5 Ideas for Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

Some may find the thought of having to gain weight exciting. In fact, many may be envious of those looking to boost their calorie intake however, gaining weight is not just about eating more. 

If you’re trying to gain weight or preparing for a bulk, it’s important to prioritize healthy weight gain to avoid any negative health effects.

Below are 5 tips for healthy ways to increase weight to meet your goals while keeping your health in check.

1. Incorporate Healthy Calories

A calorie surplus is a requirement for weight gain. While this can easily be done by gorging on all your favorite foods, it may not be the healthiest way. Instead, focus on high-quality, nutrient-dense options.

For example, incorporating healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, cheese, avocado, or olive oil is a great way to boost calories as well as nutrition. 

A calorie surplus of 300-500 calories per day is a great way to achieve a healthy rate of weight gain, about 1-2 pounds per week. This can be done by incorporating a few healthy additions to your meals or by adding an extra snack.

For those who have a hard time eating larger portions during meals, consider breaking your meals into smaller portions and eating more frequently throughout the day. For example, instead of 3 very large meals per day, choose 5-6 smaller meals.

2. Establish Protein Goals

With a calorie surplus, it’s also important to consider protein, especially if you are preparing for a bulk.

The recommended range for protein intake for adults is 10-35% of your total calories. This means if you consume a 2,000-calorie diet, you should get between 50-175 grams of protein per day [1].

Those trying to build lean body mass, or who are preparing for a bulk, should aim for the higher end of 30-35% for optimal muscle growth. Spread your protein intake out evenly through meals and snacks for optimal digestion and absorption [2, 3].

The best protein sources to include are meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, and soy but you can also get small amounts of protein from other food sources such as grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

3. Train For Hypertrophy

If you are looking to gain weight, you want a good deal of that weight gain to be muscle mass, especially during bulking. For that to occur, your diet and your gym routine must line up for muscle growth.

Along with adequate calorie and protein intake, regular resistance training is essential for muscle hypertrophy.

Aim to dedicate 2-3 days a week to strength-based training, such as weight lifting, that works all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms) or alternate between upper body and lower body days to avoid working the same muscle groups consecutively [4].  

Do 6-12 reps per set with 60-90 seconds of rest in between for adequate muscle fatigue. Be sure to choose weights that challenge your muscles. If doing 12 reps of one exercise feels easy, it’s time to up the weight.

If this is new to you, consider working with a personal trainer to help ensure you are choosing the right exercises and have the correct form to get the best results and reduce your injury risk.

4. Step Up Recovery 

Nothing can halt your progress like an injury. While it can be tempting to want to bust your butt in the gym every day, recovery is just as essential as strength training and diet. 

Step up your recovery routine by prioritizing rest days, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition. Consider using recovery tools such as a sauna to relax your muscles and improve blood flow post-workout [5].

 Avoid working the same muscle group on consecutive days and consider foam rolling and flexibility exercises to enhance recovery time so you can train consistently without injury.

5. Start Your Day Off Strong 

If you’re having a hard time meeting your calorie surplus, consider starting the day off with a nutrient-dense breakfast shake that utilizes a high-quality mass gainer supplement, such as our chocolate peanut butter weight gainer supplement. 

With 1250 calories and 50 grams of protein per serving, you will have no problem meeting those additional calorie and protein goals, even on those busy days.

Is it Possible to Gain Weight in a Healthy Way?

Just like with weight loss, there are unhealthy and healthy ways to gain weight. While many associate gaining weight with being unhealthy, it doesn’t have to be.

There are many things you can incorporate into your diet and routine to ensure a healthy weight gain. By choosing nutritious foods, keeping within a reasonable calorie surplus, prioritizing protein, and staying active, you will be on your way to a healthy weight gain in no time. 

Keep in mind, a healthy rate of weight gain is between 1-2 pounds a week.

Can I Gain Weight With a Fast Metabolism?

If you have a well-tuned metabolism, you may think it’s impossible to put on weight. While the ease at which you can gain weight will vary from person to person and depend on a variety of factors, a fast metabolism doesn’t mean you can’t gain weight.

A well-working metabolism is a good sign of health, however, it may mean you have to work a little bit harder to put on weight. By including nutrient-dense foods such as healthy fats and protein and prioritizing strength training, you can push for a jump on the scale.

If you continue to struggle to see weight gain due to a fast metabolism, consider using a mass gainer supplement, such as Naked Mass to help and make sure you aren’t doing anything to hinder your progress. 

For example, be sure to limit cardio exercises that may be burning large amounts of calories at a time. If you are still struggling, consider working with a Registered Dietitian to help you reach your goals.