If you’ve experienced significant, unplanned weight loss from a health condition like Celiac Disease, or other situation, you can use Growing Naturals’ rice or pea protein to make a weight gaining food.
Although protein supplements are generally viewed as weight loss aids, they can also be used to help you gain weight when mixed with the proper foods. On their own, GN rice and pea protein are unlikely to produce weight gain as they are low calorie protein supplements.
In general, in order to gain weight you need to consume A LOT of calories (from food)—more than your body needs on a daily basis. For example, the average male burns/requires 2,000 calories per day, but if he was consuming more than this (3000+), within a week’s time he would be gaining some weight. To find out approximately how many calories you need per day, check out this calculator. Adding at least 500 calories per day to your required amount would help you gain about 1 pound per week. (In reality, it is a little more complicated than this, so you’ll have to track your weight and calories consumed to find out what works best for you. There may be other factors coming into play such as physical activity, health status, genetics which may also dictate’s one ability to gain weight).
Why not just eat tons of doughnuts, candy and fast food?
Although this is a surefire way to get lots of calories in and gain weight—this is also a very good way of developing heart disease or other heart-related condition. Most junk food is very high in calories and fat with very few (if any) beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, etc. It’s alright to enjoy some cake occasionally (if you choose to); just don’t rely solely on these high-calorie no-nutrient foods for gaining weight.
Using the rice or pea protein powder, you can make a healthy, high calorie meal replacement or “snack” for in between meals. This can be in the form of a shake/smoothie or other recipe of choice. Need ideas? Check out our recipe section. Otherwise, here are some key tips:
Add healthy fats.
Fats contain 9 calories per gram compared to carbs and protein at 4 calories per gram. So they pack a lot of calories in “a little space.” Choose healthy fats which are mostly from plant-based sources and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol:
- Nuts or Nut butters
- Coconut oil
- Sacha Inchi Oil
- Hemp oil
- Seeds or seed butters
Can’t have fats? Try dried fruits or fruit juice.
Fresh fruits are naturally very low in fat. They’re also relatively low calorie, but because they contain lots of water. When you remove the water, like in dried fruits, the calories become concentrated so you are getting a lot more calories in less volume of food. The water in fresh fruits can make you feel full quickly, whereas the lack of water in dried fruit will help you to consume more and bank on more calories. Figs, raisins, prunes, dates and bananas have some of highest calorie content in their dried form. If you are making a shake, you will probably need a heavy duty blender for dried fruit, so that it gets mixed well.
Fruit juice contains the water that can make you feel full quickly but it lacks the fiber content found in fresh fruit. Although you can get full quickly, the lack of fiber means less work for your body and quicker digestion. Fruit juices are a good runner up to dried fruit for your shake or smoothie.
Have your protein shake in between meals.
If you’re not used to it, getting to 3000+ calories per day might seem like a big feat. It might also seem like a great volume of food to eat especially if you’re not consuming fats. Eating every 2-3 hours might be easier on your stomach than having 3 giant meals per day. A protein shake is a convenient meal to have in between your larger meals.
By: Scarlett Blandon, in-house Registered Dieititian