20 Foods for Weight Gain
Did you know 18 to 19 % of the world’s population is underweight (1)? Being underweight is as risky as being obese or overweight (2). Generally, underweight people want to gain muscle mass which will add healthy weight. The science of gaining and losing weight is almost the same that is gaining muscle mass. Let us see in this post some foods for weight gain.
What Does Being too Skinny Mean?
Many people are skinny but it does not always mean they are underweight. Our weight can be comprised of muscle and fat in a different percentage. The fat percentage should be 9 to 19% of your body weight for men and for women, it must be 21 to 24% (3). Many people who have a low-fat percentage but high muscle percentage also look lean.
BMI is the best way to know if you are underweight. BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight. So you need to focus on gaining more muscle mass (lean body mass) when you are underweight. Gaining lean body mass makes you look younger and increases your strength(4).
Risks of Being Underweight
Obesity is considered very risky and is one of the biggest problems in modern society. But you will be surprised to know that being underweight is as bad as being obese(5). Underweight people can have an impaired or low-performance immune system, osteoporosis which leads to fractures and also fertility problems(6)(7).
Being underweight also increases your risks of early death even more than obese people.
20 Foods for Gain Weight
Milk is the best of all the food in the world. It is used as a weight gainer or muscle builder as it is highly rich in calcium. It provides a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats as well as other vitamins and minerals. Milk is highly rich in protein that provides both casein and whey proteins. Even the research shows milk can help you add muscle when combined with weight lifting. You should try drinking around one or two glasses of milk in a day.
Turmeric milk is best for improving immunity and gaining muscle mass.
2. Ghee or Clarified Butter
Ghee is highly rich in protein, sugar, energy, and vitamins which are the best element that helps you gain adequate muscles without putting on much weight. Which means you can get rid of your skinny body without gaining much weight which is quite good. You will be able to recognize the results in about 20 to 30 days.
Read Here: How Ghee Can Help You Lose Weight
Eggs are a great combination of high-quality proteins and healthy fats, which makes is one of the healthiest muscle-building foods on the planet. To get the best result you must eat the whole egg basically the most effective part of the egg is the yolk. You can have 2 to 3 eggs a day to get the better result. Do you know: many athletes and bodybuilders eat six or more daily.
4. Protein Shakes
Drinking protein smoothies are the quick fix kind of highly nutritious intake to gain weight. The homemade shakes are the best as the commercial versions are full of sugar and chemicals to the flavor. They lack nutrients.
140 grams of chicken consist of 143 grams of protein which is a great thing all skinny people should be aware of. if you were to eat 3 pieces of fried chicken every day for each meal and these pieces were breasts and thighs, there is a good chance you would gain weight. It helps add muscles on your body with the high protein contents it involves. Chicken breasts are very high in protein.
Cereals are an excellent source of carbohydrate, nutrients, and calories. Next, to protein, carbohydrate is another essential element which has a great role that helps in gaining weight. The best form to intake cereal is like oatmeal rather than having it processed. While you are out for buying cereals focus more on Oats, Granola, Multigrain, Bran, Ezekiel. Make sure you read the label and avoid cereals with refined grains or added sugar.
Rice is another source of carbohydrate. Do you know: 1 cup (165 grams) of cooked rice provides 190 calories, 43 grams of carbohydrate and very little fat. Moreover, it is calories-dense, i.e. you can easily obtain a high amount of carbohydrates and calories from a single serving. It is beneficial for the people who have a poor appetite or get full quickly, you eat more food when you have rice on your plate.
Potatoes are the richest source of carbohydrates and complex sugars. Underweight people are advised to eat potatoes more as compared to other people. If you are skinny you should keep eating potato chips prepared in healthy oil or sandwiches comprising of potatoes as snacks in between meals. Grilled or baked potatoes are effective towards weight gain. It is one of the easily available foods for weight gain.
Boiled potato is one of the best post workout meal, it gives you energy quickly and restores glycogen stores. This prevents the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol.
9. Whole Grains
This contains high amounts of glucose, which acts as your body’s main source of energy. Whole grains are a healthy source of carbohydrates, which enable the protein to be used for increasing muscle mass rather than energy. You should replace refined grains, such as white flour, with whole grains.
This tasty, high-calorie spread is a good source of carbs, fats, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and copper, and vitamins like vitamin E, niacin, folate, and choline. It is a good alternative to regular butter.
All the dairy products are best for weight gains cheese is one of them. It has been a staple food for centuries which is high in calories and fats. If you eat it in larger quantities, it’s also a very good source of protein.
12. Oily Fish
Oily fish are good sources of protein and important healthy fats. Out of all the nutrients that oily fish provide, omega-3 fatty acids are among the most significant and well known. They offer numerous benefits to your health and fight diseases.
Nuts contain significant amounts of calories in a small serving. Do you know: two handfuls of almonds or around 18 cashew nuts can provide 160 calories, almonds contain alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, which helps in preventing free radical damage after heavy workouts.
Hence, nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds should be consumed.
Full-fat yogurt is another healthy and convenient snack. It has a great nutritional profile, including a well-balanced mix of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. There are numerous snacks and healthy weight-gain recipes based on yogurt.
This fragrant, silky, and tasty dairy product is loaded with saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B12, E, K2, and D, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, omega-3-fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids. Butter contains around 100 calories per tablespoon, and will definitely help in gaining weight. It is one of the tastiest foods that make you gain weight.
Salmon are equally effective as the oily fish rich in omega 3 and highly rich in protein. Do you know: one 6-ounce (170-gram) fillet of salmon provides around 350 calories and 4 grams of omega-3 fats.
Banana is rich in carbohydrates, fats, omega-3-fatty acids, omega-6- fatty acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A and C, folate, dietary fiber, natural sugar, and protein. This fruit is available in all seasons and is one of the best foods to gain weight. It is one of the healthiest and nutrition-dense fruits provided by Mother Nature, which contains around 90 calories.
All the fruits are good but avocado is rich in fat and calories.
Do you know: It contains around 300 calories and 31 grams of fat. Eating an avocado every day can help you to gain 6 lbs in a week. It is one of the healthy foods to gain weight.
Read here: Health Benefits of Avocado
Pomegranate juice is best to raise blood level and make the body strong. The presence of important nutrients, powerful biochemical substances, and anti-inflammatory agents makes it an effective food. It is one of the easily available foods for weight gain.
20. Dark Chocolates
Dark Chocolates are bitter but change your body, the high- quality dark chocolate provides a ton of antioxidants, zinc and health benefits. Most people recommend getting dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70%. Each 100-gram (3.5-ounce) bar has around 600 calories.
Here is an informative video on foods to gain weight.
Credits: Columbia University Department of Surgery
Exercises to Gain Weight
Exercising helps to gain muscle mass(8). Here is a list of exercises that will help you build muscle. Make sure you do these exercises under the supervision of a professional trainer. Do not forget your sports drink!
- Twisting Crunches
- Leg Press
- Leg Extension
- Arm Curls
- Leg Curls
- Triceps Push Down
- Ab Roller
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Side Lateral Raise
- Dumbbell Lunges
Developing your lean muscles as opposed to fat deposits not only makes you stronger but also adds mass. This is definitely the right mix to gain weight.
Yoga Asanas for Gaining Weight
Yoga can help you kill the root of many conditions such as stress, poor metabolism, and lack of stamina. It helps to find a solution, and thereby, helps you to gain weight(9). It often increases the practitioner’s appetite.
Some Yoga asanas for weight gain are
- Supt baddh konasana
Tips to Gain Weight
Apart from food, exercise, and yoga, a healthy lifestyle is also very important to maintain a healthy weight. Let us have a look at some simple tips which will help you gain weight.
1. Balance Cardio Exercises with Strength Training
Strength exercises help in muscle gaining and cardio helps to improve stamina. Both are equally important for gaining weight. Underweight people should make sure to eat optimum calories (healthy food) to gain weight. It is very important to check how many calories you burn so that you can eat slightly more.
2. Take Proper Rest
Sleep is very essential for a person’s health and well-being. It is important for a person to take a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day to stay fit and fine. Deep uninterrupted sleep gives us much needed energy and repairs the wear and tear that our body undergoes due to exercise(10).
3. Eat Regularly in Short Intervals
Try to have six meals a day – three big meals and three small. Breakfast and lunch should be heavy and nutrient-rich. Eating at regular intervals helps to improve insulin sensitivity which helps in nutrition absorption(11). Frequently eating every three to four hours helps maintain consistent energy levels in your body as the meal portions are not big, so there is no fat gain
A healthy diet chart for gaining weight must contain all the food groups. Including all food groups, provide us necessary macro and micronutrients. Have a look at below diet chart which includes what you really needs to gain weight.
Breakfast- 1 Glass milk, 1-2 boiled egg, oats/ cornflakes.
After 10 am- Protein shake, fruit salad with yogurt.
Lunch- 1 cup rice, fish/ meat, pulses.
Evening snack- Peanuts/grams seeds, any fruit.
Dinner- Baked fish/chicken, green salad, with Rice.
Science Behind How to Gain Weight
The science behind how to gain weight is not as simple as it sounds. You cannot just add more and more butter or meat in your dinner and look for flesh on your body the very next morning.
To get an appropriate body mass healthy food, proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle is the best way. Consumption of junk food which is high in trans fat increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, constipation, PCOD, infertility, etc(12).
Food is the source of appropriate nutrition, exercise helps in the proper assimilation of food, improving blood circulation and a healthy lifestyle is essential to maintain it.