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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?

Start Your Day with a 1,000 Calorie Breakfast

970 Calorie BreakfastI try to start every day with a high-protein breakfast, loaded with as many calories as is reasonable so early in the morning. I grew up on cereal, but I’ve recently needed to switch to eggs because of the progressive nature of diabetes, and I am trying to stop the glucose trend I’m on with diet alone. So far, so good. Here is what my breakfast looks like:

Let’s run down what’s in this monster meal, shall we?

  • 3 large eggs, scrambled up with 2 tbsp of cold water, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp of pepper. When I’m in the mood, I’ll drizzle some olive oil in, too.
  • 3 slices of American cheese, not cheese food!
  • 5 slices of thin honey ham.
  • 12 oz of sweet tea.
  • Publix-brand Boost Plus drink (ice cold)

This takes me about 6-10 minutes to make, depending on how awake I am in order to condense steps… like turning on the burner early. I’d swear that one of these days the sheer weight of the omelet will break the glasstop stove when I flip it over. Grand total nutritional content: 970 Calories, 50.5g fat, and 53g of protein… and all before 7:30am!

On a cereal day, use whole, vitamin D milk, a lower-sugar cereal, like Corn Chex or Shredded Wheat, and drink something like Boost or Ensure for even more protein.