While majority of people today suffer from the problem of being overweight or obese, there are some people who are too skinny or clinically underweight.
Being underweight can lower your immunity, trigger infections, increase the chances of infertility and lead to fractures and osteoporosis.
While gulping on high-calorie foods such as burgers, fries, soda, ice cream, pizza, etc. may be one of the easiest ways to gain weight, it is definitely not the healthiest.
The trick to have a good gain is to choose nutrient-dense foods and eat in a systematic way to gain weight and optimize you health in the process.
In this article, we have provided you with a list of some of the healthiest foods to gain weight and the right way to eat there foods to make the most out of them.
How to Eat To Gain Weight?
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods – Make it a point to follow an overall healthy and balanced diet and include nutrient-rich foods such as whole grain bread, pasta, brown or red rice, cereals, vegetables, fruits, full-fat dairy products, lean proteins and healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds.
Have Smoothies and Shakes – Opt for fruit and vegetable smoothies and shakes made with whole milk, cream or yogurt instead of soda, coffee and other unhealthy beverages.
Eat Frequently – Underweight people may have a tendency to fill up faster. So, instead of forcing in more food at one time, eat several small meals throughout the day. This is one of the easiest ways to increase calorie intake.
Don’t Give Gap of More than 4 Hours between Meals – Your body needs energy continuously in the form of food to function efficiently. When you skip meals or go without eating for several hours, your body experiences a dip in energy and it affects your muscle mass. The best way to prevent muscle loss and boost mew muscle tissue growth is to space your meals and snacks 2 to 3 hours apart.
Have a Mixed Plate – Aim to include at least 3 different food groups in each and every meal to provide your body with a wider spectrum of nutrients to work with over the day. For example, if you plan to snack on a slice of whole-grain toast, top it off with some peanut butter and a few banana slices.
Eat Right Before You go to Bed – Our body heals, repairs and regenerates itself and builds new muscles and lean tissue while we sleep. Having a healthy snack right before you sleep provides your body with a fresh supply of nutrients that you body can work with while your sleep.
Drink Carefully – Some people drink water and other fluids before a meal to reduce their appetite. Those trying to gain weight should avoid this practice of drinking water right before a meal. They can accompany the meal with a high calorie beverage and drink 30 minutes after a meal.
Have Healthy Snacks – Snacking on healthy and calorie-dense foods such as nuts, cheese sticks, peanut butter, dried fruits, avocados, etc. in between meals can help to increase calorie intake and promote weight gain in a healthy and sustained way.
Eat Plenty of Protein – This is the most important macro-nutrient for healthy weight gain. The body requires protein to convert the calories you consume into muscles, which otherwise ends up as fat. Those trying to gain weight should aim to consume at least 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Eat Lots of Carbs and Fats – Those trying to gain weight should never restrict the amount of carbs in their food. Cutting out carbs and fats from the diet makes it difficult to gain weight. Include healthy carbs and fats such as rice, pasta, multi-grains breads, olive oil, butter, cheese, etc. in your meals.
Do Weight Training and Improve Your Strength – Weight training is the best way to ensure that the excess calories you consume get utilized by your muscles instead of being stored in the fat cells. Make it a point to lift weight at least 3-4 times every week. Start with light weights and slowly increase the weight and volume.
Eat Before and After Workout – Consuming healthy carbs before your begin a workout session supplies energy to your body and provides stamina for the workouts. Consuming carbs and proteins after a workout session boosts muscle healing and recovery.
Best Foods to Gain Weight
Lean Red Meat – This is one of the healthiest foods you can eat if you are trying to gain weight. Lean red meat contains loads of protein and iron that improves muscle mass and helps you to gain faster.
Nut Butters – Natural peanut butter is a great source of protein along with folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B3. Each tablespoon of peanut butter contains and 100 calories and 4 grams of protein. It makes up a healthy snack and can be consume alone or with toast, fruits, etc.
Whole Fat Milk – Whole milk is a great alternative to skim or reduced fat milk if you are trying to gain weight. A glass of whole milk contains 60 additional calories along with high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D. You can use whole milk in oatmeal, sauces, cereals, etc.
Tropical Fruits – Tropical fruits like papaya, pineapple, mangoes, bananas, etc. are loaded with natural sugars that not only provide energy, but also help with weight gain. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can have a bowl of fruits as a dessert or consume them as smoothies and shakes.
Avocado – Avocado is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats along with potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. A half avocado contains approximately 140 calories. Avocado can be consumed in the form of guacamole dip, as a spread on toast or added to salads.
Potatoes – Potatoes are a great source of healthy carbohydrates and proteins, loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Potatoes provide optimum nutrition to the body and aid with healthy weight gain. You can mix the regular ones with mini red potatoes and sweet potatoes to get a mix of flavours.
Cheese – Cheese can enhance the taste of any dish which makes it an extremely popular topping around the world. Cheese is high in fat, protein and calcium which make it the perfect food for weight gain. Cheese comes is many varieties and can be accompanied with variety of foods such as pasta, eggs, meat, chicken, vegetables.
Nuts – Nuts make the perfect snack for healthy weight gain. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nuts can also be added to salads, Asian dishes, oatmeal porridge and cereals to enhance the taste and texture of the foods.
Natural Oils – Natural vegetable oils like olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, etc. are loaded with heart-healthy fats and bursting with flavor with makes them the ideal salad dressing. You can also use these oils for cooking.
Following these tips while eating and including the above-mentioned foods in your daily diet can help you to gain weight in a healthy and sustained way without becoming fat. If you still don’t gain weight after following these tips or experience unintended weight loss then talk to your doctor immediately because it may be a symptom of an underlying condition.