How to Gain Weight: 7 Healthy Weight Gain Tips for Women
What most people do not know is gaining weight can be just as tricky as weight loss. An unhealthy body mass index (BMI) can cause serious health risks, and going too far below the recommended BMI can make one prone to constant fatigue, anemia, a weakened immune system, and impaired growth.
But how do you gain weight in a healthy way?
It’s not as easy as stuffing your face with junk food and sugary drinks, which, although effective, can only lead to other unhealthy conditions. “Dirty” bulking can cause a whole host of health problems including diabetes, heart ailments, and dangerous amounts of fat in risky places.
But there is a way to gain weight without compromising your body’s integrity. It starts by building muscle through healthy nutrient-dense, unprocessed, high calorie foods for each meal. Here’s how you can start.
How can I gain weight quickly?
There are plenty of girls who struggle with weight loss, so much so that most health tips center around how to lose weight. There are even capsules, drinks, supplements and other slimming products all geared toward helping one lose a few pounds. But what about those who struggle with the reverse problem? We may not know it, but there are just as many people on the opposite end of the spectrum who are malnourished and struggle to bulk up. Whether it’s due to a health condition or simply an overactive metabolism, trying to gain weight can be as difficult and challenging as trying to lose it.
If you’re someone who can easily lose weight but aren’t quite sure how to flesh out your body, then this guide might be for you. In this health blog, we tackle everything you need to know about gaining healthy weight in a sustainable, clean manner. Read on!
How can skinny people gain weight fast?
Let’s get one thing straight: there is no overnight solution to gaining weight. Loading your body with unhealthy junk food, fats, and sugars can work in the short run, but eventually all that dirt will catch up to you and negatively impact your health. This can lead to fatigue and chronic illnesses, and at worst, serious conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart ailments.
But how exactly can one increase weight without putting their body at risk of serious illnesses? It’s actually quite simple. The trick here is to eat calorie-rich healthy foods that also add nourishment and health to your body. By going above your usual caloric intake, you’ll be able to gain weight quicker. The more calories you consume every day, the faster you’ll be able to achieve that weight gain you need.
For those who love to be meticulous with their diet, you might already know what your maintenance calorie levels are. The maintenance calorie level is how much you need to consume every day in order to, well, maintain your present weight.
Depending on your goals, you can add more or reduce the amount you take. If you aren’t already aware of your maintenance level, there are plenty of resources online that let you calculate it. Some may also recommend the needed additional amount in order to start gaining mass. More on this later on in our guide.
By the way, if being underweight has had a negative impact on your health, we suggest talking to a doctor. Consulting with your doctor or a registered dietitian can help give you a better idea of what your diet should look like, and a consultation doesn’t have to be intimidating at all! In fact, seeking help as early as possible is the best way to prevent serious conditions, as a registered dietitian will be able to recommend ways to gain weight specific to your body’s needs.
That said, you can always start your weight gain journey right at home. Looking for healthier alternatives to your usual meals, as well as consuming more protein-rich and calorie-dense food is just one of the many ways you can begin.
Read on to find out how to gain weight successfully!
What should I use to gain weight?
A clean diet full of wholesome foods can help you build muscle and gain weight in a slow yet sustainable fashion. Want to learn exactly how? Here are 7 tips to help you gain weight safely and healthily!
TIP #1: Don’t cut the calories
A simple rule that can help you gain weight is to consume more calories than you burn. This is why an athlete requires a heavier diet: they need to bulk up so they have energy to expend during strenuous physical activities. Calorie-rich food includes healthy fats, dairy products, whole grains, nut butters, and more.
Depending on your lifestyle, you can add 300-500 calories above your maintenance level for a slow gain, so that means consuming 2,000 calories per day instead if you usually consume 1,500. If you’re in a hurry, you can go for 700-1,000 calories above your regular intake.
This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy tracking your calorie intake and listing down the caloric equivalent of every single food you eat. Just make sure you incorporate certain foods into your diet. We recommend:
- Brown Rice (248 calories per cup)
- Nuts (719 calories per 100g)
- Sweet potatoes (258 calories per cup mashed)
- Homemade Granola (597 calories per cup)
- Chickpeas (269 calories per cup)
- Dairy milk (298 calories per cup)
- Other full-fat dairy products (sour cream, whipping cream, etc.)
TIP #2: Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as they say! One of the best ways to gain weight, aside from loading up on calories, is to go for nutrient-packed foods. Your body needs nourishment, and switching regular meals for their whole grain alternatives can provide you with the healthy weight gain you require.
Unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, and healthy dairy add-ons are a wonderful way to incorporate nutrients into your diet and save yourself a trip to the doctor. You can also try swapping out your regular cooking oil for extra virgin olive oil.
TIP #3: Watch what you drink
Swap out soda for nutrient-dense smoothies and shakes loaded with fruits and vegetables. Processed sugary food may be a quick solution, but the health problems simply aren’t worth it. Instead, a healthy smoothie can add to the calories you consume while keeping your health in check throughout the day. Here are some nutrient-rich recipes you can try at home:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie (650 calories)
- 1 banana
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp honey
Blueberry Banana Smoothie (465 calories)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- ½ cup full-fat yogurt
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie (730 calories)
- ¼ cup powdered oats
- 1 medium banana
- 1/2 cup milk
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp honey
TIP #4: PACK IN SOME PROTEINS to help you gain weight
Another way to avoid a serious health problem and promote weight gain is by adding tons of protein into your diet. Mix high-protein foods with carbohydrates to build muscle weight quickly. Food such as nuts, chicken, red meat, salmon, fatty fish, beans, eggs, and full-fat yogurt are just some of the things you can incorporate into your everyday diet to bump up your BMI.
Tip #5: Treat yourself
One of the best (and most underrated) tips to aid weight gain is by having a snack every once in a while! A good, healthy treat will be able to improve your health condition while letting you stay on track. Cleveland Clinic recommends the following smart snacks to keep you energized throughout the day:
- Whole grain toast
- 1 Sliced Banana with 1 tbsp. Peanut butter (300 calories)Blueberry muffin and a medium vanilla latte (500-700 calories)
- Grilled cheese sandwich (650 calories)
- Sweetened yogurt and granola (300 calories)
- Dried fruit (359 calories per 100g)
- Tortilla chips with sour cream (245 calories)
- English muffin with 1 tbsp. Nut butter (200 calories)
Tip #6: Do Weight-heavy athlete Workouts
Contrary to popular belief, working out doesn’t always mean weight loss. In fact, many people sign up at the gym in order to build muscle weight. Lifting can contribute to some form of weight loss, but you’re going to need (and want) to eat more after an intense session. This can help bump up your appetite so you’re instinctively reaching for more food more often.
Building muscle mass is a surefire way to bulk up healthily, so the next time you’re at the gym (a.k.a. when it’s safe, of course), don’t be afraid to go right for the intimidating weights section. Plus, you get to have fun picking clothes for your workout!
Tip #7: Talk to a Doctor about your body mass index
Being underweight can pose serious health issues, including fatigue, susceptibility to sickness, anemia, and more. Once you think your low BMI has become a grave health problem and your body is at risk, the best course of action is always to seek medical advice from a doctor.
Your doctor will be able to evaluate your health condition and have a complete history of your diet, providing you with a more exact meal plan to improve your weight in a healthy way. Next time you’re feeling a fatigued, don’t be scared to contact a registered dietitian.
In summary, maximize your calorie intake, load up on nutrient-rich proteins and healthy fats, and train like an athlete if you’re up for it! With these simple lifestyle changes, your body will be well on its way to achieving those healthy curves!
We hope these tips can help you with your weight gain journey! Want more content like this? Leave a comment below.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.