How to Gain Weight Fast

Janis

By Janis | Updated January 8, 2024

Gaining weight can be a challenge for some individuals, just like losing weight is for others. Being underweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5, can have health consequences. 

To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and daily activities determine calorie requirements. Consistency is crucial for weight gain progress.

Remember that weight gain is a gradual process. It takes consuming an extra 3,500 calories to gain one pound.

Rapid weight gain through unhealthy means can lead to unwanted fat accumulation or health issues. It is important to approach weight gain in a healthy and safe manner. By following these principles, you can achieve a healthy weight gain while promoting long-term well-being.

What Being “Underweight” Means

Being underweight refers to having a BMI (Body Mass Index) lower than 18.5. Your BMI calculates the relationship between your height and weight. 

An underweight person has less body weight than is considered healthy for their height. It could be due to various factors such as malnutrition, genetics, or illness.

When you’re underweight, your body mass and fat levels may be too low. This can negatively affect your overall health, causing problems related to hormone production and fertility in both men and women.

Causes of Being Underweight

There are several factors that may cause a person to be underweight.

Inherited Traits

Genetics plays a role in determining an individual’s body weight and shape. 

Your genes can influence your body type, predisposing some individuals to be thin. 

Food to Energy Conversion

Some individuals naturally have a fast metabolism, which means their bodies burn calories more quickly.

Additionally, engaging in intense physical activity without compensating with increased calorie intake can lead to weight loss and being underweight, particularly among athletes. This can make it challenging to maintain or gain weight, even with a healthy diet.

Illness and Medications

Certain medical conditions can lead to unintentional weight loss and being underweight. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can disrupt nutrient absorption and lead to weight loss.

Certain medications, such as stimulants, appetite suppressants, and some antidepressants, can cause reduced appetite and unintended weight loss.

Appetite, Stress, and Mental Health

A small appetite can be a significant cause of being underweight. Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia can lead to unhealthy weight loss. 

Some individuals naturally have a lower appetite or might experience decreased hunger due to prolonged stress, anxiety, or depression, which affect nutrition intake. 

How to Gain Weight Fast

There are different ways to gain weight, such as increasing your calorie intake and consuming more nutrient-dense foods.

Eat Frequently

Consuming meals more frequently is an effective strategy for gaining weight. Instead of three large meals, slowly transition to having five to six smaller meals throughout the day. 

This helps in making sure your body has a continuous supply of calories.

Plan Your Meals

Each meal should have proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This can assist in gaining weight safely without overwhelming your stomach or reducing your appetite for subsequent meals.

Each plays a distinct role in your body’s functionality, and a balanced intake ensures optimal health and weight.

Include Vitamins and Minerals

Incorporating vitamins and minerals into your diet is key to healthy weight gain. These nutrients support vital body functions, from boosting immunity to aiding energy production.

Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide these essential micronutrients.

Consider Food Supplements

Consider using supplements like protein powders or weight-gainer shakes. Multivitamin supplements can also be considered under a healthcare provider’s advice to meet dietary requirements.

Their guidance will help you make more informed decisions about the right products for your weight gain journey.

Training for Increased Body Mass

Strength training is an effective strategy for gaining weight, as it helps build muscle mass. By pairing resistance training with a well-rounded, protein-rich diet, you can convert extra calories into muscle rather than fat.

Consistent strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, can improve your physical health, metabolic rate, and overall body composition. It’s advisable to engage in strength training sessions several times a week for maximum results.

Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is a fundamental part of a healthy diet, regardless of your weight goals. Water supports all bodily functions, including metabolism and nutrient distribution, crucial for weight gain.

However, drinking too much water before meals can reduce your appetite. It’s best to hydrate yourself throughout the day, focusing on consuming liquids 30 minutes before or after meals, not during, allowing enough room for higher calorie intake.

Check Your Progress

Monitoring your progress is essential in your weight gain journey. Consistent tracking helps refine strategies, maintain motivation, and ensure healthy progression. Maintain a journal noting your daily food intake, workouts, body measurements, and weight. 

By regularly reviewing this data, you can assess the effectiveness of your plan and make necessary adjustments to continue progressing toward your goal.

Importance of Gaining Weight

Gaining weight is crucial for various reasons, especially for those who are underweight. When you’re underweight, you may not have the energy needed to perform daily tasks. 

This could hinder both your physical and mental health.

Builds Strength

Increasing body weight is essential to build strength and muscle mass.

Regardless of age and gender, individuals who engage in strength-building exercises depend on extra energy from added weight to build muscle effectively.

Improves Athletic Performance 

Athletes, especially those in strength sports or bodybuilding, may aim to gain weight to enhance muscle mass and performance. 

Proper weight gain can lead to increased strength and endurance.

Allows Faster Recovery

After a severe illness, surgery, or medical treatment, weight loss is often a side effect. 

Gaining weight can be essential for recovering strength, repairing tissues, and rebuilding the body’s immune system.

Helps with Pregnancy and Breastfeeding 

Women need to gain weight during pregnancy to support the growing fetus and ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Similarly, breastfeeding mothers may need to gain weight to produce sufficient milk for their infants.

Boosts Confidence and Body Image

Some individuals may choose to gain weight to achieve a body shape or size that aligns with their personal preferences and self-esteem. 

It can boost self-confidence and improve mental well-being.

Supports Aging and Muscle Mass 

As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass.

Gaining weight, particularly in the form of muscle, can help maintain physical strength and independence in later years.

Reinforces the Immune System

A healthy weight not only supports the immune system but also helps prevent chronic diseases.

This is due to the essential nutrients that come from a conscious diet plan aimed at weight gain.

Best Food Choices for Weight Gain

When aiming to gain weight safely and effectively, it’s of utmost importance to choose the right foods. 

Here’s a curated list of nutrient-dense foods that not only increase your calorie intake but also supply your body with essential vitamins and minerals that promote overall health while aiding in your weight gain journey.

Nuts and Seeds 

Incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet is an excellent way to gain weight. They are rich in healthy fats and calories. 

You can choose from almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Snack on them or sprinkle over salads and yogurt.

Cheese and Nut Butters

Cheese and nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter offer healthy fats and protein. 

Add them to sandwiches or enjoy them as a snack.

Eggs

Don’t forget about eggs – they’re a great source of protein and healthy fats, perfect for breakfast or any meal.

Incorporating eggs into your diet can be done in various ways, such as scrambled, boiled, or used in omelets. They offer a versatile and convenient option for those looking to increase calorie intake while benefiting from the valuable nutrients they provide.

Fruits

Fruits like avocados and dried fruits are calorie-dense choices that provide you with healthy fats, fiber, and essential nutrients. 

Incorporate them in your salads or smoothie bowls.

Fish and Meat 

High-fat fish like salmon are packed with protein and healthy fats. 

Meat also offers essential nutrients and energy-dense calories.

Grains

Rice, oats, and granola are dense in carbohydrates and calories. 

Pair them with healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil, as a side dish or a breakfast option.

Vegetables

While often promoted for weight loss, veggies can aid in healthy weight gain. Opt for starchy options like potatoes, corn, and peas. 

Mix them with fats like butter or olive oil to boost calories and enhance flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best foods for quick weight gain?

Choose nutrient-dense foods, like nuts, dried fruit, high-fat dairy products, and lean meats.

Consuming healthy fats, such as avocado and olive oil, can also boost calorie intake.

What exercises help with weight gain?

Focus on strength training exercises to build muscle mass.

Compound exercises, like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, work multiple muscle groups and promote weight gain.

Which weight gain shakes are most effective?

Opt for protein-rich shakes made from natural ingredients. Include healthy add-ins like nut butter, Greek yogurt, or oats to increase the calorie content.

Consult a dietitian for shake recommendations tailored to your goals.

How can skinny people gain weight fast?

Consume more calories than you burn. Eat frequently, aiming for 5 to 6 smaller meals per day.

Combine nutritious, calorie-dense foods with strength training exercises to gain weight healthily.

What are some weight gain tips for those with fast metabolisms?

Eat at regular intervals and prioritize calorie-dense foods. Incorporate more healthy fats and proteins into your diet.

Remember to also engage in strength training to build muscle mass.