For those people with a fast metabolism, or who are too thin and want to gain weight in a healthy way, here is a plan on how to gain weight and be healthy. Though it may seem like a simple task, to gain weight healthily you cannot just load up on junk food and high fat selections. Instead, you must devise a plan high in calories and protein so that you can meet your goals without decreasing your health.
First, you should determine how many calories a day you should be eating to meet your weight gain goals. Speak with your doctor or use an online calorie calculator to get an estimate of what your body will need daily to gain weight.
Increasing Your Calories with Healthy Foods
Make some of these substitutions to your usual diet to increase your calorie intake in a healthy way.
- Eat high calorie snacks throughout the day such as dried fruits, nuts, and fruit juices
- Use olive, walnut, or canola oil to dress salads
- Add cheese and nuts to foods
- Eat peanut butter on whole grain bread and celery
- Use olive oil, walnut oil, or flax seed oil as a dip for whole grain breads
By choosing some of these options, you are making a positive choice and giving your body nutrients it needs. The benefits of eating these healthy fats are endless and offer good nutritional value (which in the long run will help you gain weight healthier).
Foods You Need to Gain Weight
You need carbohydrates for energy, and since you are trying to gain weight, you want to be sure to get enough carbohydrates to power your body (as well as add the extra nutrients to gain weight). The best way to increase your carbohydrates is to increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Don’t avoid green vegetables just because they are low in calories, as they have unbeatable nutritional value. Dress them up with added toppings to increase the calorie count, including olive oil, almonds, and cheese. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn have more calories as well and should be included in any weight gain diet. Snack on fresh fruits throughout the day, as well as fruit juices. Increase your consumption of grains and cereals, and try to make at least 3 of those servings coming from 100% whole grain products.
Healthy fats like polyunsaturated omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids should be included in any weight gain diet. To increase your intake of these essential fatty acida, eat:
- canola oil
- flax seed
- sunflower oil
- safflower oil
Monounsaturated fats like olive oil should also be included in your diet.
Eat healthy protein sources like:
Red meat is ok in moderation, but look for lean cuts and aim to eat it once or twice a week (as it contains lots of saturated fat). Protein is great if you’re looking to build muscle, as it is crucial for muscle development and repair.
A multivitamin can help you get any nutrients in your diet that you are lacking. There are many weight gain supplements and protein powders that can add extra calories to your diet as well. These work to help add calories, but should not be substituted for meals. Instead, they should be used in addition to a healthy diet.
By following these guidelines and including a healthy strength building workout routine, you can begin to see the effects of your work. It will take time, but gaining weight the healthy way will be better for your body. It will put you on a path of eating healthy that will lead you to a positive lifestyle change.