a ittle background - 39yo, 20+ yrs of training/racing, Cat 2, 6’2" and historically around 168lb for the last 10yrs.
I ramped up my training to around 80ish CTL this spring/summer just due to extra time on my hands, and after COVID, i eat alot more at home (ie, healthier/less junk), and consequently have dropped to 160lb. This isnt exactly what I wanted - i dont feel as good as I do around 165-168. I feel like I eat enough and Im not hungry, but obviously, i need/want to add some more calories.
Should i just add a meal replacement shake or something every day, or is there a healthier/better way to add a material amount of calories to my diet?
If you are having trouble consuming a larger volume of food to meet the extra calorie demand then shakes are a great way to do it because the liquid will make you feel less full. Assuming you lost the 8 lbs over several months then you aren’t looking to make up a huge calorie deficit.
You could just do a protein powder mixed with a carb powder, which is probably the easiest. But if you are worried about that not being healthy then you could whip up a quick smoothie with some frozen berries, yogurt, banana, etc.
I have the same problem, so I started drinking a Huel shake every morning at work. It is predominantly oat-based with pea protein, and each shake is 400 calories. I add some chia seeds to thicken it up a bit and to add about another 100 calories or so. I shake them up with a couple ice cubes and drink them about 2-3 hours later and they have a great consistency by that point.
The shakes are a bit under $2 each when buying them in powdered form, a bit less when you use a referral link to get $15 off.
I’ve also had good luck in the past just making high calories shakes comprised of 2 cups whole milk, a scoop of whey protein, 2-4 tbsp of peanut butter, and a banana. I think that comes out to about 700-900 calories based on the amount of peanut butter.