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…

Protein
Carbohydrates
Fats

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.

Protein Shakes

Protein is an important part of any weight gain diet. If you are not getting the necessary daily protein intake from normal foods, drinking protein shakes is a good option and they don’t necessarily have to taste bad!

If you are short on protein to begin with your might be putting your muscles in a catabolic state (where you actually break down muscle tissue). By getting up to an intake recommended for someone who works out consistently and at least at a moderate intensity, the extra protein will help you either maintain or build muscle. I would recommend 1-1.5 times your bodyweight in grams of protein to take in daily. Don’t forget to include the protein already in your regular diet though.

Protein Shake

With an optimal protein intake it will indirectly help you burn fat. The more muscle you have the more efficiently your body will use up excess calories that are normally converted to fat. I believe you definitely need to keep your protein up even if you are trying to get lean. It will help more than hurt in my opinion. I would rather lose less weight and have more lean muscle mass than lose more weight because of losing lean muscle on top of the fat. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat so you must take that into consideration. Don’t measure your success based on how much you weigh, base it on your body composition measurements. Get your body fat percent tested regularly to monitor your progress.

Here’s a cool homemade protein shake recipe which tastes great.

  • 12 oz milk
  • 12 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • Blend it all up and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to drink.

Here is a list of 20 weight gain protein shake recipes to give you a few more ideas.