For some people, gaining weight or putting on muscle can be just as difficult as losing weight. However, simply adding certain foods to your diet can be very effective when it comes time to gain weight healthily.
Here, we’ll show you 7 of the best foods to help you gain weight or add muscle in a healthy way.
1. Homemade protein shakes
Drinking homemade protein shakes can be a very nutritious and fast way to gain weight.
The best thing to do is make your own shakes, since the commercial versions are often filled with sugars and lack nutrients. Making your own shake also allows you to vary the flavor and the nutrient content.
Here are some delicious variations that you can try. You can combine each one with 2 cups (470 ml) of milk or an alternative, such as almond milk.
Walnut, banana and chocolate shake
- 1 banana
- 2 teaspoons of milk chocolate whey protein (10 ml)
- 1 cup of skim milk (200 ml)
- Combine the ingredients until you have a homogenous liquid and drink it after working out.
Avocado, chocolate and hazelnut shake
- 2 cups of chocolate milk (400 ml)
- 2 teaspoons of chocolate whey protein (10 ml)
- 1 tablespoon of hazelnut butter (20 g)
- 1 avocado
- Mix all of the ingredients for a few minutes and drink the shake after a training session.
Super green shake
- 1 cup of spinach (60 g)
- An avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of pineapple (150 g)
- 2 teaspoons of protein powder, flavorless of vanilla (10 ml)
- Mix all the ingredients well and drink.
All of these shakes contain about 400 to 600 calories, along with a large amount of protein and other important vitamins and minerals.
Milk has been used to help gain weight or generate muscle for decades. It provides a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is also a great source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
For those who are trying to put on muscle, milk is an excellent source of protein that provides both casein and whey proteins.
Also, studies have shown that milk, or its whey and casein combined, can help you gain more mass than other protein sources.
Try to drink around one or two glasses as a refreshment, with a meal, or before and after physical training.
3. Red meat
Red meat is probably one of the best foods available for building muscle.
Steak, for example, contains around 3 grams of leucine for every 6 ounces (170 g). Leucine is the key amino acid that they body needs for stimulating protein synthesis and adding new muscle tissue.
In addition to that, red meats are one of the best sources of creatine in the diet. This is possibly the best supplement for building muscle.
They also have more fats and calories than lean meats, which makes them helpful when trying to eat more calories in order to gain weight.
4. Potatoes and starches
Potatoes and other starchy foods are an easy economic way to add additional calories.
Try to choose on these healthy sources of carbohydrates with starch:
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Winter vegetables
- Beans and legumes
Potatoes and other starches don’t just add carbohydrates and calories that will help you gain weight healthily; they also increase muscular glycogenic reserves.
Glycogen is a source of fuel that is predominantly used for the majority of sports and activities.
Many of these carbohydrate sources also provide important nutrients and fibers, as well as resistant starches that can help to nourish the intestinal bacteria.
Similar to red meat, salmon and cold water fish are excellent sources of protein and important fatty acids.
Of all the nutrients that salmon and cold water fish contain, omega 3 fatty acids are among the most important and well known.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very important and provide us with numerous health benefits. They also fight diseases.
- Just one 6 ounce salmon filet (170 g) contains about 350 calories and 4 grams of omega 3.
- It also contains 34 grams of high-quality protein, which helps with muscle development and putting on weight.
Avocados are filled with healthy fats. Unlike other fruits, avocados are fairly calorie dense and, because of that, are an excellent food to help you put on weight.
- Just one large avocado (200 grams) contains about 322 calories, 29 grams of fat and 17 grams of fiber.
- Avocados are also rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Try to add avocado to your main meals and other meals like omelettes or sandwiches.
7. Dark chocolate
High-quality dark chocolate provides great amounts of antioxidants and health benefits. The majority of people recommend getting bitter chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.
Similar to other foods that are high in fat, dark chocolate has a very high caloric density. This means that it is very easy to get a lot of calories from it.
- Every 100 gram bar (3.5 ounces) contains about 600 calories.
- It is also filled with micronutrients and health promoting components, like fiber, magnesium and antioxidants.
The secret behind gaining weight is consuming more calories than your body needs.
The weight increase is also important. You want to add weight in way that the calories will turn into muscle and not just fat.
Add the foods on this list to your daily meals and keep using them until you reach your goal weight.