Many of us think losing weight is difficult. But did you know many people struggle to gain weight? Yes! Although looking slim is a dream come true for many, it is neither healthy nor attractive to be thin as a stick. But you can add muscle to your body healthily by adding some of the weight gain foods to your diet mentioned in this article.

This article gives you detailed information about the best weight gain foods you can add to your diet for healthy weight gain.

Check, Are You Underweight?

Being thin doesn’t mean underweight. Many people may look light as a twig bus are under the healthy BMI range. Before you go on the route of gaining weight, make sure you are underweight!

The relationship between your weight and your height is called body mass index or BMI. It is ideal to has a BMI of 20 to 25; it is considered overweight if you have a BMI of 25 to 30 and obese if you are above 30. You are considered underweight if your BMI or body mass index is 18.5 to 20. People in the lower end of the BMI need to make sure not to lose any more weight.

Therefore, before starting the weight gain journey, make sure you fall under the BMI range of underweight to avoid any issues.

Does Food Help to Gain a Healthy Weight?

Yes! Consuming nutritious and healthy food is the right way to gain weight for a skinny person—preparing a diet filled with foods that give your body overall nutrition, unlike some foods that give you temporary weight and not proper muscle mass. Some healthy, nutritious, and weight-gaining foods are listed in detail further in this article.

Foods for Healthy Weight Gain:

Which Fruits Help for Weight Gain:

Here is the list of fruits that help you gain weight healthily.

1. Coconut meat:

The meat of coconut has copper that assists bone formation and manganese that improves fat metabolism; it also is moderate in carbs and protein and high amounts of fat and calories (1). Coconut has high-fat content, and most of these fats are absorbed into your small intestine, enabling your body to produce energy.

Nutrient Values:

One cup (80 grams) of fresh coconut meat has:

  • 283 calories.
  • 3 grams protein.
  • 10 grams carbs.
  • 27 grams fat.
  • 7 grams fiber.
  • 5 grams sugar.
  • 60% of DV manganese.
  • 44% of DV copper.

2. Mango:

Weight gain and mango go hand in hand, according to nutritionists. Although mango is low in calories, this fruit has many nutrients that make it a healthy replacement for sugary snacks. It helps in building immunity because of the presence of vitamin C, and it helps absorb iron. This is a perfect fruit that aids in weight gain and nourishes you thoroughly (2).

Nutrient Values:

One cup of mango (165 grams) approximately contain:

  • 107 calories.
  • 3 grams of fiber.
  • 1 gram protein.
  • 24 grams sugar.
  • 25% DV of vitamin A.
  • 76% DV of vitamin C.
  • 25 mg of potassium.

3. Prunes:

When you want to gain weight, prunes have a higher amount of calories when compared to plums. Prunes have a good amount of fiber that adds bulk to your stool, which alleviates constipation (3).

Prunes increase your daily calorie intake and assist in healthy weight gain, and are easy to add to your diet. You can either add them to your salads, smoothies, baked foods or enjoy them independently.

Nutrient Values:

One plum has the following nutrients:

  • 67 calories.
  • 18 grams carbs.
  • 2 grams fiber.
  • 11 grams sugar.

4. Dried Figs:

Dried figs are high in calories and are considered one of the best snacks for weight gain. They have a sweet-yet-mild flavor and can be enjoyed both fresh and dried (4). Dried figs have three to five times more micronutrients when compared to other dry fruits. You can add dried figs to garnish oats, yogurt, salads, or they can be enjoyed on their own.

Nutrient Values:

One ounce of dried figs contain:

  • 70 calories.
  • 1 gram protein.
  • 0.3 gram of fat.
  • 18 grams carbs.
  • 3 grams fiber.
  • 4% of the DV potassium.
  • 3.5% of the DV calcium.

5. Sultanas:

Sultanas are yet another type of dried grape similar to raisins. These fruits have a lighter color and are often referred to as golden raisins. The unique feature of sultanas is that they are made from green seedless grapes. This is another healthy snacking option that helps you gain weight healthily by adding to salads or combining them with nuts.

Nutrient Values:

One ounce (28 grams) of sultanas have:

  • 91 calories.
  • 0.7 grams protein.
  • 0 grams fat.
  • 22 grams carbs.
  • 0.7 grams fiber.
  • 4.2% of the DV Iron.

6. Avocado:

Avocado is considered one of the best fruits for weight gain since they have high levels of carbohydrates. Unlike many other fruits, avocados are calorie-dense and are also high in beneficial plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals (5).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of Avocado has:

  • 160 calories.
  • 425 mg of potassium.
  • 9 grams of carbs.
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 2 grams of protein.

7. Banana:

Bananas are some of the fruits that readily available in any season. This fruit is an excellent option that helps you gain weight healthily. When consumed correctly, bananas can effectively gain weight since it is a source of healthy carbs. They are not only a great source of carbs and calories but are also nutritious (6).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of bananas are:

  • 89 calories.
  • 358 mg of potassium.
  • 23 grams of carbs.
  • 2.6 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 12 grams of sugar.
  • 1.1 grams of protein.

8. Dried Fruits and Nuts and Nut Butter:

i. Dry Fruits and Nuts:

Dry fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients, making them an excellent option for weight gain, along with minerals, vitamins and concentrated sources of calories that make them a good choice for overall health and building muscles. Almonds, walnuts, cashews are some of the best examples of dry fruits you can add to your diet for healthy weight gain (7).

Nutrient Values of Dry Fruits:

Every 100 grams serving of dry fruits have:

  • 359 calories.
  • 2.7 grams fat.
  • 83 grams carbs.
  • 1 gram protein.
  • 58 grams of sugar.
  • 403 grams of sodium.
  • 164 grams of potassium.
Nutrient Values of Nuts:

100 grams serving of nuts have:

  • 607 calories.
  • 54 grams of fat.
  • 21 grams carbs.
  • 20 grams protein.
  • 4.2 grams sugar.
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Potassium 632 mg

ii. Nut Butter:

Peanut butter is an excellent alternative to regular butter that is a rich source of several nutrients that help you gain weight healthily (8). You can add this peanut butter to your diet by adding it to bread or add to smoothies.

Nutrient Values of Peanut Butter:

100 grams of a serving of peanut butter has:

  • 88 calories.
  • 20 grams carbs.
  • 5 grams protein.
  • 50 grams fat.
  • 6 grams dietary fiber.

Ways of Using Vegetables for Weight Gain:

Vegetables also play an essential role in gaining weight and maintaining it at a healthy level.

9. Beets:

Although there is no direct proof that shows the effect of beets on weight, the nutrition present in beetroot makes it a healthy addition to your diet. Consumption of beetroot in any form increases your body’s stamina since it is a rich source of inorganic nitrate.

Nutrient Values:

The serving of one cup of boiled beetroot has:

  • 60 calories.
  • 88% water.
  • 1.6 grams protein.
  • 9.6 grams carbs.
  • 6.8 grams sugar.
  • 2.8 grams fiber.
  • 0.2 grams fat.

10. Yam:

Yams are an excellent source of fiber and high caloric content. It also supports growth, metabolism, heart function, and bone health since it is a rich potassium and magnesium source. Copper, vitamin C are some of the micronutrients present in decent amounts. Yams can help gain weight healthily since it is a rich fiber and numerous minerals and vitamins (9).

Nutrient Values:

One cup of baked yams has:

  • 158 calories.
  • 37 grams carbs.
  • 2 grams protein.
  • 5 grams fiber.
  • 18% of the DV Vitamin C.
  • 19% of the DV potassium.
  • 6% of the DV folate.

11. Pumpkin Seeds:

If you are looking to add healthy calories to your diet, consuming pumpkin seeds is one of the best ways to gain weight. Pumpkin seeds add adequate nutrients like fiber, zinc, selenium, magnesium, fiber, healthy fats, and protein that play an essential role in their nutritional content (10). They add healthy calories to your diet since it contains polyunsaturated fats.

Nutrient Values:

One ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds have:

  • 151 calories.
  • 1.7 grams fiber.
  • 5 grams carbs.
  • 7 grams protein.
  • 13 grams fat.

12. Sweet Corn:

Sweet corn is another vegetable that helps you gain weight healthily since it has starch content in abundance. It is available in every season and can be incorporated into your diet easily. Another way of the availability of corn is in the form of cornflour or corn starch (11).

Nutrient Values:
  • 100 grams of sweet corn has:
  • 86 calories.
  • 19 grams carbs.
  • 2.7 grams dietary fiber.
  • 3.2 grams sugar.
  • 3.2 grams protein.

13. Potato:

Potato is one of the favorite vegetables for people irrespective of their age. It is considered to be an enemy for people who are watching their weight. But for people who want to gain weight, the high amounts of carbohydrates and starch present in potato makes it an obvious choice. It also has arginine and glutamine, which are excellent sources of carbs and amino acids (12).

Nutrient Value:

100 grams of potato has:

  • 77 calories.
  • 421 mg of potassium.
  • 17 grams of carbs.
  • 2.2 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 2 grams of protein,
  • 32% of DV vitamin C.

Diary for Weight Gain:

Dairy and its by-products are also an excellent addition to your diet that helps you gain weight healthily.

14. Milk:

We all love milk, and it is one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into your diet to aid in healthy weight gain. Milk has saturated fats that increase efficient muscle growth, and the protein acts as a building block for new muscles (13). You have a chance of putting around 1 pound per week if you drink milk before going to bed.

Nutrient Values:

One cup of milk (244 grams) has:

  • 103 calories.
  • 2.4 grams of total fat.
  • 12.2 mg of cholesterol.
  • 30% DV Calcium.
  • 107.4 mg of sodium.
  • 366 mg of potassium.
  • 12 grams of carbs.
  • 13 grams of sugar.
  • 8 grams of protein.

15. Yogurt:

Yogurt is another convenient and healthy snack that helps you gain weight quickly and healthily. A healthy mix of protein, carbs, fat, and an excellent nutritional profile makes it an exceptional addition to your diet (14). You can consume full-fat yogurt by incorporating it into your diet in numerous ways.

Nutrient Values:

One cup (245 g) of yogurt has:

  • 149 calories.
  • 8 grams total fat.
  • 5.1 grams saturated fat.
  • 32 mg cholesterol.
  • 11.4 grams carbs/
  • 379.75 mg of potassium.
  • 8.5 grams of protein.
  • 30% DV Calcium.

16. Cheese:

If you are looking for a calorie-rich milk product to add to your diet, cheese is a perfect and yummy option. It is available in different forms and is a staple worldwide. All the cheeses are rich sources of protein and calcium, such as cheddar, feta, mozzarella, ricotta, cottage, and parmesan. These cheeses not only strengthen your bones but also help you gain lean muscle (15).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams of cheese has:

  • 402 calories.
  • 33 grams total fat.
  • 105 grams of cholesterol.
  • 621 grams of sodium.
  • 25 grams of protein.
  • 20% of DV Vitamin A.
  • 72% of DV Calcium.

Fish and Meat for Weight Gain:

Fish and meat are some of the best and highest protein sources that will be highly beneficial in weight gain.

17. Salmon and Oily Fish:

If you want to increase muscle mass and aid weight gain, including salmon and other oily fishes in your diet, it can be a perfect choice since they are good protein sources. According to a study conducted in Korea, consuming fish with vegetables can help improve muscle mass (16).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams of salmon and oily fish has:

  • 208 calories.
  • 13 grams of fat.
  • 55 grams of cholesterol.
  • 20 grams of protein.
  • 363 mg of potassium.
  • 30% of DV Vitamin B.
  • 53% of DV Cobalamin.

18. Red meat:

Red meat is one of the best sources of animal protein when it comes to gaining lean muscle. It stimulates protein synthesis to build lean muscle since it contains leucine and dietary creatine (17)(18). If you want to gain weight healthily, pick lean cuts instead of fatty steaks.

Nutrient Values:

100 grams of red meat has:

  • 143 calories.
  • 3.5 grams of total fat.
  • 73 grams cholesterol.
  • 26 grams of protein.
  • 35% of DV vitamin B6.

Cereals, Beans, and Legumes for Weight Gain:

Let us learn more about the food grains, beans, cereals, and legumes that help you gain weight.

19. Cereal Bars:

Cereal bars have high amounts of carbs and calories that can be an excellent addition to your diet for weight gain. Many cereal bars have various micronutrients added through the fortification process or found in the ingredients (19).

Nutrient Values:

One single serving of a cereal bar has:

  • 100 to 300 calories.
  • 1 to 10 grams of protein.
  • 1 to 7 grams of fiber.

20. Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are considered one of the most nutritious foods on the planet despite their size. Along with various micronutrients, chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein (20). You can double or triple your calorie count just by sprinkling them atop your yogurt or oatmeal.

Nutrient Value:

One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds have:

  • 140 calories.
  • 11 grams of fiber.
  • 4 grams of protein.
  • 9 grams of fat.

21. Oats:

Rolled or ground oats are oatmeal, and it is quickly gaining popularity as a healthy breakfast option among health enthusiasts. It is not only a nutritious but also a healthy weight gain option (21). You can prepare oats as oatmeal by infusing either milk, other fruits, yogurt, etc.

Nutrition Value:

100 grams of raw oats have:

  • 389 calories.
  • 8% water.
  • 16.9 grams of protein.
  • 66.3 grams of carbs.
  • 10.6 grams of fiber.

22. Beans:

If you are looking for a healthy way to build muscle, beans can be an excellent option since it is a rich protein source. It also has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, making it a healthy addition to your diet.

Nutrition Value:

Nutritional values for 100 grams

  • Lentils – 116 calories.
  • Chickpeas – 364 calories.
  • Mung Beans – 347 calories.
  • Kidney Beans – 333 calories.
  • Soybeans – 446 calories.

23. Rice:

If you want to add more calories to your diet in a cost-effective way, rice is the ideal choice. According to a study, consuming white rice over one year has helped gain at least 3 kg of Japanese workers’ weight (22). You can add some curry to a bowl of diet and microwave it if you are in a hurry.

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of rice has:

  • 402 calories.
  • 33 grams fat.
  • 105 mg of cholesterol.
  • 621 mg of sodium.
  • 25 grams of protein.
  • 20% of DV vitamin A.
  • 72% of DV Calcium.

24. Granola:

Granola is made up of two key ingredients, and they are nuts and oats. It is a perfect weight gain option and gives you heaps of energy to make it through a tiring day. You can gain a healthy weight by consuming a bowl of granola since it has about 500 calories.

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of granola has:

  • 471 calories.
  • 20 grams fat.
  • 64 grams carbs.
  • 29 grams sugar.
  • 5 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 10 grams of protein.
  • 16% of DV iron.
  • 24% of DV magnesium.

25. Whole Grains:

Whole grains have glucose in abundance, making them a perfect choice not only as an energy source but also for weight gain. Compared to refined grains like white flour, whole grains give you constant energy and a rich carbs source (23).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of whole grains have:

  • 265 calories.
  • 4.2 grams of total fat.
  • 43 grams of carbs.
  • 381 mg of sodium.
  • 230 mg of potassium.
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 6 grams of sugar.
  • 13 grams of protein.

26. Pasta:

For a healthy weight gain, pasta is a perfect calorically dense and carbohydrate-rich option (24). Choose whole-grain pasta instead of bleached ones. You can prepare your favorite bowl of pasta in various ways by including a heap of veggies to aid weight gain.

Nutrition Value:
  • A bowl of cooked whole-wheat spaghetti has 174 calories.
  • A bowl of cooked refined/enriched spaghetti has 220 calories.

27. Quinoa:

Quinoa has the highest amount of protein when compared to any other grains. It is not only a high-quality protein but also high in fiber. Potassium and iron are some of the other elements packed in these wonder grains (25).

Nutrition Value:

100 grams of cooked quinoa has:

  • 120 calories.
  • 72% water.
  • 4.4 grams of protein.
  • 21.3 grams of carbs.
  • 0.9 grams of sugar.
  • 2.8 grams of fiber.
  • 1.9 grams of fat.

Oil for Weight Gain:

Here is a list of healthy oils you can incorporate into your diet for healthy weight gain:

28. Avocado Oil:

Avocado oil is one of those oils that not only make your salads taste better but improve your overall health. It helps you gain healthy weight and mass since it is incredibly dense in calories. Avocado oil is also a rich source of oleic acid, vitamin E, and HDL cholesterol (26).

Nutrient Values:

One tbsp of avocado oil has:

  • 124 calories.
  • 14 grams of fat.

29. Coconut Oil:

Although not many people use coconut oil as cooking oil, many regions are used as a primary oil for cooking. The antibacterial, antiviral properties control cholesterol, protect your kidney and heart efficiently (27).

Nutrient Values:

100 grams of coconut oil serving has:

  • 862 calories.
  • 100 grams total fat.
  • 87 grams saturated fat.

30. Olive Oil:

Olive oil is another healthier, tastier, and calorie-rich oil that helps you gain weight healthily. It also protects your heart health (28). You can easily incorporate olive oil into your diet by drizzling it on salads, stir-fries, etc.

Nutrient Values:

100 grams serving of olive oil has:

  • 884 calories.
  • 100 grams total fat.
  • 14 grams saturated fat.

31. Dark Chocolates:

Who doesn’t love chocolate? But if you want to gain weight healthily, make sure to consume dark chocolate instead of the ones filled with sugar. It helps you gain weight since it is high in caloric count and a wide array of nutrients.

Nutrient Values:

A bar of dark chocolate (101 grams) with cocoa solids covering 70 to 85 % has:

  • 604 calories.
  • 7.87 grams of fat.
  • 43 grams of fat.
  • 46 grams of carbs.
  • 11 grams dietary fiber.
  • 24 grams of sugar.
  • 12.02 mg of iron.

32. Eggs:

If you are looking for the healthiest muscle-building food, eggs are a perfect choice. The combination of high-quality proteins and healthy fats is beneficial in helping you gain weight (29). The yolk has all the beneficial nutrients found in the egg, and therefore make sure you consume the whole egg if you want to gain weight. You can easily consume three eggs as per your preference unless you have an intolerance to eggs.

Nutrient Values:

One large egg (50 grams) has:

  • 78 calories.
  • 5 grams of total fat.
  • 186.5 mg of cholesterol.
  • 6 grams of protein.

Protein Shakes for Weight Gain:

Drinking protein smoothies can be a delicious and nutritious way to gain muscle mass. The best way to get maximum benefits from smoothies is to prepare them yourself, unlike the sugar-filled versions available in the market. We present you with some simple DIY protein shake recipes.

1. Chocolate Banana Nut Shake:

Ingredients:
  1. Two cups of regular milk or almond milk.
  2. One banana.
  3. One tbsp of peanut butter.
  4. One scoop of chocolate whey protein.
Preparation:
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend them thoroughly.
  • Serve it cool.

2. Chocolate Hazelnuts Shake:

Ingredients:
  1. Two cups of regular milk or almond milk.
  2. 444 ml of chocolate milk.
  3. One scoop of chocolate whey protein.
  4. One Avocado.
  5. One tbsp of hazelnut butter.
Preparation:
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend them thoroughly.
  • Serve it chilled.

3. Caramel Apple Shake:

Ingredients:
  1. Two cups of regular milk or almond milk.
  2. One cup of natural yogurt.
  3. One sliced apple.
  4. One scoop of vanilla-flavored whey protein.
  5. One tbsp of caramel flavoring.
Preparation:
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend them thoroughly.
  • You can either serve it chilled or drink it fresh.

4. Vanilla Blueberries Shake:

Ingredients:
  1. Two cups of regular milk or almond milk.
  2. One cup of frozen or fresh blueberries.
  3. One cup of vanilla yogurt.
  4. One scoop of vanilla whey protein.
  5. Sweetener of your choice.
Preparation:
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender.
  • Combine them thoroughly.
  • You can either drink it chilled or as is.

Ways to Eat Healthy Foods to Gain Weight:

It is essential to know your body well before you start on your weight gain journey. Here are some simple ways that help you in the process.

  • Start with small meals spread across throughout the day if you are a picky eater.
  • The quantity of the food doesn’t matter as long as the quality is good.
  • In order not to hamper your appetite, make sure your diet is balanced.
  • To increase weight, include a variety of foods in your meal.
  • If you have a deficiency in any nutrient, try to include rich foods in the specific nutrient.

Foods to Avoid in the Process of Weight Gain:

Here is the list of some of the foods you need to avoid in the process of healthy weight gain:

  • Avoid red meat like baloney or bacon. Try to include good quality turkey or lamb instead.
  • Avoid refined carbs like sweets and white bread.
  • Avoid low-calorie vegetables like celery, spinach, and lettuce.

Required Foods Helpful for Your Body:

Here is the list of foods that are helpful for our body for a healthy weight gain:

1. Egg Whites:

Egg whites are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and minimal carbohydrates. It has protein in abundance, which is used for protein synthesis by our body.

2. Chicken/Turkey:

Turkey and chicken are some of the lean meats considered a staple when you want to gain weight. They have low in saturated and trans fats and an excellent source of high-quality protein.

3. Beans/Legumes:

Include legumes/beans in your diet since they are rich sources of protein, fiber, and nutrition.

4. Lean Red Meat:

Lean red meat has nutrients like iron, zinc, B vitamins, and high amounts of protein, making it an excellent building mass source. Make sure you don’t consume red meat every day since they contain saturated fats.

5. Low Glycemic Carbs:

If you want to build and sustain muscles, slow-burning carbohydrates are essential, along with protein. The slow-burning carbs can be an excellent snack before a workout session.

Additional Tips to Boost Your Weight Gain:

Here are some of the additional tips you can keep in mind that help boost your weight gain naturally.

  • To increase muscle growth, consume an ample amount of protein.
  • Water plays a vital role in transporting proteins and nutrients to your muscle cells; therefore, it is crucial to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Along with a workout routine, getting enough sleep is also essential.
  • Keeping your goal in mind, motivate yourself to gain weight healthily.
  • Along with essential foods, for a successful weight gain journey, motivation is also vital.

Gaining weight might seem like an easy feat for many of us, but it comes as no surprise that many people struggle to gain weight. This article gives you a glimpse into the weight gain foods you can include in your diet that will help you gain weight quickly, safely, and healthily. But if the reason for you being underweight is an underlying medical condition, it is better to consult a physician.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are informational and not a replacement for medical advice. The website is not responsible for any effects it may have on your body, so consult a doctor before you start trying anything new.

FAQ:

1. What is the required amount of water that is ideal for gaining weight?

Ans: Irrespective of whether you want to lose or gain weight, an adult needs 8 to 12 glasses of water. Avoid drinking too much water before a meal and maintain drinking water throughout the weight-gaining process.

2. If you are a vegetarian, what is the replacement for lean meat?

Ans: Consuming a balanced diet is extremely necessary if you want to lose or gain weight healthily. Some of the best alternatives for lean meat for vegetarians are:

  • Lentils.
  • Quinoa.
  • Tofu.
  • Legumes.
  • Edamame beans.
  • Vegan cheese.
  • Mushrooms.

3. How healthy and safe is it to consume red meat?

Ans: If you want to gain weight by building muscle, then consuming red weight is the perfect option. The protein and fat contents in steak and other red meats promote healthy weight gain. But you need to restrict the amount of red meat you consume is 70 grams per day.

About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.
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