Episode 98 – What to Do if You Struggle to Eat Enough Calories?

Liquid Calories 

  • Quicker to drink than eat 
  • Less filling 
  • Can often drink at the end of a meal even when feeling full 


  • Switching fruit for juice 
  • Protein smoothies 
  • Up & Go 
  • Homemade mass gainer style shakes 

Increase Meal Frequency 

It is easier to eat more when you are eating more frequently.

Calorie dense options  

  • Increase intake of higher fat foods (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, salmon, hommus etc – best to increase healthy fats instead of animal based fats) 
  • Carbs =4kcal/g, pro = 4kcal/g, fat = 9kcal/g 
  • Fruit & veg with reduced volume / water content
    • Dried fruit 
    • Cooking methods that reduce water content – baking, pan frying  
    • Go for more starchy veg (potato, sweet potato, corn, peas, legumes) 

Manage fibre and protein intake – don’t significantly overshoot these more than needed 

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. Eating more protein than necessary can get in the way of reaching your energy requirements if you are already struggling to eat enough.

Fibre is also quite filling as it generally provides a greater volume of food for low-calorie amounts.

Include foods you enjoy eating 

  • Ideally have food that you think tastes better 
  • Don’t get caught up trying to eat too “clean” 
  • Research shows that sugar vs other forms of carbs works equally well for body composition 
  • Research also shows that different forms of fats work equally well for body composition 
  • Obviously micronutrients are important but 1) consuming more calories often increases micronutrient intake 2) sometimes prioritisation is important and it makes sense to focus most on the thing that moves you towards your goals