Snacking for Healthy Weight Gain
Gaining Muscle and Weight for Sports
For many people, gaining weight is not a difficult task. However, for the naturally thin or extremely active people, gaining weight can be just as significant an effort as most people put into losing weight.
Who should consider gaining weight?
Anyone who wants to gain muscle, people who are underweight, and people who are at risk of becoming underweight should consider gaining some muscle weight.
Won’t eating extra calories make me fat?
If you try to eat more without exercising then the majority of weight you gain will be fat. If you eat extra calories, lift weights, and don’t gain weight too fast (about 1 to 2 pounds a week) you will build more muscle. However, there is always a little bit of fat increase when you are gaining weight. But remember that size equals power, and if you are training for strength and power, a little extra fat doesn’t hurt.
What are some practical ways I can gain weight?
• Increase frequency AND size of meals – 6-8 meals per day allows you to eat more without feeling really full
• Have food on hand – keep a supply in your car, bag, etc.
• Increase the energy content of food by adding dense caloric foods
o Nuts, nut butters, trail mix, Olive oil, avocado, Granola
• Practice pre, during & post nutrition around your workout
• Add energy filled beverages to meals/snacks
• 100%juice o 1-2%milk o Sports drinks
• Make nutrient packed smoothies/shakes with skim milk, fruit, protein, low-fat ice
cream and/or yogurt.
Good Snack Choices
• 1 cup pistachios & PB sandwich
• 1 cup trail mix & 2-3oz. beef jerky
• Bar (Larabar, Kind, Clif Mojo) with ~30 grapes or ~30 cherries
• Fruit with 3-4 tbsp. Peanut or almond butter
• (2) 2% string cheese with fruit (2)
• 2% string cheese with handful nuts
• Greek yogurt (Chobani, Oikos) with 1⁄2 cup trail mix
• 12-15 Triscuits, 4-6 tbsp hummus, (2) 2% string cheese
• Smoothie: 1 cup berries, 20 walnut halves, 1 scoop protein, 8 oz milk
• 2 PB&J on whole grain (4 tbsp PB, 4 tbsp jelly)
Remember that extra calories alone will not build muscle. You have to put the same amount of effort in the gym as you do at the dinner table.
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and is a state media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. . She received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Masters in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.