For some women, gaining weight is just as difficult as losing weight is for others. However, there are many safe and effective ways to gain 1/2 to 1 kg (1 to 2 pounds) a week. Larger portions and more frequent meals are a quick way to add extra calories to your daily diet. Try to fill your meals with foods loaded with nutrients and calories. Don’t forget to incorporate healthy exercise and other lifestyle changes into your routine to keep the weight off over time.
Change your eating habits
Eat 500 more calories a day. Generally, it is safe to gain 1/2 to 1 kg (1 to 2 pounds) per week. To achieve this goal, add 500 more calories to your daily diet. The healthiest way to do this is to eat more nutrient-dense foods.
To track what you eat, use a health app like MyFitnessPal. Write down everything you eat and the amount of exercise you get. Record your weight once a week.
Consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out what your ideal weight is. You can also estimate your healthy weight with a BMI (body mass index) calculator. In general, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Increase the size of your portions. Eat a second serving of food or add more food to your plate when you start. If you find it difficult to eat a larger meal, skip snacks to increase your appetite during meals.
If consuming a double serving is too much for you, try to increase the serving over time. Start with an extra tablespoon of rice or add a sweet potato on the side. As time goes on, gradually add more food to your plate.
If you don’t like larger meals, eat several smaller meals. Some people don’t like the idea of eating larger portions. Instead of increasing your portions, try to eat 6 smaller portions throughout the day that make up breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks.
As a general rule, eat once every 3-4 hours while you’re awake.
Avoid drinking liquids 30 minutes before a meal. Liquids fill you up and therefore make it harder for you to finish an entire meal. Wait until you finish eating to have a drink.
Treat yourself to a snack before bed. If you eat a snack or small meal before you go to sleep, your body won’t have time to burn it off before you sleep. Also, the body builds more muscle while you sleep. Eating a snack before bed gives your body the nutrients it needs to build more lean muscle while you sleep.
If you love to eat dessert, save it for bedtime. You can have a bowl of fruit, a slice of ice cream, or a few pieces of chocolate.
If you prefer savory options, have a bowl of pasta or cheese and crackers.
Stimulate your appetite before meals. There are many tricks that can help you feel hungrier before you eat, leading you to eat more at a meal. Here are some simple ways to increase your appetite:
Take a short walk before meals. Exercise helps make you hungrier.
Prepare dishes that you like. Make your favorite food to encourage yourself to eat it completely.
Cook new recipes. This will make you more excited to try them.
Eat in a quiet and comfortable environment. If you’re tense or distracted, you may not feel like eating much.
Choosing the right foods and drinks
Eat foods rich in calories and nutrients. Although fast and processed foods are high in calories, they provide empty calories devoid of enough nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods contain more calories and good fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
As for grains, eat heavy breads like whole wheat bread and whole rye bread. Other good options are bran and wheat germ muffins.
When it comes to fruit, go for bananas, pineapple, raisins, dried fruit, and avocados. In general, starchy fruits are more convenient than water-rich fruits (such as watermelon and oranges) because they are higher in calories and nutrients.
For vegetables, try peas, corn, potatoes, and squash. As with fruits, starchy vegetables are better than those rich in water.
Within dairy, consider cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and whole milk.
Try to include 3 food groups in one meal. When it comes to eating a meal or snack, don’t just eat 1 type of food. Incorporate a few different food groups into each meal. This will increase your calorie intake while making it easier for you to eat more.
For example, don’t just eat toast. Try spreading them with peanut butter and add banana slices on top. Another option is to cover them with a sliced avocado and accompany them with a glass of kefir on the side.
If you like eggs in the morning, make them scrambled with peppers and sausage.
Instead of just having 1 cup of yogurt, add granola and berries.
Eat more foods in liquid form if you have trouble eating solids. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to eat extra snacks. Try to drink high-calorie beverages between meals if you can’t tolerate a snack.
The best smoothies are those made with whole fruits and vegetables and yogurt.
Juices made from natural fruits add extra fiber and vitamins to your meal.
Other good options are milk, milkshakes, and protein shakes.
Add additional ingredients to meals. You can incorporate high-calorie nutritious foods or powders into your favorite meals for extra calories without making you feel much fuller. The following are some great ways to achieve this:
Add powdered milk to beverages, soups, stews, and sauces.
Sprinkle nuts on top of your salad or cereal.
Add ground flaxseed to salads, cereals, and smoothies.
Put cheese on your casseroles, soups, scrambled eggs, salads and sandwiches.
Spread toast, crackers, or rolls with butter, nut butter, or cream cheese.
Cook with oil and butter. If you cook food with oil and butter, you will increase the total number of calories in a dish without adding more food. Here are some good options:
Olive oil: contains 119 calories per tablespoon.
Canola oil: contains 120 calories per tablespoon.
Coconut oil: contains 117 calories per tablespoon.
Butter: contains 102 calories per tablespoon.
If you want to build muscle, eat more protein. Muscle weighs more than body fat. Therefore, building muscle is a great way to gain weight without gaining fat. Proteins are essential for building muscle mass.
Lean meats and eggs are excellent sources of protein. If you prefer vegetarian options, you can include peas, nuts, chickpea paste and beans.
Protein bars and shakes make great snacks. They contain additional protein and other nutrients.
Adjust your lifestyle
Treat any hidden medical problems. Certain medications and illnesses make it hard to gain weight. If this is your case, you must first treat your medical problem. Talk to your doctor to find out which options are right for you.
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight for no reason, see your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition, such as a digestive or thyroid disorder.
Consult with a certified nutritionist. This professional can help you design an eating plan to achieve your weight gain goals in a healthy way. He can also advise you on what exercises to do or how to stimulate your appetite.
Ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian.
Put down the cigarette. Smoking suppresses the appetite and affects the sense of taste and smell. Talk to your doctor about strategies to quit smoking. He might prescribe a quit smoking pill or patch.
If you can’t quit, avoid smoking 1-2 hours before a meal.
Start doing strength training to build muscle. Although not the fastest option, strength training is a good idea for long-term weight maintenance. Exercise is a good way to whet your appetite. In particular, strength training is beneficial because it allows you to gain weight by building muscle.
Weight training is a great starting point. You can also do bodyweight exercises like yoga or pilates. Avoid overindulging in cardio or aerobic exercises, as these can prevent you from gaining weight.
Additional protein intake is very important if you plan to build muscle mass through exercise.
Some good strength training exercises are squats, deadlifts, overhead lifting, bench presses, barbell rows, dips, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. bicep curls, leg presses, and machine leg curls.