NUTRITION

Best Foods to Gain Weight Quickly  

Avoid foods with empty calories to gain weight quickly 

Eat foods like milk, yogurt, dates and avocados to put on weight healthily 

Supplement your diet with strength training to gain weight quicker 

D
Dr. Nishu Saini
June 8th, 2021
8 mins read

For a lot of people gaining weight is a priority as it affects their appearance. But in a hurry to gain weight, don’t eat just about anything you can lay your hands on. In other words, don’t replace your usual meals with an assortment of chocolates, candy, sodas and cakes. These do pack in the calories, but they have no nutritional value. When you’re on a mission to put on weight, foods rich in added sugar may seem harmless, but they aren’t. They trigger the production of inflammatory proteins that compromise your immune system and make you susceptible to illnesses. So, what should you do instead? Read on to find out.

The right way of gaining weight

Follow a healthy diet plan for weight gain. Eat small meals throughout the day, opt for lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Replace soda with nutritious beverages and add calories through healthier foods such as eggs and cheese.

Additionally, sleep well, as this is when your body builds muscle, and avoid drinking water before meals as it prevents optimal calorie absorption. Most importantly, exercise right. Avoid cardio exercises as they will burn the calories that you’re working hard to add to your diet. Instead, focus on strength training to develop muscle. Above all, put on weight for all the right reasons.

When should you try to increase your weight?

Increase your weight if you are underweight, as a low body weight can result in the following.

  • Malnutrition
  • Anaemia
  • Poor immunity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fertility issues
  • Fatigue
  • Premature birth (if you are pregnant and underweight)
  • Hair loss
  • Skin conditions
  • Poor dental health

To avoid these problems, assess whether or not you’re underweight by calculating your BMI. If it’s lesser than 18.5, you’re definitely underweight. Remedy this by building a diet that comprises foods to gain weight.

Additional Read: Anemia: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Best foods to gain weight

Add the following foods to your weight gain diet to put on weight quickly, yet safely.

Milk

Apart from being rich in calcium and other minerals, milk is also an excellent source of protein. In fact, research suggests that drinking milk after a resistance training workout helps build muscle more effectively than drinking soy milk. You can drink milk by itself, along with meals, or use it as a base for beverages.

Nuts

Nuts are extremely calorie-dense, nutritious foods, making them ideal for a weight gain diet. You can snack on nuts or add nut butters and pastes to curries and smoothies. Optionally, combine them with fruits and dairy to make a weight gain smoothie.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Both of these starchy vegetables are excellent foods to gain weight. Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and calories, while sweet potatoes offer starch as well as fibre and other essential nutrients.

Avocados

Avocados are a superior source of healthy fats, and a large avocado has over 300 calories. Additionally, avocados are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, making them an all-rounder as far as foods to gain weight are concerned.

Additional Read: 6 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat Avocado!

Dates

Dates are extremely calorie dense and also contain fibre and antioxidants. This makes them a valuable component of any weight gain diet. Just two Medjool dates have 130 calories. You can combine them with nuts for a snack, or use them to sweeten and boost the calorie count of smoothies and healthy desserts.

Eggs

Eggs are a must-have in any healthy diet plan for weight gain as they offer the perfect balance of protein and fat. You can eat them however you wish to, as long as you eat the entire egg and not just the whites.

Additional Read: Important Egg Nutrition Facts that will Change Your Mind!

Yogurt

Full-fat yogurt is a great food to eat when you’re looking to gain weight. It has protein, fat and calcium. If possible, opt for Greek yogurt as it has double the protein, but avoid artificially flavoured and sweetened options.

Cheese

Cheese packs in calories as well as proteins, so add it to your weight gain diet. While you can eat more cheese than the average person, don’t go overboard as cheese can also be high in saturated fats.

best foods to gain weight

Weight gain diet chart

If you’re looking for a weight gain diet plan that will help you get started on the right foot, consider the following table.

Sample weight gain vegetarian diet chart

Type of meal Foods to gain weight
Breakfast
  • 1 bowl Greek/plain yogurt along with 1 banana and 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 glass of milk, 5–10 soaked almonds and 2 bananas
  • 4–6 slices of whole wheat bread with 2 eggs
  • 2 vegetable stuffed parathas with white butter and 1 bowl of yogurt
  • 3 whole eggs, grilled vegetables and a nut and fruit smoothie

 

Lunch and dinner
  • moong dal chillas stuffed with paneer/cheese
  • 2 small bowls of rice, 1 small bowl of egg/paneer curry, 1 small bowl of vegetables and 1 bowl of mixed vegetable salad
  • 2 medium-sized pieces of chicken/fish, 2 chapatis with ghee, 1 bowl of dal, 1 small bowl of rice and 1 bowl of vegetable raita
  • 2–4 medium-sized pieces of chicken/fish, 1 baked potato, 1 plate of mixed vegetable salad, 2 pieces of whole wheat garlic bread
  • 2 small bowls of biryani (egg/chicken), 1 bowl of vegetables, 1 bowl of chicken/vegetable soup and 1 small bowl of sprouts salad

 

Snacks
  • 1 glass of lassi and 1 plate of fresh fruits
  • 1 boiled egg and cheese sandwich with 1 glass of milk
  • 1 big bowl of salad with 2 boiled potatoes
  • 1 handful of nuts with 2 dates
  • 1 bowl of yogurt and 1 bowl of fresh fruits

 

Dessert
  • 2 dates filled with nut butter/ cream cheese
  • 2 pieces of dried fruit or peanut chikki
  • 1 bowl of yogurt with dates and nuts

 

Beverages
  • Plain milk
  • Yogurt and milk based smoothies
  • Milk with protein powder
  • Fruit juices
  • Lassi/buttermilk

 

Additional Read: Guide to create a healthy diet plan

Do note that this is an indicative weight gain diet plan. For best results, consult a nutritionist who will make a tailored diet chart for you in line with your daily activities, metabolism, BMI, dietary preferences and allergies. To find the right nutritionist use Bajaj Finserv Health. Here you can find nutritionists in your locality and view their experience, fees and more before booking an e-consult or in-person appointment.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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