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Top 10 Best Foods For Gain Weight

Best Foods For Gain Weight

Best Foods For Gain Weight

Let's start this article by making it clear that there are no foods that can inherently make you gain weight.
What does this mean? That is not just because you start consuming one of the foods on this list (or already consume them), you will directly gain weight.
What makes your weight increase is achieving a caloric surplus with your diet, that is, consuming more calories than you are expending during the day.

Now, with this in mind, there are some strategies you can apply to reach a caloric surplus more easily so that you avoid feeling uncomfortable because you are too full.
Among these strategies, probably the most useful is to frequently include foods with high caloric density, that is, foods that contain many calories in a small amount of product (low volume).
Below, we leave you a list of some foods (or food groups) ideal for a period of weight gain.

1. Nuts and their butter

Nuts will be excellent allies when you are looking to achieve a caloric surplus since they are characterized by being highly energetic foods (1).

Oilseeds will mainly provide you with fat. Remember that each gram of fat provides 9 kilocalories, unlike carbohydrates and proteins, which provide 4 kilocalories for each gram.

Therefore, foods rich in fat are usually high in calories.

In addition, nuts are also good sources of protein and carbohydrates.

You can include them in your diet as mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks, or as toppings for yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal.

For example, every 30 grams (about 1 handful) of the following nuts will give you:


174 kilocalories | 6.3 g Protein, 6.5g carbohydrates, | 15.0 g fat

Cashews or Cashews:

166 kilocalories | 5.5 g Protein | 9.1g Carbohydrates | 13.2 g of fat


188 kilocalories | 4.5 g Protein | 5.0 g Carbohydrates | 18.2 g fat


170 kilocalories | 7.7 g Protein | 4.8 g carbohydrates, | 14.8 g fat


196 kilocalories | 4.6 g Protein | 4.2g Carbohydrates | 29.6 g of fat

Brazil nuts:

198 kilocalories | 4.3 g Protein | 3.5 g Carbohydrates | 20.1 g of fat


207 kilocalories | 2.8 g Protein | 4.2g carbohydrates, | 21.6 g fat


168 kilocalories | 6.0 g Protein | 8.2 g carbohydrates, | 13.6 g fat

Likewise, nut butter will also be a great option to include in a surplus.

They are even more useful than whole nuts if you fill them up very easily since solid foods generate a greater feeling of satiety than liquid, soft, or creamy foods.

You can include them as an accompaniment to yogurts, oatmeal bowls, sauces, or salad dressings, in smoothies, desserts, or even in the dressing for stews.

A portion of 30 grams (about 1 tablespoon) of butter from the following nuts will provide you with:


177 kilocalories | 7.3 g Protein | 6.5g Carbohydrates | 15.0 g Fats


184 kilocalories | 6.3 g Protein | 5.6g Carbohydrates | 16.7 g Fats

Cashews or Cashews:

183 kilocalories | 3.6 g Protein | 9.1g Carbohydrates | 15.9 g Fats


171 kilocalories | 5.4 g Protein | 8.6g Carbohydrates | 15.0 g Fats

2. Fatty fish

Oily fish are also known as “fatty fish” because, in addition to being excellent protein sources, they contain a high proportion of fat, especially polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3.

This makes it stand out from other fish and makes it more calorie-dense.

So, if your goal is to gain weight, we recommend frequently including fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, bonito, and mackerel, among others.

To give you a clearer reference, let's look at this comparison:

100 grams (in raw weight) of chicken fillet will provide you with 120 kilocalories, 23 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat

100 grams (in raw weight) of salmon fillet will provide you with 175 kilocalories, 20 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat

You can see that the difference in calories is mainly due to the difference in fat. In this way, they will help you during your weight gain period.

100 grams of other fatty fish will give you:

Fresh tuna:

144 kilocalories | 23 g Protein | 0g Carbohydrates | 5g Fats

Canned tuna (in oil):

157 kilocalories | 25 g Protein | 0g Carbohydrates | 6 g Fats


158 kilocalories | 20 g Protein | 0g Carbohydrates | 8 g Fats

Canned sardines:

208 kilocalories | 25 g Protein | 0g Carbohydrates | 11 g Fats

3. Rice and other cereals

Rice and other cereals such as oats, wheat, and their derivatives (bread, for example) have been classified as foods for weight gain par excellence due to their high carbohydrate content.

They are even feared by those who want to lose weight.

Well, as you already know, this is not the case. It is not that by consuming them, you will gain weight or by eliminating them, you will lose weight.

However, some cereals can be useful if you are looking to gain some weight.

If you are looking to gain weight, we recommend opting for carbohydrate sources with low fiber content. The less fiber your carbohydrate source has, the less satiating effect it will have; therefore, you will be able to eat more without feeling too full.

Therefore, we recommend opting for white versions of rice, bread, pasta, etc.

Also, remember that carbohydrates work as our main source of energy and will be very useful to enhance your strength training.

Read Also: 20 Habits Changes That Help You Lose Weight Without Dieting

100 grams (in raw weight) of the following foods will give you:

White rice:

325 kilocalories | 7g Protein | 70 g Carbohydrates | 1g fiber | 1 g Fats

Pasta (not whole wheat):

395 kilocalories | 14.5 g Protein | 77.1g Carbohydrates | 4.5 g fiber | 2.3 g Fats

White, sliced ​​bread:

266 kilocalories | 8.9 g Protein | 49.9g Carbohydrates | 2.7 g fiber | 3.3 g Fats


379 kilocalories | 13.2 g Protein | 67.7g Carbohydrates | 10.1 g fiber | 6.6 g Fats


330 kilocalories | 14.3 g Protein | 69g Carbohydrates | 10.8 g fiber | 2.1 g Fats

4. Whole Dairy

The dairy category is so broad that its nutritional composition can vary greatly depending on the product and its processing.

Those that will benefit you and help you consume more energy and nutrients during a period of weight gain are full-fat dairy products, that is, those from which the fat part has not been removed.

Below, we leave you a list of those that you should prioritize if you are going to include these foods in your usual diet.

1 cup (240 ml) of the following dairy products will provide you with:

Whole, fresh milk

146 kilocalories | 7.6 g Protein | 11.5g Carbohydrates | 7.8 g Fats

Whole Greek Yogurt

233 kilocalories | 21.6 g Protein | 9.6g Carbohydrates | 12 g Fats

In the case of cheeses, cured and matured cheeses are the ones that concentrate the most nutrients.

1 portion of 60 grams (approximately 2 large slices) of the following cheeses will help you:


214 kilocalories | 15g Protein | 0.9 g Carbohydrates | 17.1 g Fats

Gouda cheese

214 kilocalories | 15g Protein | 1.3g Carbohydrates | 16.5 g Fats

Blue cheese

212 kilocalories | 12.8 g Protein | 1.4g Carbohydrates | 17.2 g Fats

5. Dehydrated fruits

Fruits in their fresh state have water as their main component. Then, when subjected to dehydration, the other nutrients will concentrate.

In this sense, consuming dehydrated fruits will provide you with a large amount of nutrients and calories in smaller quantities compared to fresh fruits.

Now, these will continue to provide you mainly with carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you compare the nutritional value of 1 fresh grape with 1 raisin, it will remain the same (except for the water). What will change is its weight and size. Raisins weigh less and are smaller than fresh grapes because they lose water.

Therefore, they can help you consume those extra calories that you need during a period of weight gain without filling yourself up too much.

For example, look at the difference between what 1 cup of fresh grapes and raisins gives you:

1 cup (150g) of fresh grapes provides:

103 kilocalories | 1.1 g Protein | 27.2 g carbohydrates, | 0.2 g fat

1 cup (150 g) of raisins provides:

449 kilocalories | 4.6 g Protein | 118.8 g carbohydrates, | 0.7 g fat

Although you can dehydrate any fruit, some of the easiest to get besides raisins are cherry blossoms, dates dried apricots, and sometimes bananas, pineapples,  and dried apples.

You can include them in cooked or baked oatmeal, as a topping for yogurt, in smoothies, or as a snack between meals.


6. Granola

Granola is another excellent food to include during a weight gain stage, as it is a combination of cereals, nuts, dehydrated fruits (all part of this list), and usually some oil and sweetener such as honey. In fact, this combination is very rich in both fats and carbohydrates.

A 60 gram serving of granola (approximately ½ cup or 6 tablespoons) will provide you with:

Energy: 245 kilocalories Protein: 5.5 g Carbohydrates: 43.4 g; Fat: 6.6 g We recommend using granola in conjunction with another food that provides protein, such as Greek yogurt, for example.

7. Egg

Eggs are one of the best-known and most-used sources of protein. However, this food is also a source of fat. In fact, the amount of protein and fat it contains is very similar. 1 egg (55 g) contains: Energy: 79 kilocalories Protein: 7 g Carbohydrates: 0g Fats: 5 g It is important to emphasize that the entire fat content of the egg is found in the yolks (the proteins are found in both the white and the yolk). In the stage of gaining weight and muscle mass, it is very important to ensure your protein consumption. Therefore, the egg will be very useful and when you consume it whole it will help you add more calories.

8. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is another high-calorie-dense food, as it is rich in fats and carbohydrates. 1 serving of only 40 grams of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) will give you: Energy: 239 kilocalories Protein: 3.1 g Carbohydrates: 18.4 g Fat: 17.1 g You can include it as a dessert or snack, as a topping for yogurt, or even to give the chocolate flavor to mugcakes, smoothies, or oatmeal. In addition, it has been seen that cocoa has compounds with high antioxidant capacity, and its frequent consumption could improve insulin resistance, reduce blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and improve mood and cognitive capacity (2, 3, 4, 5).

9. Seeds

Seeds, very similar to nuts, are mainly composed of fats, which makes them high-calorie foods. A portion of 30 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of the following seeds will give you: Sunflower Seeds: 175 kilocalories | 6.2 g Protein | 6g Carbohydrates | 15.4 g Fats Chia seeds: 146 kilocalories | 5g Protein | 12.6g Carbohydrates | 9.2 g Fats Ground flaxseed: 160 kilocalories | 5.5 g Protein | 8.7g Carbohydrates | 12.6 g Fats Sesame seeds: 172 kilocalories | 5.3 g Protein | 7g Carbohydrates | 14.9 g Fats Pumpkin seeds: 134 kilocalories | 5.6 g Protein | 16.1g Carbohydrates | 5.8 g Fats Now, the seeds have an external layer that covers them, which we have to break mechanically to access their nutritional content since our bodies cannot digest the type of fiber that covers them. Normally, this would not be a problem, as chewing is enough to break this layer. However, some seeds, such as chia, flaxseed, and sesame, are so small that it is very difficult to chew them completely.
Therefore, if what you want is to increase your calorie consumption, we recommend consuming these small seeds after having ground them. You can do this by blending them (including them in smoothies, for example), processing them,, or grinding them with a coffee grinder.


10. Olive Oil and other healthy oils

Finally, oils are the quintessential calorie-dense foods. As they are extracted from the fatty part of oilseeds or fruits rich in fats such as coconut or avocado, they are made up practically only of fat. Therefore, they will provide many calories in a very small amount of food. 1 serving of just 10 grams (1 tablespoon) of any type of oil will give you: Energy: 88 kilocalories Protein: 0 g Carbohydrates: 0g Fats: 10 g At this point, it is important to emphasize that excess consumption of oils can generate a high consumption of saturated fats. Especially if you use them for frying.
We recommend that you avoid oils that are naturally high in saturated fats, such as palm oil. On the other hand, the oil that has been most researched so far and has shown the best characteristics and health effects is extra virgin olive oil. We recommend you opt for this and, as much as possible, consume it cold (in salad dressings, for example).

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