High Protein, High Calorie Diet

A high protein, high calorie diet increases the amount of protein and calories you eat. You may need more protein and calories in your diet because of illness, surgery, injury, weight loss, or having a poor appetite. Eating high protein and high calorie foods can help you gain weight, heal, and recover after illness.


Measuring foods and serving sizes helps to make sure you are getting the right amount of food. The list below tells how big or small some common serving sizes are.

  • 1 oz.........4 stacked dice.

  • 3 oz.........Deck of cards.

  • 1 tsp........Tip of little finger.

  • 1 tbs........Thumb.

  • 2 tbs........Golf ball.

  • ½ cup.......Half of a fist.

  • 1 cup........A fist.



  • Whole milk.

  • Whole milk yogurt.

  • Powdered milk.

  • Cheese.

  • Cottage Cheese.

  • Instant breakfast products.

  • Eggnog.

Tips for adding to your diet:

  • Use whole milk when making hot cereal, puddings, soups, and hot cocoa.

  • Add powdered milk to baked goods, smoothies, and milkshakes.

  • Make whole milk yogurt parfaits by adding granola, fruit, or nuts.

  • Add cheese to sandwiches, pastas, soups, and casseroles.

  • Add fruit to cottage cheese.


  • Beef, pork, and poultry.

  • Fish and seafood.

  • Peanut butter.

  • Dried beans.

  • Eggs.

Tips for adding to your diet:

  • Make meat and cheese omelets.

  • Add eggs to salads and baked goods.

  • Add fish and seafood to salads.

  • Add meat and poultry to casseroles, salads, and soups.

  • Use peanut butter as a topping for pretzels, celery, crackers, or add it to baked goods.

  • Use beans in casseroles, dips, and spreads.


  • Replace calorie-free drinks with calorie-containing drinks, such as milk, fruit juices, regular soda, milkshakes, and hot chocolate.

  • Try to eat 6 small meals instead of 3 large meals each day.

  • Keep snacks handy, such as nuts, trail mixes, dried fruit, and yogurt.

  • Choose foods with sauces and gravies.

  • Add dried fruits, honey, and half-and-half to hot or cold cereal.

  • Add extra fats when possible, such as butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and salad dressings.

  • Add cheese to foods often.

  • Consider adding a clear liquid nutritional supplement to your diet. Your caregiver can give you recommendations.



  • Baked goods, such as muffins and quick breads.

  • Croissants.

  • Pancakes and waffles.


  • Sautéed vegetables in oil.

  • Fried vegetables.

  • Salad greens with regular salad dressing or vinegar and oil.


  • Dried fruit.

  • Canned fruit in syrup.

  • Fruit juice.


  • Avocado.

  • Butter or margarine.

  • Whipped cream.

  • Mayonnaise.

  • Salad dressing.

  • Peanuts and mixed nuts.

  • Cream cheese and sour cream.

Sweets and Dessert

  • Cake.

  • Cookies.

  • Pie.

  • Ice cream.

  • Doughnuts and pastries.

  • Protein and meal replacement bars.

  • Jam, preserves, and jelly.

  • Candy bars.

  • Chocolate.

  • Chocolate, caramel, or other flavored syrups.