If you just want to know what to eat to gain weight, the answer is simple: consume more calories than your daily intake. But if you want to gain weight in a healthy way, things are a bit more complicated. But not impossible!
We talk every day about weight loss and the internet is flooded with thousands of articles on this topic, right? We have all this enormous information about diets, menus, ingredients to cook with, tips and tricks to follow - literally, everything that crosses your mind about weight loss is there at one click away. But, what if you've decided to gain some weight instead of losing it? Do you know what to start with?
First, if you want to gain some pounds, including high-calorie foods into your diet may seem like an eligible step. But that's not all. Maybe, more important, is to eat in such a way that will ensure building muscle instead of just adding fat. One big mistake may be thinking that fast food is a good option because it leads to weight gain pretty easily. This is true, but not healthy. Even if you succeed in gaining some weight, that doesn't mean your body will receive the nutrition it needs to function properly. Not to say that an unhealthy diet could cause you more problems in the long term.
Here are some tips to adopt if you want to gain weight in a healthy way
Increase calories but focus on the healthy ones. Opt for nut or seed-based toppings, like almonds and sunflower seeds when making snacks, go for fruit instead of other sweet foods and choose or whole-grain bread or wheat toast instead of white bread.
Nutritious foods. Instead of eating empty calories, like those found in junk food, turn to foods that are rich in nutrients. Instead of eating white rice, white bread, and white pasta, which all are simple carbs, consider complex carbs like brown rice and other whole grains.
Snack smart. Enjoy snacks that contain plenty of protein, fibers, and healthy carbs. Consider options like trail mix, protein bars, crackers with hummus or apple slices with peanut butter.
Eat mini-meals. If your problem is a poor appetite, due to medical or emotional issues, you probably aren’t tempted at all to eat large amounts of food. Eat smaller meals throughout the day to increase your calorie intake.
Talk to your doctor. Before beginning a weight gain program, you should investigate your health first.
If you decide to start a gaining weight program and you have your doctor’s approval, incorporate these foods into your meals and stick with the plan over the long term.
What to eat to gain weight in a healthy way
Milk offers a mix of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. For these reasons, you should include it in your diet – if you’re not suffering from any intolerance, of course. The protein content of milk makes it a good choice for people trying to build muscle. For anyone looking to gain weight, milk can be added to the diet throughout the day (of course, if there isn't any lactose intolerance).
2. Protein shakes
Protein shakes can help you gain weight easily and efficiently. Making your own smoothies is the best way since commercial versions are often full of sugar and lack nutrients. It also gives you full control over the flavor and nutrient content.
You can use ingredients like peanut butter, protein powder, almonds, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds.
Rice is a good source of carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain. Many people find it easy to incorporate rice into meals which contain proteins and vegetables.
A serving size is about 1/3 cup of cooked rice, but you can increase the quantity if you feel to. Also, choose brown rice instead of white rice. The calories are the reason here: 1/3 cup of cooked brown rice have 82 calories, while white rice has 68 calories. Also, brown rice is healthier than white rice, containing vitamins, minerals, and fibers. They both have zero cholesterol.
4. Red meat
Steak contains both leucine and creatine, nutrients that play a significant role in boosting muscle mass. Steak and other red meats contain both protein and fat, which promote weight gain. While one is advised to limit the intake, leaner cuts of red meat are healthier for the heart than fattier cuts.
One study found that adding lean red meat to the diets of 100 women aged 60–90 helped them to gain weight and increase strength by 18 percent while undergoing resistance training. Still, don’t exaggerate with meat! Go on with eating fruit and vegetables too.
5. Nuts and nut butter
Eating nuts frequently can help a person to gain weight safely. Nuts are good as a snack and can be added to many dishes. For example, sprinkle raw or dry roasted nuts on your salads, sandwiches or soups.
Also, when you wonder what to eat to gain weight, consider adding nut butters to your meals. The only ingredient in these butters should be the nuts themselves, no sugar.
6. Whole-grain bread
When you want to gain some pounds, you don’t have to worry about eating bread. But, turn to good whole grain bread, which contains complex carbohydrates and seeds, because they can help with weight gain. The seeds have many benefits too. Eat bread with anything you like: spreads, cream cheese, dips, or jams.
Pasta can help with gain weight, but avoid bleached pasta, and opt for those made with whole grains.
7. Salmon and oily fish
You may be surprised to find that you should eat salmon to gain weight, since so many people eat it to lose weight. Well, 6 ounces (170 grams) of salmon contain about 300 calories, which is definitely to taken into account. Salmon also contains many nutrients, including omega-3 and protein. Salmon and oily fish offer many benefits for your health and fight diseases.
Avocados are rich in calories and healthy fats, as well as some vitamins and minerals. Unlike other fruit, avocados are calorie-dense and a great food to help you gain weight. One large avocado provides around 322 calories, 29 grams of fat and 17 grams of fiber. They’re very versatile and you can add avocados to omelets, shakes, salads or sandwiches. Making baked avocado is also a delicious idea!
Eggs are one of the healthiest muscle-building foods on the planet. They are a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Keep in mind that most nutrients are found in the yolk.
10. Cheese and yogurt
Cheese and yogurt are good sources of fat, protein, calcium, and calories. Choose full-fat cheeses and full-fat yogurt but avoid flavored yogurt because they contain added sugars. If you want a sweet yogurt, combine your natural version with fruit, nuts or natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.