Some people struggle with weight gain just as much as some struggle with weight loss. However, simply adding certain foods to the diet can be very effective for gaining weight. Here is a list of foods that can add wight gain in a healthy way.
1. Homemade Protein Shakes in addition to meals – Drinking protein shakes a can be a highly nutritional and effective way to gain weight. Best to make your own as commercial versions tend to be high in sugar. Also, making your own allows you to be creative with taste and texture.
Each recipe can be combined with 2 cups of unsweetened almond juice:
Chocolate banana nut shake: Combine 1 banana, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein and 1 tablespoon peanut or other nut butter.
Vanilla berry shake: Combine 1 cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries, ice, 1 cup high-protein natural yogurt and 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein.
Chocolate hazelnut shake: Combine 15 ounces of chocolate milk with 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein, 1 tablespoon of hazelnut butter and 1 avocado.
Caramel apple shake: Combine 1 sliced apple, 1 cup natural yogurt, 1 scoop of caramel or vanilla-flavored whey protein and 1 teaspoon of organic caramel extract
Vanilla blueberry shake: Combine 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein, 1 cup vanilla yogurt and honey for sweetener if needed.
Super green shake: Combine 1 cup of spinach, 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 cup of pineapple and 1 scoop of unflavored or vanilla whey protein.
2. Whole Organic Unpasteurized Milk. This one is tricky because if your sensitive to milk, we will want to find a substitute. However, milk consumption's will pack the weight on.Rice – Rice is a convenient, low-cost carb source to help you gain weight. Just 1 cup of cooked rice provides 190 calories, 43 grams of carbs and very little fat.
It is also fairly calorie-dense, meaning you can easily obtain a high amount of carbs and calories from a single serving. This helps you eat more food, especially if you have a poor appetite or get full quickly.
A popular method is to prepare a large pot of rice for the week and combine it with some proteins and healthy fats.
However, extremely large amounts may not be wise due to their potential arsenic and phytic acid content.
3. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are a perfect choice if you’re looking to gain weight.
Just one small handful of almonds contains over 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fats.
Since they are very calorie-dense, just two handfuls per day with a meal or as a snack can quickly add hundreds of calories.
Nut butters can also be added to a variety of snacks or dishes, such as smoothies, yogurts and much more.
However, make sure you pick 100% nut butters that have only two or three ingredients and no added sugar or extra oils.
4. Red Meats
Red meats are probably one of the best muscle-building foods available.
Steak, for example, contains around 3 grams of leucine per 6 ounces. Leucine is the key amino acid your body needs to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and add new muscle tissue.
In addition to this, red meats are one of the best sources of dietary creatine, which is possibly the world’s best muscle-building supplement.
They also have more calories and fat than leaner meats, helping you take in extra calories and add weight.
In one study, 100 elderly women added 6 ounces of red meat to their diets and performed resistance training sessions six days a week for six weeks.
The women gained mass, had an 18% increase in strength and an increase in the important muscle-building hormone IGF-1.
Both lean and fatty meats are a great source of protein, although fatty meat provides more calories, which can help you gain weight.
5. Potatoes and Starches
Potatoes and other starchy foods are a very easy and cost-effective way to add in extra calories.
6. Try to choose one of these healthy sources of starchy carbs:
Oats (with caution)
Corn (with caution)
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Squash Winter root vegetables
Beans and legumes (with Caution)
With caution means lectin rich foods are increasingly problematic for many people so choosing from this category should be done with care.
Not only do potatoes and other starches add carbs and calories to help you gain weight — they also increase your muscle glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the predominant fuel source for most sports and activities.
Many of these carb sources also provide important nutrients and fiber, as well as resistant starch, which can help nourish your gut bacteria.
7. Salmon and Oily Fish
Like red meat, salmon and oily fish are excellent sources of protein and important healthy fats.
Out of all the nutrients that salmon and oily fish provide, omega-3 fatty acids are among the most significant and well known.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important, providing numerous benefits for your health and also fighting disease.
8. Protein Supplements
Taking protein supplements is a common strategy for people who want to gain weight. Whey protein supplements can be a very easy and cost-effective strategy to gain weight. The best next to Superfood is Capra mineral whey which is Goat source protein. Some people think whey protein is unhealthy or unnatural, but this isn’t the case. Whey protein is made from dairy and has actually been shown to improve markers of health and reduce disease risk.
Whey protein may be even more important if you’re also training, since your daily protein requirements increase. Like meats and other animal products, whey protein contains all the essential amino acids to stimulate muscle growth.
You can use it before or after your workout and at any other point during the day.
9. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a high-calorie snack that also provides antioxidants and some micronutrients.
You can obtain many different types of dried fruit.
However, they have a very high sugar content and are not ideal for weight loss diets.
Nevertheless, this makes them great for gaining weight, especially since they are convenient to eat and also taste great.
While many people think fruits lose most of their nutrients when dried, this isn’t the case. Dried fruits contain lots of fiber and most of their vitamins and minerals remain intact. Try combining some dried fruit with a protein source, such as a whey protein shake. They also mix really well with natural yogurt, providing a blend of healthy fats, protein and other key nutrients.
10. Whole-Grain Bread
Whole-grain breads are another good carb source to help you gain weight.
You can make some very simple, high-calorie and well-balanced meals by combining bread with protein sources such as eggs, and cheese provided you have no existing sensitivities. When purchasing bread, aim for natural whole grains and seeded breads. Healthy versions, such as Ezekiel bread, are available in most grocery stores.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats. Unlike other whole fruits, avocados are fairly calorie-dense and therefore a great food to help you gain weight.
Just one large avocado provides around 322 calories, 29 grams of fat and 17 grams of fiber. Avocados are also high in vitamins, minerals and various beneficial plant compounds. Try adding avocados to your main meals and other dishes such as omelets or sandwiches. I like them best in my smoothies every day making the texture very creamy.
12. Healthy Cereals
Healthy cereals can be an excellent source of carbs, calories and healthy nutrients.
While you should avoid processed, high-sugar cereals, healthier forms like oatmeal can be a great carb source to add to your diet.
Grain-based cereals and oats also contain beneficial nutrients like fiber and healthy antioxidants.
When purchasing cereals, focus on these healthy choices:
Make sure to read the label and avoid cereals with refined grains or added sugar.
13. Cereal Bars
Some of the healthier cereal bars on the market can be a great snack when you are on the go. They are also a good choice before or after a training session, since they tend to contain a mix of slow and fast-digesting carbs.
As with cereals, try to stick to bars made from healthy whole grains. You can also find bars that contain other healthy ingredients, such as dried fruits, nuts or seeds.
As a snack or meal on the go, try combining a cereal bar with other protein sources, such as natural yogurt, boiled eggs, or a protein shake. If you feel any digestive stress from combining these foods however, eat the bar by itself.
14. Dark Chocolate
High-quality dark chocolate provides a ton of antioxidants and health benefits.
Most people recommend getting dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or more. Like other high-fat foods, dark chocolate has a very high calorie density.
This means it’s very easy to obtain many calories from it.
Each (3.5-ounce) bar has around 600 calories. It is also packed full of micronutrients and health-promoting compounds, including fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. Again, I urge caution in the consumption of too much of this as you can create other challenges, intestinal yeast upset, etc. Also, look for equivalent sources of carob. This can be a nice source of carbs yet lower in concentrated sugar.
Cheese has been a staple food for centuries.
Like dark chocolate, it is high in calories and fats. If you eat it in larger quantities, it is also a very good source of protein. Since cheese is incredibly tasty, you can add it to most dishes and easily add several hundred extra calories. I prefer white cheese over all others so look over the following and try adding them into your weight gain program.
Remember to search for good quality and low ingredients.
16. Whole Eggs
Eggs are one of the healthiest muscle-building foods on the planet. They provide a great combination of high-quality proteins and healthy fats.
It’s also very important to eat the whole egg, despite the old and incorrect myths about their links to heart disease.
In fact, almost all of the beneficial nutrients in eggs are found in the yolk.
As long as you do not have an intolerance to eggs, there is really no need to limit your egg consumption. You can easily eat three eggs per day if you want.
In fact, many athletes or bodybuilders will eat six or more per day.
17. Full-Fat Yogurt
Full-fat yogurt is another healthy and convenient snack. It has a great nutritional profile, including a well-balanced mix of protein, carbs and fat.
There are numerous snacks and healthy weight gaining recipes based on yogurt.
Here are a few:
Yogurt and fruit: Combine 1–2 cups of yogurt with fresh or dried fruit. You can also add nuts, seeds, honey, granola or coconut flakes. Put in a blender and serve as a parfait. Brands to consider:
18. Healthy Fats and Oils
Healthy fats and oils are some of the most calorie–dense foods on the planet.
Simply adding a tablespoon of oil to sauces, salads and during cooking can quickly add 135 calories. Avoid processed vegetable oils. Healthy oils include extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
Enjoy the benefits and if you have any questions.
-Dan Young BCN, BCTN