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Weight Gain

Sample 3-Day Weight Gain Menu

Day 1

Breakfast:  2 thick slices of whole grain toast with peanut butter, 1 large banana, large glass of milk Snack: energy bar, 1 cup or more of grapes, berries or cherries, handful of nuts Lunch: egg-salad and avocado sandwich on whole grain bread, raw vegetables and dip, glass of Ensure or Boost Snack: large scone or muffin with butter and jam Dinner:  5-6 ounces fish or firm tofu, roasted sweet and regular potatoes, steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with melted cheese, apple crisp or canned fruit for dessert Snack: 1 cup yogurt with fruit and nuts (or granola) added

Day 2

Breakfast:  granola cereal with dried fruit, nuts, yogurt, and a large orange juice Snack: crackers, cheese and an apple Lunch: 4-6 ounces fresh or canned salmon with 1 cup chickpeas, chopped raw vegetables and feta cheese with olive oil and vinegar dressing Snack: meat and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread (try deli meats like turkey, ham or roast beef) Dinner:  whole wheat pasta with chicken or a tomato-meat sauce and added vegetables sprinkled, generously with Parmesan cheese, large mixed green salad, ice cream for dessert Snack: ½-1 cup almonds and a banana (or fruit of choice)

Day 3

Breakfast:  smoothie made with Carnation Instant Breakfast, yogurt and frozen fruit accompanied with a bagel and jam Snack: latte and a large muffin Lunch: pizza topped with meat, vegetables and cheese, accompany with salad or vegetable of choice Snack: 2 slices leftover pizza with a large glass of fruit juice Dinner 4-6 ounces chicken vegetable stir fry with 1-2 cups brown rice, glass of milk, custard or pudding with fruit for dessert Snack: 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and jam, glass of milk   Here is a listing of the protein content of some common foods:  
Food Amount (Edible portion) Protein (grams)
Beef, lean Chicken, skinless Sole fillet Milk, skim Milk, 2% Cheddar cheese Yogurt, low fat Egg, boiled Cottage cheese, 2% Peanut butter Peanuts Soybeans Soy milk Tofu Lentils Chickpeas Rice, white or brown Macaroni Bread, brown 3 oz 3 oz 3 oz 1 cup 1 cup 1 oz 1 cup 1 large 1/2 cup 2 tbsp 1 oz 1/2 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup 1 cup 1 slice 26 26 21 8 8 8 13 6 16 8 7 15 8 10 9 7 4.5 6.7 2.7

Commonly Asked Questions

See all the FAQ's
What can you do?
Set realistic weight gain goals: 2-5 kg (5-12.5 lbs) in a year is realistic. Weight gain should be gradual, at a rate of about 0.5 kg or 1.25 lbs per month. Moderate exercise will help to increase your appetite. If possible, minimize high intensity exercises such as running, as these will burn fat and calories faster. Try walking, swimming or yoga. Building muscle is important to ensure that weight is not gained purely as fat. Try lifting light weights or doing Pilates. Talk to a personal trainer at your local gym for tips on technique and how to avoid injuries. Rest and recovery is necessary to allow your body to respond to muscle development and weight gain.
What should you eat?
Try eating 4 larger meals instead of 6 small meals. For those with a poor appetite it may be easier to have smaller amounts of food more frequently. Try to space meals by at least 4 hours. High calorie, nutritious foods: granola type cereals, dried fruit and nuts, non-hydrogenated peanut butter, fruit and yogurt shakes, thickly sliced bread, avocado, sockeye salmon, eggs and even commercial products such as Boost® and Ensure Plus®. Enhance the calories of any meal nutritiously by sprinkling nuts, seeds or cheese on top, or add skim milk powder (1/4 cup/60ml) to your glass of whole milk. Emphasize carbohydrates: starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas, lima beans and sweet potatoes, and grain products such as breads and cereals. Include all four food groups in each meal: (e.g. fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and meat alternatives, grains and cereals). For example - a hearty cereal with milk, nuts and fruit; a shake made with Carnation Instant Breakfast®, fruit and milk; baked beans, bread, vegetables and milk; meat and/or bean tacos with cheese, rice and vegetables; meat, potatoes, vegetables and a glass of milk. Drink high calorie beverages such as juices and milk instead of diet pop, coffee and tea. Avoid caffeine and sugary foods: these foods can actually suppress your appetite. These include coffee, tea (even some herbal teas), chocolate and soft drinks.
How much protein do I need to build muscle?
Muscle is made of protein, however, eating more protein will not necessarily result in muscle growth. Your body can only use a certain amount of protein each day. Consuming 1-2 grams of protein per kg body weight per day is sufficient protein for muscle growth and tissue repair. Any more protein than this will simply be used as fuel by the body or converted into fat for storage. Eating sufficient carbohydrates to fuel your body for the day is essential in order to preserve the muscle you have. Muscle growth occurs with muscle building activities such as weight lifting and adequate fueling.
See all the FAQ's