If you're underweight, you may have trouble getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly. You may also have a higher risk of developing certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis or anemia.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy ways to gain weight — and you don't have to resort to unhealthy junk food to do it. Here are 18 healthy ways to gain weight quickly, without adding junk food to your diet.
1. Eat More Frequently
If you're trying to gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your body burns off each day. One way to do this is to eat more meals throughout the day.
Instead of three square meals, try eating five or six smaller meals. This will help boost your calorie intake and prevent you from getting too hungry between meals.
2. Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods
When you're trying to gain weight, it's important to choose foods that are nutrient-rich and high in calories. focus on foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
Good options include lean meats, nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocados, whole grains, and starchy vegetables. These foods will help you gain weight in a healthy way and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
3. Use Healthy Oils and Fats
Healthy oils and fats can help you gain weight by increasing your calorie intake. Good options include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. You can also get healthy fats from fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Try adding these healthy oils and fats to your meals or using them as a cooking oil. Just be sure not to go overboard — too much of any type of fat can lead to weight gain.
4. Drink Whole Milk
Whole milk is a good source of calories and nutrients, making it an ideal drink for people who are trying to gain weight. A single cup of whole milk contains about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.
It's also a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. If you're lactose intolerant, you can try drinking soy milk or almond milk instead.
5. Eat More Protein-Rich Foods
Eating more protein-rich foods is a great way to gain weight and build muscle. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.
Aim to eat at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be eating 75 grams of protein each day.
6. Try a Weight Gainer Shake
Weight gainer shakes are a convenient way to increase your calorie intake and get the nutrients you need to gain weight. These shakes are usually high in calories and protein, making them ideal for people who are trying to bulk up.
Just be sure to choose a healthy weight gainer shake with no added sugar. You can also make your own weight gainer shake at home using milk, protein powder, and healthy ingredients like oats, bananas, and nut butter.
7. Use Protein Powder
Protein powder is another convenient way to increase your protein intake and help you gain weight. Protein powder comes in many different flavors and can be added to shakes, smoothies, and other recipes.
Just be sure to choose a healthy protein powder with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. You can also get protein from natural sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and eggs.
8. Add Healthy Snacks to Your Diet
If you're trying to gain weight, it's important to eat more calories than your body burns off each day. One way to do this is by adding healthy snacks to your diet.
Good snack options include nuts and nut butters, seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grain crackers, yogurt, protein bars and cottage cheese. These snacks will help you reach your calorie goals and provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. It's also essential for gaining weight.
Studies show that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. So make sure you're getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
10. Avoid Unhealthy Foods and Beverages
When you're trying to gain weight, it's important to focus on healthy foods that will help you reach your goals. However, you should also avoid unhealthy foods and beverages that can sabotage your efforts.
These include processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol. So make sure you're eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods and drinking plenty of water.
11. Talk to Your Doctor
If you're having trouble gaining weight, talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out what might be causing the problem and recommend treatments that can help.
Your doctor may also recommend a vitamin or mineral supplement if you're not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet.
12. Join a Gym
If you're not already active, joining a gym can help you gain weight. Exercise can help you build muscle and burn calories, which can lead to weight gain.
If you're not sure how to get started, ask a personal trainer for help. They can design a workout plan that's tailored to your goals.
If you're underweight and looking to gain weight, there are many healthy ways to do it. Try adding more calories to your diet, eating more protein-rich foods, and using protein powder. You should also make sure you're getting enough sleep and avoiding unhealthy foods and beverages. If you're still having trouble gaining weight, talk to your doctor for more advice.