Easy Meals For Weight Gain


The easy weight gain meals below are quick and easy to make, which is great for people who have very little time in the day to cook nutritious meals. If you like these meals and are looking for more weight gain recipes, you can keep on reading down this page.

High Calorie Recipes for Weight Gain

Cheesy Breakfast Grits

These high calorie cheesy breakfast grits contain over 500 calories per serving!

High calorie ingredients included in this recipe are:

  • whole milk
  • butter
  • cheese
  • bacon
  • eggs

And it is tasty. I actually had grits this morning myself.

High Protein Mac and Cheese

This recipe contains 403 calories per serving

High calorie ingredients included in this recipe are:

  • whole milk
  • butter
  • cheese
  • Greek yogurt

You can switch up the variety of this recipe by using different types of cheese. Or by adding vegetables or high protein meats.

High Calorie Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

This recipe contains 333 calories per serving.

High calorie ingredients included in this recipe are:

  • whole milk
  • cottage cheese
  • egg
  • butter

Serve your pancakes with an 8 ounce glass of whole milk to add on another 148 calories!

High Calorie Sausage and Vegetable Soup

This recipe contains over 400 calories per serving.

High calorie ingredients included in this recipe are:

  • sausage
  • olive oil
  • heavy cream

Add variety to this recipe by switching up the vegetables and meat included in the soup.

High Calorie Breakfast Casserole Cups

This recipe contains 249 calories per casserole cup.

High calorie ingredients included in this recipe are:

  • butter
  • eggs
  • sausage
  • whole milk
  • cheese

If you eat 2 breakfast casserole cups you’ll get nearly 500 calories. These cups are great to make at the start of the week.

You can save the extras in the fridge or freezer then heat them up when you need them

Meals to Help to Gain Weight

When you’re prone to being underweight, gaining weight can be challenging. Before modifying your diet, speak with your dietitian or physician — you could have an underlying medical condition. Once you have eliminated the possibility of a medical condition, ask your health-care professional to determine how many calories you burn daily, known as your total energy expenditure, or your TEE. You must eat more than this number to induce weight gain. Calorie-dense meals let you gain weight without constantly forcing yourself to eat when you’re not hungry.

Avocado Chicken Sandwich

A sandwich with crispy chicken, sliced avocados and whole-wheat bread is loaded with healthful fats and is sure to help you gain weight. Fresh lime or lemon juice, tomatoes, onions and cracked black pepper are healthful toppings. You can also use a commercial dressing, but choose a variety low in cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium. A sandwich with two large slices of multi-grain bread, 3 ounces of roasted chicken breast and one 7-ounce avocado has 679 calories, 41 grams of protein, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of fiber and 36 grams of fat. The amount of avocado influences the calories and fat significantly — each 7-ounce avocado has 322 calories and 29.5 grams of mostly healthful fats.

Pasta with Egg

No matter how high your daily caloric goals, whole-wheat pasta will help you reach them. Choose any whole-wheat noodle you enjoy and cook it in unsalted water. While the pasta can be served simply with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle of fresh herbs, an egg will add calories, protein and depth. One whole, beaten egg tossed with the noodles will create a creamy pasta dish. To ensure the egg cooks, drain the noodles and immediately place them back in the hot pan, pouring the egg over the top. The hot pan and noodles will cook the egg as you stir it in. A meal with 2 cups of cooked whole-wheat pasta, one large egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 538 calories, 21 grams of protein, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 12.5 grams of fiber and 20 grams of heart-healthy fats.

Beans over Rice

A meal of beans and rice is a quick fix for days when you’d otherwise be short on calories. Neither ingredient is expensive or unhealthy, so keep them on hand. Low-sodium, cooked beans and brown or wild rice is an excellent combination. Season the dish with salsa, fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and other powerful, moist ingredients, or toss it with fresh herbs. A meal with 2 cups of cooked black beans and 1 cup of cooked, long-grain brown rice has 670 calories, 36 grams of protein, 126 grams of carbohydrates, 33.5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of fats.

How many calories should you eat to gain weight?

Your goal when you’re trying to gain weight isn’t to house a whole fruitcake in one sitting, but rather, to sneak in a couple hundred extra calories here and few more there, in a way that feels manageable and sustainable.

A little bit of calorie math: One pound of body weight is equal (more or less) to 3,500 calories. So if you eat 500 additional calories a day, you’ll gain about a pound a week. “As a general rule, start by adding an extra 250 to 500 calories per day on top of your current intake,” says Stefanski. “If this doesn’t lead to weight gain, calories should continue to be increased.” It can be a little overwhelming trying to calculate your caloric needs for every meal, and every person is slightly different. A registered dietitian can help you work out a weekly meal plan for optimal weight gain.

Best foods to gain weight

A bag of potato chips may tip the scale, but it lacks the quality nutrition you’d get from foods that are part of a more balanced approach, like the so-called Mediterranean diet (see: whole-wheat pasta tossed with olive oil). Overall, says Romano, your goal should be to include foods that are both nutrient- and calorie-rich.

The foods here can serve as building blocks or add-ins to increase the caloric content of any meal, which can help you gain weight:

  • Avocados
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cream cheese
  • Full-fat yogurt and milk
  • Hard cheeses
  • Mayonnaise
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils and salad dressings
  • Peanut butter (and other nut butters)
  • Sour cream

Healthy weight-gain snacks

Certain snacks, or ingredients you add to existing snacks, can help you push your daily calorie total up. “Think about it like this: If you add one tablespoon of oil, two tablespoons of peanut butter and an ounce of full-fat cheese to your daily snacks, you will incorporate an extra 400 calories per day from those small changes alone,” says Romano.

These healthy snack choices for weight gain, suggested by the Cleveland Clinic, weigh in around 400-600 calories:

  • Blueberry muffin
  • Bagel and cream cheese (2 tbsp.)
  • Egg salad sandwich, half
  • Grilled cheese (2 slices bread, 2 slices cheese, 2 tbsp. butter)
  • Pita and hummus (one pita stuffed with ¾ cup hummus, sliced avocado, tomato and olives)
  • Powdered milk (Add 2 to 4 tbsp. per cup of milk to recipes, or mix into pudding, mashed potatoes, soups, cooked cereal and yogurt.)
  • Trail mix (1/2 cup) + 8 oz. juice
  • Yogurt (6 oz) + granola (¾ cup)

Drinks to help you gain weight

High-calorie drinks can be an effective strategy for weight gain, says Dr. Butsch, but liquids can make you feel full, so be sure your choices are not interfering with your appetite for your actual meal. Look for drinks that have at least 250 calories and 10 grams of protein per bottle, Romano suggests. Here are some options:

  • Frappe
  • Ice-cream shake
  • Juice
  • Kefir smoothie
  • Whole milk

While sodas can have 250 or more calories a serving, they are high in sugar and low in protein, so they aren’t ideal from a nutritional standpoint.

Can protein powder help you gain weight?

When your weight drops below a healthy level, you don’t just lose fat, you lose muscle mass. That can be dangerous—your muscles support your bones, and without enough muscle strength, the load on your bones can lead to issues like stress fractures.

Protein is the building block for muscle growth, and protein powder, a nutritional supplement, can help support your muscles when you are low on calories. You can add it to shakes, fold it into pancake batter, stir it into mashed potatoes or sprinkle it on vegetable dishes.

But buyer beware: Protein powders are not FDA-regulated, meaning the quality of contents may vary greatly from one manufacturer to the next. What’s more, certain protein powders, which are often made from whey, soy or casein protein, can contain excessive sugar (avoid those), while a 2019 study from the national consumer safety group Clean Label Project found some powders contain high levels of toxins, including pesticides, arsenic and mercury.

If you do decide to add protein powder to your daily diet, talk with a dietician about which ones are best. And remember, while protein powder can be beneficial for building muscles, “if minimal calorie needs aren’t met, protein powder will do nothing special to promote weight gain,” says Stefanski.

Best protein shakes to put on some pounds

Let’s assume you’ve maxed out on your whole food options for gaining weight. If the needle’s still not moving, it’s time to break out the blender. “Making a homemade shake or smoothie with high-calorie ingredients and potentially a protein powder can be helpful,” acknowledges Romano.

Prioritize calories over protein: Research shows your body can only absorb around 30 grams of protein at a time, anyway. “Milk, yogurt, soy milk and peanut butter are already rich sources of protein and great ingredients to incorporate in a homemade shake,” says Romano. Once you’ve added those, protein powder could be overkill.

If you don’t have time to whip up your own beverage, you can buy these ready-made protein shakes at the store to gain healthy weight. They are easy to pack and drink on the go:

  • Boost VHC (Very High Calorie)
  • Ensure
  • Huel
  • Muscle Milk
  • Real Gains Weight Gainer

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