buds advise.
    When I ordered the high calorie food, even though I wasn't excited about it, I wouldn't eat a lot of the meal. I'd pick at it and say "Oh, I'll take it home and it eat it tomorrow." It sits in my fridge...I may pick at it, but never really eat it. So I never get all those "amazing calories" anyway. One day at Applebee's I really wanted to order something off the "light n fit menu" it sounded so delicious, but it was only around 500 calories. My mother just looked at me and said " Just order what you want, at least you will eat all of it and get all those calories, and that is more than you'd get if you order a meal you won't eat..." She's so smart. Of course, she was right. I don't need to eat high calorie foods all the time, I just need to focus on eating what I love and want to continue eating! Now, I order the "light and fit" options, and just make sure I follow up with another snack later on (probably a smoothie- which I put Kefir in to help me with digestion click here for recipe).
      People who need to gain weight ask me all the time "How did you do it? How do you gain weight?"Eat what you love, just eat more of it if it is lower in calories. Try to find a couple recipes with higher calories to make up for your lack of calories on occasion. For example: 1- 3 a week if I feel my weight is dropping a little I'll resort to my high Calorie Cocoa (recipe- click link above) or nachos, etc.
      If you are way underweight and need extreme weight gain or your health is going to be at risk, there are quicker options. They come at a higher cost and more frustrations, but could be worth it! For example: (1.) a stomach tube can help you gain weight really fast. I had mine put in in 1997 (7th grade) and It probably saved my life! I was able to go from 40 lbs to 90 lbs. I went from being ill from school monthly to missing rarely at all. I became a lot healthier and definitely needed the Stomach Tube's Help (to read more about my Stomach Tube & our love/hate relationship Click Here!). (2.)Other faster, but expensive routes can be buying high calorie drinks like ensure, boost, etc. When I needed to gain lots of weight I did 4 ensures a night via G-tube. Insurance covered the cost because it was an enteral supply. But my insurance wouldn't pay for me to drink the high calorie drinks stating "its over the counter and my choice." Paying for 4 ensures a night, 7 days a week = 28 - 30 cans a week. So 5 packs of ensure...$35 a week. 4 times a month so total would be $140 a month. It adds up!

If you do decide to buy high calorie drinks I reccommend Boost's VHC (Very High Calorie Drink) you can buy it on fairly cheap!  Look at the difference in Regular Boost (which is comparable with Ensure) and the VHC Boost!

  8 oz bottle  : 360 calories  :  price $6.97 (for 6) so $1.16 each (at Walmart)

8 oz box:  530 Calories :  $27.38 for 27 = $1.01 each ( on Amazon)

(3.) Also, working out can help. It burns more calories, but if you do weight lifting, muscle building exercises, etc you can put weight on in muscle, which not only helps you keep your weight on longer (more likely to stick with you if you get sick), but also it can help you be more active and fit. Being active also benefits your lungs! This is definetly a better option than sitting on the couch eating potato chips, like so MANY people have suggested to me! I'm always like "Oh, hahaha...yeah...nice huh?" Even though I'm thinking "Dude, you have no idea what I have been through to try and be at a healthy weight, it isn't that simple. Wanna switch bodies...Dare ya. Try it."

There are many options, but mostly these 5 tips help me.

1. Don't get crazy about it. I don't count calories constantly, but just vaguely at the end of the night to see if I need a high calorie smoothie, etc. I went through a phase counting calories at each meal, etc. I ruined eating for me. Don't ruin eating!!!
2. Going along with #1. Enjoy your food! Eat food you love, find certain flavors, cook's recipes, fast snacks (snack bars, high calorie drinks, etc)
3. Exercise ( I'm not super fit. I can't run even a mile) but I keep muscle building and it has helped me remain stable weight wise.
4. Look at your digestion (bathroom issues?) Talk to your doc. You may need different enzymes, probiotics, extra digestive help- I know I do. I take Probiotics and drink Kefir!
5. Your Mind Controls A lot. Your eating habbits, food interests, etc
 This sounds cheesy, but be happy and calm. When I get stressed, I get sick, and don't feel like eating. Enjoy life! Make meals with your family or loved one! We plan ahead what we are having for dinner usually the day before or morning of and we look forward to the meal at dinner time! Therefore, I eat more!

Find something that works for you and stick to it! I hope my input is helpful. I finally have found something that works for me and I'm not struggling for my weight anymore! Anyone else have some tips, tricks, or suggestions for other weight struggling CFers!

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