Perhaps you’re looking to put on a little bit of weight and are looking for some tips for eating more healthy calories. I know it seems tough to think about gaining weight when most of the world is trying to lose weight. However, sometimes it can be necessary to put on a few extra pounds. Whether you’ve been sick and dropped some weight, had an eating disorder, or perhaps just want to add some healthy curves to your frame, gaining weight can be a great goal. To prevent yourself from developing unhealthy eating habits by eating junk food and fast food, just be sure to choose good sources of dense calories. These simple tips for eating more healthy calories are all ones I’ve used myself, and tips I’ve given to others to help them gain a little healthy weight too. Try them for yourself, and see how they work for you!
1. Start Small
I was really intimidated when I began my weight gaining journey three years ago, so I knew finding tips for eating more healthy calories in my diet would take some creativity. I was willing to take small steps instead of large leaps, and I suggest you do the same. Add a little bit of nut butter to your smoothies or oatmeal, have a couple extra tablespoons of olive oil on your salad, and perhaps a pat of butter or vegan butter on all your steamed veggies. Little steps add up, especially through dense calorie sources like those mentioned above.
2. Use Fat at Every Meal
Another tip for gaining extra weight is to use some fats at every meal, not just one or two. Quit going nonfat for meals, and instead, add 2 tbsp. of fat to whatever you eat. I know that seems scary, but fat is actually quite good for you, and can improve the look of your skin, hair, and nails. It also helps your body absorb the nutrients from your foods. Just be sure to choose the good fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, hemp oil, and avocados.
3. Add a Starch
Along with adding some fat to your meals, I suggest adding a healthy starch. I don’t mean white rice and bread either. I mean perhaps a sweet baked potato, some winter squash, some quinoa, and perhaps some wild rice. These are all incredibly healthy sources of starches that will help you gain weight slowly, but surely. Have one serving for at least two of your meals each day. Though most people eat these to lose weight, they don’t eat them daily, which you should do in order to gain weight the right way, consistently.
4. Snack on Raw Nuts
Another tip for gaining weight pretty easily is to snack on raw nuts instead of all raw veggies or fruit. Though veggies and fruit should be included in your diet, they’re lower in calories than raw nuts, and won’t help you gain weight. Add a 1/4 cup serving of your favorite raw nuts to your raw fruits and veggies as a snack. They also pair great with a little dark chocolate, by the way! Remember, small steps add up!
5. Bulk up Your Smoothies
As I mentioned above, you can add nut butter to your smoothies, but you can also add a couple other things that are healthy, yet will still increase the calorie content. This includes coconut oil, low sugar or sugar-free yogurt, avocado, bananas, hemp seeds, and even shredded coconut. Many different high calorie foods are all still healthy for you. Just choose around 4-5 dense foods per smoothie, and remember not to forget your greens too!
6. Don’t Forget Protein
When trying to gain weight the right way, do not forget your protein! I always suggest adding double the protein you normally would when trying to gain a little weight. For me, I wasn’t eating much protein at all, so this wasn’t hard. I bought a vegan protein powder to use in my smoothies, started eating fish for dinner, added a scoop of the same protein powder to oatmeal, and I made sure to eat some type of vegan protein at lunch. Remember, protein will help your body build lean muscle, which can contribute to healthy weight gain. It’s actually the best kind of weight to put on of all, and will make a huge difference in your energy levels.
7. Do It Smart
Gaining weight the healthy way doesn’t have to be hard, but be sure you do it smart. It can be tempting to just buy some hamburgers and a milkshake and try to do it overnight, but I promise, that’s not the best way. That won’t make you feel good either, and will most likely give you a tummy ache and morning bloat! Instead, put it on the right way, and enjoy the delicious tastes of healthy, calorie-dense foods. Your body will thank you over and over again for treating it well.
I do suggest shying away from sugar and refined foods, since they can mess with your glycemic index, despite helping you to gain weight. Remember, just because you’re gaining weight, that isn’t a reason to neglect your health. Have you ever had to gain a healthy bit of weight before? What worked for you?