Struggling to gain weight?

Although being lean can often be healthy, but for some people putting on weight or adding muscle can be just as difficult as losing weight for others.

This is a concern, as being underweight can be just as bad for your health as being obese.

However, by simply adding certain foods to your diet can make your weight gain efforts both healthy and more effective.

Here are some healthy ways to gain weight when you’re underweight:


Gaining weight the right way

If you are wanting to gain weight, it’s very important that it’s done the right way.

There are many items to binge on like donuts and soda drinks, which may help you gain weight, but it can destroy your health at the same time.

If you’re underweight, you want to gain a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than a lot of unhealthy belly fat.


Milk has been used as a weight gainer or muscle builder for decades .

Milk offers a mix of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

For those trying to add more muscle, milk is an excellent protein source that provides both casein and whey proteins. Research has even shown it can help you add muscle when combined with weight lifting. It has also been found that milk, or whey and casein combined can lead to greater mass gain than other protein sources.

Red meat and Supplements

Red meats are probably one of the top choices for gaining muscle and the best muscle-building foods available.

Steak for example contains both leucine and creatine, nutrients that helps in building muscle mass. Steak and other red meats contain both protein and fat, which promote weight gain.

While a person is advised to limit their intake, leaner cuts of red meat are healthier for the heart than fattier cuts.

Rather choose fattier cuts, which provide more calories than leaner meats, which would help you take in extra calories and add weight.

Other alternative is taking protein supplements, which is a common strategy for athletes and bodybuilders who want to gain weight. Like meats and other animal products, whey protein contains all the essential amino acids required to stimulate muscle growth.

You can use it before or after your workout and at any other point during the day.


Energy-Dense Food

It’s very important to eat mostly whole, single-ingredient foods.

Problem is that these foods often tend to be more filling for you than processed junk food,which in turn makes it harder to get enough calories.

Using plenty of spices and sauces can help with this. The tastier your food is, the easier it is to eat a lot of it.

Whole grain breads are another good carb source to help you gain weight. When purchasing bread, try and look for natural whole-grain and seeded breads. By combining bread with protein sources such as eggs, meat and cheese, you can make some very simple, high-calorie and well-balanced meals.

Make sure to eat at least three meals per day and try to add in energy-dense snacks whenever possible.

Dried Fruit

Give yourself a quick calorie boost by eating a handful or two of dried fruit. They have less volume than their fresh counterparts, so you can eat more in one go without feeling stuffed.

However they’re high in natural sugars, so it’s best to combine them with a source of healthy fat or protein to minimize the potential negative effects on your blood sugar.


Improve Your Strength

To make sure that the excess calories go to your hungry muscles instead of just your fat cells, it’s absolutely crucial to lift weights.

Visit the gym and lift 2–4 times per week. Lift heavy and try to increase the weights and volume over time.

If you’re completely out of shape or new to training, going to the gym alone can be quite daunting not knowing what to do. Consider hiring a qualified personal trainer to help you get started or tag along with a gym buddy.

Fats and oils

Oils from olives and avocados, contribute calories and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

Many try restricting either carbs or fat when trying to lose weight but this is a bad idea if your goal is to gain weight, as it will make it harder to get in enough calories.

Eat plenty of high carb and high in fat foods if weight gain is a priority for you. It is best to eat plenty of protein, fat and carbs at each meal.


It can be very difficult and you should expect a certain level of difficulty for some people to gain weight. That’s because your body has a certain level of weight, where it feels comfortable.

When you eat more calories and gain weight, you can expect your body to respond by reducing your appetite and boosting your metabolism. So you should expect some level of difficulty.

If you are concerned about your weight, contact your doctor, dietitian or health care provider for guidance.

At the end of the day, changing your weight is not a sprint but a marathon. It can take a long time, and you need to be consistent and patient, if you want to succeed in the long run.