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Weight Gainer vs. Food


Most of the time I feel that weight gainer supplements are unnecessary.


The one in the image is £23 per tub and comes with 8 servings. A serving contains:


1255kcal

C250 P50 F4


It’s a mixture of whey, casein and egg protein + a boatload of maltodextrin as the carb source.


Contains creatine - useful if you lift

Also contains L-glutamine & glutamic acid - useless


When would a weight gainer be potentially useful?


When there is no other way for a person to be compliant with hitting certain macros/ calories.


For a person that’s very underweight and could benefit from mixed macronutrient liquid calories (seek medical supervision if so).


I feel food is almost always a more helpful option than simply throwing money at a supplement in order to band aid a potential problem, in this case not being able to eat enough to work towards a goal.


Try instead: high energy density foods.

These are small in size but high in calories. This usually means they aren’t very satiating so can potentially allow for greater amounts of food to be consumed throughout the day.


Dates - 3 big medjool dates is 200kcal and 55 carbs + fibre.


Avocado - 1 Small avo is around 200kcal and 20g of fat, most of which is monounsaturated.


Choc rice cakes - Easy to inhale, 250kcal, 30 carb, 10 fat.


Olive oil - I wouldn’t suggest adding loads to the diet but 1 tbsp is an easy 135kcal and 15g of mostly monounsaturated fats.


Whole milk - The original protein shake that’s become really uncool lately, 300ml contains 200kcal, 14g carb, 10g protein, 11g fat. You’d be hard pressed to find another food source with a similar split that’s inexpensive and widely available.


Peanut butter - 1tbsp contains 90kcal, 7g fats from poly and mono sources, 4g protein.


Orange juice - 300ml contains 120kcal and 30g carbs.


It goes without saying that ‘just eat the orange’ is not helpful advice for a person experiencing challenges when gaining weight. If orange juice (or any of these foods) makes a nutrition strategy more effective and more enjoyable then orange juice is an acceptable option. Am I suggesting drinking 1 gallon of OJ per day? Probably not. But a glass here and there shouldn’t be vilified.