Gain weight healthily by eating 5-6 meals a day, even if they are slightly smaller than usual. Make sure each meal includes healthy, calorie-dense foods like nuts and full-fat dairy, as they will help you gain more weight without feeling too full. If you don’t feel like you can eat more, drink liquid calories like 100% juices or smoothies because, since they tend to be less filling than food, they allow you to consume more calories overall.
Eat healthy foods that are calorie-dense. When you're trying to gain weight it's important to maximize the amount of calories you can consume with each meal and snack. Calorie-dense foods are items that are high in calories per serving.Consume these foods with each meal and snack.
Calorie dense foods to incorporate into your diet include: nuts and nut butters, avocados, full-fat dairy products (cheese, yogurt and milk), butter and oil, and eggs. Also use full-fat condiments like regular mayonnaise, full-fat cream cheese or full-fat salad dressings.
Not all high-fat foods are healthy or appropriate to eat more frequently or in larger quantities. Minimize these foods: fast food, deep fried foods, candy, and high-fat processed meats (bologna or hot dogs).
If you're eating multiple times throughout the day, you may feel more full. This may lead to smaller meals instead of several large meals. Even when meals/snacks are small, if they are calorie dense, they can help induce weight gain.
Add extra calories to meals and recipes. In addition to eating more calorie dense foods, you can also increase calories in your favorite meals and recipes. Adding extra foods or using higher calorie ingredients in your recipes is an easy way to bulk up your total calories. The more of a caloric punch you can add to meals, the more calories you'll consume over a given day and week.
In recipes, use full-fat dairy products or dried milk in soups, stews or casseroles calling for water.
Drizzle extra olive oil or add an extra pat of butter to salads, steamed vegetables, soups and casseroles.
Top lower calorie foods with high-calorie toppings. For example, top whole milk yogurt with nuts and granola or top your salad with full-fat shredded cheese and sunflower seeds.
Perform strength training activities. Strength training can aid in your weight gain. As you build lean muscle mass, you may notice your weight increases. This is highly important when attempting to gain weight. Many people do not realize that exercise is crucial to weight gain, just as it is to weight loss.
Strength training activities include: weight lifting, isometric exercises (push-ups or crunches) and Pilates.
Strength training does burn calories, just not as many as aerobic activities. However, it's still important to be aware of how the calories burned during these exercises affects your weight.
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