Trying to Gain Weight? – Here are The Mistakes to Avoid

Since the majority of online sources focus on how to lose weight, if you are a skinny person trying to put some more meat on your bones, you might be feeling a tad underrepresented. Believe it or not, being underweight can be just as frustrating as being overweight because, weirdly enough, you are more or less prone to the same physical limitations.

Just like shedding the pounds off, gaining weight healthily requires taking a steady, balanced approach by eating the appropriate foods in the right amounts, hydrating and exercising on a regular basis. While constantly gorging on unhealthy foods like pizza, pasta, and hamburgers and letting nature take care of the rest might technically work, you will do more harm than good to your body. Here are a few tips for gaining weight naturally.

Foods to Eat and Avoid While Trying to Gain Weight

Let us get the most burning question out of the way right from the get-go: what exactly are you allowed to eat, and what foods you should avoid? The short answer: avoid the foods that are not rich in nutrients. The long answer is that you will have a lot more factors to take into account, like macronutrients, carbohydrates, healthy fats and so on and so forth.

The foods that you need to eat to gain weight fast are the following:

  • The daily protein intake should be measured in concordance with your total weight. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, you will have to eat approximately 170 grams of protein per day. Reputable online sources such as recommend increasing the intake of beans, organic turkey, chicken and beef, wild salmon and whole eggs, as they are rich sources of healthy protein.
  • Healthy fats. Generally speaking, there are two categories of healthy fats that are very effective for people who want to gain weight and muscle. The first category includes omega nine fatty acids, which can be found in animal fats and vegetables. These are the ones that will give your body more energy for physical activity. Another good way of getting the necessary amount of omega nine fats is by consuming olive oil, almonds, and The second category is comprised of omega three fatty acids, which can be found in wild salmon, egg yolks, walnuts and chia seeds.

As for the foods that will impede your weight gaining efforts, here is a brief list to follow:

  • Hydrogenated oils. You want to avoid these type of oils because they contain high amounts of trans fats. Their biggest drawback is that they prevent cell metabolism from functioning adequately and can trigger a wide variety of health conditions related to the heart and digestive system, as well as raising the levels of bad cholesterol. This list includes corn oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil and canola oil, which will interfere with muscle growth and inhibit your weight gaining efforts.
  • Avoid white sugar, as well as foods and beverages with added sugar.
  • While carbohydrates are not necessarily bad, you should cut down on foods that contain refined carbs, such as cereals, refined grains, pasta, white bread and the like.

Add Calories Rich In Nutrients

The next step to gaining weight involves increasing your calorie intake. Again, this does not mean eating fast food, because calorie quality is actually just as important, if not even more important, than quantity. The best way to do this is by adding nutrient-dense foods into our regular diet that provide you with an adequate amount of energy. Some simple examples are seeds, nuts, raw cheese, olive oil, and coconut.

From here, there are two equally viable approaches you can take. You can either count calories or apply the intuitive eating method. Now, for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you are willing to count calories. Unfortunately, there is no scientific data that determines exactly how many calories you have to eat each day to gain weight. This number is highly dependent on your age, gender, metabolism, and genetics.

The general consensus here is that you have to eat more calories than your body can burn in day. The total number of calories that your body requires to function on a daily basis is called TDEE – which means total daily energy expenditure. Fortunately, this number can be easily determined by using an online calculator.

Your personal TDEE is split into basal metabolic rate (the calories that are burnt during resting by breathing, staying warm, pumping blood and other idle activities) and the calories you burn during physical exercises.  Once you get a number, make sure to add approximately 250-260 calories to your meal. As for women, 125 extra calories should suffice. You should see the first results after two weeks when you will notice that you are gaining muscles.

Eat Five Meals Each Day

If counting calories and other method do not seem to be working, you could switch tactics and try eating five times per day. But like always, the quality of the food is as important as the quantity – as a result, your meals should be a healthy mix of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats.

The key here is not only to eat five big meals but to spread them throughout the day by decreasing their size. This will not only ensure that your body will get the necessary amount of calories to gain weight, but you will not feel full after the third meal. It might seem like a lot of food at first, but your body will gradually get used to this, and you will have no problem sticking to this routine.

When all else fails, you can add a smoothie or a milkshake to your meal to ensure you are getting enough calories. A good rule of thumb is to eat a healthy snack between meals, like berries, vegetables, seeds, yogurt, nuts and the like.


While many of us might be tempted to gain weight by eating fast and processed foods, this will only do more harm than good. It is entirely possible, and recommended, to take a steady approach and do it healthily by eating the right foods in the adequate quantities and counting calories. Make sure to read through this article, and you will get all the necessary information.

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