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Underweight and overweight meal plans

If you are underweight, your body has less energy and nutrient stores to help it do its work.

Being underweight can cause your muscles to become weak which may limit your ability to complete the activities you enjoy and can increase your risk of falls. The respiratory muscles that help you to breathe can also be affected and they may fatigue more quickly.

Being underweight can have a negative impact on your lung function, make it more difficult to exercise and possibly increase your risk of infection.

Issues with swallowing and breathlessness can contribute to being underweight and are both addressed in detail in this education program.

Sample meal plan if you are underweight:

Breakfast
A bowl of cereal with enriched milk and sugar and
Toast spread with margarine/butter and peanut butter/jam/honey and
A glass of fruit juice

Morning tea
A tub of yoghurt (200 grams)
or
A nutritious drink, such as a fruit smoothie, Nestlé MILO® or Sustagen®

Lunch
A soft sandwich, two slices of bread, ham, turkey or egg, cheese and salad
or
A tin of tuna stirred through one cup of cooked pasta with added cheese and cream
or
A small can of baked beans on two slices of toast with margarine/butter
and
A dessert, such as canned fruit and custard

Sample meal plan if you are underweight:

Afternoon tea
Cheese and crackers
or
A nutritious drink, such as a fruit smoothie, Nestlé MILO® or Sustagen®

Dinner
A soft hot meal, such as quiche, casserole, stew
or
Fish with white sauce
and
Well cooked vegetables, such as mashed potato or pumpkin and cauliflower or broccoli with cheese sauce
and
A dessert, such as custard or ice cream

Supper
A nutritious drink, such as hot chocolate

Carrying too much weight can make it hard for you to do normal activities and make breathing even more difficult.

Additional weight can interfere with breathing and increase your oxygen requirement, causing your lungs to work even harder.

Weight gain can, in some cases can be related to an increased appetite and/or fluid retention as a side effect of the medication, prednisolone.

Being overweight also increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Sample meal plan if you are overweight:

Breakfast
A bowl of high fibre cereal with low fat milk
and
A piece of fresh fruit, such as a banana, apple, orange, or two apricots

Morning tea
A piece of fresh fruit, such as a banana, apple, orange, or two apricots

Lunch
Two slices of wholegrain bread with 65-80g grams of lean ham or turkey and salad
or
A tin of tuna stirred through one cup cooked pasta with a side salad
or
A small tin of baked beans on two slices of wholegrain toast

Sample meal plan if you are overweight:

Afternoon tea:
A tub of low-fat yoghurt (200 grams)

Dinner:
100 grams of grilled fish with mashed potato, peas and carrots
or
65g lean red meat that has been stir fried, steamed, grilled, cooked in a curry, stew, bolognaise or other pasta sauce with a variety of vegetables with ½ cup of pasta, rice or potato