How much produce is too much, if I am trying to gain weight?

ask our dietitian your question todaycan i eat too much produce

question-answer-color-v-2How many calories would you suggest I eat, as I’m trying to gain weight; my weight is too low at 90 pounds? Today, I ate a cup of mushrooms, 8 grapes tomatoes, 1 cup of broccoli/onions, 3 cups of lettuce, an apple and an asian pear, tons of cereal, protein (yogurt, veggie burgers), popcorn, pita bread and smoothies.
How much produce is too much? Is that too much per day? – Andrea N.


You are going to have a difficult time gaining weight on the high-fiber, low-fat foods you’ve described. In your case, I would not count calories, but instead focus on adding a few rich foods or substituting some higher calorie options. Nuts, olives, avocado, coconut, potatoes and dried fruits are calorie-dense plant foods you can add. And if you’re open to meats and fish — ground beef, salmon, lamb and tuna packed in oil. Suggested changes would be: sautéed mushrooms, a pesto or vinaigrette dressing for the veggies, granola cereal, hummus for the pita, and flaxseed oil or wheat germ for the smoothies.

Here are 2 recipes for homemade weight gain shakes that each deliver about 500 calories:


  • 1 peeled banana, sliced & frozen
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon oats
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • blend, adding whole milk to desired consistency


  • 1 cup frozen mango and/or pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • blend, adding coconut milk to desired consistency

And don’t worry, it’s not too much produce. Sounds like a good balance of fruits and veggies for one day. Hope you have more of a variety throughout the week, though!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.


Posted on July 21, 2014, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve heard that having “love handles” is mostly a gene issue. Is this true? If not, how can I get rid of my love handles? I’ve had a flat stomach before but the love handles seem to like me becuase they never leave me. How can I make them go?

  1. Pingback: Is it okay if I only eat veggies and fruit and nothing else? | LA Fitness | Official Blog | Living Healthy

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