Eating healthy is one thing, but eating healthy foods while also gaining weight is another altogether.
Most of us believe that the two things don’t go hand in hand.
If you’ve ever seen shows like ‘Man vs Food’ or anything involving bodybuilders, you may think that the fastest route to weight gain is to stuff your body full of fast food and unhealthy snacks.
This is obviously not the case.
While that salad you enjoy from time to time isn’t going to help you gain any weight on its own when you combine the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in each meal then you’ll start to see consistent results.
It’s all about how committed you are to gaining weight, and how much energy you put into the process.
Eating healthy all the time is hard, especially since the healthier foods always seem to take longer to prepare and cook. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the best healthy high-calorie foods you can eat to help you in your quest for weight gain, let you in on some of the best forms of exercise to do and give you tips on how to gain weight while staying healthy!
What are the best healthy high-calorie foods?
If you know anything about the process of losing and gaining weight, you’ll know what you need to do to put on weight.
Put simply, you need to be at a caloric surplus by the end of the day,
What does that mean?
Well, it means you need to eat more calories than you burn off. So say you typically eat around 2000 calories a day to maintain your current bodyweight, then you need to eat more than 2000 regularly to put on weight reliably.
In this example, if you want to gain weight steadily, it might look like 2300-2500 calories daily, whereas if you want to put on weight quickly it might look more like 3,000 calories.
As a result, it’s no use eating celery and lettuce leaves all day, as a rabbit’s diet isn’t going to be rich in calories.
Instead, you need to pack as many calorie-dense foods as possible into your day, so that you can accelerate the weight-gaining process. You need to incorporate high-calorie snacks and high-calorie meals into your day to gain weight fast.
According to the Cleveland Clinic website, there are many great healthy high-calorie snacks you can eat to keep you going throughout the day and to replace the unhealthy packet of crisps that doesn’t help you edge closer to your goal.
Here are some examples of healthy snacks the health clinic recommends:
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Avocado on Toast
- Greek Yoghurt with Fruit and/or Nuts
- Bagel with Cream Cheese
- Tuna or Egg Salad Sandwich
Of course, you can get creative as you want with these snacks and put your own spin on them. In fact, we recommend that you do, since you want the snacks you prepare to taste great so you’re motivated to make them often.
Are there any high-calorie vegetables?
If you’re trying to put on weight while staying healthy, then you don’t want to throw out the vegetables on your place for chips and chicken nuggets, even if the latter might supply you with more calories.
Even so, are there high-calorie vegetables that you could try to include to maximise your potential weight gain with every meal?
We’re glad you asked since there are indeed several vegetables that are high in calories, meaning you’re free to add them to every meal as they’re in alignment with your weight gain goals.
So what are these power vegetables, and how can you integrate them into your weight gain meal plan?
We know what you’re thinking, ‘how can peas be one of the most calorie-dense vegetables?!’
As much of a surprise as it may be at first, the tiny green spheres that often go nicely with fish and chips actually have 67 calories per 100g.
This makes them an excellent addition to any dish, especially since they also have a good amount of protein and fibre in them.
To include them in your meal plan, give pea soup a go when it starts to get cold outside, or even add them to pasta for something a little different from the standard bolognese.
Beetroots are as fun to look at as they are nutritious.
It doesn’t end there though, as beetroots are the vegetable that keeps on giving, with a respectable 54 calories per 100g serving.
The great thing about beetroots is that they can liven up just about any salad.
This is a controversial pick but bear with us.
Brussel sprouts may typically be reserved for the festive season, but we’re here to tell you that they can be a regular part of your weight-gaining diet. With 52 calories per 100g, they can help bulk out your meals and give you those precious extra calories you need.
If you’re scared by the mere thought of grandma’s steamed sprouts on Christmas day, don’t worry, you can still enjoy sprouts!
The simplest way to prepare them is to cut them into quarters and crisp them up and then add a generous handful of bacon and garlic on top.
What Forms of Training is Best?
Gaining weight isn’t all about what you put in your body, but also what you do with your body.
While moving around a lot and doing cardio exercise is associated with weight loss, you should be moving around whatever your fitness goal is since it’ll keep you healthy.
However, if you want to do some training that’s congruent with weight gain, your best bet is to start working out with weights.
If you can convert some of the fat you put on into muscle, then you’ll look all the better for it and you can achieve your desired weight by filling out your figure.
If you haven’t got the faintest idea where to start, we recommend working with a personal trainer. To find one, you can head to the Superprof website where you’ll be able to find a plethora of experienced and qualified PTs ready to assist you either in-person if they’re local or online.
Together, you can come up with a weight training plan that will help you pack on muscle mass quicker than you’d be able to if you were figuring it out on your own.
Weight training doesn’t necessarily mean you have to turn into a bicep-curling robot that spends all of its time in the gym, though.
Here are some of your options for building muscle with and without weights:
- Callisthenics or bodyweight training
There are even sports such as climbing, gymnastics, and wrestling that can help you with how to gain weight and muscle over time.
How do you Stick to your Weight Gain Goals?
To stick with your weight gain goals, you need a plan.
If you want this to be something you commit to in the long term, then you can’t rely on your motivation from one day to the next to sustain you.
It won’t work.
If you go into the process blind, then it will be hard to recover the first few times that you get home late from work and don’t have time to prepare the meal you had in mind. It will be hard to think of what to eat and what can give you the calories you need. It will be hard to stick to a form of exercise and motivate yourself to go on a regular basis.
You need a meal plan that you can put up on the fridge and consult on a daily and weekly basis. This will tell you what groceries you need to buy and what meals and snacks you can prepare in advance.
You also need a training plan that outlines how often you will train in a week, and ideally what you will do in each session.
Finally, you need a general idea of how many calories you need to eat every day to gain weight and to figure out how many calories that means you have to eat with each meal to stay on track.
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