Gaining weight or building muscle may be just as challenging for some individuals as losing it is for others.
Simply by including specific foods into your diet, your efforts at weight gain may become both more healthy and successful.
Here are five healthy food sources that will help you gain weight or build muscle while remaining sustainable.
- Homemade Protein Smoothies
Protein smoothies made at home are an easy and nutritious way to gain weight quickly.
Make your own smoothies is an efficient and cost-effective solution, as commercial varieties tend to contain too much sugar and lack essential nutrients. Doing it yourself also gives you complete control over flavoring and nutrition content.
Here are just a few tasty variations you should give a try, using 2 cups (470 mL) of dairy or soy milk if lactose intolerance is an issue; both have more nutrients and calories than alternative milks.
Mix 1 banana, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of peanut or other nut margarine together into a delicious chocolate banana nut shake!
Vanilla Berry Shake: For this tasty treat, combine 1 cup (237 mL) of new or frozen blended berries, ice cubes, 1 cup (237 mL) of high protein full fat Greek Yogurt and one scoop of vanilla Whey Protein powder.
Chocolate Hazelnut Shake: Combine 15 ounces (444 mL) of chocolate milk with one scoop of chocolate whey protein, one tablespoon (15 mL) of hazelnut spread and an avocado for an easy chocolate hazelnut shake!
Create the Caramel Apple Shake: Combine 1 cut apple with one cup (237 mL) of full fat Greek yogurt, one scoop of caramel or vanilla-flavored whey protein powder and one tablespoon (15 mL) of non-sugary caramel sauce or flavoring for optimal results.
Vanilla blueberry shake: Combine 1 cup (237 mL) of new or frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, and 1 cup (237 mL) of vanilla Greek yogurt, plus any necessary sweeteners such as sugar.
Super green shake: Create the ultimate supergreen drink by mixing one cup (237 mL) of spinach, 1 avocado, and 1 banana with one cup (237 mL) of pineapple plus a scoop of unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder.
Smoothies typically contain between 400-600 calories and provide an abundance of protein as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Milk has long been utilized as a weight gainer or muscle builder.
Foods containing an adequate combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats as well as calcium are excellent sources of nutrition, in addition to providing other important vitamins and minerals.
Milk provides both casein and whey proteins for those looking to gain muscle, making it an invaluable protein source in conjunction with weightlifting. Research shows milk may even aid in adding mass.
Studies have also demonstrated that milk or the combination of whey and casein proteins can result in greater mass gain than other protein sources.
Add one or two glasses of full milk (149 Calories per cup) as snacks, meals or as part of your workouts for optimal health and performance.
Milk smoothies can be a tasty way to incorporate milk into your diet. For an easy morning protein supplement, mix 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 cup of whole milk, 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla into a smoothie mix and enjoy!
- Nuts And Nut Margarines
Nuts and nut margarines (nut spreads) can be great choices if you’re looking to gain weight.
One small handful (1/4 cup) of raw almonds provides 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of healthy fats.
Nuts are extremely calorie-dense foods, so even two handfuls per day when included as part of a meal or snack can quickly add hundreds of calories.
Nut margarines make quick work of turning smoothies, yogurts and crackers into delicious fatty treats! Just a drizzle will do.
Try this delicious peanut margarine banana smoothie for a quick energy boost – only three ingredients required (270 Calories when made with entire milk!). If you have an allergy to peanuts, simply opt for another type of nut margarine.
However, when choosing 100% nut spreads with no added sugar or oils, make sure they contain only 100% nuts. Or better yet, create your own homemade almond margarine formula using this easy homemade method – not only will it save money but is also easy on your wallet!
- Potatoes And Starches
Potatoes and starches: an effortless and convenient way to add additional calories
Attempt to pick one of these healthy wellsprings of starchy carbs:
- potatoes and sweet potatoes
- winter root vegetables
- beans and vegetables
Not only can potatoes and other starches provide you with carbs and calories to assist with weight gain, they can also increase muscle glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the primary energy source behind most games and activities.
These carb sources also contain key nutrients and fiber, in addition to resistant starch that can provide sustenance for your gut bacteria.
With sweet potatoes, you can take part in one of Instagram’s latest trends: sweet potato toast. Prep takes only minutes: just wash, dry, and meagerly slice a medium-sized sweet potato before toasting it in either your toaster or toaster stove according to your preferred method.
Once your bowl is assembled, simply customize it with the garnish of your choice – such as spreading on some mashed avocado and topping it off with a singed egg for a delicious breakfast or post-exercise snack!
Quinoa is an edible seed that’s commonly prepared and eaten like a grain, like most grains. You can prepare and consume it on its own or add it to soups; its flour can then be utilized in bread products, beverages and porridge recipes.
Quinoa stands out among various grains as a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize on their own. Furthermore, quinoa provides plenty of essential proteins, minerals and B vitamins – all things our bodies cannot produce on its own!
- Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is an ideal combination of fats, antioxidants, and micronutrients that provides energy.
Dried fruit comes in many varieties and contains naturally high amounts of sugar, making them great for weight gain due to being convenient and tasty snacks.
Many believe that dried fruits lose most of their essential vitamins and minerals when dried; this is simply not true. Dried fruit still contain plenty of fiber while many vitamins and minerals remain intact.
Try pairing some dried fruit with a protein source, such as meat, cheddar, or whey protein shake. They go well together with nuts or full fat plain Greek yogurt as they provide healthy fats, proteins, and essential nutrients that contribute to overall wellbeing.
Dates are an ideal source of nutrition, packed with fiber and antioxidants. Their versatility makes them easy to prepare as a fatty snack – two Medjool dates provide approximately 130 Calories on their own!
Explore your creativity by filling dates with nut butter, cream cheese or cooked grains like rice or quinoa. Add one or two dates as a delicious touch in smoothies, sauces or dressings.