20 Proper Foods For Weight Gain
Achieving weight gain involves consuming a balanced diet rich in calorie-dense foods that promote muscle growth and overall health. Incorporating high-protein foods with healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will support weight gain while providing essential nutrients.
Properly selecting food for weight gain involves strategic choices to increase calorie intake while maintaining balanced nutrition. Here are 20 of these calorie-dense meals and snacks to support weight gain goals.
1. Avocado Toast with Eggs
Being a popular breakfast dish, Avacado Toast with Eggs is one of the foods that help weight gain, featuring mashed avocado spread on toasted bread, topped with cooked eggs. To further boost its nutritional profile, add a sprinkle of seeds, such as chia or flaxseeds to the mixture of whole-grain bread, ripe avocado, and poached, fried, or scrambled eggs.
This combination offers a balance of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs, delivering approximately 250-350 calories in about 100 grams of serving (1-2 eggs and 1 portion of brown bread).
2. Banana Nut Smoothie
A Banana Nut Smoothie is a delicious blend of bananas, nuts, and other ingredients designed to be a calorie-dense option for healthy weight gain. To prepare a weight-gain-focused version, blend a ripe banana, a handful of nuts (such as almonds or walnuts), Greek yogurt, and a splash of whole milk. You can also add honey or maple syrup for sweetness and oats for extra calories and fiber.
This combination offers a balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. The smoothie's calorie content depends on the specific quantities used, but a 100-gram serving can provide approximately 150-200 calories.
3. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butter, such as almonds, walnuts, and peanut butter, are calorie-dense sources of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients. Consuming them aids in gaining healthy weight by providing a concentrated dose of energy.
Additionally, the combination of fats, protein, and fiber helps maintain satiety and overall nutritional balance. On average, a 100-gram serving of mixed nuts contains around 600-700 calories, making them an excellent and convenient option for those looking to add nutritious, calorie-rich foods to their diet.
4. Lentil Soup With Whole-Wheat Bread
Lentil soup with whole-wheat bread is a protein-packed, high-fiber duo perfect for healthy weight gain. Use brown lentils for more fiber and cook them with vegetable broth for added sodium. Add nutrient-dense ingredients like chopped vegetables, spices, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Opting for whole-wheat bread, a type of bread, over white for complex carbs and essential nutrients further boosts the properties of these food weight gainers, packing around 200 calories per serving (100g soup + 2 slices bread).
5. Whole Eggs
Being one of the best and most common foods that help with weight gain, whole eggs balance protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, boasting high nutrient density. Additionally, egg benefits are also unmatched.
Comprised of both whites and yolks, these eggs are a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair. A 100-gram serving of whole eggs typically provides around 155 calories, making them a calorie-dense option to support weight gain goals.
6. Salmon and Quinoa Bowl
A Salmon and Quinoa Bowl is a nutritious dish combining protein-rich salmon, fiber-filled quinoa, and various toppings for a delicious and weight-gain-friendly meal. Packing around 350-450 calories per 100 grams, this food that helps to gain weight can be customized to boost your calorie intake and support healthy weight gain.
Firstly, increase portion sizes and incorporate healthy fats like olive oil in the diet. Then, prepare quinoa with broth for added flavor and toss it with a mix of colorful vegetables.
7. Greek Yogurt Parfait
A Greek yogurt parfait is a layered dessert or breakfast featuring protein-rich Greek yogurt, crunchy granola, and fresh fruit. Being a food that helps with weight gain, opting for a full-fat Greek yogurt with calorie-dense ingredients like nuts or seeds further enhances its core benefits.
Offering a blend of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, this wholesome parfait contributes around 150-200 calories per 100 grams of serving, supporting healthy weight gain deliciously and conveniently.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, nutrient-dense root vegetables, are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them one the best weight gainer foods. Prepare them by baking or roasting with olive oil for added healthy fats. This enhances calorie content and preserves their nutritional value.
In about a 100-gram serving of baked sweet potatoes you can get around 86 calories, offering a substantial energy source. Incorporating sweet potatoes into meals supports weight gain by delivering essential nutrients and promoting a calorie surplus.
9. Oatmeal With Whole Milk
Oatmeal with whole milk is a calorically dense and nutrient-rich breakfast option, making it an ideal food that helps you gain weight. For optimum benefit, combine oats with whole milk in a ratio of 1:1 and cook on the stove until creamy.
You can then customize it with toppings like nuts, dried fruits, and a drizzle of honey for around 100-150 calories in just a 100-gram serving. This wholesome blend offers a balance of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein, making it a nourishing choice to support weight gain.
10. Red Meats
Red meat, like beef, lamb, and pork, is rich in protein (around 25g per 100g), making it a valuable tool for healthy weight gain. It can be prepared in calorie-dense ways like grilling, pan-searing, or slow-cooking with added fats.
These methods enhance flavor and increase caloric content. A 100-gram serving of cooked beef, for example, can provide approximately 250 calories, along with essential proteins and fats. Incorporating red meats into meals, paired with nutrient-rich sides, helps increase overall calorie intake, supporting weight gain goals.
11. Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are a cut of meat from the upper leg of the chicken, known for their tender and flavorful characteristics due to their slightly higher fat content compared to chicken breast. Consider cooking methods that retain moisture and add extra calories to prepare these gain-weight foods for optimum benefit.
The method includes pan-searing, roasting with olive oil, or grilling with a marinade. A 100-gram serving of roasted chicken thighs with skin provides approximately 219-277 calories, making it a calorie-dense option for those looking to gain weight.
12. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate, derived from cocoa beans, contains flavonoids and antioxidants. It can contribute to healthy weight gain when consumed in moderation due to its calorie density and potential appetite stimulation.
In general, a 100-gram serving provides around 500-600 calories, offering a mix of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and a modest amount of protein. The cocoa content in dark chocolate may also help reduce stress. To incorporate it into a weight gain plan, enjoy small portions as a snack or dessert.
13. Tuna Salad
While Tuna itself boasts high protein, promoting weight loss, Tuna salad can aid weight gain when prepared with calorie-dense ingredients like mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or avocado, chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced vegetables, and a drizzle of olive oil. Incorporating chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits can further boost your protein and calories intake.
While the quantity of the ingredients used varies per individual preferences and dietary needs, a 100-gram serving of this protein-packed salad can deliver around 150-250 calories.
14. Whole-Grain Pasta
Whole-grain pasta is a type of pasta made from flour that includes the entire grain kernel. This means it retains more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients compared to refined pasta. To enhance weight gain, prepare it with protein-rich ingredients like grilled chicken, sautéed vegetables, and olive oil.
Adding cheese or creamy sauces made with ingredients like Greek yogurt can further increase the calorie content. A 100-gram serving typically provides around 350 calories, offering complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and fiber for digestive health.
15. White Rice
White rice is a weight-gainer food made from polished rice grains, where the outer husk, bran, and germ have been removed. To enhance its caloric content incorporate it with healthy fats and proteins, for instance, stir in olive oil or butter during cooking and pair it with grilled chicken or beans.
Typically, a 100-gram serving of cooked white rice provides around 130 calories. The high carbohydrate content of white rice serves as an excellent energy source, while the added fats and proteins contribute to increased calorie density.
Granola is a nutrient-dense cereal made from a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, baked until it forms crunchy clusters. Its diverse ingredients provide a balanced blend of macronutrients, including healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins.
Granola contributes to healthy weight gain due to its calorie density, offering around 400 to 500 calories per 100-gram serving. Moreover, to maximize the benefits, pair granola with whole milk, or yogurt, or incorporate it into smoothie bowls.
17. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are fruits from which the majority of water content has been removed, resulting in a condensed, flavorful snack rich in natural sugars. Their contribution to healthy weight gain lies in their high caloric density, providing around 350-400 calories per 100 grams.
Furthermore, the natural sugars, including fructose and glucose, serve as quick energy sources, while the fiber aids digestion and helps maintain a feeling of fullness. Hence, incorporating a variety of dried fruits such as apricots and raisins into a balanced diet can enhance overall caloric intake.
18. Turkey Cheese Wrap
A Turkey Cheese Wrap is a delicious and nutritious meal comprising whole wheat wrap filled with turkey slices, cheese, and optional veggies that can provide around 120-170 calories per 100 grams of serving.
Start with a whole wheat wrap and layer it with lean turkey slices, which provide high-quality protein, and add a generous portion of cheese for additional calories and a rich source of protein. You can also include fresh lettuce or spinach for added vitamins and minerals. Opt for a spread of mayonnaise or avocado to increase the overall calorie content.
19. Macaroni And Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese is a classic dish featuring cooked macaroni pasta combined with a creamy cheese sauce. To enhance its weight-gain potential, incorporate nutrient-dense ingredients like whole-grain macaroni for added fiber and complex carbs and cheddar cheese for additional protein.
You can further increase its calorie density by including whole milk or cream. Depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes, a 100-gram serving typically provides around 165 calories. This indulgent yet customizable dish can support weight gain by offering a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
20. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is a nutritious and versatile dish that can support weight gain when prepared with calorie-dense ingredients like any type of milk including whole milk or high-calorie plant-based milk, such as coconut or almond milk.
Furthermore, you can add natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup for flavor and incorporate calorie-rich toppings such as chopped nuts, sliced bananas, or dried fruits into the pudding for extra fat and protein. This omega-3 fatty acid-rich pudding can provide approximately 150-200 calories in about 100-gram serving, depending on added ingredients.
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