If you’re looking for healthy foods to help gain weight, you’ve come to the right place. When someone loses weight for no apparent reason, a complete medical review is necessary to determine the cause and eliminate other reasons for weight loss. The most commonplace causes of weight loss are digestive disorders, febrile disease, intestinal parasites, excess physical activity or out of proportion to the amount of food taken in, and hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism.
Therefore, you must eat plenty of the right foods to help gain weight. The foods that help you gain weight must meet three requisites:
- It must provide sufficient calories in the form of carbohydrates. This way, the body can utilize dietary proteins to synthesize new proteins. If there are not enough calories in the diet, the body uses proteins for energy and not for body tissue.
- It must provide an adequate supply of B group vitamins, essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates, converting them to energy.
- It must maintain the correct proportion of calories from three energy nutrients: carbohydrates (60%), fats (30%), and proteins (10%).
Concentrated foods with B vitamins should take in as many calories as possible.
List of Foods to Help Gain Weight
1. ALFALFA: Alfalfa sprouts are among the best foods to help gain weight because they’re rich in minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. The enzymes facilitate digestion and assimilation of energy nutrients (carbohydrates and fats) consumed with foods.
2. WHOLE GRAINS: These are an excellent source of hydrocarbons, proteins, and vitamins that facilitate their assimilation. They also provide fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals. Liberal use of whole grains aids in weight gain.
3. OATS: Oats belong to every weight gain meal plan for underweight people. This grain yields the highest energy output and is one of the easiest to digest and assimilate because of its mucilage content, which soothes the digestive tract. It may be used liberally without the risk of indigestion or digestive intolerance. Oatmeal with milk and honey is an excellent breakfast for those wishing to find the right foods to help them gain weight.
4. WHEAT: Wheat is an excellent source of energy, starch, proteins, and B-group vitamins; whole-wheat flour and cereal should be essential in any weight gain meal plan for underweight individuals.
5. LEGUMES: Legumes are a must on any list of high-calorie foods to gain weight because they’re a prime source of proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. They are concentrated foods whose abundant use contributes to nitrogen retention, which helps synthesize new proteins, adding to body mass.
6. CHESTNUT: Chestnuts are one of the most decadent foods in carbohydrates, starch, and cellulose. They also supply proteins, minerals, and B-group vitamins. Grab a handful of chestnuts instead of unhealthy, high-calorie snacks. They provide almost three times the calories as potatoes. Because of their high energy content, they increase nitrogen retention and the synthesis of new proteins, which helps with weight gain.
Figs are an Excellent Weight Gaining Food
7. POTATO: Potatoes supply high-quality proteins and quickly digested carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to tissue formation and weight gain.
8. SUNFLOWER SEEDS: This food contains a wide variety of essential nutrients (polyunsaturated fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals) in high concentrations. Those with added salt are not recommended because of the excess sodium they contain. They must be chewed slowly as well.
9. FENUGREEK: Fenugreek seed flour is rich in proteins, making it an excellent addition to any weight gain foods list. The flour contains easily assimilated hydrocarbons. It also contains iron and other minerals. This food is very nutritious and easy to digest and assimilate.
10. FIG: The fig is not only nourishing, but it is also one of the best fruits for weight gain. It is a high-energy food that is a good source of rapidly assimilated simple sugars. The body converts these sugars to energy utilizing the vitamins B1, B2, and B6 the fig contains. It contains minerals (mainly potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron) and trace elements. Fig contributes to building the body’s proteins and tissue formation.
11. PEACH PALM: This is the fruit of a palm found in tropical America. Peach palms contain carbohydrates in the form of starch, which makes them energy-producing and nutritious. You can eat it raw, cooked, or roasted.
12. BREADFRUIT: This tropical fruit is rich in starch, nutritious, and a good energy source. Eaten liberally with beans or vegetables, it promotes weight gain
Frequently Asked Question
How much of a calorie surplus should I aim for?
Your specific requirements and objectives will determine this. Generally, a surplus of 300–500 calories over your maintenance level is a healthy and sustainable way to gain weight. This excess is equivalent to around 0.5–1 pound each week. However, athletes or individuals with very high metabolisms might require more. Have a conversation with a certified nutritionist to figure out what your individual goal should be.
Are there specific protein goals I should strive for?
Yes! Protein is crucial for building muscle mass, a key component of healthy weight gain. If you want to maintain a healthy body weight, it is advised that you consume 0.8 and 1 gram of protein for each and every pound of your average body weight. Consider high-quality sources, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, lentils, and dairy products.
What about healthy fats? Are they essential for weight gain?
Absolutely! Healthy fats provide essential nutrients and contribute to satiety, helping you eat more without feeling overly full. Include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish.
Should I focus on specific carbohydrates for weight gain?
Complex carbohydrates are your friends! Brown rice, quinoa, oats, and bread made with whole wheat are all examples of foods that contain whole grains. Choose meals that contain these grains. They provide sustained energy, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Include some simple carbs like fruits and starchy vegetables for variety and quick energy bursts.
Are there any foods I should avoid while trying to gain weight?
It’s less about avoidance and more about mindful choices. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive saturated and trans fats. These offer empty calories and hinder nutrient intake. You should prioritize complete and unprocessed foods for the best health and weight gain.
What about supplements? Can they help?
While a healthy diet should provide most of your nutritional needs, certain supplements might be beneficial. Consider protein powder for convenience, creatine for supporting muscle growth (under guidance), and healthy fats like fish oil if dietary intake falls short. Before commencing the use of any health supplements, it is important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
How important is exercise for healthy weight gain?
Exercise plays a vital role! Strength training stimulates muscle growth, while moderate cardio helps maintain overall fitness and cardiovascular health. Get at least two to three weight training sessions and one hundred fifty minutes of cardio at a moderate weekly level.
Is there a specific meal frequency I should follow?
The ideal meal frequency varies based on individual preferences and digestion. Experiment with eating 3-5 meals and snacks throughout the day to find what works best. Prioritize regular eating to keep your metabolism active and prevent energy slumps.
Are there any potential challenges I should be aware of?
Tracking progress can be motivating, but avoid obsessing over numbers. Focus on healthy habits and sustainable practices. Digestive issues may arise with increased food intake, so adjust your diet gradually and listen to your body. Finally, remember that gaining weight takes time and consistency. Be patient and celebrate your progress!
Where can I find more personalized guidance?
Consulting a registered dietitian or licensed nutritionist is highly recommended. They can evaluate your specific requirements, devise a customized strategy, and offer continuous assistance throughout your journey to accomplish weight gain.
DISCLAIMER: All content on this website is presented solely for educational and informational objectives. You should not rely on the information provided as a replacement for advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical expert. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any preexisting medical concerns, you should talk to your doctor before using any herbal or natural medicines.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 284. Print. [foods to help gain weight]
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- National Institutes of Health: “Understanding Adult Overweight and Obesity” (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/obesity)
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