Are you trying to gain weight but wants to do it in a healthy way? In this article, we have listed down foods that we think are the best choices to achieve your weight goal!
Our Food Focus List
The best type of food to gain weight is those with high calories, but low in volume. Instead of eating empty calorie junk foods, eating nutrient-dense foods can help you stay healthy while adding weight.
1. Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts and nut butters are delicious and calorie-dense foods, with a handful of almonds containing 7 gr of protein and 18 gr of healthy fats. While choosing your nut butters, it is important to make sure that they don’t contain added sugar or any hydrogenated oil. Make sure that nuts are the only main ingredient they have in the butter.
2. Homemade Protein Shakes
Protein shakes can be a quick fix for your weight gain problems! It is highly nutritious and easy to make. Don’t worry about running out of ideas for your shake combo! We have a couple of tasty combos you can try by yourself:
- Banana Protein Shake = 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk + 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + 1 frozen banana + 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon + ice
- Strawberry Protein Shake = 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + 1 tsp raw honey + 3/4 cup frozen strawberries + 3-6 ice cubes
If you would like to see more protein shake ideas, click here!
However, it is crucial to make sure that some shakes can have added-sugar or other additives that may not be the best for your health. Therefore, we recommend homemade shakes as the best option for you.
Rice is a low-cost carb-rich food that you can eat to gain weight, with just a cup of cooked rice giving you 190 calories. It is a calorie-dense, low-fat, food that is easy to prepare. If you feel cooking rice can be time consuming, you can purchase a microwaveable rice pack that can be ready to consume within minutes.
4. Red Meat
If you are looking to build your muscle, then red meats are the best one for you. Red meats contain amino acids that the body uses to stimulate muscle synthesis and grow muscle tissues, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine. A typical steak can contain 3 grams of leucine. Red meats also contain one of the best muscle-building supplements, creatine.
To find out more about protein as a sports nutrition and how it can help you build muscles, click here.
To maximize your calorie intake from steak, try to choose cuts that are fattier and therefore supply more calories.
Milk is a healthy drink that provides you a good balance of protein, carbs, fats, as well as other vitamins and minerals such as calcium. It is an excellent choice for those that are looking to build their muscle and gain weight.
Studies have also found that the combination of whey and casein in milk together can lead to greater mass gain compared to any other protein sources.
6. Calorie Boosters
In addition to the food we’ve listed above, you can also add more calories into your meals and snacks with these boosters:
- Cheese – add to sandwich, snack
- Dried Fruits – add to cereal, snack
- Eggs – mix into ground meat, hard-boiled eggs for salads
- Butter and Oils – add butter to toast, vegetables, etc.
- Yogurt – eat with granola, fruits, or snack
- Avocado – add to sandwich or salads
- Dark Chocolate – add to cereal, snack
Fixing Your Eating Habit to Gain Weight
Aside from knowing what to eat, it is also important to know how and when to prepare these meals. (Also read our related article: Eat Like a Rainbow: The Rainbow Diet)
To gain weight, we recommend you to have small, frequent meals of around 6 times a day. Aim to have one meal for every 2-3 hours each day.
Don’t forget to also be consistent! Eat your meals at the same time each day to maximize your weight gain. Your weight won’t also increase if you only increase your calorie intake for a couple of days and then get back to your normal eating schedule.
Finally, don’t forget to exercise lightly each day! Light physical activity can improve your appetite, and hence, make you eat more. Do keep in mind that too much aerobic exercise will burn calories away. We recommend more strength training to help you build muscle and eventually gain weight.
Check the meal plans that we offer at Eatology. Once you choose a meal plan, you can select your goal to build muscle or gain weight, and our in-house nutritionists will customize the meal plan for you.