Energy-boosting diet

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Teen girls drinking smoothies

What is energy boosting?

Not eating well after your transplant can lead to problems such as:

  • losing weight
  • failing to gain weight
  • getting tired more easily.

To gain weight and have more energy, you need to get more calories from your food and drink. If you find it hard to eat more after your transplant, you can at least eat foods that are higher in calories. This page is full of suggestions for boosting calories and gaining weight and energy.

How to get more calories in your diet

Here are the three basic things you can do to get more calories from food.

  • only eat during regular meals and snacks
  • choose foods that are highest in calories first and lowest in calories last
  • add extra calories to your foods.

Only eat during regular meals and snacks

Eat three meals and no more than three snacks a day. Nibbling between meals can reduce your appetite at meal times.

Drinks can do the same thing: they may fill you up and lower your appetite. Try to avoid having drinks between meals as well.

Choose foods that are high in calories first

The more calories a food has, the higher in energy it is. You will find more information on how to use these foods to boost calories below.

Add fat to your food​

An easy way to add calories to foods is to add or cook with fats. Here are a few examples of fats that you can add to all kinds of foods.

Oils, creams and saucesSpreads
Cheese sauceNon-hydrogenated margarine
Oil such as corn, canola, olive or safflower oilSour cream
Salad dressingsCream cheese
Sour creamPeanut butter
Table cream or liquid whipping creamButter
Chocolate spread

Add powdered carbohydrate

Powdered carbohydrate (Polycose®) can add extra calories to your food. Here are some ways you can use it.

  • Sprinkle the Polycose® powder on cereal, fruit or desserts.
  • Mix the powder with Jell-O and homemade popsicles.
  • Add the powder to drinks such as juice and fruit drinks (no grapefruit juice).
  • Stir the powder into soups, mashed potatoes and casseroles.
Last updated: November 30th 2017