Published: 08/21/2014 - Updated: 04/26/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
Even though it may sound simple, gaining weight can be a fairly complicated task for underweight individuals. However, by making just a few changed in our diet and habits, we can achieve natural and healthy weight gain.
Make sure you’re healthy
Before starting a weight-gain diet, it is important to first undergo a general check-up, to make sure we don’t have any illness that could be causing weight loss, or difficulty in gaining weight.
You should also consider a few factors that cause weight loss, like the use of certain medications, depression, anxiety, stress, etc.
If you don’t have any illnesses, or any of the aforementioned factors in your life, it is more than likely that your weight loss, or low weight, is due to a calorie deficiency. You are not meeting your energetic needs. This means that you need to make changes to your diet to increase calorie intake, either through home preparations, or by supporting yourself with dietary supplements.
Hyper-caloric diet for weight gain
The following diet can serve as a guide to gaining weight. Do not discard, however, a nutritional assessment, as each and everyone’s metabolism is different, according to age, weight, size, etc.
One you wake up:
- 2 oatmeal cookies and 1 cup of tea or coffee with skim milk. Sweeten with sugar if necessary.
- 1 large bowl of fresh fruit, or 1 glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice.
- ½ cup of a fiber-rich cereal, with ½ cup of skim milk, and 1 Tbsp. of raisons or dried blueberries.
- 1 cooked egg, and 1 sausage, fried in a bit of oil.
- 2 slices of toast with 1 Tbsp. of honey
- Option 1: 1 drinkable yogurt with 2 whole-grain cookies.
- Option 2: A smoothie with 1 cup of skim milk, 1 cup of strawberries, and 2 Tbsp. of rolled oats. If necessary, sweeten with natural honey.
- Option 3: 1 glass of fruit juice (orange, grapefruit, etc.) and 25 grams of dried fruit, or an energy bar.
- ½ cup of noodle soup.
- 120 grams of lean meat, fish, or chicken.
- 1 large cooked potato or sweet potato
- 1 large salad with 1 Tbsp. of dressing or vinaigrette
- Dessert: Half a cup of homemade pudding
- Beverage: 1 glass of fruit juice, like sugar-sweetened lemonade.
- 1 sandwich with 2 slices of whole-grain bread. 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter or cream cheese, with crushed walnuts.
- Sandwiches with filling: two slices of whole-grain bread with 2 Tbsp. polyunsaturated margarine and another filling.
- Beverage: 1 cup of tea with milk and honey, or sugar for a sweetener.
- 1 glass of natural fruit juice (orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.)
- 90 grams of lean meat, fish, or low-fat cheese.
- One large salad with fresh vegetables, and 1 Tbsp. of dressing or vinaigrette.
- ½ cup of noodle or rice soup.
- 1 glass of skim milk, with 2 whole-grain cookies
Advice for gaining weight
It is important to keep in mind that gaining weight can be a bit of a slow task, which is why patience is primordial. Don’t try to gain weight overnight. Increase your calorie consumption gradually. The weight you gain will then will be less likely to be made entirely of fat.
Including excess calories in your diet could promote weight gain in fat, which is not all too healthy. Remember, your goal is to gain weight healthily, which is why you should include an exercise routine to strengthen and stimulate muscle gains.
Do not forget your health. A lot of people believe that in order to gain weight, you must consume sweets, fried foods, cakes, and other high-calorie foods. However, you can’t forget about nutrition. Choosing healthy options is also important, so try to limit your consumption of processed foods, and instead, include enough fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, etc.
Lastly, don’t forget to rest. Rest is absolutely necessary for good health, and sleeping less than 6 hours a day can keep our stress and anxiety levels high. These two factors can also affect our weight. Rest is especially necessary if are exercising to gain weight.
A practical smoothie
Smoothies are a quick way to increase caloric intake in our diets, especially if we don’t have time to prepare something more elaborate, or even if we just can’t eat large amounts of food, because we’re not used to it. To add calories to your daily diet, include a smoothie in your breakfast, with the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of skim milk
- ½ banana or 1 cup of strawberries
- 2 Tbsp. oats flakes
- 2 Tbsp. honey
If your smoothie is really thick, you can add a bit more milk. Serve, and drink alongside your normal breakfast. This can help you gain weight, especially in the first few weeks.
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