Q: I’m a 38-year-old, 110-lb. woman who walks 15 miles a day, six days a week. I eat protein shakes, smoothies, granola bars, fruit and nuts as part of my six daily meals. How can I gain healthy weight?
A: Since you’re burning so many calories with your daily activity, without even considering your workouts, the most important thing to keep in mind is to try adding an additional 500-750 calories a day to your nutrition plan to aid muscle growth.
There are some sneaky ways to ratchet up the calorie count in each meal:
- Drink nutrient- and calorie-rich beverages. Try low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice two to three times a day. Tip: Mixed juices tend to contain more calories than a single fruit juice.
- Start your day with a high-calorie meal. Look for high-calorie cereals, like granola or raisin bran, for breakfast and a midday snack. You can also use cereals as a base for homemade trail mix to carry with you and snack throughout the day.
- Add healthy fat to each meal. Try adding a handful of mixed nuts to your afternoon snack or avocado slices to your sandwiches and salads. Peanut butter can make a great topping for fruit and vegetables. You can also add it to your post-workout shake.
- Eat more protein. Eating protein with each meal assists in a process called protein synthesis, which is necessary for muscle growth.
- Eat before you sleep. Always have a snack before bedtime. Try low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese topped with fresh fruit.
About The Author
– Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.
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