Hi there! Hopefully, your week is getting off to a good start.
So, in my post last Thursday, I talked about how I’m going to increase my calories. While on one hand, it seems pretty easy (just eat more food?) but at the end of the day, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. It’s a little frustrating to realize that you feel like you can’t eat another bite but you still have a lot of calories to go in a day. So, I’ve figured out some strategies to eat high-calorie without feeling like I’m stuffing myself.
My plan right now is to focus on upping my overall calorie intake, mainly through fats and carbs. I already eat 100+ grams of protein per day, so I’m not too worried about adding more protein. Specifically, this is what I’m going to be focusing on:
1. Egg yolks, oil, avocado and nut butters.
Probably the easiest way to add calories to my diet without really noticing. Fat has 9 calories a gram versus protein and carbs’ 4 calories, so this is pretty easy. This is going to mean more full eggs rather than whites, avocado slices on all the things, cooking in coconut and olive oil, and adding an extra tablespoon or so whenever I have nut butters.
I already tend to avoid non-fat foods, but now I’m adding low-fat dairy to that list. I’ll be focusing on full fat cheese, more cow’s milk over almond milk, and trying to find full fat Greek yogurt (I haven’t been able to find that one yet, so I’m focusing on 2% for now).
3. Buy bigger.
Simply buy larger servings of things like fruits and meat. Even buying bigger bananas than I normally would will make a difference!
4. Trail mix will be my friend.
When I first started recovering from an eating disorder, trail mix was my go-to snack. Nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and little ‘treats’ (chocolate chips or chocolate covered dried fruit or nuts) are calorie dense, so it’s easier to get a few hundred extra calories from a few handfuls of trail mix.
I still plan on eating a lot of these, but I want to make sure that I’m not getting ALL my extra calories from them – fibre is a good thing, but it’s possible to get a little too much. My stomach won’t be a fan of all the roughage, and I’ll feel too full to bring in some extra calories. This one’s going to be a bit of a balancing act.
6. Liquid calories.
So this pretty much is the exact opposite of every piece of diet advice I’ve ever seen…which means that it makes sense for my current situation. It’s easier to drink calories than it is to eat them! This means that smoothies and more-frequent glasses of wine with dinner will be staples in my diet. Maybe one of these days when I’m having a diet coke craving I’ll reach for a *gasp* regular coke?
7. Accepting the fact that the extra calories won’t be 100% ‘clean’.
As admirable as it is to think that all my extra calories will come from healthy foods, that’s not going to be the case. In fact, there’s probably going to be more chocolate, ice cream, pretzels and the like over the next couple of months than you would normally find in my diet, and that’s FINE. If anything, this will help me get rid of any lingering ‘good food vs. bad food’ fears.
8. Think about food less.
This sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But basically, I’m going to focus on not thinking about food as much. When I’m hungry, eat, and move on. I’ll still be meal-planning dinners for the sake of simplicity in grocery shopping, but no more thinking about what I want for breakfast the next day when I’m going to bed. I’ll decide in the moment what I’m hungry for, and won’t second-guess my body signals – when I’m hungry (or it’s time to eat), eat whatever I’m craving and move on. If this means I end up eating cake for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, or a Pop-Tart for a snack once in a while? That’s fine. That’s real life for a lot of people.
So hopefully with these changes and strategies in place, my body will bounce back quickly!
Have a good one!
<— Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to gain weight/eat more? What were some of your staple foods during that time?
<— Do you usually listen to your cravings?
<— Do you think about food a lot?
<— Is your body affected if you overdo it on fibre-dense foods?