Gaining weight or adding muscle can be as daunting for some people as loosing weight for others.
Nevertheless, simply adding certain foods to your diet will make your attempts at gaining weight healthier and more effective.
Here are 18 of the best foods for the safe way to help you gain weight or build muscle.
1. Drinking homemade protein smoothies can be a highly nutritious and easy way to gain weight.
It’s the perfect way to make your own smoothies, because commercial ones are mostly full of sugar and lack nutrients. This also offers you complete control over the quality of flavours and nutrients.
Below are only a few delicious combinations you might try. Every can be paired with 2 cups of milk (470 ml), or an alternative such as almond milk.
Chocolate banana nut shake: add 1 banana, 1 chocolate whey protein scoop, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) peanut or other nut butter together.
Vanilla berry shake: Add 1 cup (237 ml) of fresh or frozen mixed berries, ice, 1 cup (237 ml) of natural high-protein yogurt and 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein.
Chocolate hazelnut shake: Mix 15 ounces of chocolate milk (444 ml) with 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of hazelnut butter and 1 avocado.
Caramel apple shake: Mix 1 sliced apple, 1 cup (237 ml) of natural yogurt, 1 scoop of caramel or vanilla-flavored whey protein and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar-free or flavouring caramel sauce.
Vanilla blueberry shake: combine 1 cup (237 ml) of fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 vanilla whey protein scoop, 1 vanilla yogurt cup (237 ml) and sweetener if desired.Ultra green shake: mix 1 spinach cup (237 ml), 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 pineapple cup (237 ml), and 1 scoop of unflavored or vanilla whey protein.
All these smoothies contain about 400–600 calories, along with a high protein content and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Milk has been used for decades as a weight gainer or muscle builder.
This is a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals, offering a healthy mix of proteins, carbs and fats.
Milk is an excellent source of nutrition, including both casein and whey proteins, for those looking to add more muscle. Research has also shown that when paired with weight-lifting, it can help you gain muscle.
Studies have also shown that the combination of milk or whey and casein will contribute to greater mass gain than other sources of protein.
Try drinking around one or two glasses as a snack, with a meal, or before and after a workout if you are training.
To help you gain weight, rice is a good, low-cost source of carb. Just 1 cup of cooked rice contains 190 calories, 43 grams of carbs and very little fat.
It is also very calorie-dense, meaning you can easily get a large quantity of carbs and calories from one serving. This encourages you to eat more food, particularly if you have poor appetite or are fast to get full.
Two-minute packs of microwaveable rice can quickly be added to other protein sources and pre-made meals while you’re on the go or in a hurry.
Another common approach is to prepare and combine a large pot of rice with a few proteins and healthy fats for the week.
Very large quantities, however, may not be prudent because of their possible content in arsenic and phytic acid. Arsenic may cause toxicity and can minimize the absorption of zinc and iron by phytic acid.
4. Nuts and Nut Butters
When you are trying to add weight, nuts and nut butters are a good choice.
Just one small pound of almonds contains more than 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fat.
Only two handfuls a day with a meal or as a snack will easily add hundreds of calories as they’re so calorie-dense.
You may also add nut butters to a number of foods or drinks, such as smoothies, yogurts and much more.
Select 100 percent nut butter with no added sugar or extra oils, though.
5. Salmon And Oily Fish
Like red meat, salmon and oily fish are excellent sources of protein and important healthy fats.
Out of all the nutrients that salmon and oily fish provide, omega-3 fatty acids are among the most significant and well known.
Just one 6-ounce (170-gram) fillet of salmon provides around 350 calories and 4 grams of omega-3 fats. The same serving packs 34 grams of high-quality protein, helping you build muscle or gain weight (17).