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The 18 Best Healthy Foods to Gain Weight Fast (2020)

When many people are struggling to shed some pounds, at the same time, some others try hard to gain weight.

When you aim for weight enhancement, you need to follow a healthy diet and try not to face the negative consequences.

This is because if you keep eating junk food, your weight will increase, but this will bring along numerous health issues.

Let us see some of the natural ways of increasing weight through changes in your diet.

Healthy Foods for Gaining Weight

Consider incorporating the following foods in your diet for staying healthy and increasing weight naturally:

top 18 best healthy foods to gain weight fast

1. Drink a glass of milk every day

This is used for naturally increasing the weight by building your muscles.

It is a complete food with a perfect balance of good fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and important minerals and vitamins.

It has casein and whey protein, which effectively cause better mass gain compared to other protein sources.

But merely drinking milk is not enough because you need to do some weight training too, for effective outcomes.


2. Oily fish

They are rich in healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3 and protein as well. This fatty acid is quite beneficial for your health as it helps in fighting diseases.

A six-ounce or 170 gram of a salmon fillet is sufficient to provide 4 gm of omega 3 fat and 34 gm protein of rich quality.

If you consume this a few times a week, it can help you build muscles or healthily gain weight.

oily fish

3. Avocado

This is an amazing fruit that is a rich source of plant nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. You can eat it as it is or add it to various recipes because it is quite versatile.

It tastes great when taken with an omelette or a sandwich and can be a healthy breakfast or snacking option when you are hungry.

Other fruits are not calorie-dense, but this one is, hence, you can rely on it for a healthy gain in weight.


4. Cheese

It is a good source of fat and protein and comes in various types such as Feta, Mozzarella, Brie, Goat cheese, and Cream cheese.

The best part is that slices or shredded cheese can be used in numerous recipes for an amazing taste and flavour.

Since it has dense calories, consuming a small amount can easily help you take in hundreds of calories, which will cause weight gain.


5. Full fat yoghurt

This is one of the most delicious snacks, especially when it is flavoured.

Instead of binging on junk food, you can enjoy it and still stay healthy because of the perfect blend of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

In case you do not want to take just yoghurt, combine it with some dry fruits or freshly chopped fruits with a dash of honey for sweetness.

You can also add some seeds, nuts, flakes of coconut, and granola for creating a delicious snack. Always make sure that you don't eat yoghurt sweetened with processed sugar. 


Instead, prefer jaggery, coconut sugar, honey, or stevia for sweetness. If you love smoothies, add yoghurt to it for getting a creamy texture with extra thickness. 

You can add a scoop of whey protein to it, too, for making it healthier. Similarly, check out other interesting recipes on the internet where it can be used and incorporate it in your regular diet.

6. Egg for building muscles

Just like the foods described above, eggs too, are loaded with healthy fats and superior quality proteins. The yolk is nutrient-rich.

Depending on the exercises you do, you can consume about three eggs daily. It is a perfect food for bodybuilders for building muscles.

Also, underweight people can regularly consume it to avail of its benefits and get back to normal weight.


7. Taking dark chocolates that are full of antioxidants

Besides antioxidants, these are also known to be good for heart health. It also has some fiber and magnesium content.

You should always try to have those containing a minimum of 70% cocoa, and free from processed sugar.

It is dense in calories, and who doesn't love chocolates? So, you can pop some every day to see the best results in your weight gain process.

dark chocolate

8. Include healthy cereals and legumes in your diet

This includes oats and other grain-based seeds such as granola, bran, multi-grains, and Ezekiel.

Bread made of whole grains is also a great option to have in your breakfast.They have some fiber content, the right amount of carbohydrates, and other nutrients as well.

It is an excellent practice to add carb-rich cereals but those that are free from high sugar content. For this, you need to keep an eye on the label before purchasing anything. 

Also, consume legumes and grains as a wholesome meal that is rich in all the essential nutrients.

Lentils, barley, kidney beans, and chickpeas are some of them.

cereal and legumes

Cereals can also be kept handy in the form of cereal bars for a quick and healthy snacking option, especially when you are travelling so that you do not resort to eating anything unhealthy that comes your way.

The cereal bars are known to have a combination of carbs, some of which, digest slowly and quickly. If you love dry fruits, check if these are the ingredients in the cereal bars. Those having nuts and seeds are even a better option than the regular ones.

9. Tofu and Soy - Great source of protein for the vegetarians

If you are a vegetarian and feel a deficit of proteins, just because you can't eat eggs, Soy is the perfect solution cum alternative.

This is something that has the nine essential amino acids which are vital for muscle building. Besides, it also has a positive impact on the health of your bones. 

Other benefits are the unsaturated fatty acids as well as omega -3 fatty acids that play a vital role in reducing the harmful cholesterol levels in the blood, thus reducing the chances of heart problems in the future. 

tofu and soy

Other reasons to include soy in your diet are its richness in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, and other minerals, ensuring a healthy immune system.
Tofu is a by-product of Soy and hence, has all similar benefits.

For the vegans, this can be a fantastic replacement for cottage cheese. You can use it for preparing various dishes, just like the one you make with paneer or cottage cheese.

10. Foods that are starchy and rich in carbohydrates

Carbs form the primary source of energy in our body. But when you take a slightly higher amount of carbs, the excess gets deposited in the body as fat, which can be used later. This results in weight gain.

We recommend consuming such food in their non-polished form because polishing the grains or processing them leads to removing the bran that is vital for a healthy bowel movement.

Rice is one such high-carb food that can provide you 190 calories in just a single cup. It is good for people who have a low appetite.

But make sure to limit its intake since excess of the arsenic and phytic acid can prevent proper absorption of zinc and iron.


It is better to have brown rice than white rice because the former has 105% more fiber and 43% more protein. The calcium, selenium, iron and potassium content is also relatively more.

Apart from rice, you can also have potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn, which are quite starchy and easily available. This starchy food causes weight gain by enhancing the stored glycogen in the muscles. The resistant starch in this food ensures healthy gut bacteria.

11. Red meat

This also has a high amount of protein. Therefore, those who are into muscle-building consume it.

There is 3 gm leucine present in 6 ounces of steak, a compound needed for protein synthesis stimulation and new muscle tissue creation.

Besides this, red meat also has creatine that is a perfect supplement for building muscles. If you take the fat cuts, it will provide more calories than lean meat, thus helping you in easy weight gain. 

Studies have proved that consuming red meat and doing resistance training can result in mass-enhancement to a significant extent. 

red meat

This will also have an impact on the IGF-1, which is a hormone for building muscles. You can take lean as well as fatty meat for including protein in your diet.

12. Nuts, seeds, and butter obtained from nuts

There are various kinds of nuts that are not just delicious but are quite healthy too. The same is the case with the nut butter that can be included in the everyday diet in small amounts to gain weight easily. 

Make a habit of snacking on a handful of nuts of various types to get the essential proteins and healthy fats.

Mix some brazil nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, and some seeds such as flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds to easily get polyunsaturated fats that are quite healthy too.

They can even be roasted if you do not like to consume them like that. You can also add some raisins to it if you want a naturally sweet taste. 


This small snack is calorie-dense. Thus, you do not have to eat a lot of it to gain calories. While buying nut butter, get those that do not contain processed sugar and other oils.

You can use them in various dishes such as a topping on your oatmeal and muffins, blending it into a smoothie, baking in cookies, brownies or cupcakes, and many more.

13. Consumption of fruits by drying them

Dates, prunes, figs, and raisins are some examples of readily available grains, but you can make your dry fruits at home.

All you need to do is slice them and remove all the seeds, after which, they need to be soaked in lemon and water.

Then you can bake it for 4-12 hours at 145F to create one of the healthiest snacks ever.

The motive behind drying fruits and then consuming them is that they become calorie-dense since their water content is removed.

So, munching on a handful of them can be an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants. Being high in calories, you can easily gain weight if you consume them regularly.


14. Chicken

You may have read that regular consumption of red meat has certain negative health impacts. So, it is a good idea for all non-vegetarians to limit their intake and replace other days with chicken instead. 

Many dishes can be prepared using it, and the best part is that it can help you in mass enhancement without leading to an increase in fat.

Just a 4 ounce of chicken breast can provide 35 g protein, and it has only 4 gm of fat. However, the preparation method determines the actual amount of calories in it.


15. Oatmeal

This is something that can be used for losing weight as well as putting on some extra pounds easily.

All you need to watch out is how you consume it. It helps in preventing obesity, and hence, it is a much healthier way of gaining weight.

The complex carbs in it prevent your sugar cravings for a longer duration. You can have it regularly by adding various kinds of berries, whey protein, banana, milk, and flaxseed to it.

Adding these to oatmeal increases the calorie content. It is one of the best dishes that you can have in breakfast every day to reach your weight gain goal as just a cup of it has 27-gram carbs and 4-gram of fiber.

The calorie content varies with the fruits and other ingredients that you add to it. 


16. Quinoa

This is a grain that has a perfect amount of protein compared to others. It also has potassium, iron, omega-3 fatty acid, and fiber in it.

It is an excellent substitute for animal-based protein when you are a vegetarian because of the nine essential amino acids.

And guess what? It is free from gluten too and is non-GMO when you have the organic quinoa. A single serving approximately has over 200 calories, making it a healthy option for weight gain. 

If you want to add more calories to it, you can add other ingredients to make it healthier by trying various dishes.


17. Protein smoothies and supplements

If you quickly want to gain weight, start having protein smoothies. Try to make it at home to control the amount of each of the ingredients used.

Those available in the market are generally loaded with processed sugar for taste enhancement, and it also has preservatives that can harm your health in the long run.

When you make a protein smoothie at home using full cream milk or almond milk, add some honey for sweetness.

protein shake

Chocolate banana peanut butter protein shake, vanilla blueberry shake, caramel apple shake are some of the options that can be tried. Make sure to have a balanced diet and exercise while doing this for weight gain.

Athletes intending to gain weight can try protein supplements for increasing muscle mass. 

18. Olive oil and oil from various nuts

Olive oil is effective for weight gain to some extent since it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.

This can be taken by drizzling on salads, pasta, or other vegetables. It brings in a good flavour to the dish along with various health benefits.

Similarly, you can add nut oils too to your diet. For lentil salad dressing, walnut oil and grapeseed oil are perfect.

They have a good amount of omega-3 fatty acid, polyphenol compounds, and ellagitannins. Walnut oil is also known to enhance heart health besides improving blood glucose levels. 

olive oil

Measurements to Determine if You Dall in the Healthy Range of Weight

There are numerous measures to know if your weight is healthy or not. The most common ones have been enlisted below:

  • BMI
    This is the Body Mass Index calculated by dividing the weight by square of your height. The value obtained defines the category to which you belong. You are underweight when it is less than 18.5. A healthy BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. Above this value, to 29.9, it is considered to be overweight. Obesity is when your BMI exceeds 30.
  • Waist diameter
    This factor is used for determining the fat in the upper body. It should be less than 38 inches in case of women and men must have less than 40 inches to be safe. When the number exceeds this, it increases the chances of heart issues, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
  • The Ratio of the Waist to Hip
    This should be less than 0.9 for men and less than 0.8 for women for sound health conditions and to stay free from cardiovascular issues.

Things Which You Need to Know About Weight Gain

When you do not have a normal weight, there are high chances of being attacked by diseases. Hence, you need to watch your weight. Various factors affect a person's weight, such as the shape of the body, distribution of fat, age, height, gender, and the ratio of muscle to fat.

Here are some of the points you must keep in mind while working on gaining weight:

  • Diagnose Reasons for Sudden Weight Loss. In case you experience a substantial weight loss in a concise span, then consult the doctor as it might indicate underlying health issues such as overactive thyroid, pancreatitis, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Other reasons could be an unbalanced diet, depression, and medications.
  • Never Take Steroids for Gaining Muscles. Follow the natural diet, as explained before, in this article, as these do not have any side effects. Steroids and other enhancement supplements have serious health implications and hence, must be avoided entirely.
  • If you are a bodybuilder, do heavy strength workout regularly, combined with a healthy diet.
  • Before having your food, avoid drinking water or other fluids as it will reduce your appetite, and you won't be able to eat enough.
  • You can replace sugary beverages with smoothies and milkshakes, which are refreshing and have nutrients. Soft drinks only have empty calories and cause a spike in sugar levels besides other health issues.
  • Opt for full-fat milk and include cream in dishes rather than avoiding them.
  • The body needs enough rest for recovery. This is why you need to get adequate sleep, as it will ensure quicker healing and muscle growth.
  • Quit smoking as it won't help you gain weight. Instead, it will cause serious health issues.
  •  Instead of suddenly trying to increase the portion of intake, opt for the calorie-rich foods so that even with a little amount, you can get enough calories. Gradually, you can increase your proportion with time.

Eat right, and not anything just to gain weight. Doing so will put you at risk of severe health problems. Gaining weight naturally is a gradual process, and you need to be consistent in your efforts to see visible results instead of rushing.

Try to include all the food we have enlisted in the article, and you can find yourself healthier with average weight over a period.


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About the Author

Pinki Bakshi has started her career in writing abstracts for research papers. Her education in microbiology, biotech, and yoga has helped her in broadening her knowledge base from the scientific to the spiritual domain. She has previously worked with HCL healthcare as an analyst. She is spiritually inclined and now imparts her knowledge of yoga and meditation to others. Her passion for words and their usage to create a rhythm is reflected through her writings. She is diet-conscious and is a fitness enthusiast as well. Know More About Pinki

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