Healthy Foods for Gain Weight Fast. So much nutrition and diet advice is aimed at losing weight, but if you’re too thin, you may be at a loss on how to gain weight.
Instead of trying to gorge yourself with masses of sweet, rich, or fatty foods, choose high-calorie foods that provide energy and build muscle mass without all of the unhealthy fats that can cause you harm.
Healthy Foods for Gain Weight Fast
To get your weight gain strategy started, here are 20 nutritious, high-calorie (but still healthy) foods to add to your list:
Milk has been used as a weight gainer or muscle builder for decades. It provides a good balance of proteins, carbs, and fats and is a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
For those trying to add more muscle, milk is an excellent protein source that provides both casein and whey proteins. Research has even shown it can help you add muscle when combined with weightlifting.
Additionally, studies have found that milk, or whey and casein combined, can lead to greater mass gain than other protein sources.
2. Protein shakes
Protein shakes can help a person to gain weight easily and efficiently. A shake is most effective at helping to build muscle if drunk shortly after a workout.
However, it is important to note that premade shakes often contain extra sugar and other additives that should be avoided. Check labels carefully.
A cup of rice contains about 200 calories, 44 grams of carbs, and very little fat. and it is also a good source of carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain. Many people find it easy to incorporate rice into meals containing proteins and vegetables.
Rice is also fairly calorie-dense, meaning you can easily obtain a high amount of carbs and calories from a single serving. This helps you eat more food, especially if you have a poor appetite or get full quickly.
4. Red meat
Consuming red meat has been shown to help with building muscle and gaining weight. Steak contains both leucine and creatine, nutrients that play a significant role in boosting muscle mass.
Steak and other red meats contain both protein and fat, which promote weight gain. One study found that adding lean red meat to the diets of 100 women aged 60–90 helped them to gain weight.
5. Nuts and nut butter
Nuts and nut butters are perfect choices if you’re looking to gain weight. Just one small handful of raw almonds contains 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of healthy fats.
Since nuts are very calorie-dense, just two handfuls per day with a meal or as a snack can quickly add hundreds of calories.
6. Whole-grain breads
Whole grain breads can be effective in gaining weight, especially when combined with a good protein source. You can make some very simple, high calorie, and well-balanced meals by combining bread with protein sources such as eggs, meat, and cheese.
7. Potatoes and starches
Potatoes and other starchy foods are a very easy and cost-effective way to add in extra calories. Not only do potatoes and other starches add carbs and calories to help you gain weight, they also increase your muscle glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the predominant fuel source for most sports and activities.
8. Protein supplements
Athletes looking to gain weight often use protein supplements to boost muscle mass, in combination with resistance training.
Protein supplements are available for purchase online. They may be an inexpensive way to consume more calories and gain weight.
9. Salmon and oily fish
Like red meat, salmon and oily fish are excellent sources of protein and important healthy fats.
Out of all the nutrients that salmon and oily fish provide, omega-3 fatty acids are among the most significant and well known. They offer numerous benefits for your health and help fight diseases.
Just one 6-ounce fillet of deboned wild sockeye salmon provides around 250 calories and 12 grams of healthy fats. The same serving packs 37 grams of high quality protein, helping you build muscle or gain weight.
10. Dried fruits
Dried fruit is packed with calories, healthy fiber, and antioxidants. With one-quarter cup of dried cranberries containing around 130 calories.
It’s an easy way to add nutrients and calories to your diet. Many people prefer dried pineapple, cherries, or apples. Dried fruit is widely available online, or a person can dry fresh fruit at home.
Avocados are rich in calories and fat, as well as some vitamins and minerals. Unlike other whole fruits, avocados are fairly calorie-dense and therefore a great food to help you gain weight.
Just one large avocado provides around 322 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 14 grams of fiber. Avocados are also high in vitamins, minerals, and various beneficial plant compounds.
12. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a high fat, high-calorie food. It also contains antioxidants. A person looking to gain weight should select chocolate that has a cacao content of at least 70 percent.
Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao is said to help regulate stress hormones and blood sugar levels. It may also help reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, inflammation, stress, and type 2 diabetes.
Like other high fat foods, dark chocolate has a very high calorie density, meaning it’s very easy to get many calories from it.
13. Cereal bars
Some of the healthier cereal bars on the market can be a great high calorie snack when you’re on the go. Most bars average between 150–200 calories.
They’re also a good choice before or after a training session since they tend to contain a mix of slow- and fast-digesting carbs.
14. Healthy cereals
Healthy cereals can be an excellent source of carbs, calories, and nutrients. While you should avoid processed, high sugar cereals, healthier forms, such as oatmeal cooked with whole milk, can be a great carb source to add to your diet.
You will get about 130 calories from a 1 cup serving of cooked oatmeal, plus the calories in any whole milk or toppings you add. Grain-based cereals and oats also contain beneficial nutrients such as fiber and healthy antioxidants.
Granola is a calorie-dense mixture of cereals, dried fruits, and nuts. It’s rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. Just one-half cup of granola can supply between 200–300 calories.
15. Whole eggs
Eggs are one of the healthiest muscle-building foods on the planet. They provide a great combination of high quality proteins and healthy fats. Each large raw egg weighing 2 ounces, with shell (50 grams), has about 74 calories.
It’s also very important to eat the whole egg. In fact, almost all of the beneficial nutrients in eggs are found in the yolk. As long as you don’t have an intolerance to eggs, there’s no need to limit your egg consumption, you can easily eat three eggs per day if you want.
16. Healthy fats and oils
It’s important to include healthy fats and oils in your diet, particularly if you’re trying to gain weight. Healthy fats and oils are some of the most calorie-dense foods on the planet.
Simply adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil of oil to sauces, salads, and during cooking can quickly add 120 calories. Healthy oils include, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
Cheese is a very good source of protein and rich in healthy fats. Like dark chocolate, it’s high in calories and fats. Just 1 ounce of cheddar cheese has 110 calories and 7 grams of protein.
Since cheese is tasty, you can incorporate it into most dishes and easily add several hundred extra calories.
18. Full fat yogurt
Full fat Greek yogurt is another healthy and convenient snack. It has a great nutritional profile, including a well-balanced mix of protein, carbs, and fat.
Each 6-ounce serving of plain, whole milk yogurt will give you 165 calories and 15 grams of protein, and that’s before you add all your delicious combos and toppings.
Pasta can provide a calorically dense and carbohydrate-rich path to healthy weight gain. Avoid bleached pastas, and opt for those made with whole grains.
Quinoa is high in fiber and high-quality protein. It contains more protein than any other grain while also packing in iron and potassium. Quinoa has 222 calories per serving, making it a suitable food for weight gain, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat too.