Weight Gain

12 Ways To Naturally Gain Weight At Home

Reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by
12 Ways To Naturally Gain Weight At Home Hyderabd040-395603080 October 22, 2019

According to the World Health Organization, 462 million adults worldwide are underweight (1). This is a cause for concern as it can affect your health and lead to complications in the long run.

We have all read and heard about the risks of being overweight or obese. But did you know that being underweight is also not good for you?

If you are underweight and want to increase your weight at home, there is only one way to do it – the healthy way!

What Does Being Underweight Mean?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends using BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine if you are overweight, underweight, or have a healthy weight.

You can use this link to calculate your BMI. Women with a BMI less than 18.5 are considered underweight.

There is an array of reasons you can be underweight, some of which are physical, while others are psychological. Let us look into the causes in detail.

Causes Of Being Underweight

  • High Metabolism– Some people are built to be lean. Their metabolism is so high that their tendency to put on weight is low even if they eat large, calorie-dense meals.
  • Family History– Some people are born with the kind of genes that make them naturally thin and have a low BMI.
  • High Physical Activity – People who perform high levels of physical activities regularly, like jogging, running, swimming, or playing any form of sports, tend to be underweight. This usually happens since their metabolism is always high, and they burn a lot of calories constantly through the day, even while they are resting.
  • Health Conditions – If a person has one or more health conditions or diseases, they might experience a temporary weight loss. They can also experience a spike in their metabolism levels that may cause continuous weight loss. A few examples of such health conditions are hyperthyroidism, cancer, diabetes, and tuberculosis.
  • Depression – People who have depression may experience a severe loss of appetite and lose a substantial amount of weight very quickly. Such people need medical help as soon as possible.
  • Stress – A person living under constant stress is usually very occupied in their thoughts and worries that they may lose weight without intending to.
  • Eating Disorders People with ertain eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, are underweight. Eating disorders are mainly related to the levels of brain messengers, where weight watchers overeat for short period, followed by purging or over exercising to compensate for extra calorie intake (2).

Gaining weight can be a time-consuming process. You need to aim at gaining weight in a healthy manner and not just gorge on junk. Here’s what you need to do.

How To Gain Weight The Healthy Way

1. Healthy Carbs and Fats

1. Healthy Carbs and Fats Pinit

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Following a diet that is high in carbohydrates and fats is one of the best ways to gain weight healthily. While carbs provide energy, healthy fats are calorie dense. Together, they gradually increase weight.

Some healthy sources of carbs and fats are:

  • Rice
  • Whole grains
  • Full-fat yogurt
  • Oats
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Whole eggs
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds

2. Eat More Calories

2. Eat More Calories Pinit

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Theoretically, eating an additional 500 calories every day increases your weight by a pound in one week. So, eat more calorie- and nutrient-dense foods through the day in the form of heavy meals and snacks. You can either increase the portion sizes or eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Avoid eating empty calories that do not provide any nourishment.

You can increase your calorie intake by adding nuts, seeds, or cheese as toppings in your meal. Below are some more snack options to increase your calorie count:

  • Hummus with whole grain crackers
  • Avocado on toast
  • Protein smoothie
  • Bread with your choice of nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew or walnut butter)
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Cereal bars
  • Muesli with fruits
  • Oatmeal with mixed nuts
  • Boiled eggs with toast

3. Eat Plenty Of Protein

3. Eat Plenty Of Protein Pinit

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This is the most important nutrient required for weight gain. Your muscle is mainly made up of protein, so eating enough protein helps you gain healthy muscle weight instead of fat.

The ideal protein intake for an underweight person should be between 1.5 grams to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. A study shows that when you follow a high-protein diet, most of the excess calories get stored in your muscle (3).

Some protein-rich foods include:

  • Fatty fish
  • Red meat
  • Whole eggs
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Pulses and legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Whey protein powder (should be mainly used if you perform high-intensity workouts)

4. Improve Physical Strength

4. Improve Physical Strength Pinit

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It is important to ensure that you lift weights at the gym or play a sport to improve your physical strength and avoid letting the excess calories in your body turn into fat.

Head to the gym at least 4 to 5 times a week to increase your muscle mass. Focus mainly on strength training instead of spending a lot of time doing cardio.

Cardio is great for a healthy heart, but it also burns a lot of calories and doesn’t work much in your favor if you are underweight.

5. Keep Yourself Hydrated

5. Drink Lots Of Water Pinit

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Drinking water has been synonymous with weight loss since it helps to reduce the amount of food being consumed. Hence, do not drink water before meals or with meals as it makes you feel full. Drinking water does not help you to gain weight but prevents dehydration and flushes out toxins from the body. You can include protein smoothies in your diet to stay hydrated as well as gain healthy weight.

But some doctors claim that drinking excess water can also lead to weight gain. They believe that the body can only flush out a limited amount of water. If you drink more water than the body can handle, it gets stored in the body and causes weight gain in the form of water weight.

6. Home Remedies

1. Potatoes

1. Potatoes Pinit

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This is one of the easiest and most pocket-friendly ways to add calories and starch to your diet. Consumption of excess potatoes has been associated with long-term weight gain (4).

As potatoes have a high glycemic index and may spike your blood sugar levels if consumed on a daily basis, you can sometimes substitute potato with sweet potato. Though sweet potatoes are high in fiber and resistant starch, which aid weight loss, proper cooking and preparation can help you put on a few pounds.

Prepare sweet potato mash with butter or cheese and add some meat to make a well balanced carb-protein snack.

 You can add mashed potatoes as a side dish to your meal or eat a baked potato as a snack. Here’s a delicious baked potato recipe that you can have for dinner (increase portion size as needed).

You Will Need 
  • 1 large potato (washed clean)
  • ½ cup paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons bell pepper (red, yellow or green)
  • 1 twig of spring onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few pieces of cooked chicken or red meat (optional)
What You Need To Do 
  1. Pierce the potato all over with a fork and place it in a microwave or oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until it is soft.
  2. Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  3. After the potato is cooked, knife it through the middle and split it open.
  4. Spoon the mixture in the potato and enjoy.
How Often You Need To Do This

You can eat potato every day if you want. Try to have it in different forms each time. This recipe can be followed 2 to 3 times a week for weight gain.

2. Dry Fruits

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Consuming dry fruits, nuts, and seeds is an excellent way to gain weight gradually. A health guide from the University of Colorado suggests that nuts, nut butters, and dried fruits (like dates, apricots, prunes) are good sources of protein, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats and should be added to meals and snacks for a boost in nutrient and calorie intake (5).

You can add chopped dry fruits as toppings in several dishes or make nut butter to spread over bread. Below is a fool-proof and easy way to create nut butter with any dry fruit you like.

You Will Need
  • 3 cups raw almonds, walnuts, or cashew nuts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
  • Honey to taste (optional)
  • An oven
  • A baking tray
  • A baking sheet
  • A food processor
What You Need To Do 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line the baking tray with the baking sheet.
  2. Spread the nuts on the lined tray and keep it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Stir once or twice in the middle.
  3. Once they are out of the oven, let them cool down.
  4. After they are cooled down, transfer them to the food processor. Blend until they are creamy.
  5. This might take about 10-12 minutes. Keep scraping the sides of the blender every other minute.
  6. Once the mixture becomes creamy, add the salt and other flavors if needed.
How Often You Need To Do This

Home-made nut butters can stay in the refrigerator for up to one month. You can consume this with whole grain bread or toast every day.

3. Ashwagandha

3. Ashwagandha Pinit

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Ashwagandha works better than a few weight gain supplements since it is Ayurvedic and does not cause any harm to the body. Studies also state that it works by significantly increasing muscle mass and strength (6). Even after discontinuing or decreasing the use of this powder, your body will retain its muscle mass for a long time.

Note: Make sure you consult your doctor before using ashwagandha.

You Will Need 
  • 100 g ashwagandha
  • 100 g dry ginger powder
  • 100 g sugar
  • ½ glass water
  • 1 glass milk
  • A vessel (for boiling)
  • 1 airtight bottle
What You Need To Do
  1. Mix ashwagandha, ginger, and sugar to make a powder. Store this powder in an airtight bottle.
  2. Take the vessel, add water and milk to it, and heat it.
  3. Add one tablespoon of the prepared ashwagandha powder to the milk and water mixture.
  4. Boil this mixture for a few minutes until the water is drained.
  5. Drink this every day.
How Often You Need To Do This

You must consume ashwagandha powder with milk 1-2 times a day for about a month to notice visible changes in your body.

4. Ginger

4. Ginger Pinit

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Ginger is known to stimulate your appetite. Eating ginger before a meal gets the digestive juices flowing. This can help you eat larger portions and aids better digestion and absorption of nutrients (7).

You Will Need
  • ½ inch of fresh ginger
  • 1-2 glasses of water
  • A vessel (to boil)
  • A strainer
What You Need To Do 
  1. Consume raw ginger before your meal.
  2. You can also roughly chop the ginger into big pieces or grate it in the water.
  3. Boil this mixture of ginger and water for a few minutes.
  4. Strain this in a glass after it is slightly cooled.
  5. Drink this mixture before your meal.
How Often You Need To Do This

You can consume a small piece of ginger 1-2 times every day.

5. Chamomile Tea

5. Chamomile Tea Pinit

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Chamomile tea is known to have appetite stimulating properties. It is also known to calm and relax your nerves. These facts do not have scientific backing yet, but this remedy has been used by people for years and has proved to be quite beneficial.

You Will Need
  • 1 chamomile tea bag or a few chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup water
  • A vessel (to boil)
What You Need To Do 
  1. Add the tea bag to a cup of hot water and allow it to brew for a few minutes.
  2. If you don’t have a tea bag, add chamomile flowers to water and let it boil for a few minutes before you consume it.
How Often You Need To Do This

You can drink chamomile tea 1-2 times daily, an hour before meals, or just before bedtime.

6. Drink Milk

6. Drink Milk Pinit

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Milk has been traditionally used as a method to gain weight and muscle for years. It is not only calorie dense, but it also has a good amount of protein, good fats, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It has a combination of both casein and whey proteins that help to build muscle. Studies have shown that muscle mass increases when you combine drinking milk and weightlifting exercises (7), (8).

You Will Need 

1-2 glasses of warm milk

What You Have To Do
  1. Drink one to two glasses of warm milk during the day as a snack or as a pre- or post-workout meal.
  2. You can also drink warm milk before bedtime for a sound sleep.
How Often You Need To Do This 

You can drink about one to two glasses of milk per day. Try not to consume more than two glasses every day.

Try any or a combination of the above methods to gain weight. Below are a few tips that can help you.

Tips To Gain Weight 

  • Don’t drink water before or during meals. This might make you eat lesser.
  • Don’t opt for a “lite” or “skim” version of foods. For example, if you are drinking milk or eating yogurt, go for the full-fat version.
  • Have larger portion sizes. You can use bigger plates to ensure a bigger portion size.
  • Eat frequently throughout the day.
  • Make sure that your midmeal snacks are calorie- and nutrient-dense.
  • Do weight training 3 to 4 days a week.
  • Use natural or herbal products as mass gainers instead of artificial supplements. That way, when you need to stop, you will not start losing the built-up muscle easily.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Resting well allows for proper muscle growth.

Here are a few precautions you need to keep in mind.

Precautions To Follow

  • Don’t overdo cardio activities as you will burn more calories than you need to. However, it is also important not to neglect cardio altogether. You can do it once or twice a week and focus on weight training on the other days.
  • In a rush to gain weight quickly, a lot of people tend to binge on unhealthy junk food. Avoid doing this.
  • Don’t give up too quickly. It takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work to gain weight in a healthy manner. Just keep going.

Follow the above remedies and tips diligently, and you will surely gain weight the healthy way. Do you know any other methods to gain weight? Share them with us in the comments below.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

How long does it take to notice weight gain?

This differs from person to person. It can usually take a few days or up to a week or two to see any visible results.

Why overeating doesn’t make you fat?

It is not overeating that makes you fat, but it is eating the wrong or bad kind of calories that become toxic and lead to weight gain.

Is it bad to lose weight too quickly?

Yes, it is. Losing weight too quickly promotes a lot of health risks since crash diets are low in nutrients. Also, when you stop the crash diet, you put on more weight than you had before.

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate and obsessed about science and how it can be applied to daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.