I know what you’re thinking – Is Sarah REALLY going to outline high calorie foods that are also nutrient dense to GAIN weight? Aren’t high calories bad? This is such a faux pas topic.
Literally, google “high calorie foods” and all you will find is “high calories foods to AVOID”. I couldn’t even find a decent stock image that was good for weight gain as it was always a person looking highly stressed standing on a scale or grabbing their abdomen with the words “need diet” on it.
It’s always seen as such a negatively viewed topic, because heaven forbid anyone in the world need to gain weight. We’re all about weight loss right? Wrong! I see plenty of people who need to gain weight whether it’s extremely active kids and teens, active adults or adults with fast metabolisms, and individuals recovering from eating disorders. Some people need high calorie nutrient dense foods even to maintain or to lose weight as well just to decrease the overall bulk of food in their stomachs.
While it is great that messages go out about weight loss for those who are in a dangerous area of obesity impacting their health, unfortunately the messages aren’t filtered and it leads everyone to think that everyone, and I mean everyone, is eating to lose weight. And leading everyone to think that they themselves need to lose weight too, even if they don’t.
There aren’t even a lot of resources out there stating positively “how to stay exactly how you are”. You’re either losing weight or you’re losing weight. Not much of a choice out there.
So since it bothered me that very minimal resources are out there about how to gain weight in a healthy and nutrient dense way I decided this would be a great blog topic. You can find some resources on weight gain, but it’s often the “eat chips, white bagels, white rice, and juice” kind of way which will do no one good in terms of health. You can gain weight, be healthy and feel great while doing it, it’s possible!
I worried a bit about blogging about this because I fear there will be a few people who will never eat the foods I mention below ever again as they might now associate the following foods with weight gain, but I will just state that these foods are excellent for weight loss too, it all depends on the overall quantity they are consumed along with other foods that are consumed and of course, your activity level – so don’t be turned off them because they’re real, whole, nutrient dense foods no matter what your nutritional goal.
When you’re trying to gain weight, you are going to feel full pretty much always. So this is why it’s best to consume foods that will provide the best bang for their buck so you don’t end up feeling even more full and preventing you from getting to your goal. So think about how you want to condense those calories into as small of a block as possible instead of consuming lots of bulky airy foods that will take up space you don’t have.
So when you’re trying to gain weight, make sure the first thing you do is look at what you’re currently eating and see if there is a higher calorie (and nutrient dense) alternative so you’re increasing the bang for your buck and then work on the add ons.
Protein is also essential for gaining the healthy kind of weight especially when it has to do with muscle gain as well.
Gradually increase and slowly add in extra foods. If you do this all at once you may feel incredibly sick and uncomfortably full. Work on gradually increasing (the equivalent of an extra hefty snack) every 2 – 3 days or maybe every week and monitor your progress.
Gaining 10lbs in a week is not healthy weight. Ensure you’re on a steady and gradual incline and keep increasing every time you hit a plateau. Also ensure your fitness routine reflects your goal of weight gain whether it’s just weight gain in general, or if you’re trying to do hypertrophy of the muscles, your workout routines should reflect either and shouldn’t be geared at a weight loss routine.
NOTE – if this becomes a hot topic I will happily do a blog series on weight gain which will include recipes, so speak up if you want it!
Eat up! 🙂
UPDATE – It became a hot topic so please enjoy the rest of the series: