How to avoid weight loss with Gastritis and how to put the weight back on
It’s not surprising that so many people lose weight when suffering from Gastritis. With the stomach discomfort, nausea, and lack of appetite, eating well can seem like the furthest thing from your mind.
When I had Gastritis, I lost nearly 2 stone and it seemed to fall off fast, which was very worrying. I could afford to lose a bit of weight but after losing a stone I didn’t really want to lose anymore.
Along with the rapid weight loss, there is also the concern that your body is not getting enough nutrients, which can cause further issues and prevent you from healing and recovering from Gastritis.
It’s more common to see this sort of weight loss when people have Chronic Gastritis, which is when your Gastritis is more long term. What is Chronic Gastritis?
It goes without saying that if you have lost a lot of weight, you need to see your doctor to rule out any other reason for weight loss.
How to gain weight?
So, what can you do to prevent weight loss and how can you put the weight back on when your stomach is feeling better?
When to eat
The first thing that’s important to do is stop just having 3 main meals a day and try and eat little but often. Aim to eat every 3 hours.
You can still have breakfast, lunch and dinner but also try and have substantial snacks in between. I found that this was the best way to eat more calories without that feeling of being overfull.
|10:30 am||–||Mid-Morning snack|
|3:30 pm||–||Mid-afternoon snack|
|9 pm||–||Evening snack|
What to eat
Not everyone can eat the same food, what is one person’s go-to safe food may be a trigger for others. I have no issues eating bread and for me, this was always food that would help stop my nausea, at least for a short while. But I know many Gastritis suffers struggle with bread or Gluten. So, this needs to be considered when looking at what you should include in your diet.
Obviously, it’s easy to put weight on when you can eat whatever you want, but when you have Gastritis and have a strict diet it’s a little trickier.
Food ideas to help you gain weight
These are some of the foods that helped me heal and gain weight, but obviously, they won’t suit everyone. Try and keep a food diary to try foods and then see if you notice any negative symptoms appearing afterwards. Sometimes it will be a few days until you can notice any symptoms.
Oats – This is a firm favourite of mine as you can add different things, so it never gets boring. My favourite is Oats with Almond milk, sliced banana and a dollop of peanut butter.
Oat Smoothie – Smoothies are a great way to get some nutrients into your body without aggravating your stomach too much.
I have a banana and spinach smoothie, which is great as it contains protein and carbs and tastes lovely.
It’s not a huge portion but the idea is that you don’t feel too full after eating, but that you are getting those much-needed nutrients.
- 1 Banana,
- A handful of spinach,
- 1 Tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of Greek yoghurt
You can also add some l-Glutamine, which I found very helpful when healing from Gastritis
Eggs – When I was in a Gastritis flare I didn’t really get on with eggs, they seemed to make my nausea worse, but once I had started to heal, I enjoyed them again and they are a great source of protein, so if you tolerate them then make sure to add them into your weekly diet.
My favourite is Poached eggs on toast, with smashed avocado, or just good old scrambled eggs on a slice of wholemeal toast.
Avocado – Avocado is a great choice for lunch, with up to 300 calories packed into some Avocados either on toast or cut in chunks and added to a salad
Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes – When my Gastritis is bad, I find a plain Baked potato or sweet potato is very soothing. I will often add a little butter and grated cheese once my stomach can tolerate it.
Rice – Rice is an excellent low-cost carbohydrate, which I personally found easy to eat and digest. I stuck to white rice and would cook a batch to last a few days, then add different things depending on what I felt my body would be ok with.
I particularly liked to add some plain cooked beetroot (not in vinegar) some spinach leaves and a few chunks of Cheddar cheese. It was quite plain but I was only able to handle plain food at this point.
I also sometimes add some sesame seeds and peanuts to the rice to give it a little crunch.
Meat – Getting plenty of Protein into your diet is very important when trying to gain weight. Many Gastritis sufferers struggle with red meat, I was able to have an occasional plain steak but never had it too often. Chicken and Turkey are usually tolerated well and you should try and incorporate these into your diet at least 3 times a week if not more.
Salmon – Salmon is a fatty fish so is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner to add some extra calories into your diet. Plus, it has Omega 3 fatty acids too which are so good for you.
Coconut oil – Using Coconut oil and Extra virgin olive oil in foods can also be beneficial.
Pasta – Pasta is something I would have quite a lot when I had Gastritis. I would normally have wholewheat but when my stomach was bad, I swapped to white pasta, as I seemed to do better with that. It’s another base food that’s great to add things to, even if it’s just some olive oil and a little grated cheese.
One of my favourite meals is pasta with no – tomato sauce, I make my own sauce and its delicious, for my recipe see this post – Cant eat Tomatoes, Onions, and Garlic, try this delicious No-Tomato sauce
Potatoes – As mentioned above Potatoes are great carbs and will help you gain weight if eaten regularly with your meals. Have some new potatoes with your salmon, or some baked wedges with grilled chicken.
Desserts are a good way to get some more calories into your daily diet
Yoghurt – a yoghurt with some chopped banana and dates, with a sprinkle of walnuts, is something I enjoy.
Coconut balls – these are delicious balls of sweetness and my whole family love them. Plus, they are very easy to make.
1 ¼ cup of shredded coconut
1/3 cup of almond flour
¼ cup maple syrup or manuka honey
- You put all the ingredients into a blender (hold back a little coconut) until nice and smooth.
- Roll the mixture into small balls ( it should make around ten)
- Fill a bowl with the leftover coconut
- Roll them in the coconut so they are coated
- Pop in the fridge for about an hour
Nuts and Nut butter – Nuts are an excellent source of calories, for example, a tablespoon of peanut butter will give you 100 calories, so it’s great to add to meals or to have as a snack.
Dried fruits – these are packed with calories, I particularly love Dates, with Gastritis I try and avoid chocolate and sugary sweets, but dates make me think I am having a lovely treat. Plus only two Medjool dates provide 130 calories.
You can also fill a date with some nut butter to make it extra delicious and calorific.
I also enjoy banana chips; these are high in calories too.
Seeds – Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are a great way to extra calories and are easy to add to salads, yoghurt, or soups.
Chew your food
Another thing worth mentioning is that you should chew your food well. It helps break down the food making it easier to digest, which in turn will help your body absorb all the vital nutrients, so no calories are wasted.
Some people think these can help, as they are often sold as being easy to digest and containing all the nutrients you need, but they are not the best way to get these nutrients into your body. Plus, most contain ingredients that many gastritis sufferers can’t tolerate, so can make matters worse.
It takes time to put weight back on, with Gastritis it’s hard to eat a lot of food, so the process can be long, but keep going and stick to little and often meals. At first, you may find you can only eat a small amount, but it should improve as your Gastritis heals.