HIV infection often causes problems with weight loss.
Tips For Gaining Weight
Increase the number of times you eat each day. If you usually
have 2 meals per day, start having 3 meals per day. If you usually
have 3 meals per day, start eating 4 or 5 times per day. You can
plan your meals like this:
Breakfast -- Snack -- Lunch -- Snack -- Supper -- Snack
Don't count on your appetite. Eat even if you aren't hungry.
Eat something every 2 to 3 hours, whether you feel like it or
Eat more foods that are high in calories and protein, such as
milk, cheese, meats, and peanut butter.
Make your snacks count! Eat healthy foods high in calories and
protein between meals.
Add extra fat to your food. It can increase calories a lot
without your having to eat a larger amount of food. Ideas for
adding fat to your food are in the section, "Gain Weight With Extra
Add sugar, honey, syrup, brown sugar and other sweet things to
your food. Put jams and jellies on breads, toast, rolls, pancakes
and waffles. Put sugar or honey in your coffee and tea. Add it to
Eat dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, dried apricots, dried
apples, dried peaches, figs and dates. These are good by themselves
or mixed with nuts for a snack. Add them to hot cereal such as
oatmeal and cream of wheat.
Use Extra Milk and Dairy Products
Drink milk as your beverage with meals. It has more calories
and protein than juice, tea, water, or soft drinks. If you don't
care for regular milk, try chocolate milk, buttermilk, egg nog, hot
cocoa or milkshakes.
Use milk instead of water to make soups and hot cereals.
Make extra-strength milk by mixing 2 heaping tablespoons of dry
powdered milk into every cup of milk that you use.
Regular milk has more calories than low-fat milk or sweet
acidophilus milk. Half and Half has the most calories of them all!
It can be used in place of milk for drinking and in any
Nonfat dry milk powder can be added to a lot of foods to give
them more protein. You'll never taste it in there. Try adding it to
raw ground beef before making it into hamburger patties, meatballs
or meatloaf. You can also add it to any casserole, macaroni and
cheese, tuna or egg salad, hot or cold cereal, scrambled eggs,
mashed potatoes, milkshakes and puddings.
Have ice cream as your desert often. It also makes a great
snack in a bowl or a cone. You might also try adding it to
breakfast cereal in the morning. Top your waffles or pancake with
Add Extra Cheese
Mix cheese into your scrambled eggs. Melt it onto fried
Have cheeseburgers instead of plain hamburgers. Put cheese into
all your meat sandwiches.
Melt cheese onto your meatloaf and spaghetti.
Put extra cheese on pizza.
Put extra cheese in macaroni and cheese and any other type of
Put cheese into your mashed potatoes, and on your baked potato.
Melt cheese onto other vegetables too.
Put cheese on top of salads, soups and chili.
Make melted cheese toast instead of plain buttered toast. Put a
piece of cheese inside of hot biscuits, rolls and corn bread.
Add Extra Meat
Double the amount of meat you usually put on sandwiches. Put
two hamburger patties on your hamburger bun.
Have two or three helpings of meat at meals. Eat less of other
foods at that meal if you are feeling full.
Put chopped, cooked meats into soups and salads, and on top of
Add Peanut Butter
Spread peanut butter
on your sandwiches or
Put peanut butter on pancakes and waffles before you pour on
Spread peanut butter on apples, bananas or pears at snack
Blend peanut butter into milkshakes.
Put peanut butter on hot toast, hot biscuits. It tastes great
Fill the dent in sticks of raw celery with peanut butter. Makes
a good snack.
Spread peanut butter on cookies, vanilla wafers, and graham
crackers before eating.
Snack On Healthy Foods
Who says snacks have to be potato chips and cola? Make your
snacks count! Eating these healthy foods between meals will give
you the protein, vitamins, minerals and calories you need:
Frozen pizza, fish sticks, sandwiches, tacos, canned spaghetti,
crackers and cheese, crackers and peanut butter, hamburger, cottage
cheese and fruit, peanut butter on apples, baby food, fruits
and desserts, ice cream, pudding, grilled cheese, yogurt,
milkshakes, nuts, boiled eggs, cereal and milk, creamed soups,
dried fruit, sliced meats.
Gain Weight With Extra Fat
Adding fat to your food can increase calories a lot! It can be
hard to digest sometimes, though. Use these tips when you feel
well. If you begin to have diarrhea or nausea, stop adding so much
A teaspoon of butter or margarine will add 45 calories. Mix it
into hot foods such as soups, vegetables, mashed potatoes, cooked
cereal, rice, and casseroles. Spread it on bread, rolls, corn bread
and biscuits. You'll use more if these breads are hot when you
spread on the butter or margarine.
Salad dressings are a very tasty way to add fat to your food.
Try ranch, blue cheese or buttermilk dressing on sandwiches. Pour
it over baked potatoes, or use it as a dip for vegetables.
A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories. Salad dressing
looks like mayonnaise, but has only half the calories. Put
mayonnaise on your sandwiches. Put a lot of mayonnaise in tuna
salad, egg salad, chicken salad, ham salad. Try it on a peanut
Sour cream has a lot of calories, too. Put sour cream on cooked
vegetables such as potatoes, beans, carrots and squash. Top your
bowl of chili, salad and soups with it. Add sour cream to
casseroles. Dip raw vegetables into sour cream. Put it on top of
fresh fruit with some sugar for dessert.
Whipping cream has 60 calories in each tablespoon. Add it to
pies, fruit, puddings and other desserts. Top your hot chocolate or
cocoa with whipped cream.
Frosting is made of fat and sugar. You can buy it already-made
in cans. Top fruits, cookies, pudding, cakes, and other desserts
Fry your foods rather than baking or roasting them. If you roll
your meats and vegetables in flour or crumbs before frying them,
they will hold onto more of the fat and calories.
Put gravy and cream sauces on your meats and vegetables.
Low Calorie Is Not For You!
When you are trying to gain weight you must think about eating a
lot of calories. The more calories you eat, the more weight you can
gain. You should realize that your goal of eating more calories and
gaining weight is exactly the opposite of what many people in our
country are trying to do. Many Americans are too fat. For this
reason, the articles about nutrition you may see in magazines,
newspapers and television are often full of ideas about how to
reduce calories and lose weight. These articles often have titles
like "good nutrition" or "how to eat right."
In this country, "good nutrition" has come to mean the same
thing as "low in calories." This can be very confusing for you. Up
until now, many of your ideas about good nutrition may have had to
do with limiting calories. Without realizing it, your family and
friends may also have been giving you advice about eating foods and
beverages which are low in calories.
When people become infected with HIV they often decide to make the
most of their health. They may begin to pay more attention to
nutrition. But if they follow what friends and family and the media
say is good nutrition, they may lose weight. And that's not what
Choose Higher Calorie Alternatives
Instead of drinking a lot of plain water (which has no
calories), choose milk, egg nog, cocoa, juice, and punch.
Limit yourself to 4 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
Eat more protein foods like meats, eggs, cheese and peanut butter.
And eat more starchy foods like bread, cereal and macaroni
In most cases, solid foods have more calories than liquid
foods. If you like soup, consider making it from milk instead of
water. Also, try adding extra meat, noodles, cheese or chopped eggs
to it to increase the calories.
For snacks, try sandwiches, pizza, cereal, ice cream or the
other higher calorie foods instead of fruits and vegetables.
Choose drinks with sugar not "diet" soft drinks. Add extra
sugar to them if you wish. And you might add a scoop or two of ice
cream to your glass to give you even more calories.
Remember that sugar is
friend! Sugar not only has
calories itself, but it makes food taste good. You may be able to
eat a bit more if you sweeten your food with sugar, jelly, syrup or
honey. Put extra sugar in your cereal. Don't be afraid to eat candy
bars, cakes and cookies in addition to your healthy food.
Unless you are unable to digest a lot of fat, eat fried foods
instead of baked, roasted or boiled.
Forget about cholesterol!Eggs are very good for you right now.
They have a lot of protein and you need that to keep up your fight
with HIV. If you want to have a half dozen eggs every day for
breakfast, lunch and supper, that would be fine!
Eat between meals. Eat whenever you can! You need snacks two,
three or more times every day.
Put butter or margerine on your food. They are very high in
calories. So are mayonnaise, sour cream and salad dressing.
Drink regular or "whole" milk. And add chocolate or
strawberry powder to it if you wish to vary the flavor!
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a