Healthy Snacking for Weight Gain
How to Plan a Weight Gain Diet Cheaply
Need to gain weight? Whether you are trying to gain weight to build muscles, deal with health issues, cope with your lack of appetite, fuel correctly for sports, or overcome skinny genes, gaining weight can be a difficult task. This is especially true if you are trying to gain weight on a student budget. By following a few steps you will be on your way to gaining weight in no time.
Gaining Weight in a Healthy Way
Solve the problem underlying weight loss.Sometimes weight loss is caused by underlying illnesses or health issues. If you believe this could be the case for you, then speak to your doctor first.
- If you are gaining weight after an illness it helps to eat bland and easy to digest foods such as eggs and smoothies. Eggs are an especially good choice because they are cheap and you can prepare them in lots of different ways. Also, try to eat at least 5 ounces (150 g) of meat every day. Avoid raw fish if your immune system is compromised.
Consult your doctor before starting any new diet/exercise plan.Make sure to discuss the plan and take care of any concerns. Consider visiting a dietitian for a personalized meal plan tailored to your needs.
Gain weight slowly.It is as hard for some people to gain weight as it is to lose it. Be patient and don’t overdo your efforts. Try to gain about .5-1 lb. (.25-.5 kg) per week by adding 250-500 kcal per day into your diet.
Eat small meals often.Try to eat six meals a day rather than forcing yourself to eat three huge meals a day. Eating small meals helps you maintain healthy eating habits while adding calories to your diet. Small meals also prevent you from feeling overfull and not eating later on.
Eat just a little bit more at each meal.Rather than stuffing yourself at each meal try to eat just a little bit more than what you would normally eat. This prevents you from overfilling your stomach, which can cause stomach ache or cause you to eat less later on.
- Eating just a little bit more also means that you do not have to spend a lot of extra money on food. You would simply make a little bit extra for every meal you prepare.
Eat balanced meals.Every meal should have protein, starch, vegetables and fat. You do not have to rely on unhealthy fast food or junk food to consume extra calories and gain weight. There are healthier options for increasing your weight.
- Calories count but so do nutrients. Make sure your diet is balanced and that you are getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It helps to start with nutritious foods and then load them up with calories by adding yogurt, nuts and healthy fats.
- Make sure you eat protein with every meal if you are trying to build muscle. Try not to eat carbohydrates alone.
- You should also eat fruit and vegetables with every meal. Although they are low in calories they provide essential vitamins and minerals. If you buy fruits and vegetables on sale then you do not have to spend a lot of extra money to purchase them.
- Although junk food is cheap, you can also enjoy healthy, nutritious food without spending a lot of money. By freezing food, buying products that are on sale and choosing options that are lower in cost you can gain weight on a budget.
Exercise often.To gain weight, you don't just want to gain fat. You also want to build up muscle and strengthen your heart. So lift weights, walk or jog, climb stairs, and swim or play sports. Try to exercise at least four times a week for at least 20 minutes (more is ideal but build up slowly if you are currently a couch potato).
Try strength training.Strength training will ensure that the weight you gain is not simply fat but also muscle. This way you gain weight in the right places. Make sure you eat high-protein foods immediately after training to help them gain mass.
- Even if you do not want to build muscle mass, you still need frequent healthy snacks before and after training to help you gain weight.
- You can do body-weight resistance training to avoid paying gym membership fees. There are many exercises that require only your body and a little space to complete to help you train and build muscle.
Boost your appetite.You may have trouble gaining weight due to a lack of appetite but there are a few ways to try to boost your appetite. You can try taking a short walk before eating, choosing your favorite comfort foods to eat and adding spices and herbs to make your food taste better.
- Try not to drink water immediately before eating because this can fill up your stomach and cause you to eat less.
- Fruits are sweet and can stimulate your appetite. Try blending some fruits with other nutritive foods like yogurt into a smoothie.
Drink enough water.Make sure you are getting enough water along with your diet. Drink no less than 6-8 glasses a day. Try not to drink directly before eating because the water will fill you up and cause you to eat less.
Restrict the amount of animal fats and sodium.A lot of high-calorie foods have lots of saturated fats and sodium. To gain weight in a healthy way, do not overeat fats and sodium. Animal fats can impact your heart health and sodium can raise blood pressure. Be careful about over consumption of these nutrients.
- Plant fats such as nuts, peanuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocado, hummus and oils are healthy and high in nutrients and calories. Plant-based fats are also often cheaper than animal fats and so are good for your budget.
.If you haven't already started, learn to read nutrition labels and get in the habit of reading the label on every food item you buy. Key things to watch for are serving size, caloric content, grams of fat, protein, fiber and vitamins.
Choosing the Right Foods
Choose calorie-rich foods.You want to choose foods that have a lot of calories in a very small space so that you can maximize your weight gaining efforts. Calorie-rich foods often contain fats so make sure these are healthy fats. While dairy products and animal fats are good and can be healthy, you should not overeat because it can cause heart disease.
- Eat nuts, peanuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocado, and hummus. These foods are also generally inexpensive to purchase or make from scratch at home.
- Add healthy oils such as olive and canola oil on top of your food. You can usually buy a large container which will be cheaper per ounce if you buy in bulk. Add it on top of your meals such as on vegetables and salads.
- Eggs are also usually cheap and a good option for adding calories and protein to your diet.
- Potatoes, oats and bananas are dense calorie heavy foods that are great to add to your diet. Potatoes and oats are foods that work well with a variety of toppings.
Eat full-fat foods.Choose full-fat milk, yogurt and other dairy products. If you have high cholesterol then this might not be a good choice, but if you do not, this is a great way of increasing caloric intake.
- Dairy products will also provide protein, calcium and vitamin D.
Choose protein-rich and budget friendly foods.Choose foods that are high in protein but also economical such as whey protein. Whey protein is one of the most economical proteins to add to your diet. However, powdered milk also contains whey protein and it is even cheaper. Peanut butter, eggs, tuna, Greek yogurt, and tempeh are also good choices for adding protein to your diet.
Choose foods with higher fats.Oily fish and tuna are great foods for increasing caloric intake on a budget. Tuna is also quite cheap and an excellent way to add nutrients and calories on a budget.
Buy food in bulk and freeze the extras.Buy meat in bulk and freeze the extras. When purchasing food at the store check the price per weight rather than the total price. Buy food from big box stores to reduce the cost total.
- You can also purchase a large bag of brown rice and other grains, which should last you several weeks.
Make your own Greek yogurt.Greek yogurt is high in protein but can be expensive. Making Greek yogurt on your own can cut down on costs and help you incorporate this healthy food into your diet. Rather than purchasing the yogurt your will simply have to pay to cover the cost of the milk.
- Greek yogurt is very simple to make from scratch.
- You can use the extra whey to add flavor and calories to other meals such as bread, smoothies, pancakes or even as a nutritional drink (although the taste may not be wonderful as a drink).
Avoid protein bars.Protein bars are quite expensive for the amount of calories they provide. It is better to save your money for purchasing more economical high calorie food items.
Buy dried meals such as beans and pasta.Dried beans, lentils and split peas are inexpensive and high in both calories and protein. Whole-wheat pasta is filling and a good source of fiber. Both lentils and pasta are relatively quick to cook. Although dried beans usually take longer, you can cook a big batch of them and then use a portion for your meal and freeze the rest for use later.
Drink high-calorie juices and use high-calorie condiments.Drinking juices instead of water and using high-calorie condiments on your food such as mayonnaise, ranch, thousand island and Caesar salad dressings can boost your caloric intake.
Try dried fruits.Dried fruits are concentrated sources of calories and are easy to add to meals. You can add them to salads, yogurt, desserts and trail mixes or you can eat them alone as a snack when you are on the go. They are handy and convenient for adding extra calories and nutrients to your diet.
Buy whatever is on sale.Buy food that is on sale in bulk. When you see foods on sale purchase those in bulk and store for later use. This includes fruits and vegetables, which are essential to your diet.
- At some stores and roadside stands, you can buy fruits and vegetables on bulk to save money. Cut up whatever you don’t think you will use before they go bad and freeze them.
Eat peanuts.Other types of nuts can be quite expensive and difficult to afford on a limited budget. Try eating peanuts, which are less expensive and also high in calories. They are convenient to carry around and eat as snacks or you can add them to cooked meals such as chicken dishes.
- Eat unsalted peanuts to reduce your sodium intake, which can raise your blood pressure.
- If you can find other kinds of nuts on sale, these are great ways to add protein, fiber, healthy fat and calories.
Buy generic foods.Generic brands can help you save a lot of money over purchasing brand name items. To reduce your budget, try to use as many generic products over brand name product as is possible.
QuestionWhat is the caloric amount in a banana?Community AnswerThere are 105 calories in one medium-sized banana.Thanks!
QuestionWhat exercises can help me to gain weight?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIncrease you muscle mass by lifting heavy weights at the gym. Make sure to start with low weights and work your way up. Learn the correct technique to avoid injuries.Thanks!
- Don't try to gain weight too quickly. Your muscles will build up and your body will eventually store the extra calories as fat, but it will take time. Don't rush.
- Have a target weight in mind and cut back on the calorie intake when you reach your target.
- Don't overeat. It will make you feel sick and might damage your body. Eat as much as you feel comfortable with (maybe just a few extra bites), and no more.
- Avoid eating out too often. Restaurant food is always more expensive than preparing your own food at home.
Sources and Citations
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