Whether you seek to gain weight due to health-related reasons or just out of personal preference, much like with losing weight, gaining weight should be approached in a healthy and balanced manner.
Here is how to gain weight healthily in more detail:
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written throughout the content of our website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. What you choose to do with the information provided is at your own risk and discretion. Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, be sure to contact your health practitioner.
1) Increase your calorie intake, but aim for nutrient-dense foods
Regardless of if you are trying to gain weight or lose weight, it is going to require some changes to your diet. To gain weight, you have to be at a consistent caloric surplus in your diet. A caloric surplus is where you are eating / retaining more calories than you burn off. The types of foods you eat play an important part as well. When seeking how to gain weight healthily, nutrient-dense foods are key. Nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of foods contain a copious number of essential nutrients. While it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself every once in a while, try to keep the majority of the foods you consume on the healthful side as you seek to gain weight.
Healthy foods will provide you with various vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. To add, there are a variety of healthy, yet higher calorie recipes and foods to choose from that can aid in the promotion of weight gain, without sacrificing nutrition. There are even certain healthy foods you can snack on that provide a decent number of calories that can help contribute to maintaining a caloric surplus. Some examples include yogurt, nuts, and raisins.
It is best to avoid using high-calorie junk foods as a means to gain weight. This can accelerate weight gain in undesired areas as well as lead to adverse health effects, both short-term and long-term. So, in the effort to gain weight the healthy way, it is essential that you are consuming foods that benefit the body.
2) Protein is key, but maintain a sufficient balance of nutrition
Protein is an essential nutrient in our diet, but is also highly beneficial and important when trying to gain weight. It supplies us with various essential amino acids that are used by the body in the regulation of different functions. Additionally, these amino acids derived from protein are used by our muscles and help to promote muscle growth and development. This benefits you in the effort to gain weight because as you exercise and further increase your overall body mass, your muscles will need the necessary nutrients to grow.
Not to mention, there are a variety of protein-rich foods that contain a generous number of calories. Some healthful protein-rich foods that make a good choice of foods for weight gain include lean-cut meats, quinoa, and beans.
Another important source of nutrition that can benefit how to gain weight healthily are healthy carbohydrates. There are different types of carbohydrates and we need them for varying functions. Healthy carbohydrates like quinoa, vegetables, and potatoes, can benefit you in the effort to gain weight by supplying your body with a replenishment of energy. Carbohydrates can be beneficial to your workouts as they help to keep you energized before, during, and afterwards. Aside from protein and healthy carbohydrates, it is important that you are maintaining an overall adequate and balanced intake of the necessary nutrients in your diet. This includes healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.
Regular exercise is highly beneficial to your overall health. How to gain weight healthily is going to require that you exercise to help increase your strength and advance your overall muscle / body mass. Strength-based exercises can serve you more benefit in the effort to gain weight. This type of exercise targets various areas of muscle and helps to efficiently build muscle mass.
As you add on the extra pounds, exercising can help to tone and shape different areas of muscle to fit your desired look. Some good choices of exercises that can help you to gain weight / increase muscle mass include squats, lunges, and leg lifts. Setting a few days out of the week to exercise, along with a couple of rest days in between, will pay off in how to gain weight healthily.
4) Take time to rest and recover
While diet and exercise are important in how to gain weight healthily, it is also necessary that you take time to rest and recover. Rest days give your muscles time to recover and build. If we don’t give ourselves time to rest or go too long without letting our muscles recover, it can lead to fatigue. All in all, allowing yourself rest time will benefit you both short-term and long-term in the effort to gain weight the healthy way.
5) Try to make your own smoothies and shakes for weight gain
Another beneficial and simple way to get an extra source of calories in your diet to aid in gaining weight, is with the help of weight gain supplements. Weight gain supplements can come in the form of mixable powders, pre-made shakes, pills, and more. However, sometimes these weight gain supplements contain certain additives that aren’t always good for us. A straightforward way to opt out of the non-healthful ingredients found in some commercial weight gain supplements, is to make your own.
You can make your own high-calorie shake right at home with the use of different nutrient-dense edibles. There are an array of small, yet nutrient-dense and calorie-dense edibles that you can add to your blender to form a tasty, healthy, high-calorie shake. Some good options of healthful foods you can add to your DIY weight gain supplement in the form of a shake, include yogurt, avocados, chia seeds, and milk. With the right ingredients, your homemade weight gain shake can total hundreds and even thousands of calories. This can easily help to maintain a caloric surplus.
6) Go at a steady pace
Gaining weight should also be done at a steady pace, much like with weight loss. You don’t want to gain weight “too quickly” to where it may cause an adverse reaction. You should go at a steady pace that is in alignment with your lifestyle and current state of health. Patience is key and with consistency, results are a given.
Other tips to gain weight the healthy way:
- Make sure that you are eating at least three meals per day.
- Increase your proportions – instead of eating one sandwich at lunch, switch it to two. Instead of having one plate of dinner, increase it to two plates.
- Add the extra toppings and condiments to your foods when possible.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Gradually increase your weight load as you progress when exercising.
Are you trying to gain weight with a fast metabolism? Click here to see tips that can benefit how to gain weight with a fast metabolism:
1 “How To Gain Weight Fast And Safely”. Healthline, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-gain-weight.