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If you need to gain weight

Photo of a girl drinking a protein shake.

If your doctor tells you that you are underweight, it’s important you try to gain some weight. Sometimes being underweight can be just as hard to handle as being overweight. Here are some tips for gaining weight in a healthy way:

  • Use the ChooseMyPlate website to guide your eating. Whether you are underweight, overweight, or the right weight, you should eat a variety of healthy foods. The ChooseMyPlate website can help you do that. If you are underweight, you just need to eat more calories each day. The website can tell you how many calories you need to eat each day in order to reach a healthy weight. Use the MyPlate Checklist Calculator to find a personalized healthy eating plan.
  • Eat more healthy fats. Choose unsaturated fats. You can find these in nuts, avocados, olives, and “fatty” fish. Add extra olive oil to your pasta dish. Add more salad dressing to your salad, and more mayonnaise to your tuna.
  • Eat more healthy carbohydrates. Select sweets that also provide nutrients, such as bran muffins, yogurt with fruit, fruit pies or juice, and granola bars.
  • Think about your drink.Try drinks with extra calories and nutrients, like a smoothie made with milk or juice. And don’t fill up on a drink at mealtime.


Content last reviewed November 05, 2013
Page last updated May 7, 2018