Although my blog is mainly focussed on how to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight, I receive a lot of emails asking how to gain weight healthily. Despite the current obesity epidemic, a lot of people do struggle to gain weight – either after a period of weight loss (due to stress or illness) or in general they struggle to achieve a weight that they feel more comfortable at.
To gain weight we need to eat more calories than what we are burning off. I advise people to include an extra 500-1000 calories into their diets each day to bring about weight gain which may sound difficult, but if you’re eating energy dense foods then it can be really easy – it’s just a case of making ‘adding in calories’ a habit.
In the video below I give you my top tips and ‘weight gain snacks’ which range from 120 to over 500 calories, as well as how to incorporate them into your diet.
High Calorie Snacks – Remember that all of these snacks are healthy and will only cause weight gain if eaten in ADDITION to your usual meals and snacks which are currently maintaining your weight. If you don’t need to gain weight then don’t worry – these foods can be eating within your daily calorie intake WITHOUT upping your weight! The key to weight gain is upping your calorie intake – and these foods make it a little easier!
- Nut Butters = 190 calories/2 tbsp. Add them to smoothies, protein shakes, yoghurts, porridge, oat cakes or rice cakes. Available from: My Protein, Holland and Barrett and supermarkets.
- Whole or Ground Nuts & Seeds = 170-200 calories/30g (or Coconut Flakes/Dried Fruit if allergic). Snack on them or add them to soups, salads, porridge, cereal, yoghurt. Available from: Holland and Barrett and supermarkets (cheaper on the baking aisle!).
- Protein Powder & Weight Gain Powders (or Skimmed Milk Powder) = 100-500 calories/serving. Mix with milk to make a shake (e.g. mocha protein shake or strawberry & banana work-out shake) and add fruit or nut butter for extra calories or add them to porridge/yoghurt or use them to make my 3 ingredient protein cookies or protein pancakes. Available from My Protein (Weight Gainers & Whey Protein) or Sativa Vegan Protein (use ‘Nic15‘ for 15% off) or supermarkets.
- Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil = 250 calories/2 tbsp. Use olive oil in salads and vegetable oil in cooking. Available from all supermarkets (I use coconut oil as well in baking which is available from selected supermarkets or My Protein/Holland and Barrett.
- Snack Bars = 200-300 calories/bar. Try 9Bars, Flapjacks, LaraBar or Trek Protein Bars or make your own e.g. Banana Protein Bars, Protein Flapjack or Weetabix Snack Bars.
I really hope this blog post is useful for you!
*Some of the products mentioned were supplied to me free of charge however this review is 100% honest and of my own opinion. I was not influenced in any way by the free samples supplied and do not promote these products more than other products that I have not reviewed. This blog post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer page for more information, as well as for my over all view on protein powders/shakes.
I was ill a few months ago and lost quite a lot of weight. I used a new product called CalBisc 100 to help me on the road to recovery. They are high calorie and highly nutritious biscuits and I found I much preferred them to the likes of Complan and Build Up. I thought you might be interested to know about them.
Keep up the good work,
Hi Tara, I haven’t heard of them but thanks for letting me know! Nic x
I understand that to put on weight you need to consume more calories, but what I don’t fully understand is what extra calories should I be consuming – more protein, carbs, fat? I’m looking to build more muscle mass so I regularly lift, but how do I go about consuming more calories without putting on fat. I don’t fully understand how to put on ‘healthy’ weight, should I consume more-of healthy foods (like you mention) or can I eat anything (pizza, maccies, cakes) just to add more calories?
Please can you enlighten me? Thanks
Hello! All calories will promote weight gain but in order to build more muscle I would focus on protein and then carbs, in addition to upping your training. Muscle gain comes from lifting weights and eating sufficient protein and calories, not just from upping calories/protein – hope this makes sense?