Assuming you ARE healthy despite being underweight, if youd prefer to try some things on your own first, here are some simple suggestions:
- Drink milk or natural fruit juices such as orange juice with meals. - Eat calorie-rich snacks such as granola, nuts, energy bars, dried fruit, yogurt between main meals. - Eat dense, whole grain breads and cereals. - Add meat, poultry, fish and/or cheese to salads, pasta and rice dishes. - Eat fresh vegetables dipped in peanut butter, cream cheese, hummus or other dips. - Add powdered protein-based supplements to beverages and meals.
When increasing calories consumed, its generally best to still maintain the proper Proten/Carbs/Fat ratio in your diet. Many healthy, fat-free foods are actually still quite calorie-rich so you need not eat a high fat or high sugar diet in order to consume more calories. To avoid feeling sluggish after eating a large meal, consume 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. If it doesnt interfere with your ability to go to sleep, consider eating a snack just before going to sleep. You mentioned not wanting to give up running, but you might occasionally consider doing different types of stress-relieving activities with your husband that will not cause you to use up as many calories (i.e., biking, rollerblading, weight lifting, etc.). Also, get plenty of sleep and avoid consuming foods with caffeine.
To gauge your progress, youll need to get a handle on how many additional calories you are consuming each day and, assuming you do not change your current exercise routine significantly, predict how much weight gain you should expect after one week. Weight gain (and loss) should be gradual and an additional 500 calories per day, for example, should lead to about one pound per week weight gain. If after a few weeks, you have not gained noticeable weight, I would definitely check with a doctor.
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