Best tips to gain healthy weight

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Quite often, most people embark on a fitness journey to lose some weight. However, that is a one-sided view of fitness as other people strive to weigh at times.


Choosing to gain weight is not enough as doing it wrongly could lead to obesity. Obesity is described as when you gain excess weight and become overweight. This could potentially pose a risk to your health.


There have been many misconceptions about the proper way of gaining weight across the years.


Some of the methods to put on weight could have both short and long-term effects on your health.


This article gives tips on gaining weight healthily, detailing the misconceptions and what you also need to avoid in your weight gain journey.


How to gain weight in a healthy way


First of all, it is essential to clarify that there is nothing wrong with the idea of wanting to gain weight. Issues concerning weight gain have often been around the methods used.


There are various drugs on the market which are advertised to give a shortcut route to weight gain. However, it is key to note that these drugs always come with side effects.


It’s not always the case that an underweight person chooses to embark on a weight gain journey. Sometimes, people want more weight so they can put on muscle.


To gain weight, you must first understand the underlying principles of the process.


Studies show that when you consume 300-500 calories more than your body burns each day, then you’re on the right path for a steady weight gain. However, if you want to quicken the process, you’ll need to start looking at 1,000 calories more than you burn daily.


Your body burns calories through physical activity and metabolism. The latter is a natural process you can’t control, but the former solely depends on you.


When it comes to gaining or losing weight, everything depends on the calorie deficit you create.


To gain weight, you either have to increase your calorie intake per day significantly, or you need to cut down on your physical activity drastically.


Other factors such as your lifestyle, stress, sleep, environment, etc., all affect your weight. However, the standout principle is the calorie deficit.


To accurately create this calorie deficit, you must have a fair idea of the number of calories you take in and let out each day.


This information needs to be accurate to successfully create a calorie deficit that will be significant to start gaining weight over a while.


It’s advisable to record the calories of every single meal you eat each day for at least two weeks, so you get a fair idea of your calorie intake level. There are several apps online which help in the collection of calorie data. Most of these apps will calculate your total calories per day and record your calories burnt, so you have an idea of the deficit you’re creating.


It’s quite clear at this stage that if you are planning on gaining weight, the one thing you need to increase is the level of calories you take. Carbohydrates and sugars contain a lot of calories, but you will need to be moderate in your consumption.


Consuming a lot of sugars and carbohydrates will rapidly increase your calorie level and help you gain weight once you maintain the deficit. But, on the other hand, taking in a lot of foods with sugars and carbohydrates could increase your risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions.


That’s why it is always good to seek medical help or an expert opinion when you decide to alter your weight. But, beyond that, there are some lifestyle and fitness tips you’ll have to integrate into your daily routine to help you healthily gain weight.


Key tips for gaining healthy weight


The tips below are scientifically proven to help you safely gain weight:


Eat more but healthy food


Research shows that increasing the number of times you eat daily automatically increases your calorie intake.


The same research saw a higher intake of calories when people ate small meals at different intervals than those who ate a lot at once.


It is recommended that a person who wants to gain weight eats three to five meals a day. It makes it easier to increase your calorie intake when you’re eating five different meals daily.


It doesn’t have to be the main meal at each interval. Snacking in between meals is also allowed as it also helps increase the number of calories.



What to eat?


We mentioned earlier that it is essential to consume healthy food to increase the amount of food you take in. Here are some healthy foods you can consider on your weight gain journey.



Eat a lot of protein


Protein helps with muscle growth and should be considered when developing a diet to gain weight. Increasing your muscle mass is one of the healthy ways to gain weight. This can only be done with guided weight training and consuming high amounts of protein. High-protein foods you can consider right before you hit the gym for weight training include:


    • Meats
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • Beans
    • Legumes
    • Nuts

Eat meals with fiber and healthy fats


Foods with high amounts of fiber and healthy fats contain many calories, but what makes them stand out is the nutrients they also provide.


They contain sources of energy that can be used for exercises in the gym and improve muscle growth. It is healthier to adopt wholemeal sources such as brown rice and brown beans instead of using processed sources.


When it comes to fats, it is vital to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats are usually monosaturated, and you can find them in foods such as fish, vegetable oils, nuts, olives, peanut butter, and avocado. Unhealthy fats are usually trans fats and saturated fats found in fried meals such as lamb, beef, goat, cow, and pork.


If you choose to eat fatty foods, you can opt for the more healthy ones because they equally provide a lot of calories. In addition, they have health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol levels, and preventing the hardening of arteries.


Drink milkshakes or smoothies with high calories


When you drastically increase the intervals you eat, there is the chance you might lose appetite or not be in the mood for food. Another option you can opt for is a smoothie or a milkshake. Both are usually very dense in calories and nutrients, and they don’t make you feel too full after drinking them. Some healthy smoothies or shakes you can consider are:


    • yogurt
    • seeds
    • nut butter
    • greens (spinach)
    • milk
    • fruits
    • nuts


Weight training


Improving your muscle mass helps you gain a healthy weight, so yes, you still need to visit the gym even when you want to gain weight.


Instead of focusing on cardiovascular activities, you’ll mainly shift your attention to weight exercises.


Research shows that doing weight exercises at least thrice a week helps is crucial to gaining healthy weight. In addition, weight training is the only way to gain lean muscle mass and maintain it.


To continue developing and maintaining the lean muscle you develop over time, you’ll have to either increase the weights or the number of sets or reps.


You may also have to adopt newer and more challenging muscle workouts as your body starts to adopt.


One way to build muscles effectively is through compound movements such as bench presses, deadlifts, and squats.


Once you start to work out, you must consider that so you give your body enough calories to fuel your time at the gym. However, you’ll also have to keep in mind that you still need to create your calorie deficit to gain weight.


Look for help if you need some


The journey to healthily gaining weight can be quite unusual and tiring, so often it is recommended to include an expert.


A dietician can help you create that calorie deficit without your body feeling the full effects.


Also, you need gym equipment and instructors to help you do weight training effectively. Fitness One Gym, located at One Airport Square, specializes in assisting people in developing lean muscle mass and maintaining it.


What to avoid when on a weight gain journey


Reducing cardiovascular workouts


Most people cut down on cardiovascular activities, so they don’t have to burn a lot of calories. However, you still need to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.


Cardio exercises shouldn’t be the focus, but you can limit yourself to about 30 minutes of jogging, running, swimming, etc., three times a week instead of stopping completely.


Cutting down on vegetables


Vegetables are low in calories, and the mere fact that you want to increase your calorie intake doesn’t mean you have to stop eating vegetables.


Vegetables contain crucial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help preserve the body and should be consumed regularly.


Giving up easily


One thing to keep in mind is that putting on weight the right way takes time. It is a natural process you are embarking on, and you will have to remain patient as your body adjusts. People have different bodies, and it might take longer for some than others, but consistency will bring results at the end of the day.







U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at


Benton, David. “Portion size: what we know and what we need to know.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 55,7 (2015): 988-1004. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.679980


“Calories Burned in 30 Minutes of Leisure and Routine Activities.” Harvard Health, 1 July 2004,


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at