12 Ways To Naturally Gain Weight At Home

Eating more is not the only requirement for gaining weight – you need to do a bit more than that.

Medically reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, RD (Registered Dietitian) Merlin Annie Raj Merlin Annie RajRD (Registered Dietitian) facebook_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Nutrition), CDE Priyanka Sadhukhan MSc (Nutrition), CDE Experience: 8 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 462 million people globally are underweight (1).

A WHO report also mentions that in 2018, stunting affected 21.9% or 149 million children under the age of 5 years, while wasting affected 7.3% or 49 million children under 5. It also reported that almost 45% of deaths among children under the age of 5 years are linked to malnutrition.

While being obese or overweight can cause problems, being severely underweight can also lead to many health complications. To avoid all that, we have compiled a list of the top 12 ways to naturally gain weight at home in a healthy way. If you want to gain some pounds or muscle weight, you have come to the right page. Scroll down to know more!

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 are 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 throughout 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 hyperthyroidismi  A condition that makes the thyroid gland more active and releases a high level of thyroid hormone, often causing weight loss. , 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 nervosai  An eating disorder that leads to low body weight due to constant fear of gaining weight and turning obese. , bulimia nervosai  A psychological eating disorder that is characterized by episodes of binge-eating, often due to stress, followed by fasting. , 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

Eat healthy carbs and fats to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Eat more calories to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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.

Sonja Delicana, a registered nurse and lifestyle blogger, shared how taking care of her mind helped her improve her physical health and gain weight in one of her blog posts. She writes, “As my mind began to stabilize and build resilience, my desire to look physically healthier immediately soared – something I previously didn’t have the willpower to do (i).” She adds, “I increased my carb intake, started eating in larger portions, made sure I didn’t miss a meal, and simply savored the delectable taste of my favorite cuisines – all without feeling like I had to force myself.”

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

Eat plenty of protein to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

If you are wondering about how to gain weight at home? Then your answer is consuming more protein. 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

Improve physical strength to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Drink water to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Eat potatoes to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Eat dry fruits to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

Consuming dry fruits, nuts, and seeds is an excellent way to gain weight gradually. One study suggests that nuts, nut butters, and dried fruits (like dates, apricots, prunes) are good sources of protein, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fatsi  Healthy fatty acids that help lower cholesterol in the blood and occur naturally in foods like olive oil and nuts. 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

Ashwagandha to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Ginger to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Drink chamomile tea to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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

Drink milk to naturally gain weight at home
Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Try to consume protein shakes and choose creamed soups over clear soups. Creamed soups have more calories than clear ones.

Gaining weight naturally and healthily involves more than just increasing your calorie intake. It is also about choosing the right foods to eat. Learn more in the next section.

Diet Plan For Natural Weight Gain

  • Breakfast: Start with whole-grain toast, scrambled eggs, avocado, and a glass of full-fat milk or a smoothie with banana, peanut butter, oats, honey, and yogurt.
  • Lunch: Opt for lean meats like chicken or turkey in sandwiches or wraps with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Include quinoa or brown rice salad with veggies and feta cheese.
  • Snacks: Enjoy nuts, seeds, trail mixes, granola bars, and Greek yogurt. Cheese with whole-grain crackers also offers a good calorie boost.
  • Dinner: Serve grilled fish or steak with roasted vegetables and a starchy side dish like mashed potatoes or pasta.
  • Desserts: Choose rice pudding, homemade granola, or oatmeal cookies instead of sugary options.

Stay consistent, eat frequently, and incorporate strength training for optimal results. Below are a few other tips that can help you.

Tips To Gain Weight 

  • Don’t drink water before or during meals. This might make you eat less.
  • 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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Quitting smoking is good for your health and may help you gain weight. Studies show that smokers weigh less than non-smokers (8).

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.
  • It is important to exercise regularly as our aim is to gain healthy weight that can be maintained in the long run.
  • 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.

Infographic: Healthy Foods To Eat To Gain Weight At Home

People resort to several ways to gain weight, but not all of them are healthy. Though we have covered all the healthy ways to gain weight naturally at home, let us take a moment to concentrate on the foods you can consume to avoid health issues while gaining weight. Check out the infographic below to learn more!

healthy foods to eat to gain weight at home (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Being underweight according to your BMI measurements may have negative health repercussions. Genetics, a high metabolism, eating disorders, and stress are amongst the reasons behind being underweight. A big part of gaining weight and muscles has to do with one’s diet. The best way to gain muscle and put on weight is to choose calorie-dense and nutrient-rich food. Focus on foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins like rice, full-fat yogurt, whole grains, avocado, cheese, eggs, and high-calorie vegetables, such as potatoes and corn. You can indulge in milk, dry fruits, appetite-inducing teas like ginger and chamomile, fatty fish, and red meat to increase your weight without compromising on your health. Strength training with a couple of sessions of cardio per week can help you develop and strengthen your muscles. Maintaining a proper lifestyle as well as nutrition and hydration levels are also extremely crucial to get visible results.

Frequently Asked 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.

Which ashwagandha is best for weight gain?

Ashwagandha Ghrita is considered the best ashwagandha for weight gain due to Its high fat (9). Consult a nutritionist about the correct dosage of ashwagandha you should take to help you gain weight healthily.

How much weight is healthy to gain in a month?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that gaining 2-4 pounds in a month is a safe way to gain weight.

Is it possible to gain 10 pounds of muscle in a month?

Yes, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is possible to gain 10 pounds of muscle in a month by increasing your calorie and protein intake. However, consult a nutritionist before making extreme dietary changes.

Key Takeaways

  • Nuts, dried fruits, cheese, etc., have high calorific value. Adding these to your diet can help in gaining weight.
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of regular large meals can also support weight gain.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush out toxins from the body and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Always consult a dietician or healthcare professional regarding diet changes.
  • Stress management is also important as unnecessary stress can act as an obstacle in proper weight gain.
naturally gain weight at home

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team


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Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Malnutrition, World Health Organization.
    https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malnutrition
  2. Global Cortical Thinning in Acute Anorexia Nervosa Normalizes Following Long-Term Weight Restoration, Biological Psychiatry.
    https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(14)00704-5/fulltext
  3. Effect of dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition during overeating: a randomized controlled trial.Journal of the American Medical Association, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22215165
  4. Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men,The New England Journal of Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151731/
  5. Pairing nuts and dried fruit for cardiometabolic health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779204/
  6. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial, Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4658772/
  7. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
  8.  Cigarette Smoking, Nicotine, and Body Weight, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, National Library of Medicine
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195407/
  9. Effect of Ashwagandha Ghrita on Karshya(underweight): an explorative study, International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharmacy, ResearchGate.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301940947_EFFECT_OF_ASHWAGANDHAGHRITA_ON_KARSHYA_UNDERWEIGHT_AN_EXPLORATIVE_STUDY
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Merlin Annie Raj

Merlin Annie RajRegistered Dietitian Nutritionist

Merlin Annie Raj is a Registered Dietitian based out of Hyderabad, India. She has 14 years of experience in Clinical Nutrition as well as teaching Nutrition and Dietetics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. She was awarded the ‘President’s Award’ at the 47th Annual National Conference of the Indian Dietetic Association, 2014.   Merlin has conducted various weight management programs, prepared...read full bio

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