How to gain healthy weight?

I have problems with weight gain, I have tried many ways even I take medicine, but not effective.i have experience? please give me some suggestions.


  • I @garry

    First off, I always want to mention that humans come in all shapes and sizes and the weight you are may be the ideal weight for health. :smiley:

    That said, here are my practical recommendations for safe weight gain...

    Just like weight loss, weight gain should be slow (~1-2 lbs per week). From your "maintenance" calories, you will need to eat at least an extra 500-1000 calories per day to achieve this. Chances are, it may be difficult to eat more, so my recommendation is to bump up the calories in your meals. High calorie (healthier) foods to help achieve this are:

    • Nut and seed butter
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Avocado
    • Oils
    • Skim milk powder
    • Protein powder
    • Hemp, chia, flax seed
    • Coconut

    Make sure you are eating every 2-3 hours during the day and look at every meal and snack, thinking "how can I increase the calories in this item?".

    Lastly, it might be worth meeting with a personal trainer to ensure that your workout regime is helping you bulk, rather than lean out.

    Hope this helps!

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • I have this concern too and I eat many of the things Susan mentioned. Avocados are great. They are higher in fat and calories. You can put them on salads, sandwiches or make guacamole for dip. Nut butters help a lot too and can be easier to digest. Lately I have been drizzling sesame oil, small amounts, on salads or rice. Also olive oil. If you can eat coconut there are many products, like coconut butter (like these:

    You can eat them with vegetables or other foods.

    I like to add this cacao powder to smoothies and other drinks or desserts:

    A cup of black beans has 240 calories. A cup of garbanzo beans has 227 calories. You can also add beans to salads, soups and stews or eat them with rice.
    A cup of rice has 240 calories.

    1 tablespoon of tahini has 90 calories and you can mix it with garbanzo beans, lemon juice, salt and a few other things to make hummus. Or you can just buy hummus. A cup of hummus has 430 calories. Some of these items also have fats which can help with weight gain.

    I don't eat much bread but I think it must have quite a bit of calories too if you had some with soup or for a sandwich.

    You can make snacks that you can carry around like nuts. I watch a lot of Korean dramas and they always seem to be pulling roasted sweet potatoes from their pockets for a snack which is about 100 calories. I also use this in certain foods I make:
    They don't have sugar. They are pure fat from Cacao beans.

    Also what Susan said about eating often enough and regularly. Keeping snacks handy. Possibly preparing some foods in advance for the week like pasta, pasta sauce, and other foods so that you don't have to exert as much energy in the week - just heat them and eat. Yoga and meditation won't make you gain weight but in my experience stress contributes to me losing weight. Trying (it's a challenge for me) to stay in a calmer relaxed state of mind I think helps me to digest and use the foods I'm eating better and not to burn off calories due to worrying. That last part is probably controversial but when I get stressed I seem to run around more aimlessly burning calories and fat that could be used for something better! Like going for a run or biking or playing the guitar or something nice. :blush:

  • Our mental health can have a significant impact on our weight. When people are stressed, they either eat more often to help calm their anxieties (which does work and that's why people do it!) or they avoid food because their stomach is in knots.

    Much of the work I do is helping people to develop better coping strategies to life stressors; when these are in check, it's much easier to focus on nutrition and wellness goals.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited October 2019

    So I am once again back to attempting to loose body fat while gaining muscle mass. So I struggle with having a calorie surplus while losing fat. I currently weigh 175 lbs and 15% body fat with a goal of keeping that weight BUT lowering my body fat to 10%. Vascularity is good at 15% but I still have a little hanging around the mid section. So I am starting to show a 4 pack at this point, so not there yet :smile:

    I am doing it with the idea that the more muscle you have the more fat your burn. So for me its about working my muscles to failure and consuming at least 1 gram of protein for each pound. So for me between 175 - 200 grams a day. Not always easy to get from food so I have to do a couple of shakes a day. The other part is plenty of rest to allow those muscles to repair and grow.

    So when I step on the scale, I am hoping it doesn't move, but when I check body fat and muscle mass, those numbers do.

    This works for me, but as mentioned above there are many body types. I tend to lean towards a Mesomorph type, so this comes easier to me than others.

    Determine your type, get your BMR, I use the Schofield method, and figure out which marcos work best for your type. I went in two week increments adjusting as I went based on my results until I found what worked for me.

  • @garry If nothing from the above advise works, you might consider having your thyroid checked.

  • Just a note (in case I haven't mentioned it yet) is that it is difficult to gain mass AND stay lean. Remember, extra calories are extra calories; it doesn't matter if they came from carbs, protein, or fat; they can all be stored as fat tissue.

    I'd say one of the biggest issues people face who want to be lean is eating excess calories (usually from protein). At most, we really only need 2 g per kilogram (vs pound) of healthy body weight. Event that is more than most bodies need since we only absorb 25-30 g of protein at a time.

    Happy lifting!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Before diving into a milkshakes-and-burgers diet, check out these tips for bulking up the right way liteblue.

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