An individual with a BMI (body mass index) of less than 18.5 is considered underweight as per standards set by the World Health Organisation. There are an array of medical conditions that can cause weight loss, the most common being, cancer, diabetes, infections, thyroid problems, eating disorders and more. Before going on a fixed diet to gain weight it is important to consult your physician. Only after identifying a plausible reason for your weight loss can you begin consuming foods to increase your weight. In most cases, physicians themselves would redirect you to a nutritionist who would prescribe a weight gain diet, keeping in mind your weight gain diet. If you’re looking to put on the kilos in a healthy way at home, here’s a curated list of foods you can add to your diet daily.
Weight gain diet – Healthy fats
Rich in calories, healthy oils and fats like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are good options to add to your weight gain diet. Adding a tablespoon of oil to your everyday meals can add approximately 135 calories!
Tip: Whip up a healthy stir fry using avocado oil or drizzle olive oil on your salads.
Weight gain diet – Dark chocolate
Not only does dark chocolate help you gain weight but it also provides a healthy dose of antioxidants, fiber and nutrients. A 100 gm bar of chocolate has around 550 calories. Dark chocolate is also known to stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin which promotes feelings of happiness and pleasure.
Tip: Pop a bit of chocolate when you have your period to uplift your mood.
Cheese for Weight gain
A fabulous source of protein and healthy fats, cheese is a great option to add to your weight gain diet as it gives a punch of flavour to food too. Cheese contains around 110 calories per ounce and approximately 8 grams of protein.
Tip: Sprinkle cheese shavings on whole wheat bread and oven-bake for a healthy snack.
Avocados in your daily diet
High in minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and calories, a single largely-sized avocado has around 320 calories, 17 grams of fiber and around 30 grams of fats. Avocado smoothies are a delicious and healthy snack you can plug into your healthy weight gain diet. Avocado on whole-wheat toast with shavings of feta cheese is another fantastically delicious option to include in your daily diet.
Tip: Add banana and milk to an avocado pulp. Blend together for a delicious smoothie.
Cereal snack bars
Cereal snack bars like oats, granola, bran and multigrain have a high carb content and a low sugar content, making them a healthy option to weight gain quickly. Avoid consuming cereal snack bars that have refined grain or added sugar.
Tip: Make your own granola bars by whipping together cereal, chocolate chips, etc. Bind together with honey, freeze and store.
Salmon is a fantastic food
Packed with healthy fats and protein, salmon is a fantastic food to consume if you’re looking to put on the kilos. Gain weight the healthy way with this food that is rich in mega-3 fatty acids that boosts health and keeps an array of diseases at bay. A 6-ounce fillet of salmon provides around 350 calories and 4 grams of omega-3 fats.
Tip: Pair salmon with a glass of red wine; it enhances the flavour and is good for your heart health.
Source of protein – Red Meat
Ever wondered why bodybuilders consume red meat? A fabulous source of protein, red meats are known to increase muscle mass. Indulge in leaner cuts of red meat to keep it healthy while putting on the kilos.
Tip: Pair it with mashed potatoes for a delicious yet healthy meal that helps you put on weight.
Weight gaining food – Potatoes
This starchy vegetable is not only delicious but is an excellent weight gaining food item that you can add to your diet. This versatile root can be consumed in a number of ways. Potato salads, soups, mashed potatoes and healthy potato-based bakes are great options.
Tip: Oven-baked potato chips and fries are delicious snacks you can opt for!
Blend of vitamins – Milk
A blend of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins, milk is a well-known beverage that aids in weight gain. A daily intake of milk is recommended for those trying to widen their waistline (in a healthy way)! You can add protein shake powder for added flavour and an extra dose of protein.
Tip: Add milk to your fruit smoothies!
Whole grain bread
Fresh whole grain bread is a powerhouse of fiber and contains around 250 calories per 100 grams. It is a healthy option to add to your diet if consumed in the limit. Bread and butter is a simple and effective snack to gain weight you can nibble on if you’re looking to put on weight.
Tip: The fresher the better! Try to bake your bread at home as it is far healthier.
Weight gain diet – FAQs
Can you gain weight with exercises? If yes please suggest few?
Exercising regularly not only helps one lose weight but is also a healthy way to bulk up. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats and lunges are a few exercises that can be done at home easily without equipment. It’s best to consult a professional trainer to know what works best for your body type. Pairing a healthy workout session with a protein-rich diet is a healthy way of upping your BMI.
Would you recommend artificial protein powders?
While nutritionists around the world would agree that it’s best to put on weight organically through a weight gain diet, there are no harmful side effects of consuming protein powders. You can talk to a diet planner or nutritionist to know which one would suit your needs best.
Can a pure vegetarian weight gain diet help me put on the pounds?
Yes, consuming well proportioned vegetarian meals that include foods like bananas, milkshakes, soya and the rest of the veg foods above, can help you put on weight. While consuming meats can accelerate the process, a pure vegetarian diet can also help you gain weight.