Tackling unintentional weight loss
Unintentional weight loss frequently goes unnoticed and often occurs due to subtle reductions in appetite as a result of decreased activity levels*. The following 5 steps could help to increase your dietary intake and prevent weight loss.
*If weight loss persists, seek medical advice as this may be a symptom of a more serious condition.
1. Eat regular, nourishing meals
It is important to have 3 delicious and nourishing main meals throughout the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. The content of these meals should vary, but some rough guidelines include:
-2-3 portions of protein per day (for example, 75 g of meat, 140g of cooked fish, half a tin of beans or 2 eggs)
-2-3 portions of full fat dairy per day (30g of cheese, 125g of yoghurt, 200ml of milk or milk-alternative)
-Each meal should contain starchy foods (potatoes, cereals, bread, rice, pasta)
-Each meal should have a serving (80g) of fruit or vegetables (fresh, dried, tinned or frozen)
2. Have puddings after main meals at lunch and dinner time
Puddings have a high energy content and a small portion size (alongside being very tasty), which means they can be very beneficial to smaller appetites. This includes all the classics, such as our Bramley Apple Pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding & Custard.
3. Eat little and often - 3 (small) meals and 2 snacks per day:
Having snacks that are rich in energy and protein between meals is a simple and effective way to increase your dietary intake. Some snack ideas include: unsalted nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter on toast, fortified milk (see recipe below), crisps, cheese and crackers, biscuits, cakes, ice cream pots, sausage rolls, pork pies, scotch eggs and yoghurts. Be careful to avoid the reduced fat varieties of yoghurts, milk and cheese.
4. Use fortified milk:
Fortified milk can be prepared by adding skimmed milk powder to full fat milk. This is an easy way to increase the nutritional content of a pint of milk by 175 calories and 18g of protein. This can then be used in cereal, tea, coffee, Ovaltine/Horlicks, sauces, milkshakes or simply on its own as a drink to enjoy, throughout the day.
To make: mix 1 pint of full fat milk with 50g/2oz of skimmed milk powder (2-4 tablespoons).
5. Fortify Your Meals:
Fortifying your meals simply means boosting the nutritional content of your meals by adding extra calories by adding certain ingredients. The table below has some suggestions of how to fortify your meals.
How to fortify your meals at home*
Add (grated) cheese to:
Baked Beans, Creamy Sauces, Pasta, Omelettes, Mashed Potatoes, Jacket Potatoes, Soups, Sandwiches, Vegetables
Add skimmed milk powder to:
Porridge, Milk, Custard, Creamy Sauces
Add sugar or preserves to:
Hot Drinks, Cereals, Porridge, Toast, Yoghurt
Add butter, margarine, oils or mayonnaise to:
Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Bread, Sauces, Jacket Potatoes, Vegetables
Add cream to:
Sauces, Mashed Potatoes, Puddings, Cakes, Fruit, Porridge, Cereals
*If there are any health concerns that require you to moderate fat or sugar intake e.g. diabetes or heart disease, consult a healthcare professional beforehand.
How can Wiltshire Farm Foods help?
We have a range specially dedicated to tackling undernourishment – Mini Meals Extra. This range consists of 11 delicious dishes – from Cheese & Potato Bake to Beef Stroganoff – there’s something for everyone. The Mini Meals Extra range has been designed to maximise nutritional intake for those with a small appetite. Every meal within this range has a 40% smaller portion size than our standard meals, whilst containing at least 500 calories and 20g of protein, what’s more – they taste delicious. All our meals are delivered to your freezer by one of our friendly local drivers, meaning that our great food is there when you need it, and on ice when you don’t. Why not request a look at our Guide to Nutrition & Special Diets from your local team, which features all our energy dense meals.