Ironies rule lives. If you are plump, you want to lose the excess weight, and if you are thin, you want to put on some weight. The grass is always greener on the other side! Looking slim and fit is desirable, but a skinny frame might compel women to gain weight using different products, which may have unwanted side effects.
However, what is the point of trying an unhealthy method to gain weight? Remember, your health is precious. Thus, the best and only option is to opt for natural methods.
So, consider effective diet tips and plans that can help you gain weight.
Diet Tips For Weight Gain
Weight gain can be a time-consuming process. But you have to be patient and practice it correctly. Your aim is to put on weight in a healthy manner, not to add unhealthy kilos! So, focus on eating food, but at the right time and the right quantity, rather than searching for various weight gain diet plans.
1. Include Calories In Your Diet
Everything we eat has some calorie content. So like we eat food with fewer calories to lose weight, we need to eat food that has more calories to gain weight. You need to take in more than 250 calories daily to add roughly half a kilo to your current weight.
What You Need
Eat foods that are rich in calories like pulses, cereals, meat, bread, rice, dry fruits, and nuts.
What You Have To Do
- Add vegetables like French beans, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, pumpkins, and eggplants to your diet.
- Add a healthy portion of red meat to your diet too. But keep in mind not to overdo it. The aim is not add weight not cholesterol!
- You can even add olive oils in generous quantities to your salads.
- Another way to add calories to your diet is by increasing the consumption of dairy products. Don’t cut back on the fat content in your milk. Do not ask for low-fat curd at the store. Make sure you consume a full calorie dairy product.
Why This Works
Food rich in calories and proteins easily helps people gain and maintain weight as opposed to other foods (1).
Avoid fast food or cereal bars.
2. Increase The Number Of Meals
Have six meals in a day – three big meals and three small. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner should be heavy and calorie-rich. A heavy dinner adds weight to your body as your metabolism is not as active when you sleep as compared to when you are awake.
What You Have To Do
- For breakfast, go for a full bowl of cereal, toasted bread with butter, and a fruit. If you’re not a big fan of butter, then you can always pick cheese or a yummy spread of peanut butter.
- For snacks, have nuts and dry fruits, boiled veggies with a dollop of cream, or cheese sandwiches.
- You can even add some more items to your dessert tray.
- And, once in a while, you can give in to your taste buds and indulge in cakes, pizzas, burgers and whatever else your heart fancies. It is okay to give into your taste buds every once in a while.
Why Does It Work
Frequent eating every three to four hours helps maintain consistent energy levels in your body (2). Meal portions are not big, so there is no fat gain.
3. High Proteins Along With Calories
Only calories won’t add to your body weight, include the right amount of proteins to your diet. Remember ladies, if you want to put on weight and look fit, you need to build muscles not flab.
What You Need
Eggs, lean meat, fish, pulses, sprouts, and dairy products that rich sources of proteins. Fish such as tuna and mackerel are rich in oil and are one of the best ways to increase weight.
Why Does It Work
Proteins contain amino acids that are the founding components of muscles. These food sources will give you enough protein necessary to build and tone muscles (3).
4. Weight Gain Supplements
Another way to go about this is by including some additional supplements in your diet. In some cases, just the diet and exercise may not bring results as quickly as you expect.
What You Need
Whey protein is an increasingly popular supplement that you can add to your milk or smoothies.
Why Does It Work
In this case, adding some supplements like whey protein contributes to the body mass and aid in muscle development (4).
5. Workout To Gain Weight
Sometimes, gaining weight isn’t just about adding a few pounds but it is also about building muscles. The best way to go about this is to start working out.
Why Does It Work
Developing your lean muscles as opposed to fat deposits not only makes you stronger but it also adds mass (5). This is definitely the right mix to gain weight.
Here is a proper diet chart to gain weight. You can use this to maintain optimum health and stay in shape.
Reasons For Being Underweight
Anyone who is 15-20 percent below the normal weight, with respect to their age and height, is defined as underweight. For example, if you are a female aged between 25-50 years, and your height is 1.68 meters, then your weight should ideally be 59kgs. However, when the body weight falls to 50 kg (15%) and 47 kg (20%), it is termed as underweight. A woman weighing 59 kgs should have a Body Mass Index of 20.90 kg/m. As the weight drops, the BMI comes down to 18. 8 (-15%), which is still within the normal range or 17.7 (-20%), which is below normal.
For a man aged between 25-50 years with an average height of 1.76 meters, a normal body weight with healthy BMI should be 70 kg. Reduction of weight to 15-20% will also reduce the Body Mass Index. For instance, the reduction of weight to 60 kg and 57 kg can result in BMI of 19.4 and 18.4 respectively.
It is very important to understand the reason behind a drastic loss in weight since it can have both psychological and physical reasons.
The hormone thyroxin produced by the body is often regarded as the ‘conductor’ or the ‘orchestra of the body’. If the thyroxin levels are normal, then metabolism, height, and weight are within the limits. If the function of thyroid gland is disrupted, then the body’s metabolism, heartbeat, and body temperature become deranged, and there is pronounced weight loss (6).
Overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism is associated with symptoms like goiter or a lump in the throat, exophthalmos (bulging eyeballs), high temperature, excessive sweating, nervousness, fatigue, increased heart rate and weight loss despite eating properly (7). In case of hyperthyroidism, the doctor will ask you to do a blood test to detect the thyroid hormone levels in the blood.
Malignancy or cancer can cause rapid weight loss, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea and inability to gain weight (8). Since cancer has serious repercussions it is important to consult the doctor who will do a thorough diagnosis and suggest a prognosis for the same.
Tuberculosis is accompanied by weight loss, coughing, night sweats, and extreme fatigue (9). If the drastic weight loss is due to tuberculosis you need immediate treatment.Tuberculosis is a curable disease if diagnosed at the early stages.
4. HIV Aids
HIV Aids actually prevents weight gain (10). If medical tests confirm HIV positive, you need to take necessary medications, and make some diet and lifestyle changes to improve your health. An early diagnosis can help cure this disease effectively.
5. Kidney Disease
Kidney problems cause in change in urination. You may attend the restroom several times, but still you feel that urine was not sufficient. There will be fluid retention, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, skin rash and itching, metallic taste in the mouth, and smell of ammonia in the breath. The lack of appetite with fever triggers weight loss (11).
Sometimes antibiotics lead to medication toxicity and lower your appetite (12). Due to lack of appetite, you deprive yourself from important nutrients that help in development and maintenance. So medicines can be one of the reasons behind acute weight loss. You have to check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have started a new medicine and are experiencing weight loss.
7. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are very common in America, with one or two out of 100 youngsters suffering from it. The most common disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Other disorders are binge eating, body image disorders, and food phobias.
People with anorexia fear gaining excessive weight and have a distorted view of their body (13). Those battling anorexia usually starve or eat small amounts of food, and work out excessively. This problem is more psychological, which has more adverse effects on general health of the person.
With bulimia, however, a person eats large amounts of food and then vomits it out, thus resulting weight fluctuations (14). The person binges regularly and purges for a couple of months. It has dangerous repercussions both physically and psychologically, since it leads to compulsive behavior.
People with anorexia are usually dangerously underweight but those affected by bulimia can be either thin or overweight.
8. Enzyme Deficiency
If the stomach wall is not secreting sufficient digestive enzyme that is essential for digestion and absorption of nutrients that help in physical development. This enzyme deficiency is the reason for weight loss (15).
9. Hereditary Factors
Weight changes in a person depend on the interaction of behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors. Even if a person tries to gain weight and fails, then one has to understand the influence of genetic factors (16). If your parents are underweight, then there are high chances that you will be underweight too.
Depression is one of the prime psychological reasons for weight loss. It leads to reduced appetite and thus, causes drastic weight loss (17). One needs to attend a counseling session to reduce mental stress and depression before it begins to affect your health.
Home Remedies To Gain Healthy Weight
Being underweight can result from an undiagnosed disease that needs quick treatment. It is best to do an annual checkup to narrow down on medical conditions that inhibit weight gain. It is also important to remain stress-free and cheerful and sleep well if you want to achieve your target Body Mass Index (BMI).
Symptoms of being underweight include fatigue due to decline in stamina and a general malaise. You must ask your doctor about healthy ways to increase stamina by having health drinks and nutritional supplements. Also, quit smoking and having excess of alcohol and caffeinated drinks, thus allowing proper physical development to take place with your body weight and BMI within normal limits.
Proper Diet Chart For Weight Gain
Here is a diet chart that you may follow to put on required weight.
What to have
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
A cup of tea or cappuccino will full fat milk and sugar.
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
A glass of full fat milk with a health drink of your choice or whey protein.
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Here is a more comprehensive diet plan that will help you plan out your meals better. You can follow either the below one or the above one.
The food items that should be incorporated in the diet are:
- Full cream milk
- Beans, lentils, and other such protein-rich foods
- Fruits and vegetables
- Healthy fats and oils
- Healthy desserts
Keeping all these items in mind, you should divide your three major meals of the day into sevensmaller meals. Here is another sample meal plan analysis that can be followed for some healthy weight gain.
Just Out Of The Bed
- 1 cup tea/coffee using full cream milk and 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 biscuits
- 1 glass of fruit juice, preferably orange
- 1 cup cereal (oatmeal, porridge) with 1 cup low-fat milk, few sliced almonds and raisins, and 2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
- 1-2 slices of whole wheat toast with some butter or jam or peanut butter
- 1 cup tea/coffee using full cream milk and 2 teaspoons sugar
Milk – ½ cup full cream milk with 2 tsp sugar
Fruit juice with snacks – 1 glass fruit juice with dried fruits or an energy bar
Smoothie – full cream milk with some fruits with 2 tsp sugar or honey
- ½ cup of soup
- 1 potato/small bowl of rice
- 1 cup of cooked vegetables
- ½ cup salad with dressing
- 1 cup boiled lentils
- 2 chapattis with a little ghee
- 1 cup tea/coffee with full cream milk and 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 large fruit
- 1 cup low-fat yogurt
- 3-4 digestive biscuits
- ½ cup of soup
- 1 cup boiled vegetables
- ½ cup salad with dressing
- 2 chapattis
- 1 cup low-fat dessert, preferably with some added fresh/dried fruits
- 1 glass of low-fat milk
- ½ cup of dried fruits
This is a sample meal plan that includes most of the nutrients that will help you gain weight, and keep you energized throughout the day.
Health Problems Caused By Being Underweight
Did you know that thin people can also have an increased risk of diabetes? Thin people may not have a thick layer of fat in their abdomen, and may seemingly be in great shape, but processed fat from junk food can accumulate around the lungs and heart, thus causing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A 2011 study shows that ‘lean genes’ can be a reason for diabetes in very thin people.
Balance is the key factor for good health. Fat is, no doubt, bad for health, but some amount of fat is essential for the body to utilize it like a fuel to store energy. People who have body mass index (BMI) less than 18.5 might have chronic health problems in the long run.
1. Weak Immunity: Generally, a person who is underweight has a weak immune system that acts like a guard against disease. Very thin people are more prone to illness during the cold and flu season. Those who are underweight can also have cancer that may be due to abnormal cell growth in the body.
2. Anemia: Many people who have low weight feel tired most of the time. This lack of energy caused due to nutritional deficiencies also affects blood circulation and causes anemia. Lack of folate and vitamin B cause anemia. So underweight people should eat properly and take nutritional supplements.
3. Fertility Problems: Low weight also causes fertility problems in women. Your menstrual cycle can become very irregular, which makes it difficult to sustain a pregnancy by affecting the uterine lining from where the fetus derives nutrients. Underweight women have 72% chances of miscarriage. Underweight men can have sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse, problems in ejaculation, as well as low sperm count.
4. Bone Damage: Both men and women who have very low weight have an increased risk of osteoporosis. This happens due to hormonal changes and lack of vitamin D and calcium. Accidents can cause fracture or, sometimes, death in underweight people. In women, lack of estrogen can lead to weak bones. One should consult the doctor and dietitian, and start gaining weight by opting for a healthy diet plan.
People follow absurd fad diets to follow a trend and have slimming pills to look great. Don’t forget that you can still look glamorous by eating healthy.
Here is our list of most influential figures in the world of fitness and health and their time-tested, effective expert weight gain tips. So say hello to a fitter, healthier you today!
Experts Tips To Gain Weight:
a. Drink your calories but in a healthy form!
Try making a homemade smoothie with avocado and nut butter. You’ll enjoy a vitamin C boost from fruit content plus a healthy dose of essential fats. Use full fat milk as the liquid to boost calcium and calorie intake too. Adding a dollop of Greek yoghurt makes this even creamier and more delicious.
b. Don’t let more than four hours go by without eating.
Some people get so wrapped up in their work that they literally forget to eat. Your body needs a continuous supply of energy since it’s like an engine that’s always turned on (your heart is always beating, blood is circulating, your brain and muscles are working). When you skip meals, the result is a dip into your energy piggy bank, which unfortunately includes muscle mass. Set an alarm on your phone to prompt you to eat every 4 hours during waking hours and have plenty of calorie and nutrient dense snacks to hand. A mixture of nuts and seeds is ideal.
c. Get liberal on fats:
Good fats are having their time in the spotlight and wide spectrums of health benefits are being uncovered. If you are looking to gain weight, a liberal use of fats such as oils on salads and coconut oil in cooking can boost calories without any cause for concern. Make sure you make salad dressings as tasty as possible and soak up any leftovers in the bottom of the salad bowl with some fresh bread – delicious!
Amanda Hamilton is UK TV’s top nutritionist. She is also a bestselling author and has played international sports.
Amanda Hamilton: www.amandahamilton.com
a. Like training, like Nutrition. You to need to ‘shock’ what you put into your body, keep it varied, don’t eat the same thing. Alternate between your lean meats & proteins intake.
b. Weight training – This is Key. Weight training builds ‘muscle’ which weighs more than fat & not only will build muscle, but it will build lean muscle.
c. Plenty of rest – Try get at least 8 hours of sleep at night, how can you expect your body to change & develop if you don’t have good, effective rest.
Dean Johnson: www.fitnessplus-uk.com
3. Parth Shah:
a. Start small:
Too many people try to follow elaborate eating plans. Keep things small, and start small. First figure out how many calories you eat now, then gradually increase it later.
b. Eat protein:
Protein is crucial to gaining muscle weight. The same rule applies – start small. Strive to add 5-10 grams of protein for each meal. For example, for the first week, start with breakfast and add 5-10 grams of protein. The following week, add 5-10 grams of protein for lunch. By the end of the month, you will have added 20-40 grams of protein to your original diet.
c. Don’t be afraid of eating carbs:
Many people who are health conscious avoid carbs as much as possible. You cannot cut carbs and gain weight at the same time. But it’s still important to get your carbs from the proper sources.
Follow the rule of White – no white rice, no white bread, and no white sugar. I would recommend getting your carbs from brown rice and oatmeal. If you need to sweeten something (such as your tea) try brown sugar.
Parth Shah: www.shahtraining.com
Ensure yourself about how many calories you need per day to stay at your current weight (BMR), and then aim to eat 200 calories over this per day.
Aim for healthy calories. Good fats from foods such as avocados and nuts are a great choice. Don’t binge on chocolate and fast food in order to reach your weight gain goal. Very bad idea!!
Try to have weight gain shake for the breakfast. This will make it a lot easier.
Stuart Patrick: www.listedfit.com
Look at the omega fats, hemp oil and seeds are an amazing hormone stabilizer and so helps regulate weight for the better, in either direction. It also fuels muscle growth like no other protein. Other oils contain omega fats but none as naturally well balanced as hemp. Oils are great, just not cooked or processed in anyway.
Natural fatty foods like avocados, nuts and coconuts contribute to a healthy volume to body size without upsetting cholesterol as previously misunderstood. The body assimilates these rich foods very well.
If you want the weight without the bloat, look into good grains like millet, chestnut and other non wheat grains. Mix them in a blender for a hearty breakfast comprising of fruits, seeds, nuts, hemp oil and coconut milk. Rich, tasty, filling and excellent for fuelling the health rather than the heart attacks!
If you’re weight training, pause for a good minute between sets to allow growth hormone to activate and so provide more power to enhance those muscle fibres.
Joey Bull: www.joeybull.com
If you work out regularly and are looking for gain muscle weight here are 3 ways to gain lean muscle weight more easily:
a. Have a protein shake within a half hour after you finish doing strength training and before bed.
b. Use Branch Chain Amino Acids BCAA and L-Glutamine pre and post training as well as before sleeping.
c. Eat Cruciferous vegetables daily to help with eliminating excessive estrogen from the body.
Michael Whiteley: www.protrainerlive.com
a. Balance strength training with weightlifting:
Weightlifting is an Olympic form of exercise that trains the muscle to recruit more muscle cells for maximum strength, in turn your body will gain more muscle mass as well as making it easier to burn fat. However, strength training builds both stability and strength. Strength training requires lifting weights comfortably at the 12 to 15 repetition mark while weightlifting is geared towards lifting weights at the 3 to 8 rep mark with more sets than strength training. Women should know that lifting heavy will not get them bulking results but a more lean physique, because their testosterone levels are only a small fraction compared to men. The three best strength training exercise for gaining mass are squats, dead lifts and bench presses which have been proven to natural increase your testosterone levels.
b. Sufficient protein on a daily basis is required:
Consume 1.5 grams multiplied by your body weight in pounds until your desired weight is reached. Proteins are the building blocks for lean muscle which is vital for your weightlifting and strength training routine. Fish, nuts, eggs, peanut butter and lean meats are the best sources of protein; protein shakes are another alternative to help optimize your diet and gains.
c. Caloric intake through altering your diet:
For a woman to healthily gain weight the quickest method is through changing your eating habits. For a woman trying to lose a pound per week she should try to eat 500 calories less than burned on a daily basis, when you are trying to gain weight this process should be reversed. The easiest way this can be achieved is to consume your normal healthy meal plan along with protein shakes but with the addition of other meal replacement drinks. Typically meal replacement drinks are consumed in place of a meal, containing a moderate amount of calories, protein and carbs.
D’Vaughn Bell: www.bodybybell.com
a. Define weight. You should focus on gaining lean mass as opposed to scale weight. Tip number one would therefore be to measure your lean mass and fat mass on a regular basis. If you are not gaining lean mass – change what you are doing!
b. I have been helping people gain lean mass for over 33 years. Without question, those who have a hard time with it are not eating as much as they think they are. Measure, weigh, and track all your food. Then tightly follow your energy expenditure and make sure you take more calories in then you use.
c. If you are having a hard time getting in the amount of food you need, use calorie dense food such as oils (coconut, and olive oil), avocados, peanut butter, etc. in everything you eat to boost the calories higher.
Dr. Warren Willey: www.drwilley.com
a. Raw Milk:
Raw, unpasteurized milk is loaded with fat-soluble enzymes, minerals and vitamins that you just any get anywhere else as efficiently. The saturated fats present in this super food will not only help you gain solid weight but also boost your testosterone levels (via good cholesterol) while keeping your fat burning high (via natural CLA and omega-3s)
b. Pasture-Raised Eggs:
Like raw milk, this all-natural super food is loaded with the cofactors your body needs for superhuman growth. Eat 3-4 whole eggs every morning with some Celtic Sea Salt for a truly well-rounded muscle-building meal.
c. Fermented Cod Liver Oil / Butter Oil Blend:
Most cod liver oils use high heat and pressure to extract the oil which denatures it. Fermentation on the other hand is a natural way to extract the oil. Combining it with high-vitamin grass fed butter oil gives your body a mega dose of super antioxidants to fight free radical damage from weight training, as well as boosts your growth hormone and testosterone with the highly bioavailability vitamin D & A
Kusha Karvandi: www.exerscribe.com
a. Make sure you’re focusing on strength training with challenging loads instead of cardio, using a variety of rep ranges from 5-20 reps per set. A combination of heavy, moderate and light weights with different rep ranges should be utilized. As long as you’re pushing hard and fatiguing the muscles, and creating muscle damage, growth will occur.
b. Strength training should focus on compound movements like pushups, pull-ups, squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses etc. Those work the most muscles and have to potential to lead to the greatest growth. Isolation exercises like biceps curls, hamstring curls and triceps press downs can be included to really stress the muscle but shouldn’t take the place of multi-joint compound movements.
c. Make sure you’re getting a slight surplus of calories each day to support the weight training, especially, adequate protein to support muscle growth. Keep the surplus small, maybe 100-300 a day so that it’s primarily muscle and you don’t accumulate too much body fat.
Leroy Pumphrey: www.roypumphrey.com
I would like to thank each and every fitness expert featured in this post for their incredible efforts to bring in a positive change in the field of fitness and health. So, which of these expert weight gain tips will you include in your routine? Do leave us a feedback in the below comment section!
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