Diet Tips

How To Gain Weight – The Best Diet Chart And Expert Tips

Reviewed byMerlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
How To Gain Weight – The Best Diet Chart And Expert Tips Hyderabd040-395603080 October 22, 2019

Beauty cannot and should not be measured by your appearance. But eating disorders, genetics, and hormonal dysfunction can prevent you from gaining weight. And that can be frustrating!

Being underweight can affect your physical and mental health (1), (2). That’s why we bring to you the best diet and expert tips for weight gain.

Keep reading to move into the medically approved healthy weight range.

What Is Your Healthy Weight Range?

Your BMI (body mass index) will help you determine your healthy weight range. Divide your body weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters) squared to calculate your BMI (3).

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 denotes a healthy weight range.

If your BMI is below 18.5, you are underweight.

There could be different reasons you are underweight. Scroll down to find out what they are.

Reasons You Could Be Underweight

1. Hyperthyroidism

The thyroxine hormone produced by thethyroid gland is often regarded as the ‘conductor’ or the ‘orchestra’ of the body. If the thyroxine levels are normal, the metabolism, height, and weight are within limits. If the function of the thyroid gland is disrupted, the body’s metabolism, heartbeat, and temperature become deranged, leading to weight loss (4). If your thyroid is overactive, you will burn calories even if you have a good appetite. The result can be unintentional weight loss.

2. Kidney Disease

Kidney problems cause a change in urination. You may visit the restroom several times without feeling really relieved. You will experience fluid retention, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, skin rashes and itching, a metallic taste in the mouth, and the smell of ammonia in the breath. The lack of appetite with fever triggers weight loss (5).

3. Diabetes

Insufficient insulin prevents the glucose from the blood from getting into the body’s cells to be used as energy. When this occurs, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight. Weight loss in people with diabetes could also occur as a result of dehydration and breakdown of the muscles.

4. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are very common in the US, with one or two out of 100 youngsters having them.

The most common of these are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Others include binge eating, body image disorders, and food phobias.

People with anorexia fear gaining excessive weight and have a distorted view of their body. They usually starve or eat small amounts of food and work out excessively.

People with bulimia eat large amounts of food and then vomit it out. This results in weight fluctuations.

5. Hereditary Factors

Weight changes in a person depend on behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors. A person unable to gain weight despite repeated attempts must understand the influence of genetic factors. If your parents are underweight, there are high chances that you will be underweight too (6).

6. Enzyme Deficiency

If the stomach wall is not secreting sufficient digestive enzymes essential for digestion and absorption of nutrients that help in physical development, it can lead to weight loss.

Malabsorption due to vomiting and diarrhea leads to poor nutrient absorption. This can also be due to prolonged use of laxatives, which may lead to weight loss.

7. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is accompanied by weight loss, coughing, night sweats, and extreme fatigue. If the drastic weight loss is due to tuberculosis, you need immediate treatment.

8. Depression

Depression is one of the prime psychological reasons for weight loss. It leads to reduced appetite and causes drastic weight loss (7). One needs to attend a counseling session to reduce mental stress and depression before it begins to affect their health.

If any of these factors are causing your weight loss, our diet chart and tips can certainly help.

Diet Chart To Gain Weight

MealsTimeWhat to have
Before breakfast7 a.m. – 8 a.m.A cup of tea or cappuccino will full fat milk and sugar.
Breakfast8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Two multigrain breads with low fat butter and egg omelet.
  • Or, a bowl of corn flakes, oats, or porridge.
  • Or poha, upma, or some daliya khichdi with lots of veggies.
  • Or, two chapattis with a bowl of veggies or two stuffed paranthas.
  • Fruits or a glass of fresh fruit juice.
After Breakfast10 a.m. – 11 a.m.A glass of full fat milk with a health drink of your choice or whey protein.
Lunch12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • A small bowl of rice and two chapattis.
  • A cup of pulses (Masoor, moong, chana)
  • ½ cup of vegetable curry
  • 3 oz chicken or a piece of fish/ eggs/ tofu/ cottage cheese
  • Mixed salad made of cucumber, carrot, and tomatoes
  • A small bowl of sweet curd
Evening snack5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Veg sandwich with cheese
  • aked potato with skin and avocado dip.
Dinner8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • ½ cup brown rice and 1 cup kidney beans/mushroom curry
  • Mixed salad made of cucumber, carrot, and tomatoes
Before bed10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • A glass of milk

Following this diet chart religiously can aid your weight gain goals. In addition to this, the following tips can also help.

Tips To Gain Weight Fast

1. Consume High-Calorie Nutritious Foods

Foods high in calories as well as nutrition will help you gain weight. Foods like avocado, banana, and full-fat milk should be your staples.

2. Increase The Number Of Meals

Eat frequently. Since you will be consuming high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, you will not be able to consume many of them in one go.

Small amounts of food at frequent intervals will keep you energetic and proactive. That’s good as you also have to hit the gym to build lean muscle mass (more on that soon).

3. Consume Healthy Carbs

Carbohydrates are needed to gain weight. Include healthier options like banana, potato, sweet potatoes, mangoes, whole grains, rice, etc. instead of sugar-rich foods, chocolates, and other junk foods.

4. Consume A Protein Source With Every Meal

Your muscles are made of proteins. To gain weight and build lean muscle mass, you must include a protein source in every meal you consume.

Chicken breast, ground turkey, tofu, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, fish, eggs, milk, and yogurt should be your go-to choices of protein.

5. Add Healthy Fats To Your Diet

Don’t just go on consuming any fatty food. Choose healthy fats that do not cause harm in the long run. Healthy fats are also good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Include foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, avocado oil, salmon, and olive oil in your diet. Eating a fistful of pumpkin or flaxseeds is a good way to provide your body with fat.

5. Take Weight Gain Supplements

In some cases, diet and exercise alone may not bring about the desired results. Another way to go about this is by including some additional supplements in your diet.

Whey protein is an increasingly popular supplement you can add to your milk or smoothies.

7. Strength Training

Gaining weight doesn’t mean you have to gain fat mass. Gain lean muscle mass. You’ll look toned and defined. To get there, you have to lift some weights.

Here are a few exercises you can do:

  • Twisting Crunches
  • Leg Press
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curls
  • Arm Curls
  • Shoulder Shrug
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Triceps Push Down
  • Barbell Squats
  • Pull-ups
  • Ab Roller
  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Side Lateral Raise
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • Weighted Crunches

8. Keep A Food Journal

You need to keep a food journal if you want to gain weight. Keeping track of what you have eaten throughout the day will help you understand your eating habits better.
Once you have weighed yourself at the end of every week, note that value as well. This will help you stay motivated throughout and encourage you to continue on the path to put on more weight.

9. Eliminate Stress

Losing or gaining weight has always been a stressful event for the concerned person. Stress often becomes a major hurdle when you try to gain or lose weight. Therefore, it is important to be stress-free while performing exercises to lose or gain weight.

Have a relaxing bath to reduce stress. Or put on some good music and dance until you drop. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises also work well to reduce stress.

10. Get Enough Sleep

The next big step is to make sure you get enough sleep. Experts say that sleep is essential for a person’s health and well-being.

Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is an essential determinant of your health and well-being. A person needs a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day to stay fit and fine. This will give your body enough rest so that it can function properly.

If you do strength training, your body repairs itself and builds better muscles during sleep.

11. Keep Yourself Motivated

Gaining weight is no joke. It is much more difficult than losing weight. However, if you want to reach your goal, you have to stay focused. Do not set unrealistic goals for yourself.

Make sure your weight gain goal doesn’t exceed more than four pounds a month. Anything beyond can be unhealthy and temporary.

Always remember that your body is different and unique in its own way. Once you are successful in achieving a healthy BMI, switch your focus from how you look to how you feel.

When you exercise, you have to increase your calorie intake. By how much? Find out next.

How Many Calories To Consume

Your caloric intake will be determined by your BMI. According to experts, gradual weight gain is always advisable, and an increase in 500 kcal per day can result in a 0.5 kg per week increase in one’s body weight.

If you do all of this, how long will it take to gain weight? Scroll down to find out.

How Long Will It Take To Gain Weight?

It will take at least three months to see visible results. Be patient. Expecting results too soon will only decrease motivation.

Take a look at the tips by fitness experts. You will certainly benefit from what they have to say.

Expert Tips For Weight Gain

Amanda Hamilton

  • Try making a homemade smoothie with avocado and nut butter. You’ll enjoy a vitamin C boost from the 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 yogurt makes this even creamier and more delicious.
  • Get liberal with fats. If you are looking to gain weight, 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!

Dean Johnson

  • 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 and protein intake.
  • Weight training – This is key. Weight training builds ‘muscle’, which weighs more than fat and not only will build muscle, but it will build lean muscle.
  • Plenty of rest – Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. How can you expect your body to change and develop if you don’t have good, effective rest?

Parth Shah

  • Eat protein. Protein is crucial to gain muscle weight. The same rule applies – start small. Strive to add 5-10 grams of protein in 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.
  • 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.

Stuart Patrick

  • 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!!

Joey Bull

  • Hemp oil and seeds are amazing hormone stabilizers and help regulate weight for the better, in either direction. They also fuel 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 any way.
  • If you want the weight without the bloat, look at 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 health rather than heart attacks!

Michael Whiteley

  • Have a protein shake within a half hour after you finish doing strength training and before bed.
  • Use Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) and L-Glutamine pre- and post-training as well as before sleeping.
  • Eat ‎cruciferous vegetables daily to help eliminate excess estrogen from the body.

D’Vaughn Bell

  • Balance strength training with weightlifting. 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 as compared to men. The three best strength training exercises for gaining mass are squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
  • 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 are vital for your weightlifting and strength training routine.

Dr. Warren Willey

  • Add calorie-dense foods, such as oils (coconut, and olive oil), avocados, peanut butter, etc., in everything you eat to boost the calories higher.
  • You should focus on gaining lean mass as opposed to scaling weight. Measure your lean mass and fat mass on a regular basis. If you are not gaining lean mass – change what you are doing!

Kusha Karvandi

  • 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 superfood 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).
  • 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. It also boosts your growth hormone and testosterone with the highly bioavailabile vitamins D and A.

Leroy Pumphrey

  • Strength training should focus on compound movements like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, 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 they shouldn’t take the place of multi-joint compound movements.
  • 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.

There you have it – expert talk on how to gain weight. The key is to understand why you are not gaining weight and act accordingly.

Have questions? Post them in the comments section, and we will get back to you. Cheers!


  1. What is the impact of underweight on self-reported health trajectories and mortality rates: a cohort study” Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Association between body mass index and mental health among Scottish adult population: a cross-sectional study of 37,272 participants.” Psychological Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Assessing Your Weight” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. Hyperthyroidism” Lancet, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Chronic kidney disease” NHS.
  6. Genetic Analysis of Low BMI Phenotype in the Utah Population Database” PlosOne, National Institutes of Health.
  7. The loss of appetite during depression with melancholia: a qualitative and quantitative analysis.”International Clinical Psychopharmacology, National Institutes of Health.

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.