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Weight gain
Jul 24, 2001

For a person trying to gain weight it's very frustrating that there is very little information for those of us in the minority. Are there any sites you would recommend that could help with meal plans to put on 10 lbs by the end of August? I am 28, 107lbs and 5'5 tall.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Trying to gain weight is not all that uncommon and probably harder to do that to lose weight. Your situation may be more difficult if you are a man and a little easier if you are a woman, depending on what you are now eating, how you are exercising, and your current body composition (muscle and organ tissues use up calories like crazy). There are sometimes other reasons that get in the way of weight gain and these should be checked out: active infection, malabsorption, appetite loss, diarrhea, and others.

A typical recommendation for weight gain is to figure out how much you need to maintain your weight and add 500 calories per day. If a man, calculate maintenance at around 14 calories per pound and if a woman, calculate maintenance at 12 calories per pound. Let's take the scenario of a man: maintenance calories are about 1500 calories (depending on active infection, high viral load, and other variables in your situation). So, the typical recommendation might be to start at a 2000 calorie level. Keep records for a couple of days to see if you are getting this amount. A dietitian can evaluate your intake if you provide the foods, amount, and method of preparation (broiled, fried, etc.).

Because it sounds like you have been trying to gain some weight for quite some time, you may want to get something tailored to you. You should also have any weight gain monitored to determine if you are gaining weight appropriately. Other treatments might come into play, such as treatment for underlying infection, hormonal modulation, or strategies to overcome malabsorption. Get a good look at the big picture and you may find the best solution.


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