I’ve been thinking about food. I say that like it’s a novel concept, but I’ll freely admit that it’s not, unless breathing became a novel concept lately (and if you saw Zombieland this weekend maybe it will be soon). Food is not just a nutrition-importing mechanism in my book. Food, particularly in the fall, is hot, steaming, mounds of savory and sweet deliciousness meant to transport me from any discomfort into immediate glazed over happiness.
While I tend to be focused on how to be healthy, and often how to chase away unwanted pounds, I have recently been having conversations with people who are running after those pounds I’m trying to escape from. There are people who want to gain weight. Seriously.
For someone like me, explaining why I cannot eat onion rings every night to someone who is struggling to gain weight can be a challenge. So is attempting to help a friend gain weight. What advice do you give besides “just eat more?”
I finally have developed a plan for weight gain for those who eat like sparrows instead of vultures:
1. Stop being healthy
I don’t mean you stop eating healthy things; I simply mean that you cannot snack on apples when you’re feeling peckish. Keep a box of Pepperidge Farms cookies in your desk, or better yet, hit up the local bakery for butter-laden sweets.
One of the leading “you so don’t need this” foods means you’ve got to incorporate cheese into your diet (um…what is the opposite of a diet?). Eat it on everything. Drizzle feta on your salads, blue cheese on your sautés, and multiple slices on your sandwiches. Own that deliciousness.
Remember ranch? Dressings? Browned butter? Alfredo? Do not use sparingly. Dip everything in ranch. Popcorn. Broccoli. Beef. Broccoli beef. Melted cheese sauce, too.
Just say yes. Don’t save room for this temptation that probably doesn’t tempt you: make room.
5. Go out
If your budget allows you to, go out for dinner. Or heck, lunch. Restaurants lately are posting the calorie content of their meals at the backs of the menus, or you can usually find the information online, so go to town with the most caloric meal you can. And keep in mind that an In-N-Out milkshake is home to 600 calories. Go get one. It’s more addicting than Tetris. Plus, meals out almost exclusively have more calories than meals in.
Remember, the goal is to eat over 2000 calories a day if you want to gain weight, and you’ll have to chow down even more than that if you’re still exercising.
If you need help remembering these tips, take this snippet from an email in my inbox on my friend’s suggestions on how he’s going about this process:
A deli sandwich becomes a deli sandwich w/ a brownie. Cheese: every time. I was keeping boxes of cookies in my desk at work – little bit of light grazing before and after lunch. Snacks in the cupboard and ice cream in the freezer at home, emphasis on eating before bedtime. High fat cuts of steak. Skinless chicken is not welcome in my kitchen. No soda in the fridge, but plenty of beer and juice.
Man, I’m jealous. If someone told me I could eat butternut squash ravioli in brown butter and buttercream frosting every day, I’d probably squeek with glee.
Alas, I’m eating a bowl of raw mushrooms right now. Transportable, low in fat, high in protein. It’s not quite the same.