Whey/Protein Shakes for underweight 18yr old

30
Found 13th Jul
[Background:] My son is very underweight (BMI16), we have always had this from birth. Doctors and health visitors have been absolutely useless, we've been fobbed off so many times, we also think there is a mental health issue here but again no help. I cook from scratch with good fresh ingredients, he has a light breakfast (usually 2 x brown toast unless I do bacon& egg), lunch (when he is at home anyway) + good sized dinner (more than me), and we have always promoted something substantial for supper even if its a microwave pizza, burger or a dreaded pot noodle which unfortunately he likes), his activity level now he has left college is 0, stays in his room most of the time unless we drag him out with us (yet he can walk for miles and doesn't get tired like us!). I don't know how he is so skinny if he is eating ok and not burning much off.

He was sick for a few days after his last day of college and that has not helped. He is the opposite to me, I'm always hungry and snack between meals, he can sit in his room from one meal to the next without eating/drinking. My daughter on the other hand is thankfully quite normal weight.

I know a lot of you are very knowledgeable on your micro nutrients and protein shakes, I have not a clue, I thought about buying a shake for him to have between meals. Would this be any good?: amazon.co.uk/Pro…h=1

Problem is, he is extremely fussy with flavours, he never drinks milk. He only drinks a few things, mainly orange squash, orange juice and McD's banana milkshake (he wont eat a real banana! and we have to badger him to eat any fruit at all), and chocolate fudge brownie Frij shake so hoping to get something similar to that. Doesn't drink alcohol, tea, coffee, hot choc.

You can lead a horse to water is very apt for the situation I have here.

Any similar recommendations/advice appreciated.
Community Updates
Ask
30 Comments
You can get shakes that help you gain weight, give it a try. It may just be that your son has a really fast metabolism. My grandad has always weighed around 40-45kg all his life due to his metabolism and he ate alot. Have a look on myprotein.com, they have weight gainers on there
does he want to gain weight?
he may resent your 'interference' and reject the potential changes out of principle
Avatar
deleted396333
brilly1 h, 3 m ago

does he want to gain weight?he may resent your 'interference' and reject …does he want to gain weight?he may resent your 'interference' and reject the potential changes out of principle


Does he want to gain weight, good question. He's nicked my partners small dumbell (only a small 1/2kg one) but you could assume he's unhappy with his arms at least.
Will he listen? Maybe, maybe not. He can be persuaded with logic but the fussiness and change can be a real barrier. The last time we took him to the docs for constipation, they just recommended more fibre in his diet. I managed to switch from white bread to brown (i prefer brown anyway) and he started eating branflakes so that was an achievement but it didn't get him to starting eating fruit regularly. I get as much veggies as I can in his dinners, and we have chewy multivitamins. I still think he would be deficient in calcium.

I can only keep trying and chuck it in the bin!
Just as a word of warning, make sure you thoroughly check out the ingredients in any protein powders before regularly using them.
A friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with diabetes having always eaten a healthy diet, exercised regularly etc. He was told that it could be related to the fact that he used protein powders daily when weight training.
Good luck
I used to go days without eating, could walk miles and miles, never sleep. I did suffer with depression and anxiety and have recently found the cause of those to be Aspergers. People commenting on my weight created an obsession, which I still have now, at 33. You need to get to the cause not try to force food on him as this will just make things worse
This sounds quite like me, especially when I was 18. I wasn't quite at a BMI of 16 though, more like the mid 17s.

I've tried a weight gaining powder before and it worked fairly well. I noticed that I wasn't really putting on the weight while I was taking it, but put most of it on just after I stopped. I'm not really sure why that was the case. Maybe something to keep in mind if he does decide to try it. I took it with milk as it tasted horrible in water.

If he is taking any medication for his metal health or any other health issues it's probably worth him checking if/how they interact with any weight gain supplements he takes. Some weight gainers can be high in certain vitamins etc.

The item you linked to isn't really mean for gaining weight, it's more for if you think you're lacking protein. I bought this one a couple of days ago which is more meant for weight gain (around £19 now using discount code but I think you have to spend £20 for free delivery...). I think the banana one is out of stock just now. The calories per serving shows the caloric difference between the one one you linked and the weight gainer (100kcal vs 500kcal).

In terms of other tips from a skinny guy which may or may not be helpful:

- I didn't realise how few calories I was eating until I started keeping track of it. Obsessing over the amount of calories you're eating does have it's downsides though.

- Olive oil is a simple way to get more calories into your diet. A lot of the time you won't even taste it and I'm someone who is also very fussy with food (especially in a shake if it's mixed well).

- Gaining the weight is pointless if he's just going to lose it all again. I've done this myself when I started a very active and physical job (lost 6-8lbs in a month) and it's frustrating but if he doesn't keep up the calorie intake long term then it'll disappear very quickly. Personally, I've realised that finding a middle ground of 1- 1.5st weight gain and just accepting I'll always be fairly skinny was best. It can be irritating trying to keep up with it constantly.

- It can be difficult and stressful trying to eat more too. I've threw up on my way to work because I tried to fit in a high calorie shake before I left. If he's struggling with his mental health then this may be something he would like to do by himself when the time is right to not feel any pressure.

- Weights are probably a good idea if he doesn't want the weight gain to be mostly fat.
Edited by: "1nvjoqjm" 13th Jul
honestly just eat more, count calories, I guarantee you he isnt getting his TDEE if he's underweight, Protein shakes are a supplement, they aren't necessary, I would suggest getting him to drink milk, 1L of milk a day will make him gain weight quite quickly. If he doesn't exercise he probably won't feel hungry.

I suggest to count calories and you'll see he isn't eating enough, add some milk for easy calories and protein blue top has more calories, I'm sure he can gain weight easily just by eating food.
Retroagv17 m ago

I would suggest getting him to drink milk, 1L of milk a day will make him …I would suggest getting him to drink milk, 1L of milk a day will make him gain weight quite quickly.


He won't touch milk. Even as a baby, he wouldn't have a drop from mum. I suspected some sort of intolerance, but the health pro's didn't seem to care. He nearly died in his first 2 weeks as the midwives spouted "breast is best" and blamed mum for incorrect latching. He was clearly in distress 24/7 and lost a lot of weight. They didn't like it when i drove to Tesco and got some premade baby milk cartons which thankfully he did drink and then he was somewhat content (he never drank much of that either), he has never really recovered weight wise.

1nvjoqjm1 h, 57 m ago

This sounds quite like me, especially when I was 18. I wasn't quite at a …This sounds quite like me, especially when I was 18. I wasn't quite at a BMI of 16 though, more like the mid 17s.


Some really good info there thanks.
splatsplatsplat1 h, 59 m ago

He won't touch milk. Even as a baby, he wouldn't have a drop from mum. I …He won't touch milk. Even as a baby, he wouldn't have a drop from mum. I suspected some sort of intolerance, but the health pro's didn't seem to care. He nearly died in his first 2 weeks as the midwives spouted "breast is best" and blamed mum for incorrect latching. He was clearly in distress 24/7 and lost a lot of weight. They didn't like it when i drove to Tesco and got some premade baby milk cartons which thankfully he did drink and then he was somewhat content (he never drank much of that either), he has never really recovered weight wise.Some really good info there thanks.


Sounds similar to my situation. I had a milk intolerance as a baby and struggled with weight ever since. I’m 18 now and my BMI is still low (17.5). Definitely no point trying to get him to have milk because I believe it is something you have to have as a baby otherwise you won’t like it when you’re older (or at least this was the case for me).

Just try to increase his diet, but not with lots of junk food. I doubt protein shakes or anything will help much and they’re not a permanent situation.

I hope you don’t mind me asking, but is he autistic? Sensory issues can also make it more difficult with gaining weight.
and this is what happens when people dont understand basic human physiologyby skipping biology classes

let me do this quickly because I simply have no time giving lectures

1. growth spurt
2. energy requirements for children fao.org/doc…htm (oh wait...notice at what age boys need most energy)
3. protein shakes - YOU DONT NEED THEM ....EVER!!!!
4. that is ntot how you gain weight.
We did have concerns along that line. There were some oddities, he had his own language which we had to learn to help understand what he was saying. ("Locker" = toilet, "SeeSee" = orange juice). This was age 4-5. I went to something called "Hanen" classes for me to learn how to teach him to speak, plus normal speech therapy. We did pursue it via doctors, pediatricians, social services with help from some teachers - we were given the "he'll grow out of it" or examine for 5 mins and then say he seems fine. I remember getting a teacher (who at that point had only taught him for a few months but noticed something different) to agree to do a multiple choice questionnaire from the doctor called a... (trying to remember the correct name..) Davids Test? but the score came just under.
He never played (interactive) with cars & toys, he just lined them up. No role play. Walks tip toe everywhere at home. Never ever stayed with us when we were out, he still walks off now and doesn't say anything, we are constantly trying to find him. I am quite an introvert, but I like going out fishing,walks etc - he would rather stay home on his pc. He has no hobbies, He doesn't speak to us (or his sister) unless we ask him something, we asked him why he is so quiet and his reply was "I dont have anything in common with you". So i got that going for me which is nice. [1] We have just learned to live with it and hope everything improves for him, I think he will struggle with life. We don't get any help from family.

He is pretty smart though, he did better at college than me at the same course.

[1] Caddyshack
mattsk8 m ago

growth spurt



Some of his clothes are 13/14 so I guess we are overdue.

Just had a quick glance at your tables, his weight is bang on 13-14 yr old.
Ask your doctor to prescribe some Fortisips.
I could do with putting some more weight on as i’m 6ft 6, is it worth buying fortsips?
Ask your doctor to refer to you to a dietitian first and foremost to see if you need to gain weight/mass and the healthiest way of going about it.

But the fortisips do work wonders.
eboydk13th Jul

I could do with putting some more weight on as i’m 6ft 6, is it worth b …I could do with putting some more weight on as i’m 6ft 6, is it worth buying fortsips?


If you can eat food why would you need supplements (especially those that are used to manage medically caused weight loss or malnutrition)
mattsk3 h, 35 m ago

If you can eat food why would you need supplements (especially those that …If you can eat food why would you need supplements (especially those that are used to manage medically caused weight loss or malnutrition)


I’ve just can never put weight on no matter how hard i try
eboydk7 h, 40 m ago

I’ve just can never put weight on no matter how hard i try


well fortisips wont help either they are 300kcal and 12g protein er 200ml + vitamins and minerals.
this is equivalent to 2 pots of yoghurt or 2 handfulls of cashews
or just mix a pint of full fat milk with 4tbs of skimmed milk powder and drink that (mix with nesquick or cereal... whatever)

people need to understand that to gain weight you need to eat more calories then you burn, the opposite goes to weight loss.
Retroagv13th Jul

...I would suggest getting him to drink milk, 1L of milk a day will make …...I would suggest getting him to drink milk, 1L of milk a day will make him gain weight quite quickly...


Unless he is intolerant & then weight would be not be gained, &/or lost instead.

@splatsplatsplat

"...he never drinks milk. He only drinks a few things, ...and McD's banana milkshake..."

Errr...?

splatsplatsplat13th Jul

He won't touch milk. Even as a baby, he wouldn't have a drop from mum. I …He won't touch milk. Even as a baby, he wouldn't have a drop from mum. I suspected some sort of intolerance, but the health pro's didn't seem to care...


Have you had any dietary advice or seen a dietician since/recently?
Yeah. I meant he won't drink milk on its own or with cereal (eats it dry ). I can get milk in him with pancakes, bread and butter pud and banana milkshake from mcd.
The last time we took him to docs about concerns they just took bloods and said he was deficient in iron and that was that.
splatsplatsplat1 h, 31 m ago

Yeah. I meant he won't drink milk on its own or with cereal (eats it dry …Yeah. I meant he won't drink milk on its own or with cereal (eats it dry ). I can get milk in him with pancakes, bread and butter pud and banana milkshake from mcd.The last time we took him to docs about concerns they just took bloods and said he was deficient in iron and that was that.



...I asked you about contact with a dietician. Perhaps the next time you visit you can ask for a referral from the G.P. The surgery may even have one on-site. He/she will be able to assist with a food diary; recording intake, weight loss, &/or negative reactions so you can narrow down any intolerances (as a blood test alone, without a controlled intake prior to the blood being taken, is not likely to show any signs of intolerance) to food.

A biopsy may also be required:

[ nhs.uk/con…is/ ]
We were referred to someone, though I can't remember who he was, I remember going to the hospital. Quick chat followed by 30mins of them trying to get a full bottle of blood. The feedback we got (apart from the results of the blood test) was that he would "fill out" when he is older. Something that never happened.
The problem we have now he is 18, (and I'm not sure of the legalities here) Is that now he is an adult, could I even make him see a doctor if I wanted to?

I'm not too bothered to find out about any intolerance, even If we found that he was not allergic to anything, it would not make him suddenly drink milk etc. There is a level of fussiness here (some extremely weird ones I haven't mentioned) that we will just have to work around. Hence why I thought a supplement on top of what he eats would be beneficial.
mattsk23 h, 29 m ago

people need to understand that to gain weight you need to eat more …people need to understand that to gain weight you need to eat more calories then you burn, the opposite goes to weight loss.



If it were that easy, no-one would be fat or underweight.
As people have already mentioned, he's probably not eating anywhere near enough to gain weight. Track calories for a week and you will see. This subreddit is a good starting point. Instead of a weight gain supplement as mentined here (which are loaded with sugar), the easiest way to get in calories is with liquids. Obviously continue eating healthy meals, but add in a shake which are really easy to drink. In my shake I use ~50g oats, 2 tablespoons (60g) peanut butter, a banana and ~400ml whole milk. This equates to 700 calories.

Peanut butter is really good for weight gain, same with regular peanuts and almonds to snack on. Cheese, greek yoghurt etc also good for calories. And if he doesn't want the weight gain to be fat, then he needs to join a gym and choose a beginner routine. No one at the gym cares about what anyone else is doing/how fit they are/how much they're lifting etc, so there's no reason to fear going.
splatsplatsplat3 h, 34 m ago

If it were that easy, no-one would be fat or underweight.



For 99.9% of people (no medical condition) it is.
The hard part is self control and keeping up the the exercise.

For your son you need to sit down with him and work out exactly what he is eating, drinking and how much exercise he is doing.
Most likely skipping meals or exercising more then you think.
Only worrying thing is it sounds like he isn't drinking much at all.
I think it may be a good idea to perhaps pursue a diagnosis of autism if you believe he has the signs of it. A good website to use for an online test is this one

Believe it or not, it’s not actually rare to get a late diagnosis. Despite having a autistic brother and having a mother who works with special needs kids, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was almost 15.

There are lots of benefits of being diagnosed. There’s more support available, better understanding, reassurance for the autistic person, and you qualify under PIP (pending on assessment) to help with extra costs that being autistic brings (e.g. having specific foods, going to autism groups etc).

I did try to send you a PM with this but for some reason it won’t let me send you one (keeps coming up with error message). I’ll try again though.
Edited by: "Mechtup" 16th Jul
Mechtup16th Jul

I think it may be a good idea to perhaps pursue a diagnosis of autism if …I think it may be a good idea to perhaps pursue a diagnosis of autism if you believe he has the signs of it. A good website to use for an online test is this one:) Believe it or not, it’s not actually rare to get a late diagnosis. Despite having a autistic brother and having a mother who works with special needs kids, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was almost 15.There are lots of benefits of being diagnosed. There’s more support available, better understanding, reassurance for the autistic person, and you qualify under PIP (pending on assessment) to help with extra costs that being autistic brings (e.g. having specific foods, going to autism groups etc).I did try to send you a PM with this but for some reason it won’t let me send you one (keeps coming up with error message). I’ll try again though.


I wasn’t diagnosed until 31, and it helped explain so many things about myself. I have a social worker who I see every few months for support and she’s amazing. And I won’t drink milk on it’s own btw. My other texture things are mushrooms and things that are slimy, raw tomatoes, nuts, which includes even the smell of peanut butter! And food has to be cooked exactly right. Not too much, not too little. And in separate piles on my plate, not touching. But each person is different, this is just me. It’s definitely worth getting him on the waiting list as in my area (Berkshire) it’s a two year wait. My sister gave up waiting for my nephew and went private , it cost £1500.
Edited by: "choccie32" 5th Aug
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Top Discussions