Top Healthy Ways to Gain Weight
Gaining weight is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you are someone who likes to eat healthy and loves to exercise. That being said, there are definitely ways to tweak your diet and exercise routine to gain weight in a healthy way without having to ditch your healthy lifestyle.
Read below to learn the best ways to gain weight the healthy way:
Limit high intensity exercise
Avoid any type of high intensity exercise, such as running or interval training. These types of exercises tend to burn the most amount of calories and may even blunt your appetite – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. You don’t have to completely stop exercising (some exercise can actually help to boost appetite) but stick to low impact activities such as walking and body weight exercises.
Pair carbohydrates with fat
Carbohydrates paired with fat is basically the best combination to gain weight. Stick to natural and non-processed carbohydrates and fats, such as sweet potato with nut butter – one of my personal favorite combos!
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Eating smaller meals is easier for your body to digest so that you can make room for another meal soon. When you eat a large meal, especially a carb and fat heavy meal, this can overload your digestive system and cause you to not want to eat for a long time.
Avoid fat-free foods
If you are trying to gain weight, go for full-fat foods which will have more calories and will help to put on the pounds.
Go for sandwiches rather than salads
Salad greens virtually have no calories and they take up space in your stomach which can make you feel fuller faster – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. The bread in sandwiches adds a good amount of carbs and calories to your meal.
Pair a smoothie with a meal
Smoothies are great for helping you to gain weight because drinking something doesn’t trigger your brain that you are full as much as eating and chewing something does.
Some of my favorite high calorie ingredients include organic full-fat milk, fruit, nut butter, yogurt, and protein powder.
Don’t go low carb
A low carb diet is great for keeping you full – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. Carbohydrates are very helpful for gaining weight because they won’t make you as full as eating a high fat or high protein diet. Aim to eat some carbs at every snack and meal.
Use organic milk instead of water
Using organic whole milk instead of water is an excellent way to get in more calories, protein, fat, calcium and other nutrients. For example, if you normally use water to make meals such as oatmeal or protein shakes, use organic whole milk instead. Can’t drink milk? No problem, use a nut milk which will at least have more calories than just plain water.
If you are someone that needs to gain weight, understand that this doesn’t mean you need to gorge on pasta or pizza. Stick to non-processed real foods, and aim to have a mix of carbohydrates and fat at every meal.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab