While many people are finding it hard to lose some extra fat, gaining weight is the problem another category of people faces. Doctors usually advice underweight individuals to add up weight because weighing under the normal standard could lead to problems later in life such as infertility, osteoporosis, weakened immune system, developmental delays, and malnutrition. Many people upon hearing they need to gain extra weight begin to take in more sugary and fatty foods which cause more complications along the line. Instead of going through this route, there are various foods you can add to your diet to make your weight gain journey more effective without taking in unhealthy fats. You only have to take in more calories than you burn by increasing your high-calorie foods with low unhealthy fats. Here are 20 foods you can take to help you gain weight.
If you’re looking to gain weight, milk is or of the major foods you should not ignore. It has been used by major bodybuilders to gain both muscle mass. You can decide to take it whether or not you want to gain muscles. It contains a balanced proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that would help you gain weight. Milk is a great source of both whey and casein proteins. When combined with weight lifting, research has shown that it would greatly increase your muscle mass. You can take milk as a snack along with other edibles, and it can also be taken before and after a workout to repair damaged muscles faster and contribute to weight gain.
2. Red meat
Red meat is a widely eaten food item by non-vegetarians. Do you know that taking an adequate amount of red meat will promote weight gain and increase in muscle mass? Red meat contains a high leucine content, which is a major amino acid for the synthesis of muscle protein. This means it aids faster muscle buildup. Red meat also contains dietary creatine which is usually found in many bodybuilding supplements. When taking red meat, choose the ones with larger fatter content. Lean meat is not the way to go if you’re thinking of gaining weight. While both lean and fatty types of meat have high protein content, fatty meat contains more calories.
3. Dry fruits
Dry fruits are snacks you can take at any time of the day. They usually contribute to weight gain because they have very high-calorie content. They also provide the body with other benefits due to their antioxidant properties. They also contain a high sugar content which makes them great for gaining weight. Many people think fruits, when dried, have lost all their nutrients, but this is very untrue. When dried, fruits contain a high fiber content and still have their minerals and vitamins intact. Taking dried fruits with foods containing other nutrients such as proteins and healthy fats would promote weight gain.
4. Homemade protein smoothies
Smoothies are highly nutritious drinks that help you gain weight. Making smoothies at home is very easy and also preferable from commercial smoothies which are usually filled with sugar and don’t contain as many nutrients as the homemade ones do. When you make your smoothies, you are in full control of how rich your drink is. Smoothies come in different variants and you can create your own. Some of them include the vanilla berry shake, super green shake, caramel apple shake, chocolate banana nut shake, and chocolate hazelnut shake.
5. Healthy cereals
There are various forms of cereals out there and they’re all great for those who want to gain weight. Healthy cereal usually contains calories, carbs, and other nutrients. Processed cereals are usually filled with sugar and are not healthy. While they may help you increase your body weight, they may cause other problems later on. Try taking healthier cereals like oatmeal. It is easier to prepare and can be easily added to your diet. Grain-based cereals such as oats are also rich in fiber and antioxidants.
6. Healthy fats and oils
Healthy fats and oils are filled with calories. You should increase your oil intake when trying to gain weight. Going for unhealthy oils to cook your foods tend to get ugly later on because you’ll end up storing unhealthy fats that may cause problems such as complications with the heart and other organs. Simply adding up to 15ml (a tablespoon) of oil to your salads or when cooking adds up to 135 calories to your body. Coconut oil and avocado oil should be used to replace unhealthy oils in your diet.
Cheese is a dairy and staple food which has been taken for centuries. It is very high in calories and serves as a great source of protein when taken in large quantities. An increase in protein in your diet promotes weight gain. You can easily add hundreds of calories to your everyday intake by incorporating it into most of your dishes because it is very delicious and not so difficult to get. You can even purchase it in markets if you can’t prepare it on your own.
Avocados are very healthy fruits that promote the general health of the body. They are very rich in healthy fats, and unlike other fruits, they contain a large number of calories and help you to gain weight. Studies have shown that 1 avocado will provide your body with 322 calories, 17 grams of fiber, and 322 calories. Apart from healthy fats, avocados also contain other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Other beneficial plant compounds that promote good health are also found in this fruit. You must add them to your meals and try to take it daily.
9. Full fat yogurt
Yogurt is a snack that can be taken at any time of the day and purchased anywhere you are around the world. Full-fat yogurt is very helpful for weight gain because it has a well-balanced proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. You can take full-fat yogurt with fruit by combining 1 or 2 cups of yogurt with fresh or dry fruits. You can also add honey, seeds, and nuts to spice it up. You can also decide to make yogurt parfait by mixing 2 cups of yogurt with mixed berries and granola which you can have for breakfast or brunch.
10. Whole-grain bread
Whole-grain bread is usually rich in carbohydrates. To gain weight faster, you require a good carb source, and whole-grain bread provides you with that. You can easily create a highly nutritious meal for yourself using whole-grain bread as a carb source. For instance, you can combine bread with various protein sources including beans, cheese, meat, and eggs. When you’re buying bread, look out for seeded and natural whole-grain ones. Grocery stores usually have healthy versions such as the Ezekiel bread which gives the body all these nutrients and helps you gain weight.
11. Protein supplements
Many athletes and bodybuilders who need to gain weight faster have been known to take protein supplements to gain weight. When combined with strength training, whey protein supplements are very effective ways to gain weight and increase muscle mass. Although many people believe whey protein supplements are very unhealthy and may cause the body to develop problems, research has shown that this is not the case. Whey proteins are produced from dairy and have been shown to reduce the risk of diseases and improve the body’s health. Whey proteins contain all the essential amino acids required by the body for weight gain and muscle growth and is cost-effective. You can take it at any time during the day, but you notice changes faster when you take it before and after a workout.
12. Starchy foods
Increasing the number of starchy foods in your diet is a very cost-effective way of increasing your daily calorie intake and gaining extra weight. Healthy sources of starch include oats, corn, quinoa, squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. These food items not only help you gain weight, but they also increase your muscle glycogen stores which are important in carrying out sports and various strength-draining activities as glycogen serves as fuel. These carbohydrate sources are also rich in fiber and resistant starch which aid digestion and keep your gut bacteria active.
13. Oily fish
Oily fish and salmon are very important sources of healthy fats. Just like red meat, their protein content is usually very high. The most important nutrient they provide to the body is omega-3 fatty acid. The nutrients found in oily fish helps the body fight diseases. A study has shown that one 6-ounce fillet of salmon produces up to 34 grams of protein, 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, and 350 calories which help the body gain weight and build muscles.
Nuts and butter made from them (nut butter) are the perfect food choice for people who want to gain weight. One of the best nuts to try is almonds. A handful of almonds provides the body with over 18 grams of healthy fats and 7 grams of proteins. Almonds are also very high in calories. They can be eaten with a meal or as a snack, and about 2 handfuls per day provide hundreds of calories. You can also purchase nut butter at grocery stores. Healthy nut butter which contains no extra oil or added sugars can be taken with a variety of dishes or snacks.
15. Cereal bars
If you can’t get cereals into your diet as you should, you should consider cereal bars. When you’re heading to work or on motion, cereal bars are very great and tasty snacks. They are very accessible and affordable. They contain both slow- and fast-digesting carbs which make them a great choice of food before training sessions. Don’t just go for any type of cereal bars. You should ensure they are made from healthy whole grains. You can also combine them with protein sources such as yogurt or eggs to add more nutrients to your body.
Rice is a very popular food in several countries across the world. It is a low-cost carbohydrate source that helps you gain weight even when taken in small amounts. It is very high in calories such that only 1 cup of cooked rice provides your body with 43 grams of fats and 190 calories. It is usually low in fat but calorie-dense. If you get full quickly or have a poor appetite, taking rice lets you eat a lot of food which ultimately leads to weight gain. While they may be eaten with other nutrient sources such as beans and eggs, it is advisable to eat them in moderate quantities because taking large amounts may lead to the presence of arsenic and phytic acid content which are toxic to the body.
17. Whole eggs
Eggs are one of the most-eaten food by bodybuilders, and they are very healthy and effective. Eggs contain a high amount of proteins and healthy fats. Most of the nutrients your body derives from eggs are found in the yolk. It is advisable to eat the whole egg to obtain all the nutrients it has to offer. There is no limit to the number of eggs you eat per day as long as you’re not egg-intolerant. Some bodybuilders even consume six or more eggs daily.
18. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolates possess a high amount of antioxidants and many other benefits to your health. They are usually very high in fats and calorie-dense. Eating a lot of it is guaranteed to get your weighing more in a short time. It is advisable to get dark chocolates with a cocoa content of at least 70% to get most of the nutrients it has to offer. Now, you have found another reason to keep those delicious dark chocolates in your diet. Just ensure you’re getting the right chocolates.
Pasta is very high in carbohydrates and provides your body with enough calories that you need to gain weight. When purchasing pasta, look for those made with whole grains and avoid bleached pasta to keep your diet healthy.
Granola is a healthy snack that can be taken throughout the day to continue adding to your calories. You can also make it by yourself by combining nuts, dry fruits, seeds, and dry whole grain cereals. You can pack it in a small air-tight jar or plastic container and keep chewing throughout the day. If you want it to taste greater than it already does, you can add peanut butter or chocolate chunks.