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Tips to gain weight

If you have diabetes and you’re underweight or struggling with your appetite, it’s important to eat the foods you like rather than being too restrictive with your diet.


This may mean eating foods that are higher in fat and calories. Speak with your diabetes team to review your medications and talk to a dietitian to help you make any changes.

Do you want to put on weight?

These are some of the things your dietitian may suggest to help you gain/maintain your weight.

  • Eat smaller meals, more often. You’ll find this easier than eating three large meals and it will also help increase your appetite.
  • Use full-fat dairy products like milk, cream, cheese and yogurt.
  • Add unsaturated fats to your food where you can in foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, and spreads and oils, including olive, rapeseed, sunflower and peanut. Unsaturated fats are still high in calories, but better for your heart than saturated fats.
  • Serve vegetables with melted butter, spread or grated cheese.
  • Add cream or full-fat milk to foods like mashed potato or soups.
  • Have nourishing drinks like smoothies and milky drinks.
  • Add powdered milk to cereals.
  • Nutritional supplements, in the form of food or drink, can be useful for some people who are finding it hard to gain weight or who have a poor appetite. They are available on prescription.
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