When we think about health it often goes hand in hand with weight loss or reducing calories. In many cases people want to do the opposite. Many of my friends are athletes who have been struggling to gain weight for years to improve their athletic ability. Some people are just naturally underweight and need to gain a few pounds in order to be healthy in general. A common mistake while attempting to gain weight is eating extremely high calorie foods with absolutely no nutritional value. That will lead to poor fitness and increased fat mass instead of lean muscle. In this article I will give you 10 foods that will help you gain healthy weight.
An average egg contains 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and hardly any carbohydrates. They are a popular food among body builders because its extremely easy to add half a dozen eggs to a meal for the extra calories. It is risky to eat raw eggs and meats because of the possibility of salmonela, but eggs can be put into milkshakes or other drinks completely raw. You won’t even be able to taste them (If you do this I HIGHLY recommend that you make sure the egg has no cracks in it).
The protein in eggs give the body building blocks for muscles. The fats provide an efficient source of energy and it also increases testosterone levels. Eggs contain high levels of Omega-3 fats which aid in joint mobility and body cell health.
In recent years egg yokes (the yellow part) has gotten a very bad reputation. As and example, it has become extremely popular to order egg white omelets, or scrambled egg whites instead of the whole egg. The reason for its bad rep is that it contains high amounts of cholesterol which was believed to be a risk factor for heart disease.
The truth is that eggs contain good cholesterols which actually decrease the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in the body. An element called choline is also present in egg yolks. Choline actually reduces fat build up in the heart and helps to rebuild cells. It has also been shown to benefit your mood.
Peanut butter contains about 94 calories, 4 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 3 grams of carbs in every table spoon. It is simply crushed peanuts mixed with any of the various types of oils. Like eggs, it also contains Omega-3 fats. You can buy it in different textures. Some are more crunchy with bigger pieces of peanuts, and some are extremely smooth. I would recommend a natural peanut butter just because they are usually made with healthier oils. You can tell if it is natural because the oil usually floats to the top and you have to mix it after you open the can. It is also necessary to refrigerate the natural kind.
Peanut butter is convenient because you can add it to so many foods to add calories. You can spread it on fruits and vegetables. Add it to a meal replacement or post-workout shake, or spread it on a slice of whole wheat bread. If you are a really big fan, I hear it is really delicious straight out of the jar.
Fatty Cuts Of Meat
If your goal is to lose weight then lean meats like turkey, chicken breast, lean beef, and fish should absolutely be your priority proteins.
For individuals who are trying to gain weight, fattier cuts of meat are probably more ideal. The animal fat is high in protein and also increases testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone predominantly in males that tells the body to build more muscle. It can also play a role in reduction of adipose tissue (fat storage).
Some fattier cuts of meat are pork, bacon, and chicken thighs and legs. You can find meat in the poultry section of grocery stores for very reasonable prices. Organic meats are slightly more expensive, but it is a healthier option if your food budget permits that. Organic meats are usually raised with better food and they are not processed with chemicals. They also tend to have higher vitamin and mineral content, unlike processed meats.
Beans are a super food packed with almost every nutrient that you need. Most types of beans have similar nutrient levels. On average, in one cup they contain 225 calories, 15 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and many also are high in fiber.
Beans come in a different variety. There are black beans, red beans, lima beans, soy beans, lentils, kidney beans, etc. Most beans can be found in a can at the grocery store. Literally all you have to do is warm them up on the stove or in the microwave. It may be one of the easiest foods to prepare on this list, besides peanut butter.
Vegetables High In Starch
Vegetables that are high in starch are wight and sweet potatoes, peas and corn. These vegetables are very high in carbohydrates with almost not fats or proteins. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The calorie count in these foods is much higher than veggies like broccoli and asparagus.
To build muscle and gain weight your body needs the calories for energy. These vegetables provide an essential source of energy for training and building muscle. The high levels of nutrients also benefit other body functions.
The amount of calories in fruit may surprise some people. Some low calorie diet plans have started to decrease the amount of fruit that is prescribed. Although, the amount of calories may vary tremendously. A small apple contains around 50 calories and a cup of pitted dates has about 490 calories.
Because of some of the high calorie fruits this can be a perfect snack, or an addition to any weight gaining meal. All fruits are also filled with plenty vitamins and minerals.
Although they have been given a bad name in recent years, whole wheat carbohydrates are some of the most nutritious foods you will find for gaining weight. They are high in calories and low in protein and fat. The whole wheat in these carbs are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Examples of these carbs are whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, oats, and brown rice.
The reason carbohydrates have been given a bad name is because refined grains are very popular and they are risk factors for diabetes and heart problems. Refined grains are stripped of the whole grain shell that contains all the nutritional value. Then unhealthy corn syrup and sugars are added to it. Foods like white rice, white bread, and white pasta fall into this category.
Olive, canola, almond, flax seed, and coconut oils are all very healthy. In a table spoon there may be around 120 calories and 15 grams of fat in these oils. The nutritional value is very similar in each of them. The fat in these oils is mostly unsaturated fat, so it can help gain weight while reducing cholesterol levels at the same time.
I would not recommend eating table spoons of oil strait out of the bottle. That may make you never want to eat it ever again. These oils are great for cooking. You can drip the oils on top of chicken or fish before you bake it, or pan fry an egg in the morning with the oil for breakfast.
Whole Milk Or Chocolate Milk
One cup of whole milk contains 150 calories, 8 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of fat. Protein gives the body building blocks for new muscle and the saturated fat increases testosterone for more muscle growth and fat loss.
Chocolate milk is a very effective post workout drink. It has been compared to Muscle Milk, which is a popular protein recovery drink. Chocolate milk is not only cheaper, it also out-performs Muscle Milk in almost every aspect. The ratio of carbohydrates to proteins in chocolate milk is perfect for building muscle.
While gaining weight, whole milk should be used before workouts and on recovery days. Chocolate milk should be used soon after workouts for recovery. Both types of milk contain calcium for bone growth and a hormone calle IGF-1 which tells the body to build muscle and use energy as a primary energy source.
Milk is very cheap and it is extremely easy to add to a diet. Milk is definitely a super food considering the price, nutritional value, and effects on weight gain and muscle generation.
All nuts are relatively high in calories and packed with nutrients. There are various types of nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, etc.
One cup of sliced almonds has about 529 calories, 45 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated), 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein.
All nuts, whether they are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts or macadamia nuts are calorie and nutrient dense. They also contain high levels of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E which positively effects cholesterol levels.
If you want to gain lean muscle mass these are 10 foods that will help you gain healthy weight. You must realize that putting on good weight takes time. Don’t eat high calorie foods that have no nutritional value. That will surely set you up for failure. If you have any athlete friends, or know anyone who is attempting to gain weight, then share this article with them on Facebook. If you have any questions about other weight gaining foods feel free to contact me.