20 Best High-Calorie Healthy Foods For Weight Gain

20 Best High-Calorie Healthy Foods For Weight Gain

 by Charushila Biswas

ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Are you finding it tough to gain weight? Do you want to add the right amount of curves to your body and take your confidence level a notch up? Then, you HAVE to consume high-calorie healthy foods. Because ironically, junk foods and healthy fats don’t work for those who want to gain weight. To put on pounds, consume foods that will help build lean muscle mass, increase bone density, balance hormones, and add a little subcutaneous fat to give a healthy sheen to the skin. This article lists 20 such foods and a few tips to help you gain weight in a few weeks. Don’t delay, swipe up!

20 High-Calorie Healthy Foods For Weight Gain

1. Eggs

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143 Calories/100g; 347 Calories/Cup; 71 Calories/Egg

Whole eggs are a loaded with nutrients. The protein present in the egg albumin helps build lean muscle mass, and the water and fat-soluble vitamins (B, C, A, D, E, and K) balance your hormones, improve cell function, and increase bone density (1), (2).

You can have two whole eggs per day. Bodybuilders consume 6 eggs per day, but if you are not a bodybuilder, avoid consuming so many eggs. Do not exceed the limit of 4-5 eggs per week.

2. Cheese

402 Calories/100g; 455 Calories/Cup; 68 Calories/TablespoonCheese is a calorie-rich milk product that is a staple for years all over the world in different forms. Cheddar, cream cheese, feta, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and cottage cheese are all loaded with protein and calcium that will help you gain muscle mass and strengthen the bones (3).

3. Full-Fat Milk

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60 Calories/100g; 146 Calories/Cup; 9 Calories/Tablespoon

Full-fat milk, whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, is the best. When you are trying to gain weight, you should make use of the healthy fats, minerals, and protein present in whole or full-fat milk (4). Full-fat milk provides energy, is a good pre-workout drink (with banana and a few berries), and helps strengthen the bones (5).

4. Chicken Breast

195 Calories/100g; 231 Calories/Cup; 86 Calories/1 lb

Chicken breast is a good source of lean protein, which helps build strong muscle. Since you are trying to gain weight, you can consume chicken breast with the skin. It contains unsaturated fat unlike the chicken thighs (6).

To gain muscle mass, consume 3 oz chicken breast on a daily basis or every alternate day.

5. Banana

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200 Calories/100g; 89 Calories/Cup; 25 Calories/1 oz

Bananas are loaded with dietary fiber, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C, and folate, and healthy fats (7). Consuming 1-2 bananas per day will keep your energy levels up, improve your stamina, and make your bones strong. You can have a banana, a cup of milk, and a few nuts for a power-packed breakfast or just make a smoothie with the same ingredients and consume it before working out.

6. Peanut Butter

588 Calories/100g; 1518 Calories/Cup; 94 Calories/Tablespoon

Peanut butter is a creamy deliciousness that can take the taste of a smoothie bowl or bread to the “heavenly” level. This high-calorie spread is loaded with all 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein (8). Plus, the fat in peanut butter is healthy and helps you gain a little bit of fat and muscle mass.

7. Avocado

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160 Calories/100g; 234 Calories/Cup; 156 Calories/ ½ avocado

This buttery and soothing green fruit is everyone’s favorite. If you want to gain weight – consume avocado. If you want to lose weight, consume avocado! Avocados are rich in healthy fats, vitamins K, E, A, C, and B6, magnesium, potassium, and sodium (9). Consuming one avocado per day can help strengthen your immunity, improve your energy levels, and make your skin glow, which comes with proper nutrition and good food habits.

8. Homemade Protein Smoothies

455 Calories/1 serving; 113 Calories/Cup; 40 Calories/1 fluid oz

A yummy homemade protein smoothie is the best when it comes to gaining weight. Add half a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, milk, and vanilla flavored whey protein and blitz, and you are good to go! You can have it for breakfast or as a pre or post-workout meal. You can also add dates or honey for added sweetness.

9. Full-Fat Yogurt

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61 Calories/100g; 149 Calories/Cup; 17 Calories/1 oz

Like full-fat milk, full-fat yogurt is the best when it comes to weight gain. It is loaded with good gut bacteria, calcium, and milk protein that will help improve your immunity, strengthen your bones, and give you the benefits of consuming good quality dairy fat (10). A study has found that consumption of yogurt can help fight depression (11). Consume 1-2 small bowls of yogurt per day. You can increase the amount if your body can tolerate the acid. Add it to salad dressings, smoothies, and shakes.

10. Nuts

607 Calories/100g; 813 Calories/Cup; 172 Calories/1 oz

Nuts are sources of healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, vitamins E, K, thiamin, and folate, soluble and insoluble fiber, selenium, potassium, manganese, copper, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients (12). These will provide a good number of calories, keep you active and agile, replenish your fat and glycogen stores, and improve your build overall.

11. Oily Fish

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206 Calories/100g; 175 Calories/3 oz; 367 Calories/ ½ fillet

Fatty or oily fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and cod are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which protect you from heart disease, obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and neurodegeneration (13). Moreover, these fish are great sources of lean protein and minerals required to build lean muscle mass. Consume 1-2 pieces of fish per day with leafy greens and nuts to have a calorie-packed meal.

12. Rice

130 Calories/100g; 205 Calories/Cup; 36 Calories/1 oz

Rice is a good source of carbs, vitamins, and minerals (14). The carbs present in rice help replenish the glucose and glycogen stores in the blood/cells and muscles respectively. As a result, you will feel less tired and be active throughout the day. In fact, scientists supplemented rice with minerals to lab rats, which led to significant weight gain and improved body composition (15).

13. Dried Fruits

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359 Calories/100g; 102 Calories/1 oz; 76 Calories/Packet

Dried fruits like nuts, dried coconut, and raisins are loaded with calories, fruit sugar, proteins, and healthy fats (16). Consume a handful of dried fruits as a pre or post-workout snack or add them to smoothies and breakfast bowls.

14. Whey Protein Powder

352 Calories/100g; 99 Calories/1 oz; 37 Calories/Tablespoon

Whey protein powder is one of the best protein powders for muscle gain. It is extremely good as a pre or post-workout meal. It helps enhance strength and stamina in those who work out regularly (17), (18). Whey protein powder, in combination with strength training, can help you gain muscle mass and look curvy. But you must consult your doctor or dietitian before consuming it as its consumption depends on your lifestyle, age, medical condition, etc.

15. Dark Chocolate

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546 Calories/100g; 155 Calories/1 oz; 884 Calories/1 bar

Dark chocolate is a high-calorie “bittersweet” delight that most of us are fond of. It is a rich source of antioxidants and a good antidepressant (19). You can add dark chocolate to your smoothies, homemade protein shakes, peanut butter sandwiches, a glass of milk, or biscuit sandwiches. Just get creative and use this ultimate soul-comforting food to gain a few extra pounds.

16. Healthy Fats And Oils

902 Calories/100g; 1849 Calories/Cup; 117 Calories/Tablespoon

Healthy fats and oils like olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower butter, rice bran oil, and seeds are good for your overall well-being. They contain PUFA or polyunsaturated fatty acids, also known as healthy fats, which help reduce inflammation and stress in the body. Healthy fats and oils are calorie-dense and can be used to enhance the taste of any food you consume. Add these to salad dressings and curries or use them for shallow frying and grilling.

17. Mango

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135 Calories/Mango; 65 Calories/100 grams; 107 Calories/Cup

Delicious, sweet, and ripe mangoes are high in calories and packed with dietary fiber, fruit sugar, vitamins, and minerals. They have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties and can be consumed in smoothies, breakfast bowls, and protein shakes (20).

18. Pasta

124 Calories/100g; 174 Calories/Cup; 84 Calories/½ cup

Flour or whole wheat pasta can also help you gain weight. Make a delicious protein-rich pasta using chicken/mushroom/soy chunks. Add some red or white sauce, toss in some veggies and Italian herbs, and you are good to go.

19. Legumes

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116 Calories/100g; 230 Calories/Cup; 14 Calories/Tablespoon

Legumes like lentils, beans, and peas are moderate in calories but excellent sources of plant-based protein. This is especially beneficial if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Apart from helping you build lean muscle mass, legumes also help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels (21). Have mung bean sprouts for breakfast or consume Bengal gram salad or lentil soup.

20. Potato

77 Calories/100g; 116 Calories/Cup; 130 Calories/Potato

Potatoes are delicious, and you can have them without any inhibitions. This starchy root vegetable is loaded with vitamin C and potassium, and depending on the way it is cooked, its glycemic index and calories change (22). Consume boiled, baked, and roasted potatoes to get the best out of the nutrients of this delicious food.

These are the 20 best healthy high-calorie foods that will help you gain weight. Now, take a look at the following tips to accelerate your weight gain.

Tips To Gain Weight Fast

Along with eating right, you also must keep the following in mind:

  • Check Your Hormones: Hormones play a major role in deciding fat deposition. Get your thyroid checked before you start your weight gain program. Approaching the problem with the right solution will help you achieve results quickly.
  • Strength Training Is Must: Lift weights to gain lean muscle mass. Get a gym subscription or buy resistance bands and dumbbells to start doing strength training. You will see results in just a few weeks if you also follow good eating habits.
  • Do Not Panic: Panicking will not give you any results. It will only cause you to lose more weight. So, be patient and keep consuming the healthy weight-gain foods and exercising.
  • Talk To Your Trainer: Keeping your trainer aware of what you want to achieve will help him/her design your exercise routine.

To conclude, gaining weight is as difficult as losing it. But it is not impossible. Just do the right things, and you will see results. So, chin up and give your best to get the killer body of your dreams. Cheers!

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