Top Foods to Gain Weight

Weight gain is possible!


While people generally think losing weight is hard, it’s equally important to realise that gaining weight doesn’t come easy to a lot of people either.

Some of us who have been underweight have also dealt with health issues and self-esteem issues in the same way people who are overweight have. The grass may always seem greener on the other side, but what matters is to get yourself in the optimal weight range – according to your age, height, gender and level of activity – to maintain good health.

When you think weight gain, don’t go for the nearest junk food available in sight. Instead, think bolstering the level of protein in your diet. Aside from that, it’s also important to incorporate healthy fats and get in some good quality calories from complex carbs.

Always remember the importance of gaining weight the right way.

Weight gain essentially happens due to caloric excess – in other words, you put on weight when you eat more than what you burn. But it’s always important to get your calories from good, healthy sources so that you gain weight, look great and feel healthy and positive too.

Incorporating the following foods in your diet can take you a long way to gain healthy weight.



The typical protein shake consists of a scoop or two of any protein supplement/powder mixed with a glass of water or milk. Taken twice a day, protein shakes are the easiest and most convenient ways you can put on weight.

A home-made protein shake/smoothie option is to blend together two frozen bananas, a cup of milk/yoghurt, any nut butter (peanut or almond is preferred), a couple of tablespoons of flax, chia and pumpkin seeds and a natural sweetener of choice, if required (my go-to is a tablespoon of fresh date syrup which lets me sneak in even more calories!).

    • Rice

Rice is a convenient and calorie-dense option for people looking to gain weight. This means you can get a fair number of calories from a single serving. For best results, rice should be consumed with other filling calorie-dense foods. Consider switching out white rice for brown rice.

    • Starchy veg

Think potatoes, yams, pumpkins, corn and the like. These starchy veg are wonderfully filling and calorie-dense. They also provide a good source of glucose which helps store fat in the body.

Also include some protein-rich veg in your diet such as peas, beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach etc.

    • Seeds

Seeds are tiny superfoods that are protein and fibre-rich. They are also choc-full of essential minerals that we need so that metabolism can be regulated and our bodies remain healthy in the optimal weight range.

Adding a helping of flax, chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and hemp seeds to salads, blending them in smoothies and shakes or adding them as a topping to lunch and dinner dishes are great little additions to help you add calories without having too eat more than what you’re used to.

    • Nuts and nut butters

Nuts and nut butter are ideal for weight gainers, especially for those who are on a plant-based diet. A quick handful of nuts twice a day can pack in a lot of great calories for you. Nuts such as almonds and peanuts are protein-dense, and that’s exactly what you need.

Nut butters also make wonderful snack-time additions – think spreading some to whole wheat bread, adding a dollop to your protein or banana shake/smoothie or just having it as is.

    • Chickpeas and lentils

While chickpeas and lentils are wonderful for people looking to shed pounds (because they are rich in protein and fibre, leaving you full for longer – which means you don’t have the appetite to snack on unhealthy or fatty things!), they are also great for people who want to gain weight.

This is because they’re super rich in protein. Especially for those who are on a vegetarian or fully plant-based diet, chickpeas and lentils are exactly the kind of protein we should look to eat more of in our diet so that we can put on some healthy muscle.

    • Dried fruit

Snack on a bowl of dried fruit such as dried apricots, raisins, prunes and dates for a calorie-dense mini-meal. These fruits are powerhouses of healthy carbs, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.

Not only do you get to gain weight, you’re literally eating your way to wonderful health too.

    • Whole grain breads

Whole grain breads are a good way to get in some good calories. While a slice of white bread and a slice of whole grain bread would have roughly the same number of calories, whole grains are by far the healthier option.

Combine whole grain bread with some healthy fat and protein – say cheese on toast or bread with olive oil, cheese and tomatoes.

    • Healthy oils and fats

Bring on the avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Avocados are superfoods packed with calories and although hearing the word “fats” might make most people run in the opposite direction, remember that all fats are not made equal.

This means that there indeed is such a thing as healthy fats, and these are necessary in in everyone’s diet. Healthy oils are packed with calories and simply adding a spoonful to salads and sides makes a great little calorie boost!

    • Banana shakes

Bananas are amongst the most calorie packed fruits available. They are also a great source of instant energy which makes them perfect as a pre-workout snack. Combining bananas with full fat milk or yoghurt makes a great eight-gain smoothie.

Some little additions like a couple of tablespoons of nuts is also a neat hack to sneak in even more calories.

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