You may think that grabbing a giant bacon cheeseburger, strawberry smoothie and a side of cheesy waffle fries is the fast track to weight gain success. While these foods will almost definitely help you gain weight, they are also loaded with sodium, saturated fat, and other artificial ingredients.
Many of these foods can make you heavier, but evidence has shown that making them a part of your regular diet is detrimental to other areas of your overall health. In this article, I will teach you how to gain weight, the natural way.
Sticking to high protein, nutrient-rich foods will definitely help you gain the weight you are looking for and allow you to avoid the unwanted health risks associated with eating fast food and other “junk food”.
Below is a list of all natural foods that will put you on the path to natural weight gain.
In one of the largest nutritional studies ever conducted, it was determined that total meat consumption was positively associated with weight gain in men and women. The study sampled over 300,000 men and women over a 5-year period.
In order to reduce the amount of unnecessary saturated fats that you consume, try to stick with skinless chicken breast and other lean-cut meats.
Consumption of processed deli meats, like salami and sausage can lead to hypertension, heart conditions and other health issues in the future. Since red meat is also known to contain high levels of cholesterol, it is recommended that you limit it to 1 or 2 times a week.
Salmon, Fish and Poultry
Salmon is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, healthy monounsaturated fats and has a number of other health benefits. It is also delicious and usually doesn’t require as much preparation as other meals. The high levels of protein in salmon and other fish can help you build muscle, which will also increase your overall body mass. Fresh tuna, shrimp and other shellfish are also high in protein, plus they are sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied.
If you are feeling adventurous and have some extra time to practice your cooking skills, here is a link to Chef John’s Salmon Recipe which has a total of 496 calories and 45.1 grams of protein.
Avocados have a relatively neutral flavor, and make a great addition to a leafy-green salad or green protein smoothie. My favorite way to eat them is on crunchy avocado toast.
The New Yorker in me loves to add the sliced avocado to a toasted sesame seed bagel with a slice or two of Trader Joe’s Organic New Zealand Cheddar. Avocado Toast in not a just a trendy hipster food, if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.
2 cups of enriched white pasta has over 400 calories, add marinara sauce or butter and garlic and the number is even higher.
Pasta is also a great source of other vital nutrients and essential vitamins. One cup has significant levels of Selenium, Iron, Folate, Thiamin, and Manganese.
Pasta is also very affordable and there are many varieties you can choose from. If you don’t like regular Angel Hair Spaghetti, you can try Fettuccine, Linguini, Elbow Macaroni, Penne or Rigatoni.
Peanuts and Tree Nuts
Although these are one of the most well-known allergy causing foods on the planet, peanuts are calorie dense, and contain high levels of healthy fats. They are also a reliable source of Reservatrol and other polyphenolic antioxidants, which are shown to decrease risks of certain kinds of cancer. Also, a handful of peanuts per day provide enough recommended levels of phenolic antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein”.
If you don’t like peanuts, Almonds have many of the same benefits as peanuts. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. Almonds are also “high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage, a major cause of aging and other disease”.
In addition to being an excellent source of calcium, a small 1 ounce serving of cheese has approximately 110 calories.
Keith-Thomas Ayoob, RDN, a clinical associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, explains that ” hard cheeses have more calories than soft cheese like American, but the soft cheeses can be helpful in larger quantities”.
In combination with other weight-gaining foods, cheese can be used for gaining the caloric intake that you need to achieve your goal. Slice it up and put it on crackers, make a grilled cheese sandwich, or a hot tuna melt.
Incorporating a fresh fruit smoothie to your diet is an easy way to boost your caloric intake for the day. Many of the recipes are easy to make and only require a high-speed blender, plus any fruits or vegetables that you are adding to the smoothie.
If you are not okay with making your own recipes in the beginning, there are many guides online that can help you get started. The online forums, blogs and YouTube videos are easy to follow and great for those who are just starting out.
At first, many people are skeptical about how the smoothies will taste, but trust me, once you find a few recipes that you like it will be your new favorite breakfast or lunch meal.
Try adding Peanut Butter, Almond Butter or other proteins so that you feel fuller throughout the day.
There are also companies like Daily Harvest who will ship the frozen smoothies to your house if you are pressed for time.
Always Conduct Your Own Research
The tips that I have included above are based on personal experience, and come from other people who have struggled to gain weight, or have had problems increasing their size. Some sources that I’ve referenced are from licensed health professionals, and some are not.
Many of the articles that you will come across online are from people that have a love for health and nutrition, but they may not be qualified to give expert medical advice. As I tell everyone, please do your due diligence and consult with a trusted medical professional or expert in the field before going through with any changes to your diet or eating habit