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Weight Gaining Foods

Diet and nutrition is the single most important factor in wanting to gain weight. You can do all the weight training you want, but if your are not feeding your body the necessary food and nutrients it requires for maintenance and growth, then it will all be a waste of time, not to mention unhealthy. Knowing what to eat to gain weight is essential for putting on the pounds. In a nutshell, your weight gaining diet should include high protein foods, high carbohydrate foods and healthy fats.

Identifying which foods contain these things can be confusing, however in this article, there are several charts which list the best weight gaining foods to eat on top (superior), followed by good, inferior and no-no. I like how simplified these charts are because you can immediately identify what NOT to eat. You just need to worry about knowing which proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to eat, otherwise known as good proteins, good carbs, and good fats.

Here are the charts…

best protein foods

best carbs foods

best healthy fats foods

Hard gainers typically find it difficult eating more food. What I found to be effective is increasing your meal frequency, trying to have 6 meals each day, but not eating as much per meal, making you feel hungrier throughout the day. Having less fatty foods will also be of great benefit as fats tend to make you feel fuller more quickly, so you eat less.

Include in your diet high protein foods such as fish (tuna and salmon), whey protein powder (for post workout shakes and inbetween meals), chicken and turkey breasts, low fat milk, high carbohydrate foods such as pasta, lots of fruit and veg such as avocado and banana, as well as good fats such as olive oil and flaxseed oil. When snacking it’s a great time to eat high calorie snacks such as dried fruits, seeds, nuts, low fat yogurt and cheese. You should be looking to incorporate all of these weight gain foods in your diet if you want to gain weight.

by David on September 26, 2007 · 99 comments

Filed under Diet & Nutrition

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr.Cosme January 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

Listen Lush Kush, its up to you to want to make a change. Exersise is very important when gaining weight is in mind. You want to grow right? Sitting around eating and not sleeping enough won’t help. A full body workout routine followed by a good diet will definately lead to results. Join a gym, go food shopping, act now its not hard. Remember at least 8 hours a day of sleep is required. It takes dedication, sweat and pain to get fit.Just think about the feeling you’ll have when you see results. Workout three times a week followed by the right amount of calorie intake. Start off tracking how much you eat and add 300-500 every week when results aren’t seen. Can’t seem to eat enough? Set an alarm while your sleeping and get up and eat! Then continue your rest. Its a process but well worth it. Goodluck

lambert February 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

may i know why white rice or anything that contain white flour is not a good as carbohydrate source??

rasta March 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

White rice isn’t nearly as healthy as whole wheat. Its bleached flower… it won’t benefit you in anyway… no nutrients it like using 5 pound weight for the rest of your life.

Curiois May 3, 2011 at 4:05 am

Why are peanuts on the no-no list? They are extremely healthy with tons of benefits, while you are right they are high in fat, it is good poly and mono unsaturated fat that makes a large benefit to your health, They are high in calories which make them perfect for the individual attempting to gain weight.

Curiois May 3, 2011 at 4:06 am

haha just found the previous comment section and agree with your follow up from other users. no need to reply. Thank you

Faye West May 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Please send me information on foods to eat to gain weight. I weigh 102 pounds I need to weigh 135.

Thank you so much

Tim June 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

@lambert: “white” rice, bread, crackers are grains have been stripped of the nutrients, the ones that make them so healthy. And they are high-glycemic. The body processes them very quickly and what you get are carbs that burn off quickly and therefore leave your nutritionally deficient faster. Whole grains contain most of the nutrients nature gave them without being processed out, as is the case with their bleached, white equivalents. When you eat the whole grains, you also get more fiber, which leaves you feeling full longer, and your body takes longer to process them, leaving you full longer. It’s like the old, candy bar vs. apple PSA. The candy bar will give you a quick boost, but it won’t last long. The apple gives you energy to burn over a longer period of time. Rather simplistic example, but same concept. There is more in the Wikipedia article:

Tim June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Maybe others have heard this as well, it was recommended that post-workout a whey protein shake should be taken with high-glycemic product, namely, dextrose. I see that dextrose is amongst the no-no list, as it should be. But the reason it is recommended pre- or post-workout is that it absorbs into the bloodstream faster, which helps deliver the protein faster as well. And carbs are needed to deliver protein into the bloodstream. What is your take? I add 60g of dextrose to a whey protein shake (69g) of water and fruit.

Also, you recommend incorporating cheese into snacks, but it is on the inferior list. Swiss and feta are healthier cheeses, but I don’t want to sit around eating it by itself. I like feta on pasta or with olives and pita. I don’t want to eat swiss alone. What cheeses do you suggest?

David August 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm

@Tim Cottage cheese is an excellent protein source which is great when trying to gain weight.

Interestingly, the eating plan of a rookie NRL football player included eating lots of bananas, peanut butter sandwiches, and protein shakes!

shubham September 15, 2011 at 6:56 am

can anyone help me?????
i m a vegetarion and my age is 16, and i now also weight only 50kgs. but i want my weight to be aroung 60-65kgs….. i eat sufficiently but then also i m not ganing any weight.. i seriously want to put on my weight but with vegetarian food only………
please help me and suggest me a strict diet plan that i can follow and can gain some weight in very less days……… please help me i want to gain weight in as much less days possible

THULI September 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I AM THIN and i want to gain wait but i am not vegetarion
what should i eat

Bill September 22, 2011 at 5:15 am

Why is avocado under carbohydrates? The one I’m eating now has plenty fats but almost no carbs.

Kell Thomas September 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm

This is a perfect article for my assignment! I need to find out who to reference as ‘David’ doesn’t have a last name i can correctly use for my assignment. I have to reference APA style. So feel free to comment a name i can refrence or even better, comment with the APA reference done :). Thanks!

Love Clitman October 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I am a 11 year old kid and i would really like to lose at least 10 pounds because I’m 30 pounds over weight and i am jealous of all of my friends because they have no stomach and when i see their stomach it is like gosh I wish i was like you and if they were as fat as me they wouldn’t have self esteem and i just want to lose weigh how do i do that if somebody can answer my question

Loretta October 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Why is beef inferior? I love an eye fillet! And I thought it was a good source of iron?
And I love my lamb.. Not to mention chicken bores me =( This will be tricky.

I have been trying to gain weight and successfuly went from weighing 54kg and I am 5’7 to now weighing 60kg within 5 weeks. But I’m noticing fat deposits on my stomach so I’m thinking I need to be more careful than just increasing my kilojoules and doing some weights.

Sam October 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

I don’t want to become a body builder but just want to gain weight and a perfect figure. I want beautiful back,hips and upper beauty. Right now all these parts have no muscles and are flat :( Do you guys think a gym can help gaining weight plus perfect body shape or yoga?? I’m really confused. Any help appreciated.


venkatesh November 13, 2011 at 7:35 am

can i gain weight soon by taking raw eggs daily? please give me some tips to gain weight sooner.

lisa November 19, 2011 at 7:32 am

hi i am 26 yrs old, i have 3 children and only weigh 6 stone, i have recently started suffering from real bad panic and anxiety and i vomit everytime i need to leave the house or everytime i need to eat or after iv eatin, im pretty much sick at the thought of anythin lately, i am bein reerred to a dietitian but docs have told me im at risk if i dont put on some weight soon , cud u plz send me a list of food that will help me put weight on very fast, i feel i have been eating alot but not getting anywere help lol

bubble popper November 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I’ve eaten a mixture of all of the fore-mentioned foods all my life (although I haven’t eaten too much brown rice or wholemeal pasta because it tastes like shit and there is nothing wrong with white rice or pasta). I am completely healthy have a good enough body and have no problems maintaining a healthy weight. Unless you’re training to become a champion body builder, none of this information matters! I just feel I need to inform people through all the scaremongering. Just imagine what the bodies of Roman soldiers must have looked like! or the Vikings? do you think they had all this bullshit blocking them from enjoying real food? I think not! “bring me my boar and my whore”

Deepa January 30, 2012 at 5:08 am

How to increase weight by natural food items?

rovie May 3, 2012 at 1:35 am

hi, good day.
i am 17 yrs-old, and im turning 18 this June, i just wanna ask if 46 kg is fit for this age and i am also short only 4’9,, i wanted to loose weight.. i started eating less and take tea. i found that after a week i again eat a lot.. hehehe can you help me please thank you . God bless’)

Akira May 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

i eat a lot but dont gain weight. does exercise can help? please answer.

Mohamed Riyaz May 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

How to increase weight by natural food items? i am 26 years old just 52 Kg.

Lisa May 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Well jst an update in the last month I have put on 2llb whooo it’s not a lot I no but for me it’s amazin am so pleased lol I just want to keep eatin loads to put on more I am 6stone5pound but am gonna work my arse off to get to 7stone any ideas for puttin weight on fast let me no xxx

Hemant June 11, 2012 at 3:42 am

Hi, I am 26 yrs old my height is 5 feet 5 inch but my weight is just 46 kg . I am a non vegetarian and like to eat non veg more. I usually eat chicken meat. Please suggest me how can I gain weight.

ritesh June 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

Hey ..Why should you join gym or doing some regular exercise at your home..??

Josh June 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Please add peanuts to the “Superior” list, because they really are.

Johnny June 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Im 30 years old and 6’3″.. ive been thin and weighed from 170 to 185 for most of my life. Ive always been strong and energetic.. and my appetite has always been horrendous. Although i never weight trained consistently or slept regular adequate hours. Well recently i make a career change requiring a lot less physical labor and more scheduled hours allowing me to focus in on nutrition and sleep. even though my weight training has been minimal I have gained weight. Im currently 200lbs on an empty stomach. 205 easy when eating right. Im about to start some serious weight training and get my nutrition and sleep dialed in and put on some serious weight. What im trying to say is if youve been shaking your head wondering why your not able top gain. Step back and take a look at your life and realize.. changes need to be made, Dedication and sacrifice are necessary. But its simple. Eat big, lift big, sleep right and reduce unnecessary cardio. Good luck people..

David June 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

@Josh – The list was taken from another website (which I linked to above). I agree I think that peanuts and peanut butter is one of the best weight gaining foods. That’s why I dedicated an entire post to Peanut Butter Inspired Muscle Building Recipes.

Jahan June 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

eat extra calories every day.

micheal July 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm

i have a job that i am unable to stop and eat. any idea on foods i can make or buy so i can eat on the go.

ryck August 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thumbs down, how come PEANUTS are in the NO-NO LIST while this site has an article about peanuts and peanut butter telling that “peanut butter is an awesome muscle building superfood because its high in calories and an affordable source of protein and healthy fats that are needed to build and repair muscles.” (as quoted from here That’s pretty contradicting, but either way I believe for sure that peanuts are good for weight gain and muscle building as also proved by several other reliable references.

Bottomline: That chart above is really SCREWED UP and MISLEADING for giving peanuts/ peanut butter a bad rep. It needs SERIOUS EDITING.

David August 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm

@ryck – Like I said in the comment above. The list was not written by me (link credit was given in the article) I think peanuts are great for muscle building, hence writing that post. I think someone needs to learn SERIOUS reading and comprehension skills. Jokes :P

Ryck August 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I see, well it’s just because I didn’t care that much from previous comments. Joke is not funny though, more like lame. ;)))

bobbybeats August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I’ve been seeking to gain weight science the past 6 months, I eat every 3 hours trains 4 to 5 times a week gained 48 pounds oh yea I’m at 7 % fat, nothing is impossible eat good sleep and train hard.

Eleanor August 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

Hi there,
I’m Eleanor , almost 15 years old, just snapped out of anorexia and I have no idea what I should eat to gain back (healthily) the weight I lost: I used to weigh 5o kilos ( 110 lbs) and now I weigh 40 kilos ( 88 lbs) I’m 1m63 tall (5’4)
Please help me cause I’m trying desperately to gain back my weight without feeling bloated all the time! thankies :)

kushal kumar G September 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

follow me up wit best tips to increase my weight

W.G October 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I’m 40 years old & always weight around 7 stone, i am now gone down to 6 stone & really want to put some weight on, can you forward me a daily meal plan or food’s to put weight on, i’m also tried all the time & i’m sure thats probley from not eating the right food’s.

Ksoosha October 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I would like to gain more weight. I’m at 96lbs and by body frame is petite I’m 5’1″ 21 yrs of age. I workout regularly such as running and training. I would like to gain about 10 more pounds even though I’m average for my size.

Girish October 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

hi i m Girish…. I m nearly 6 ft tall….. but my body weight is 60 kgs…. Give me some tips to build my body fit….. What are nutrients i have to eat and build a fit body???

wilson November 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

hi now i am going gym and eat 5 eggs per day and 6 slices bread. now i am weighing 60 kgs i am 5 feet 9 inches tall i want increase my weight to 72 kgs you can suggest me..

Jake January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I had trouble gaining weight when i first started training, i was 12 stone at 6ft 1 now after 2 years hard training and eating i am 15 and a half stone still the same height, i am a hardgainer but by constantly pushing my body to eat more (literally gipping while eating) my appetite grew the more i forced, i now actually feel hungry more than i did before, like my body as adapted to that intake, because i am an hardgainer i eat ANY source of protein or carbs, seen as i dont hold body fat i dont see any problem i still have a 32 inch waist as before, i eat ANY meat and cheese, ANY fish, i eat healthy foods but i also dont hold back with ‘unhealthy’ foods, i have 7 meals a day, 2 as protein shakes, they one i have before bed i have with milk for the slow release protein, i eat alot of peanut butter, and nuts as snacks, some weeks i do eat unhealthy but with work an training the fat doesnt stand a chance to linger, so you lot trying to gain weigh dont look at that list it gives you, yes eat the good foods it says more, but dont be shunned away from the inferior foods as these will definatly help you gain weight, the list on this page seems more for someone who is trying to keep the weight off? While gaining muscle? If you want weight eat all the foods it says above.

Jake January 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

Also make sure u dont get into a plateau with your training, change it around every couple of weeks, have a week off every few months for you Central nervous system to catch up, you dont realise how much strain you put on your body when training, rest is as important a training, give 4 days inbetween large body parts and 2-3 for the smaller muscle groups, watch out for overtraining when doing lifts that do more than one bodypart e.g do biceps and chest together as you dont train your biceps when doing the bench, doing triceps and chest would be over working your triceps, overtraining is easily done and is hard on the body as it makes thr body release cortisol which none of us want, sleep 8 hours every night, and look up different ways how to train look up 5×5 training and German Volume Training if the gains are slowing.

Cocob January 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

PLEASE HELP!!!! Hi I have four childrenn and im always on thw go.
My youngest is 6m old. I just losted 32lbs in 1 month

and I noticed when im stressed I can go an entire day without eating!! is it possible to gain my weight bk as quick as I lost it n how?

Justin Hale February 20, 2013 at 4:36 am

Subject: Lost

I shattered both my ankles 3 years ago. I laid in bed for almost 10 months. I went from 178/182 to now 153/156. I eat properly (Proteins,Carbs,Fats). Nothing! :( I’m new to the Health side of recovery, but I’m receptive to critique. I’m a NW dude in San Diego. Fearing becoming an outcast.

upen July 6, 2013 at 7:31 am

i m a vegetarion and my age is 26, and i now also weight only 56kgs. but i want my weight to be aroung 70-75kgs….. i eat sufficiently but then also i m not ganing any weight.. i seriously want to put on my weight but with vegetarian food only………
please help me and suggest me a strict diet plan that i can follow and can gain some weight in very less days……… please help me i want to gain weight in as much less days possible

Loretta July 6, 2013 at 7:48 am

In reply to Upen

I’m a 26 year old female, 173cm tall and did weigh 56kg. I now weigh 61kg after a month of eating 2 bananas and a glass of light milk between every meal and having a small dinner of something like a steak on its own before my proper dinner.

Don’t eat the fat on the steak, you want to eat healthy food, just more of it so so you’re not a walking heart attack.

And prior to doing this I have never been able to gain weight.. ever!

Mouseley July 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

I realy want to gain weight.I currently weigh 60kgs and I’m 5.8m in height.I hpoe you’ll assist.

michael March 13, 2014 at 2:38 am

im 20 and only 57 kls. im thin my age does not proportionate to my body what foods should i take and how many months,days to wait to have a good body
hope you guys help me thanks.:)

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