You might need to gain weight for several reasons. Being underweight can cause health problems. Or, you might want to gain weight to improve your athletic performance or appearance.
If you’re looking to bulk up, you need to eat more calories than you burn. But, it’s not just about quantity. Quality matters too. The best foods for getting thicker are nutrient-rich and calorie-dense.
Here are the top foods to help you gain weight and get thicker:
1. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are essential for several bodily functions. They’re also a great source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are all excellent choices. You can eat them as snacks or add them to your meals.
You can also try nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter. Just be sure to watch out for added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients that may be lurking in these spreads.
Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They’re also low in carbs and calories, making them an ideal choice for gaining weight.
Eating avocados on their own may be the best way to take advantage of all their nutrients. But, if you want to get creative, try adding them to salads, sandwiches or wraps.
Quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain that’s loaded with fibre, protein and other important nutrients. What’s more, it’s one of the few plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
You can cook quinoa and eat it on its own, or add it to soups, stews, salads or stir-fries.
Eggs are one of the best protein sources for gaining weight and building muscle. They’re also rich in B vitamins, which help break down carbs and proteins into energy.
Whether you like them scrambled, poached or fried, eggs are a versatile food that can be added to any meal.
5. Milk and Other Dairy Products
Dairy products are an excellent source of protein and calcium. They also contain other important nutrients like vitamin D, phosphorus and potassium.
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are all great choices for gaining weight and getting thicker. You can add them to your meals or eat them as snacks.
6. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a great way to get more calories without adding too much bulk. It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Some of the best choices include raisins, prunes, dates and figs. Just be sure to watch out for added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients that might be in dried fruit snacks.
7. Brown Rice
Brown rice is an unrefined grain that’s rich in fibre and other important nutrients. It’s also a good source of carbs, which are essential for gaining weight.
Unlike white rice, brown rice takes longer to digest, so it can help you maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of carbs, fibre and vitamins. They’re also one of the best sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s important for eye health.
You can eat sweet potatoes as snacks or add them to your meals. They’re a great addition to soups and stews, or you can try baking them with other healthy ingredients like nuts and seeds.
Oatmeal is another great source of carbs that are loaded with fibre and other important nutrients. It can also help keep you feeling full throughout the day.
You can cook oatmeal and eat it on its own, or add it to smoothies, yogurt or bake with it.
Legumes, such as peas and beans, are an excellent source of plant protein. They’re also rich in other nutrients like iron, potassium and magnesium.
Adding legumes to your diet is a great way to gain weight without packing on too much fat. You can eat them on their own as snacks or add them to soups, stews, salads and other meals.
Sample 3-Day Diet Plan to Get Thick
Incorporating the foods listed above into your diet can help you get thick. But, for the best results, you’ll need to create a well-rounded diet plan that includes all the nutrients you need to gain weight and build muscle.
Here’s a sample meal plan that can help you get started:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk and brown sugar, topped with sliced bananas or berries.
- Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken or tofu, served with a side of quinoa and steamed sweet potatoes.
- Snack: Greek yoghurt mixed with dried fruit.
- Dinner: Grilled steak or salmon, served with a side of brown rice and steamed vegetables.
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with shredded cheese, served with whole-wheat toast.
- Lunch: Soup or stew with legumes, served with a side of bread or crackers.
- Snack: Fresh fruit and nuts.
- Dinner: Chicken or tofu stir-fry, served over a bed of brown rice.
- Breakfast: Smoothie made with milk, yoghurt, bananas and oats.
- Lunch: Garden salad with boiled eggs, shredded cheese and diced avocado.
- Snack: Hummus and vegetables.
- Dinner: Grilled lamb or pork chops, served with baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.
As you can see, there are many different ways to get the nutrients you need to gain weight and get thick. Just be sure to focus on healthy foods that will help you reach your goals without jeopardizing your health.
Tips for Getting Thicker on a Whole Foods Diet
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Eat Enough Calories
If you’re trying to gain weight, it’s important that you eat enough calories to support your body’s needs. This means eating more calories than you burn each day.
To find out how many calories you need to gain weight, use a calorie calculator or talk to a registered dietitian.
2. Eat Frequently Throughout the Day
Eating several small meals throughout the day can help you increase your calorie intake. This is because it’s easier to eat several small meals than it is to eat one or two large meals.
Plus, eating often can help keep your metabolism high and prevent you from getting too hungry.
3. Include a Variety of Foods
When you’re trying to gain weight, it’s important to eat a variety of foods to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Some great options for gaining weight include proteins like eggs, dairy products, dried fruit, whole grains like brown rice and sweet potatoes, as well as legumes like beans and peas.
A common misconception is eating plenty of junk food is the key to gaining weight. However, this type of food is often high in empty calories, which can lead to weight gain without providing your body with the nutrients it needs.
4. Drink Enough Water
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is important for many reasons, including helping you gain weight.
Water helps keep your digestive system functioning properly, provides energy to your muscles, and lubricates your joints. It can also help you feel full and prevent overeating.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough sleep is essential for gaining weight. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to build muscle or store glycogen.
Plus, being tired can make you less likely to exercise, which is important for gaining weight.
6. Avoid Stress
Stress can have a negative impact on your weight gain goals. When you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which can interfere with muscle growth.
Plus, stress can make you more likely to overeat or make unhealthy food choices.
7. Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re having trouble gaining weight, talk to your doctor. They can help you create a healthy diet plan and offer other tips for gaining weight safely.
How to Use Exercise to Get Thick
Exercise is crucial for gaining weight and getting thicker. Not only does it help you build muscle, but it can also boost your appetite, helping you eat more calories to gain weight.
Avoid too much cardio, which can lead to weight loss. Instead, focus on strength-training exercises like lifting weights and using resistance bands.
Start by exercising three times a week and gradually increase your workouts as you get stronger. Just be sure to listen to your body and take rest days when you need them.
Focus on these key exercises to get thicker:
- Compound exercises: These exercises involve multiple joints and muscle groups and are great for building strength. Examples include squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows.
- Isolation exercises: These exercises target a single muscle group. They’re great for targeting specific areas and increasing muscle definition. Examples include biceps curls, triceps extensions, and leg raises.
- Functional exercises: These exercises help improve your balance, coordination, and power. They can also help you perform activities of daily living more easily. Examples include plyometric exercises, agility drills, and medicine ball throws.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when exercising to get thicker:
1. Warm Up
Be sure to warm up before each workout to reduce your risk of injury. This can include light cardio, dynamic stretches, and foam rolling.
2. Start Slowly
If you’re new to exercise or doing a particularly challenging workout, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity. It’s also important not to push yourself too hard in the beginning – focus on building a solid foundation of fitness and building strength.
3. Focus on Progressive Overload
Our muscles adapt to the stressors we place on them, so it’s important to continuously push yourself when you exercise. This means increasing the weights you lift, doing more sets and reps, or performing more challenging exercises.
4. Don’t Skimp on Rest Days
Rest days are just as important as workout days when you’re trying to get thicker. This is when your muscles recover and grow, so be sure to take at least one day off from exercise each week.
The Bottom Line
With the right diet and healthy lifestyle habits, you can get thick and build the lean muscle mass you need to feel confident and strong. Good luck!
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