Some men are underweight because of an eating disorder or because of treatment for a chronic disease such as cancer. They need to maintain their weight and add more pounds. For these men, taking in more calories than they burn is the answer. As simple as this may sound, underweight men often have to struggle with this concept. Some of these men experience appetite loss from chemotherapy or radiation therapy taken for cancer. Others struggle with an overwhelming fear of being fat that compels them to restrict their intake of food while burning calories by obsessively exercising. If you are underweight, there are a number of steps you can take to gain additional pounds.
Between your three meals a day, consume two or three snacks. Include high-calorie foods that are rich in nutrients, such as peanut butter and milk shakes. Space your meals and snacks so that you eat more without feeling overly full. Use the Food Guide Pyramid (see page 5) as your guide to healthy eating, consuming the highest recommended number of servings. For example, try eating 11 servings of grains and three servings of dairy products every day. Choose high-calorie fruits (bananas, dried fruit, and canned fruit in syrup) and vegetables (olives, corn, and avocados).
Add extra calories to your meals by incorporating high-calorie, nutrient-rich
76 foods into recipes. Use milk instead of water in soups and sauces. Put a slice of
Staying cheese on your sandwich or over a baked potato. Mix wheat germ or powdered
Healthy milk into casseroles. Make high-calorie shakes with whole milk, yogurt, and bananas.
Make meal and snack times as pleasant as possible to eliminate feelings of boredom, loneliness, or stress that may be affecting your appetite. Put fresh flowers on the table. Invite a friend or a neighbor over for lunch or dinner. Play music that you like during meals. These practical tips can make the difference between struggling to eat and eating well.
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