nutrition-gain weight after illness
If you have been ill you may have lost some weight, it can be really hard trying to put on healthy weight, especially after illness, here are our top 5 tips.

The winter months have had some nasty bugs flying around and a lot of people have lost weight, now losing weight is not always a good thing. If you lose weight, including muscle, too fast this can affect your immunity and have nasty side effects like hair loss and mood swings.

There is often temptation to try to put weight back on by eating sweets and cake, however this is not a very good way to put weight back on. You will not be getting the best nutrients and may continue to feel sluggish and also be susceptible to more bugs and virus’.

Eat more calories

It does seem obvious but to put on weight you need to eat more calories. If you are used to tracking your calories already then you can just allow yourself an extra 500 to 1000 calories per day. Don’t just eat ice cream though or biscuits and crisps, try to just supplement your normal healthy meals with an extra dollop of sour cream, or some avocado or nuts. Rich fats that are high in calories, rich in flavour and have added nutritional benefits are great.

Eat regularly

Eating regularly is a good routine for anyone to be in, but don’t let too long pass by before eating, don’t have breakfast at 8 am then not eat till 3pm you need to be eating within at least a 4 hour window. If you leave it too long before eating your body will think it is fasting and reserve energy. You need energy to feel better and for your body to heal. If you have lost a lot of weight through illness then you really need to have continuous energy to heal and keep going.

Drink your calories

If you are struggling to fit in meals, or still haven’t gotten your appetite back then smoothies and shakes are a great way to get more calories in, and also a great way to get more nutrients in. Protein shakes, multivitamin drinks, and fruit or vegetable shakes can help you get nutrients and calories into your diet.

Eat nutrient dense foods

People will advise you to eat carbs, stodge, and cakes to put on weight, and while these foods have a lot of calories they don’t always have the nutrients you need. Eating sugar and carbs will help you put on fat but to really feel better and have more energy you need nutrient dense foods such as meats and vegetables. There is no reason why you can’t have bangers and mash if you want, add a load of vegetables and maybe swap for beef or chicken sausages and it could be very high in protein you could even make sweet potato mash. However don’t have stodgy meals all the time, make sure your overall diet is higher in good fats like salmon, coconut oil, nuts or avocados. There is no need to cut out carbs when trying to put on weight but make sure you are getting enough fats and protein too. Vegetables and vitamins are key to you feeling better.

Exercise

Exercise is synonymous for losing weight but you can also gain weight whilst doing exercise, if you still feel drained and de motivated to exercise then start slowly with walks or light weights. Ideally you need to be doing weight training to gain muscle and get the protein working for you but you need to be sensible.