From the Blogposts » inbox

Simple Tips for Extra Calories

Once you realize how easy it is to add hundreds, if not thousands, of calories per day, you’ll never look back. One of the most tiring parts of having cystic fibrosis is the massive amount of food that must pass through our bodies each and every day, just to maintain weight. Gaining weight is a whole new ballgame. The best way to turn the tables on this overwhelming task is to add calories to the food you’re already eating. Here is a run-down of my tips and tricks. Some are not going to be the best if you already have CFRD or are on a serious diabetes diet to avoid full-blown diabetes. Any massive amounts of sugar and starch in my diet is enjoyed as a treat rather than a staple.

  • Drink milk with your dinner? Add chocolate syrup to tack on an extra 200-300 Calories.
  • Cook with a bit more oil than usual. Olive oil is a huge source of fat calories. If you’ve got a “normal” spouse, this may necessitate preparing food in separate pans, but it’s well worth it to gain weight.
  • Drink extra calories with something like Boost Plus or Ensure. I hated the taste of so many drinks, but I finally found one I like. At 350 Calories each, three per day adds 1,050 Calories that can chase down a meal no matter how full you are.
  • Mayonnaise can be your best friend. 1Tbs of mayo is 110 Calories. It can go on sandwiches and makes a creamier sauce. Same goes for:
    • Sour cream
    • Butter
    • Ricotta cheese
  • If you snack with low-cal or empty calorie items, replace them with things that get you the most calories per ounce (or even per dollar). Chips, Combos, Oreos, and Hot Pockets are my favorites at the moment. Roll with your taste.

What are your tips for adding extra calories without feeling like a human garbage disposal?


  1. Hi Fatboy. Just getting caught up with your news and I thought I'd add to your list. First, let me introduce myself. I am a proud mom to a 2 year old boy, Samuel, with CF. We had no history of CF so his diagnosis was a surprise to us all!

    Since Samuel has trouble gaining weight, I've learned some tricks to add extra calories to his meals. First thing, probably the easiest and most economical for us, was to add more oil. you mentioned this above but I use canola oil. It has a mild flavor and I can mix it with just about anything. Our favorite thing to mix it with is whole milk yogurt like YoBaby or laCreme. I find that 1/2 Tbs in 4 oz. of yogurt is a good ratio. I've also mixed it in chocolate pudding but you have to stir it up for what seems like forever!

    Like your Boost Plus drinks, I try to get Samuel to drink a smoothie or something with more calories than just plain milk. One of MY favorite high calorie drinks is this: 4 oz. whole milk, 4 oz. half & half, 1 packet of chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast, 1 or 2 tbs of peanut butter, 1/2 banana (optional). Blend together and enjoy! With the banana, it's like a chocolate covered peanut butter banana and without it, it's like drinking a Reese's peanut butter cup. Not sure how many calories it is, but it's probably lots.
    Those are 2 of my favorite recipes. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  2. Thanks. Maybe my mom will post the recipe for the root beer floats she used to make for me.