Gaining weight when you’re underweight, or malnourished can be as challenging as losing weight when you’re obese! The important point for weight gain though, is that you don’t want to gain unhealthy fat, you want to gain strong, healthy muscle.

The best way to do this is by eating nutrient-dense, healthy, yet tasty foods. If, for whatever reasons, you cannot eat much, then the easiest way to gain weight is by using a liquid, elemental shake like Absorb Plus – as it is much easier to drink your calories then eat them!

You can also use a combination of nutrient-dense foods along with Absorb Plus shakes, if you prefer. I did this while I was pregnant and breastfeeding. When I didn’t have the time to cook or eat properly, I had an Absorb Plus shake instead of a regular meal. Or, I would have one between meals to pack in some extra nutrition before my baby sucked it back out of me!

When you’re trying to gain weight, you need a lot of protein and good fats. So you can also use any kind of whey protein or veggie protein shake between meals or along with your meals and add a tablespoon of flax or Udo’s oil to each shake. Or you can use the Raw Nutrient Shake recipe below.

Then you can use nutrient-dense snacks (like the muffin recipe I’ve given below) between meals to give you those extra calories – but in a delicious way, that doesn’t feel like a chore!

I also give my kids these muffins to take to school when they get bored with sandwiches. For this reason, they are as high in protein (from almond flour – ground almond meal), whole grains and even veggies, as I could make them, so that even though they taste like a treat, they are actually a nutritious meal. For this reason, these recipes are ideal for weight gain, or to use in place of breakfast, or as a late afternoon, or bedtime snack.

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

  • 1 cup almond flour (made from finely ground almonds, available at health or organic grocery stores)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1 cup unbleached flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup liquid honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (if your kid’s picky, then peel the zucchini before grating – that way they won’t see any ‘green bits’ in the muffins)
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Optional: If you prefer, you can use raisins instead of cranberries. You can also just delete the white chocolate, if you prefer.

1.  In a large bowl, beat together eggs, melted butter, and honey. Then stir in the grated zucchini and raisins.

2.  In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (almond flour, whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt).

3.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed.

4.  Bake in lined muffin tins at 350F for about 15-20 minutes. Makes about 20 muffins.

*NOTE: You can replace the 2 cups of wheat flour with 2 cups of gluten-free flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum.

High protein due to the almond flour, and no refined sugar!

 

Chocolate Puffed Squares (gluten-free)

  • 2 cups puffed millet
  • 3.5 cups puffed rice
  • 1/2 cup tahini, or cashew butter, or almond butter, or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

1. In a large saucepan, combine butter, tahini (or nut butter) and honey on very LOW heat, until melted and well mixed.

2. Remove from heat, mix in cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

3. Gently (but quickly) stir in the puffed rice and millet.

4. Press into a well-buttered 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Note: because this recipe doesn’t use marshmallows or sugar, it does not set as hard as rice krispie squares. However, it is still delicious and much healthier!

I also find that it can be easier to drink your extra calories, so here’s a nutrient shake that is also kid-tested and delicious. For people who are not trying to gain weight, you can just use this in place of breakfast:

 

Raw Nutrient Milkshake

  • 1 cup raw milk or organic yoghurt (use rice or almond milk for dairy-free)
  • 1 very ripened banana (black is ideal – means it’s “predigested”)
  • 2 whole organic raw eggs
  • 1 organic raw egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Udo’s oil or liquid unrefined coconut oil
  • raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten, if needed

Optional: Add 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder or 1 tsp of hot chocolate mix to make a chocolate shake. Or add nutmeg, cardamom and/or cinnamon for a Christmas eggnog taste.

Puree milk and banana together in a blender on low speed (or use hand blender) until smooth, then add rest of ingredients and blend for 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve with a straw.

You absolutely cannot tell there are eggs in here – it does not thicken the liquid, or anything.

Note: The blending instructions are to avoid damaging the protein in the raw eggs, which is quite delicate.

And in case, you haven’t seen it yet, here is my video where I show you how to get more healthy fats into your diet. Whether you are underweight or overweight, consuming more good fats will help normalize your weight. Many experts advocate getting 40% of your calories from good healthy fats, since the cell membrane is 40% fat and studying healthy indigenous people has revealed they consume a very high amount of fat in their diet (up to 80%). Good, healthy fats include:

  • cold-pressed organic olive oil
  • unrefined organic coconut oil
  • cold-pressed organic flax or Udo’s oil
  • organic butter (preferably raw)
  • fish oils
  • animal fats from organic, grass-fed animals only

Soar higher!
Jini

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Jini Patel Thompson’s books on natural healing for digestive diseases have sold in over 40 different countries. Her health articles have been published in journals and magazines in the U.S., Australia and U.K. www.ListenToYourGut.com

Healthy Weight Gain
8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Healthy Weight Gain

  • your posts are awesome. it really is difficult to lose weight, what with all the temptations around us. i was struggling with losing around 30 lbs., at 145 lbs. i found a new great and healthy way to do it.

    but hey, your site and your posts are really interesting. easy and jolly reading.

    id keep coming back for more.

    in case you or your readers are wondering how i deal with losing weight, i would recommend http://www.howtogainweightthehealthywaynow.com/. they have really great insight on how to lose or gain weight the healthy way.

    i discovered them just recently and they actually make sense. 🙂

    anyway, thank you for making my day a bit brighter. ill keep on reading!

  • Thanks so much for the super-informative article. Can’t wait to give the raw milkshake a go!

    I’m wondering if your shakes might be beneficial to me in my current situation. As a little bit of back-story: I’ve been underweight (95 lb @ 5 ft 6 in) for several months, essentially following a relapse around 18 months ago into a teenage eating disorder (I’m now 31). I’ve got tons of emotional support and I’m doing a lot better in my relationship to myself, to my body and to food, lately especially.

    I’m probably not within your usual client profile in that I don’t have any GI conditions or symptoms as such (perhaps a slight tendency toward IBS-C, but I’ve worked enough on myself to know the emotional triggers behind that and how to work with them), certainly nothing that warrants an elemental or even half-elemental diet. In terms of what I’m eating: for obvious reasons, I’m steering quite clear of any kind of calorie-counting or macro targets; instead, I’m having fun teaching myself to be more intuitive with it, trying to learn to tune into my body wisdom and making that the primary factor in my choices. My body (and gut especially) does seem to be quite happy as a result; and I do notice that I’m naturally doing all the sensible things like eating a good amount of healthy fats, etc. Dairy products are the one group that I do exclude completely (for lots of reasons); unfortunate, as I know they can be helpful in gaining weight.

    The main problem I’m facing is that my appetite is still rather flaky; and even when it is strong, I do struggle to eat enough to gain any solid weight. I don’t usually like to snack between meals (as it makes me even less hungry at meal-times …); and I have to say I’m not normally a ‘shake person’ (I do enjoy solid food!). But this product really caught my eye when my supplement supplier sent an e-mail about it yesterday, so I’m inclined to think my intuition could be kicking in and nudging me to try it out. I appreciate you probably can’t give any kind of detailed dietary advice, but if you have any thoughts on whether this might help get things off the ground – and (if yes) any suggestions how best to use it to encourage that in a gentle, easy way that isn’t leaving me any fuller than I already feel – or whether it might be better to stick with a less hands-on approach, and let things continue to evolve more organically … that would be really fantastic.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, I’d be very appreciative of any thoughts and advice you might have.

    1. Hi Aimee,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story with us. I wish I had a better answer regarding your inquiry, but we’re not health professionals and are unable to give any medical opinion or advice to you.

      That being said, your body KNOWS exactly what it needs, so Jini encourages you to get in dialogue with your body. She actually has a lot of posts on exactly this topic: https://blog.listentoyourgut.com/category/musings/

      As you may have read in this article, you don’t want to gain unhealthy fat – you want to gain strong, healthy muscle. The best way to do this is by eating nutrient-dense, healthy foods, but if you have trouble eating then the easiest way to gain weight is by using a liquid, elemental shake like Absorb Plus. You can also use a combination of nutrient-dense foods along with Absorb Plus shakes – again, you will need to listen to your body to see what works for you.

      If you would like to go ahead and request a free sample of Absorb Plus, you may reach out to our customer service team. They can assist you. =) Contact info is below:

      Toll Free (US/Canada) 1.888.866.7745
      Phone 1.360.305.3245
      Fax 1.360.542.2250
      Email service@listentoyourgut.com

      Kind regards,
      Savannah B
      Customer Care

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