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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

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 Question:  I can't gain weight after having a baby. I am 5'10" and down to 119lbs. I am lactose intolerant. Any suggestions? Thank you!


In order to gain weight, you will need to increase your calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories a day. If you are breastfeeding, you may need to add at least 500 to 600 calories a day, since breastfeeding burns on average 500 calories a day. You can add calories by simply eating more food overall. If you feel that you can't eat any more than you already are, try adding healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, canola oil, margarine, nuts, and nut butters to your diet. Fats are very compact calories. For instance, 23 almonds have 164 calories, 1 tablespoon peanut butter has 94 calories, 1 cup of avocado has 234 calories and 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories. Also drinking juice, low-fat lactaid milk, and soy milk instead of water can help increase your calorie intake and help meet your fluid needs as well.

Answered: 06/15/2012

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