Here are four steps to achieving a high energy diet:
- Add high energy fluids to meals and snacks. Fluids can supply a compact form of energy and nutrients. Good choices are fruit juice, flavoured milks, smoothies, liquid meal replacements, cordials and sports drinks.
- Set limits on bulky, high fibre foods. Although high fibre foods are often valuable in key nutrients, an over supply can lead to fullness and gastrointestinal discomfort. For balance, replace some of these foods with lower fibre, or less filling alternatives. Choose low fibre forms of breads and cereals. Juices, smoothies, canned and dried fruits, and hearty soups provide easy eating options.
- Add extra energy to meals snacks; eg add sugar, jam or honey to breads and cereals; ice cream, yogurt and honey to smoothies, small amounts of olive or canola oils in cooking and spreads like avocado and butter on sandwiches.
- Remember to eat quality and quantity foods. To minimise fat gains while gaining lean muscle mass, avoid ‘pigging out’ on nutrient poor foods such as sweets, soft drinks and chocolate bars. Excessive energy intake will promote fat disposition while reliance on nutrient poor foods may mean that requirements of some nutrients are not met.