Friday, August 6, 2010

How Do I Gain Muscle Mass?

Hello, I am also underweight and I think I look rather skinny. How do I gain muscle mass and eat healthily? I heard that to gain muscle mass, I should take a lot more protein in a day. What type of food is very high in protein, and at the same time, healthy and low in saturated fats?  Janney S.

Dear Janney,

The way to gain muscle mass is to work out your muscles so they grow. If you merely eat more protein, your body will use extra protein for calories... this means protein that is not used to build muscle or not used for energy being burned will be converted to fat to be stored for later use!

High protein, low-fat foods include eggs (the white part), lean meats (including fish and chicken as well as beef and pork), low-fat dairy products, and healthy combinations of beans with starchy food (like a bean burrito), or vegetables with starchy food (like pasta with tomato sauce or peanut butter on crackers).

Many people who want to gain weight simply don't eat enough during the day because food is not a priority or a "love" for them as it is for people who never seem to be able to lose weight!

Be sure you eat three balanced meals each day and include between-meal snacks as well. The food guide pyramid ( has simple guidelines to follow so you know you're eating a balanced diet.  If you just aren't hungry enough to eat, sometimes it's easier to drink your calories. I think Carnation instant breakfast drink is an easy and tasty way to get in enough calories (if you drink one every day) to gradually put on weight.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Much Peanut Butter Should I Eat to Gain Weight?

About how much peanut butter should I eat daily to gain weight?  Larry Z.

Dear Larry,

For weight gain you want to aim for an extra 200 to 500 calories per day in your diet. This will add about 1/2 to 1 pound per week to your weight.
Peanut butter has about 100 calories per tablespoon. But the increase in calories doesn't all have to be from peanut butter!

You might consider something easier like a serving of carnation instant breakfast drink which provides 250 calories (when made with whole milk) and protein and vitamins and minerals. Two of these a day should help you gain nearly a pound each week.

Good Luck!