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A Sample of What to Eat to Gain Weight

Knowing what to eat to gain weight is probably the most influential factor in your level of success, even more so than your training. The sample diet below is an example of what to eat to gain weight. It contains a healthy balance of unrefined, complex carbohydrates, protein and good fat. I haven’t listed the number of calories and amounts of macro nutrients in every food. If you want you can do your own research into any food at the USDA’s nutrient database.

Breakfast – 7am

  • Bowl of porridge
  • 1 serving of Optimum protein powder
  • Handful of raisins

Mid Morning Snack – 10am

Lunch – 1pm

  • 2 whole meal pitta breads
  • 1 chicken breast sliced
  • 1-2 cups mixed salad
  • Low sugar, low fat BBQ sauce

Afternoon Snack – 4pm

Dinner – 6.30pm

  • 2 cups (about 150g) whole wheat pasta
  • 0.5 cans tuna in water
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise or sugar fee tomato sauce
  • 0.5 cups frozen mixed veg or fresh veg such as peppers, onions, celery

Evening Snack – 9.30pm

This sample weight gain diet contains very roughly 2800Kcal and 110g protein (not including the small amounts of protein found in the carbohydrates, fat and vegetables). Of course how many calories you need to gain weight and how much protein, carbohydrate and fat all depends on your weight, activity level, and how much weight you expect to gain.

Most people would want to consume at least 3000 calories a day to reach their goals. Here is a 3000 calorie weight gain diet plan.

One of the best resources I’ve read on what to eat to gain weight and when to eat is this well researched e-book by Vince Del Monte.

Vince is one of the few authors I’ve found who doesn’t stand to profit from recommending particular weight gain products. He doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that you need to eat lots of whole foods and that you shouldn’t rely on supplements as some magic bullet. As such he uses only credible journal articles to draw his conclusions and I was amazed at how so few supplements are backed up by any third party research.

At the moment there is no better resource available on weight gain nutrition for skinny guys. Follow the advice and training program in No-Nonsense Muscle Building Program and you will gain weight.

by David on July 16, 2007 · 43 comments

Filed under Diet & Nutrition,Meal Plans & Recipes

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Fauzan October 20, 2007 at 8:27 pm

I have been skinny all my life, cut but skinny. I want to gain weight and i am useing proptein powder Real Gains Wef with 610 calories per serving. Right now im not doing any forms of exersice. Is this dangeroous to use solely for weight gain. I have heard about reported dangers of doing this. if it is dangerous what is the mimum i shold take every day. Right now i drink 2 servings mixed with banana and milk
Please your responce will be appriciated.
Thank You

nishith shah November 5, 2007 at 5:47 am

I am really very thankful to the creators of this beautiful site.
My gym trainer never told me certain things which I came to know through this site.
Under weight has been my problem since a long time. But after going through this site I have found new confidence and a ray of hope.
I request if some tips for vegetarians could be mentions here as well.
Continue the good through your site.
Thanking you,
Your sincerely
Nishith Shah

ashley padilla December 12, 2007 at 8:53 pm

ive alwaysbeen skinny. i never really cared until i tore my acl & i broke my collar bone recently. My mom told me that i wasnt getting enough protein & calcium & i really need it because i do love to play soccer. So ive decided to change my bad eating habits, but i need help. Im 15 yrs. old & i already dont have a healthy lifestyle. i just need to know what i need in order to gain weight as well as muscle in a healthy way.

isabel December 19, 2007 at 4:16 am

Gaining weight requires discipline and patience, especially if you’re really having a hard time gaining weight. We don’t want to gain “fats” so we have other factors to consider. Food supplements is the first thing that comes out in our mind, but we should always be careful in choosing the right supplements. Because we are not sure about the results it will give us, this site really helps readers about food supplements, and Im sure everybody out there will do the tips here.

Sinead Brennan January 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm


i am a mother of 2 daughters aged 8 and 11 and i have always been very thin i loose weight very quick and normally go down to 7st then from 6 – 9 months later i go to 8st which my target weight is 8st and half st i find this really weird as i have been watching my weight and that is why i know this i would love to get to a healthy weight and stay that way hope you can help as i would appreciate a reply thanks


nicole July 28, 2008 at 6:47 pm

i am 26 years old with no kids. i have always been under 110 lbs and i can’t seem to gain weight. i have tried a couple of weight gain supplements but nothing worked. if anyone has been in my situation and found something that actually works let me know.

Kelly August 7, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I am a recovering anorexic looking for ways to increase caloric intake without adding volume. Any suggestions besides the usual nutritional drinks (Boost, Ensure, etc.)?

toshia January 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm

I have always been thin. 110lbs or even 107lbs. and I hated it so much. I have three kids and with the last one I didnt drp all of the weight (thank heavens) I’m currently 120lbs however I would like to gain 6more lbs, please give me somr grea advice. thanks

BENJAMIN (MALAYSIAN) February 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I’m 26 six years old, and very skinny but some say i am slim. i have a womens cut and they like my body, but i am a man and i want to desperately gain weight and have a good manly shaped body. Today as i was browsing the web, i saw the food tips for gaining weight and its simple to follow and i am glad to know bout this,
thanks to the website owner or to whom it may concern. i am sure by the tips i will be gaining weight and will inform you all my progress.


Jeff Cook April 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I am 44 and in great shape. I am 6,2′ and approx 167 llb. My body fat last measured at 8%. I would like to put on 15 llb. What is your reccomendation for someone my age, it seems my metabolism is vey fast. Any suggestions????

Tosha June 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I am 35 years old. I have four children and I cannot gain weight to save my life. I have tried shakes, nutritional drinks, hulk smoothies, nothing works. I have become very discouraged. What can I do?

norman June 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

hi i’m 29 years of age and weigh a stupid 10 stone. i’m 5’8″ and want to be and be able to get bigger i’m going to the gym starting from this monday and i’m eating this diet. how long will it take to beef me up roughly? thanks and a great site

Lee June 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Norman you should notice a change within 6 months IF you stick to a daily meal plan and workout 3-4 times a week minimum. I would recommend after 6 months going up to 4000 cal a day if you can. The big problem with weight gain diets (other than commitment of the individual) is cost. It can be a very expensive to eat 6+ meals a day. Food bills do add up and over a weekly or monthly period can be quite a large amount. I tend to eat quite boring things but cheap things and ultimately cuts down on cost.

kevin July 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Hey, I’m really skinny and i need muscles and to gain weight, will this help me? and what should i do first? workout and eat or eat and workout?

Tom August 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Hi, just wondering are the cups of pasta cooked or uncooked in the example?

David August 9, 2010 at 5:06 am

@Tom – It refers to cooked pasta.

Lulu September 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

hey! am sure your your samples of what to eat will surely work because my body size really peaces me off. I have been to the Clinic and was given some appetizers but nothing worked out. Am a young lady aged 19years of age but look younger than my age, this has made my feel very uncomfortable. I really need your advice.

looking forward for more of your advice.

josh October 9, 2010 at 5:18 am

hey are potatoes a good carb?

gifty montgomery November 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Need to know if corn bread is healthy!

Lilly December 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’m 22 years old and at 6ft tall weigh 9 and a half stone. I’ve always been skinny, from being a child and it’s something that has really bothered me. We are all quote skinny in my family and I put it down to a fast Metabolism. Recently I plucked up the courage to talk to my gp about finally putting on some weight, he basically told me I was healthy and eating a good diet and that I should be happy to be so slim. I could tell he didn’t understand and was only when I got a bit emotional that he suggested he refer me to a nutritionist (thank god!) so I have my first appointment in a few weeks time. I’m also going to try some of the ideas on this website cos it’s brilliant!!!! If any one has an tips or diet plans that have worked for them, let me know! Really not sure how many calories I should be eating a day to gain the stone and a half I want to gain. Has anyone ever seen a nutritionist by the way? Any experiences? Thanks :)

Kuzi December 30, 2010 at 5:10 am

I’m a 20 yr old female student who started losing weight in 2008 and it’s been like that ever since. I really want to gain weight but i don’t know what to do. I’ve tried not to let it bother me in the hope that my body will do its work naturally, but to no avail. Please help because i don’t know why i’m losing weight. My BMI is alright but i want to gain WEIGHT. What can i do because this drastic weight loss has now started affecting the way i look.I used to have a great body structure now, im skin and bones. Any tips?????
By the way, i’m recovering from hypotention[low blood pressure].

Robbie February 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

This is the worst way to gain weight I’ve ever seen. No skinny person would ever eat that much. Even if you could eat all of that “food”, it’s not healthy. I would suggest to anyone wanting to gain weight with no regard to their long term health to eat that way.

The easiest way to gain weight is to make coconut almond yogurt. Get truly raw almonds, soak them in water for 24 hours, put them in a blender with one tai young coconut (meat and water) and eat 5 cups of that throughout the day. You’ll gain in no time. Add some hemp seeds to your salads or hemp protein to some almond milk to take it over the top.

Lori February 26, 2011 at 12:59 am

I am 38 yrs old and the mother of 5 kids. The only time in my life I have been able to gain weight is when I have been pregnant, I do however lose all the weight in a very short period of time. I am 5′ 3″ and have weighed between 98 and 101 lbs for as long as I can remember. I would like to gain 10 to 15 lbs. I have a very big appetite and eat a lot. I have tried increasing my protein intake, eating before bed, milk shakes etc. I am a very active woman. I attend Systema classes( Russian Marrtial Arts) 4 days a week, I Power Kite and am constantly on the move. Any suggestions of anything I can do to gain some weight would be greatly appreciated.

mick March 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

im 19 n 5ft 9 weigh 140 approx n want to gain 15 to 20 pound within 3- 4 months is this possible??

Indrajit March 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I am 26 yr old. i want to gain weight and my friend have suggested to eat banana, But when i should eat banana in my daily routine? Can i eat banana just before work out. or kindly you suggest any other alternative to gain weight.

Steven March 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

Everyone do this gained half stone in a week this is life changeing Thank you whoever made this site iam in love

Jack March 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

Iam 15 almost 16 iam 5 foot 7 I weigh 7 stone 6 and this has helped me put on weight good site but protein shakes make me feel sick and its hard eating this much and its very exspensive any Help?

somodeep sengupta April 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm

many thanks for the weight gain diet chart. pl want information for pitta bread and how flaxseed oil to be consumed mixed vegetables comprises of which vegetables being an indian need the aforesaid in indian substitute also


sean September 13, 2011 at 12:28 am

Hi I’m a 40 yrs old, i have been playing sport all my life.I’m asking for help in putting on weight,i have always had a skinny body except when i was playing rugby-league 5yrs ago.I was a happy 107kilo front row forward,but then i moved to the city and lost all my weight.Back on the cattle station i was eating meat 5 times a week,now i’m lucky to afford to eat meat(steak)once a week(full time student).I don’t care if i have to spend all my money on a diet plan, if i need to take weight gaining powders, i don’t want to be dependent on it once i get to my preferred weight.thankyou.

nicola October 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi I’m skinny and I don’t like it I would like to know what to eat to put weight on . I’m 22 and I’m 6st .

coco October 29, 2011 at 2:14 am

I’m a child, 10 years old, I’m skinny and really want to know how to put weight on!!!!!
Is this safe for kids to eat or dangerous I’ve always believed that working out makes you Skinnier I was 5st 12 then moved down to 5st 4 and I couldn’t see my ribs when I lifted my arms up but now I can :’( which is really frightening for me!!!!! I’m so scared I’ve just always wanted to be 6st by time I am nearly 11 I’m going to be 11 in February!!!!

Help me please and get me to my goal!!!!!!!!!!

P.s thank you if you give me a reply xxxx

pat November 27, 2011 at 8:35 am

“Vince is one of the few authors I’ve found who doesn’t stand to profit from recommending particular weight gain products. He doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that you need to eat lots of whole foods and that you shouldn’t rely on supplements as some magic bullet. As such he uses only credible journal articles to draw his conclusions and I was amazed at how so few supplements are backed up by any third party research. ”

who doesnt stand to profit? What? i sat through some obnoxious presentation waiting for him to give me the techniques and it turns out i have to buy his book. I dont see how he can claim to be all for the skinny guy yet wants to profit off them.

David November 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

@pat so by your logic, you can’t help people out and make money at the same time? contrary to what you may believe, some people do what they love for work.

pat November 27, 2011 at 8:56 am


You are correct that i shouldnt critisize him. I appreciate his willingness to inform of a different way. I just dont understand why it is stated in this blog that he doesnt stand to profit from it. Perhaps i am too tired of being promised this and that. I should give him a chance i guess.. And yes some people do what they love for work, which should be the norm. Anyways i actually regretted the cynical comment i posted immediately after posting it but thats just another story isnt it now :).

Julie Drummond June 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

Australia lady 4yrs old..38kgs..( 40kgs on a good day ) 5″6
26kgs underweight for over 2oyrs..I feel fine and tried all the shakes/proten pill’s..muti vitiman’s but over being the the ” skinny chick* and just want to be normal :(

Gennessis August 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I followed a similar diet such as this. For us skinny people, we need to eat, and i’m not talking about Mc.D’s 24/7, we need to eat good food with lats of cal’s in order to gain weight. Also exercising contributes. Morning I eat, sausage with a smooth that contains protein powder, brunch a sandwich, Lunch I would eat a good hearty meal like pasta or stake, dinner – whatever comes to mind and a evening snack. To feed our mouths it can become very expensive so watch you budget.

One shake that’s very good i find is the Ensure that says “Weight management” somewhere. it helps you maintain weight while thinking it with a meal. Make sure to drink a lot of water if you tend to drink this daily.

I’ve gained 32 pounds from 122, i’m 5’10 age 27.

Michael February 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

Good day, what tablets and/or formula must I take to gain weight???

Elsie July 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

Good day,

I am 35yrs old and I am under weight and will like to gain weight fast. I see must advise is to go to the gym and I dnt have time to go to the gym as I am a single mum. Most of the time I dont like to eat. I only eat when I feel realy hungry or have company. Is there a suppliment that I can use to gain weight rather then following meal plans?

Your assistance will be appreciated.


Leedah July 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

To Else, I would recommend getting one of the 2 week free trial fitness memberships that have a free kids club/babysitting service. Most L.A. Fitness gyms have these and the trial memberships (print your guest pass from the website first to avoid getting the standard 3 day to 1 week pass or just ask for two weeks to decide if you want it. You will have to go through a 30 minute sales membership presentation to usually get the pass while your at the gym, but atleast you will get the free trial afterwards. This pass will do wonders to giving you a break from the kids while relaxing in gym. (Don’t be pressured into signing up for a membership unless you actually want it lol)

Try to get in a few exercises a day at the gym or at home while the kids are playing or try walking around your neighborhood with the kiddies in a running stroller. The kind with the 3 wheels (one in front and two in back) is great.

Print out the free protein shake recipes from this site (

Make a free meal plan from for the month.

I’m sure you will gain atleast 2-3 pounds a week doing this regimen. By the end of the month you will have packed on about 8-12 pounds in that month. Repeat as needed to gain the level of weight that you want.

FYI on the gym memberships, once your two week trial runs out, you’ll have made a few friends who probably wont mind sharing theirs if you work out with them or giv’em a few bucks on to their membership. Otherwise google “free workout plans” and use these at home.

Manish November 16, 2013 at 6:03 am

I am 30 years old but my wait is 50kg I had tried to grow my wait but no result now I feel I am help less any one can help me to gain my wait please help me
I am thank full to you

Salad November 30, 2013 at 1:49 am

Before I started any training (gym activities), and this diet I weighed 129 pounds, Im 5″11 and have the body of a twig and legs like an antelope, I have just reached the second week of my training and this diet, I now currently weigh 139 pounds.

I haven’t taken any protein shakes as I cant afford them but I have replaced them with a few eggs a day and about a litre of milk a day. Ive stuck to this diet through and through and was overall surprised to see how much ive gained, I am so much more confident and happier and just want to keep going


David November 30, 2013 at 1:55 am

@Salad Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you found this blog post helpful.

Kgoskgos December 2, 2013 at 6:04 am

My problem is that I’m drinking, I lost appetite and I have chronic stress. I just want a formula to gain weight. What will be ??

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