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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I put on weight?

    Related Topic
    Is there a pill that I can take to put on weight? I find it really difficult to do so. I have always been thin, and I am upping my calories and downing protein shakes with egg in them but Im just over it and wonder is there something that can either help or make me want to eat more. Im currently bouncing between 48 - 49 kgs and im 164 cm so as you can see im def on the thin side - im also 38 with two children… helpppp
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    To put on weight you need a high protein, high energy diet. Contrary to popuar belief it is more difficult to put on weight than it is to lose it. Some of my tips include:

    • Eat frequent, regular meals + snacks (need to consume 5-6 meals every day)
    • Increase your energy intake (a positive energy balance needs to be achieved to put weight on)
    • Get enought high quality protein (from foods such as red meat, fish, chicken, lamb, pork, and dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese)
    • If your exercise regularly it is important to include a pre-workout snack (carbohydrate based) and a post-workout snack (carbohydrate + protein based) to help support muscle growth
    • Be consistent. You need to be committed and try not to skip meals.

    I might add that you must get your diet right first before considering taking a supplement (such as the protein supplement you mentioned). My recommendations for supplementation are to include a supplement that contains both carbohydrate and protein. Body Science WHEY protein isolate or Fuel series recovery protein (post workout) and Mushashi BULK are good brands.

    When taking supplements I recommend that you take no more than 2 a day on top of your healthy eating regime. Best time to take these supplements is before and after a workout. Most supplements these days are fortified with vitamins and minerals and you can get too much of a good thing.

    For more individualised dietary advice, seek the expert help of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) or an Accredited Sports Dietitian. You can find one at or

  • Leading Melbourne Accredited Practising Dietitian -Mark Surdut APD AN. Mark runs a practise in North Caulfield with expertise in Medical Nutrition Therapy. Mark has a … View Profile

    in a nutshell, consider pulling in more carbohydrates. although adequate protein is important, its the extra carbs that will  give you a good chance at gaining. fruit juice is a great way to pump carbs. be patient. consider seeing us (dietitians) for more structure.. MS

  • Hanan Saleh specialises in infant & child nutrition. With additional qualifications from the Royal Hospital for Children in Melbourne Victoria. Hanan can help you with … View Profile

    Consider increasing carbs and proteins as mentioned by fellow dietitians
    also consider increasing intake of healthy fats. Make a conscious effort to include the following:
    1. Avocado
    2. 20 nuts
    3. Add 2tbs olive oil to your meals/salads at both lunch and dinner if possible
    4. Add 2-3tbs dried fruit and seed mixes to your cereals/oats
    5. Fry chicken schnitzel, minute steaks, fish in rice bran oil rather than baking or grilling
    6. Have sweet potato fries. Consider cooking them in rice bran oil too
    7. When making your protein shakes make them on milk instead of water 
    8. Calogen is a healthy fat supplement that can be added to most foods/beverages ask your local pharmacist to order you a bottle
    hope this helps
    good luck!!

  • Skye Fitzpatrick


    Experienced Physiotherapist with special interest in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation following joint replacement surgery (at home following discharge). Treatments are focused on increasing strength, mobility and function. … View Profile

    You are quite right to be concerned about your low weight - as a relatively young woman with responsibility for two children you have a lot to contend with. The risk of developing Osteoporosis is not something you need on top of everything else.
    While there are many ways to increase your weight, as indicated by these recommendations, perhaps you are burning off those extra calories you are consuming by nature of your busy life.
    Because muscle is heavier than fat, a customise exercise programme to build muscle may be a more effective way to increase your weight. 
    Physiotherapists and other health professionals can advise you how to avoid injury as you develop a regime that fits in with your other responsibilities.

    In more general terms it's possible to put on 7kg by eating ice-cream every day.  I did resemble the Michelin Man when I inadvertently discovered this after an extended visit to America!!! 
    Taking regular exercise which is appropriate to your age and health (or any other factors best discussed with your GP or specialist) is a healthy addition to the nutritional recommendations provided to sustainably increase your weight.

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    You may also find this article of interest which explores the reasons why weight gain may be an issue...

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kirsty, I am not sure why you posted this as the question did not specifically address a paleo diet. 

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    In the article it addresses some of the reasons as to why some may find it difficult to gain weight, which if applicable always better to address the cause as opposed to sytomology. 

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