In a world where it seems like everyone is on a diet to lose weight, it can be difficult to have the opposite problem. However, there are many individuals who struggle to gain weight. There are various reasons for desiring to gain weight, such as eating disorder recovery, muscle building and having a higher than average metabolism. When attempting to gain weight, it’s important to keep health in mind. Although it is very possible to gain weight by eating unhealthy foods, this is not a good way to gain weight. The best way to gain weight is by incorporating healthy, high calorie foods into a balanced diet and eating frequently. Additionally, an exercise regimen to gain muscle can sometimes be included.
The key to gaining weight is taking in more calories than you burn. To figure out your individual calorie needs, use an online calorie calculator to determine how many calories you burn in an average day. One pound equals 3500 calories, so to gain one pound a week you have to eat 3500 extra calories a week or 500 extra calories every day. The easiest way to add calories is by eating high calorie, low volume foods that won’t make you feel over-full.
Low fat dairy is often used in weight loss diets, but higher fat dairy can help with weight gain. Whole milk can be used on cereal, in smoothies, and in cooking. Yogurt, like Fage Classic Greek yogurt, can be an excellent snack. Cheese can be added to salads, sandwiches and pasta. An all-natural ice-cream can also be healthy for someone gaining weight.
Instead of choosing refined white bread, go with a whole grain option like Arnold 100 percent whole wheat bread, which is higher in calories and nutrition. Toast with peanut butter instead of plain butter at breakfast will significantly increase calories. High calorie cereal or oatmeal with whole milk are other foods that work well for breakfast. For lunch, try a sandwich with whole wheat bread. You can also make different pasta dishes using whole wheat pasta and adding olive oil, cheeses and healthy sauces to increase caloric consumption.
Fat is important in any diet, but especially in weight gain diets. It is important to eat the right kinds of fat. Good fats include Omega 3, Omega 6, and other essential fatty acids. You can find these fats in nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, olive oil and fish. Use olive oil in cooking or on salads. Add an egg to toast, Use peanut butter or almond butter in yogurt, smoothies, and oatmeal. Throw a few handfuls of almonds or seeds on a salad, dip apple slices in peanut butter or spread it on crackers. Healthy fat can be very helpful with weight gain because it contains more calories.
Like eggs and olive oil, salmon also contains healthy fat and makes a great side to a salad or pasta dish. Meats like fish and poultry can be cooked in various ways to increase calories as well. Try some of these healthy fish and chicken recipes. Other meats such as pork and beef can be incorporated in moderation.
Fruits and Vegetables
Although most fruits and vegetables are low calorie, they should not be eliminated. These are still healthy foods. Natural fruit juices can be a great way to increase calories. Instead of eating all fresh fruit, try dried fruit, which is much higher in calories. Dried fruit like raisins can also be used in baking. You can even create your own high calorie snack bars with nuts and dried fruit, or you can try a bar like Lara bars, which are all natural and contain only fruit and nuts. Dried fruit can also be added to yogurt, cereal or even salad. For vegetables, concentrate on starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas. By cooking vegetables you can also add other ingredients, such as olive oil to green beans or whole milk to mashed potatoes.
Although it’s not a good idea to load up on sweets to gain weight, some of these foods can be incorporated. Dark chocolate, for example, has antioxidants that are good for you. Chocolate covered strawberries or trail mix with chocolate chips, dried fruit and nuts are both healthy snacks for a weight gainer. Milkshakes, a cookie made with natural ingredients or some other kind of dessert is also fine in moderation.
The best type of exercise to gain weight is weight lifting. This will build muscle. Cardio, running, and aerobics work for weight loss because they burn fat. Weight lifting builds muscle, and can be helpful. If you do lift weights, you must also remember to eat back any calories you burned while exercising. Before beginning a new exercise regimen, you should always speak with your doctor.
The inability to gain weight is a real problem for many people. No matter what the reason is for wanting to gain, it is possible to gain weight in a healthy manner. If you need to gain weight, the first step is to speak with your doctor. You can try modifying your lifestyle and your diet with some of these tips. You can also check out some of these high calorie food ideas.