Are you looking to gain more weight? — Welcome to the Club.
With obesity being a hot topic — the other side of the fence — “gaining weight” is left as a non-issue. But as we know “Hard Gainers” — it is also difficult to put on some pounds just like cutting off some.
A lot of effort, consistency, and know-how goes into gaining weight, but don’t worry. You are at just the place.
While planning meals for weight gain might sound overwhelming, we’ve taken some liberty to do the hard work for you.
So if you are really looking to gain some weight keep scrolling as we have mentioned all the tips and diet plans you need to follow so that you can get the physique you have always wanted.
How Many Calories Will You Need to Gain Weight?
You might be aware of the 2000 calories number which is the standard target for daily eating. This is the number range where most of the diet plan’s advice is given and you will find this number on the nutrition facts label as well.
However, 2000 calories aren’t one-size-fits-all, if you are looking to gain weight, your height, age, gender, weight, and physical activity also matters.
So you will have to find out how much calories you will need to gain more weight. But before that, you will first need to understand what is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
Resting Metabolic Rate or Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) is the total number of calories that your body burns when it is at complete rest. Thus, RMR is the energy required by your body for performing basic functions like breathing, brain functions, blood circulation, etc when it is at rest.
When it comes to RMR the name is interchangeably used with Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the difference is, RMR represents the number of calories burned when your body is resting whilst BMR represents the minimum number of calories burned just to exist.
Both do the same job of providing information regarding calories burned, albeit in a slightly different way.
Fortunately, calculating RMR is fairly easy and straightforward.
Step -1:- Calculating your RMR
To calculate your RMR there are several different ways, one of the easiest ways is to simply search “RMR Calculator” on google and you are good to go.
On the other hand, you can also calculate your RMR by simply multiplying your weight (in pounds) by 12.
Note:- The values mentioned here are in approximate, so considered it like give or take a few. They are meant to give you a basic idea in number so that you can plan your diet accordingly.
If your weight is 50 kg, then you weigh 110 pounds. (1kg = 2.2 pounds)
So your RMR is…
110 * 12 = 1320
Now, theoretically, you are burning around 1320 calories a day, without any type of physical activity. So if you want to maintain your weight, then you will have to stick with this much calories per day.
Besides that, if you are a maths lover then here are some calculation for you to find more accurate RMR and BMR
For RMR the equation goes like this…
RMR for Men = (10 * weight in kg) + (6.25 * height in cm) – (5 * age in years) + 5
RMR for Women = (10 * weight in kg) + (6.25 * height in cm) – (5 * age in years) – 161
For BMR the equation goes like this…
BMR for Men = 66.47 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) – (6.755 * age in years)
BMR for Women = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.85 * height in cm) – (4.676 * age in years)
However, adding some activity to this equation will make some difference.
Step 2:- Physical Activity
Now depending on how much you are exercising daily or weekly, you will have to take your RMR and multiply it with the numbers mentioned below, so that you will get the estimated calories you’re burning on a daily basis.
- Light Active:- 2 (once to twice a week)
- Very Active:- 6 (three to four times a week)
- Extra Active:- 8 (God tier — every single day)
So, for our hypothetical situation — let’s say — you are very active then…
1320 * 1.6 = 2112 calories/day
Therefore, if you have to maintain your weight you will need to eat this many calories.
Now that you have your calories a day with activity levels, it’s time to add some calories to your diet.
Step 3:- Introducing more calories
To gain one pound it costs around 3500 calories, which means that you will have to consume 500 extra calories every day for a week to gain one pound. So here are some tips that you can abide to get those extra calories along with some benefits.
- Eat Frequently:- Instead of just having 3 large meals, make space for 3 large meals as well as one or two hefty snacks.
- Eat More:- Increase your hunger or appetite, by working out and eating more.
- Eat Calories Rich Foods:- To gain more weight you will have to make sure that you are intaking more calories, so opt for dried fruits, nuts, whole bread, starch veggies, cereals, soups, hearty beans, and so forth.
- Add a Ton of Extras to Your Food:- Don’t go just eating plain, make sure that you are adding healthy fats, carbs, and proteins such as canola, olive, honey, jam, dried fruit, whey protein, wheat germ, and so on.
- Make Your Beverages Count:- Don’t just drink tea, coffee, water, and sodas, rather add more shakes, smoothies, juice, etc.
- Do Some Weight Lifting:- Weight training aids in converting the calories to muscle rather than flab, at the very least try to do it 2 to 3 times a week.
- Do Some Workouts:- Exercising is the best way to increase or decrease your weight, so make sure you are doing it.
- Make Sure You are Also Taking Protein:- Whatever you eat, ensure that it contains adequate amounts of protein like lean meat, chicken, egg, dairy, tofu, legumes, fish, sprouted beans, nuts, pulses, seeds, and so forth.
- Stay Hydrated:- Hydration is necessary for better and healthy body weight, so aim to drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every single day.
- Take a Good Nap:- Make sure that you are getting at least 8 hours so that your body can have proper rest.
- Keep Your Supplements Ready:- While working out make sure that you have your supplements ready to provide you with a boost of energy, carbs, and proteins. BCAA for one is great.
- Consult Your Doc:- Before making any prominent changes to your diet, it is always better to visit a nutritionist or dietitian.
Foods To Eat If You Need More Calories
Speaking of gaining weight, most people think that macronutrients are the one door to seek answers for. However, going all on protein just to gain more weight and muscle is just another big FALLACY.
Of course, protein is necessary, but carbs and fats are equally important. So make sure that you are not neglecting them. Here we have mentioned some foods that you can eat to keep your protein, carbs, and healthy fat intake intact.
Look for hearty, dense bread-like oat bran, whole wheat, pumpernickel, or even rye (if you are not on a gluten-free diet). The bigger and thick the better it is, spread some jam, peanut butter, honey, hummus, or low-fat cream cheese.
Of course, veggies are your partners when it comes to weight gain and weight loss. Choose starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, peas, winter squash, and corn. These vegetables contain more calories than broccoli, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, and cucumbers.
Well if it isn’t for the most famous Indian natural way of gaining more weight. Adding ghee to your diet especially with Roti is going to aid you in weight gain a whole lot faster.
Lean meat, chicken, fish, turkey, etc are also a good option to choose because they contain good amounts of calories. Chicken breast, for example, is a healthy and non-fat type you can choose to eat. Not only that, since you will be eating fish, you are intaking a lot of omega3 that is definitely good for your health and body.
Like vegetables, fruits are also mentioned in almost all types of diet. They are rich sources of multivitamins, fibres, minerals, proteins, and other necessary nutrients. Look for bananas, apples, pineapples, pears, and all the dry fruits. These fruits have a ton of calories when compared to watermelon, plums, oranges, berries, and peaches.
Dense cereals like muesli, granola, grape-nuts, oat bran, etc. You can add some extra nuts and fruits for more flavour as well as calories when preparing to try to use low-fat milk rather than water.
Soups like lentil, black bean, chilli with beans, barley, vegetables, chicken, etc have more carbs and calories. So make sure that you are adding them to your diet.
High in carbs as well as a solution for underweight individuals. Rice is common in most Indian dishes, but make sure that you are adding it more.
For those who are on a vegetarian diet, beans can prove to be an excellent source of protein without consuming animal protein.
Nuts and Seeds
These are great sources of calories, healthy fats, and carbs, so adding them to your diet will be perfect, especially nuts like almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are not only good for your health but also for your weight.
This is a must to include in your diet just like ghee, they are available in many flavours and provide a ton of calories. Include them to your diet daily for faster weight gain.
When you are on your journey for weight gain, you will have to keep your protein source intact, one of the best ways to do that is by incorporating whey protein to your diet. This food source can be added to your breakfast, snack, pre-workout, and post-workout diet.
Pile up on chopped vegetables, fruit salads, green peas and corn, walnuts, cottage cheese, tuna, meats, etc. You can top them up with some vinegar and oil as well as cream. Cream-based salads like fruit salads will be high in calories but also in saturated fats.
You can quench your thirst with shakes, smoothies, juices, drinks, and nectars. Don’t just stick with water and tea/coffee, make sure to add some extras into it like nuts, dry fruits, etc.
For more healthy addition of fats follow this table…
|Try this||Instead of this|
|Canola or Olive oil||Butter|
|Nuts and Seeds||Creams (sauces and dressings)|
|Peanut Butter||Cream Cheese|
|Margarine||Butter, Cheese, Sour Cream, Gravy|
|Low-fat and Fat-free Cheese/Cream Cheese||Regular Cheese/Cream Cheese|
|Whole Grains||Plain flour|
|Natural Foods||Packaged Foods|
Besides that, make sure that you are adding healthy carbs and proteins…
- You can opt for dried fruits, maple syrup, or sugar to add sweetness to cereals.
- Use honey, jelly, or jam on bread, crackers, and bagels.
- You can choose to add oat bran or wheat germ to cereals, shakes, or casseroles.
- You can also blend some soy protein powder or dry milk powder to your shakes, casseroles, soups, cereals, etc.
Here’s How a High-Calorie Sample Menu will Look Like
Basically, the key to gain more weight is to add high-quality carbs, fats, and protein. Besides that, just EAT, EAT, and EAT, space out the 3 large meals with some hefty snacks. The mentioned sample menu is rich in carbs, fats, and protein.
|Breakfast (8 to 9 AM)||Approx Calories|
|1 Large Banana 2 Cups Low-fat Milk 2 Large Whole Wheat slices with 2tbsp Peanut Butter||130 200 109 188 Total Calories = 627|
|Brunch (11 to 12 PM)||Approx Calories|
|1 Large Omelette 1 protein bar||154 414 Total Calories = 568|
|Lunch (2 to 3 PM)||Approx Calories|
|3 Masala Dosa/chicken breast/ 4 Roti, 1 cup Rice 1 cup sambar/soup/dal Green salad 1 glass buttermilk||504 139 23 80 Total Calories = 746|
|Snack (5 to 6 PM)||Approx Calories|
|1 Serving of Mass Gainer with Milk||1292 Total Calories = 1292|
|Dinner (8 to 9 PM)||Approx Calories|
|3 Rotis covered with 2 tbsp ghee 1 bowl of chicken curry/dal 1 egg white curry 1 glass buttermilk||540 120 156 80 Total Calories = 896|
|Bed Time (10 to 11 PM)||Approx Calories|
|1 Banana Shake with 5 almonds||188 Total Calories = 188|
|Total Calories for the Day = 4317|
So this is how an ideal high-calories diet would look like with ultimate weight gain. However, with that being said, please pay a visit to your doctor or nutritionist to get an even better idea about the diet as well as your weight gain.
Note:- The above-mentioned diet is for your information purpose, you are free to change or modify the diet accordingly, maybe you don’t need 4k calories a day, then you can decrease accordingly.
You can even add items or remove them according to your doctor’s suggestion. The one simple thing for weight gain is to consume more calories with healthy fats, carbs, and protein more than you are burning per day.
So bringing back the hypothetical situation, we found RMR with an extra active workout to be 2112 calories per day.
Meaning these many calories were burned when the body was at rest. Now taking our sample diet, you had a surplus of 4317 – 2112 = 2205 calories per day, that is extremely huge and someone can expect weight gain results within weeks.
Try these Breakfast Ideas for Variation
Here we have mentioned some breakfast ideas so that you don’t get bored to death by eating the same things.
- Milk Daliya
- Dalia roasted in ghee and fried with some veggies
- Parathas with butter or curd
- Whole wheat bread with Peanut butter (unsweetened)
- Whole wheat bread sandwich with potatoes and vegetables
- Sprouts, medium banana, chia seeds, peanut butter (unsweetened)
- Chickpeas egg bhurji with spinach dressing
- Paratha with egg bhurji or omelette
For Lunch and Dinner?
For lunch or dinner, there is nothing fancy, it will be just the same food that is mostly cooked in all of the Indian homes. 3 to 4 riots, with rice, seasonal curry/dal. You should eat rice and roti together to gain more weight. You can have chicken, fish, egg curry, paneer, chole, rajma, kali dal, etc are some scrumptious dishes. Make sure to add 1 to 2 tbsp of ghee to your curry and roti, and lastly add some buttermilk to finish your lunch or dinner.
Try these Snack Ideas for Variation
Now as for snacks, you will have to keep some variation so that your food is interesting and enjoyable, here are some options you can try.
- Shakes like Banana, Mango, etc
- Banana Peanut Roti
- Bread Peanut Butter
- Boiled Chana Chat
- Whey Protein
- Chana and Peanuts
- Seasonal Fruits
- Banana with curd
- Yoghurt lassi
Remember gaining weight requires a commitment to eat — not only just to eat but to eat healthy foods that are rich in calories, carbs, protein, and healthy fats. For better weight gain results make sure that you are working out daily and intaking supplements.
Gaining weight is fun, as you get to eat a lot of foods that you would have not got if you were on a fat-burning diet. Anyways make sure that you are staying hydrated all the time and are keeping a positive attitude.
Lastly, if possible please consult a doctor or dietitian before changing your diet, as gaining weight also depends on the individual’s body, growth, metabolism, gender, age, height, etc.
With that being said, we are positive that you will for sure gain more weight and will not need to look any further.