Healthy Eating

How to Gain Weight Eating Healthy Foods

By: Jody Cross
Published: Monday, 24 December 2007
fresh vegetables

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It may feel pretty lonely out there when everyone you know is trying to shed pounds and you are trying to put some on.  However, your goals are exactly the same as those trying to lose some weight: To eat a healthy diet, and reach a normal body weight. It’s just as much of a challenge for the overweight person to lose pounds, as it is for you to gain them.

The good news is that it’s possible for all of you to sit at the same table, with the same menu, enjoy each other’s company, and reach your goals. You will be choosing a few things that they may be avoiding, but generally, eating healthy to gain weight involves eating the same variety of foods as your friends.

Whether you are underweight because of a recent illness, an eating disorder, or simply because your sense of taste declined as you grew older, the way to increase your weight is to increase the calories in your diet. To do this in a healthy way, you will not want to just add more junk foods to your diet. Junk foods don’t offer much nutritionally, and are loaded with unhealthy saturated fats and sugar.

Eating fish, nuts, and even seeds, routinely throughout the week will provide you with needed healthy fat and calories. Because red meat has a high saturated fat content, meals of this type would best be limited to one or two times a week.

Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, dried peas, and soy beans are all good sources of protein and calories. A delightful snack is easy to make by placing beans and cheese on a tortilla; roll it up, and microwave until it’s hot, enjoy.

Powdered milk added to soups, sauces, and smoothies, is a relatively effortless way to get bonus calories and protein.

Olive oil is a healthy diet choice because this monounsaturated fat will add calories to your diet, and help keep your cardiovascular system in good shape. For healthy salad dressings and mayonnaise, choose those made with canola or safflower oil.

The carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, infuse energy and nutrients into your daily diet. The USDA recommends that our daily diet include lots of grains and cereals; and that at least three servings a day are from whole gain breads, cereals, or and pastas. Whole grain carbohydrates provide calories, fiber, nutrients, and some protein in a healthy diet.

In the naturally calorie sparse vegetable group, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn provide more calories, per serving, than the dark green vegetables; however, since dark green vegetables are important to any balanced diet, their caloric values can be easily supplemented by adding a little olive oil for flavoring, or toppings like slivered almonds, or grated cheese.

Fruits supply plentiful vitamins as well as phytochemicals which may possibly help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Avocados are relatively high in calories, rich in monounsaturated fat, vitamin B and fiber. Bananas are also relatively high in calories, and can add an interesting taste to your morning cereal, or to a lunchtime peanut butter on whole wheat sandwich. Dried fruits can be used as healthy, high calorie snacks.

Replace sugary sodas with fruit juices to add calories, nutrients, and hydration to your diet.

Remember to take your multivitamins daily. Your healthcare provider can tell you if one of the many weight gaining supplements on the market today, is an appropriate way for you to add additional calories, protein, and carbohydrates to your daily diet.

Everyone eats desserts on occasion; a little chocolate is certainly good for the spirits. Your best choice in this category might well be something made with dark chocolate because it has anti-oxidants not found in other sweets.

One study found that people tend to eat more when eating with close friends, and also tend to eat more when eating with people who eat more. Socializing may be part of the answer; enjoy eating with your friends, especially those that really enjoy a meal; you’ll be having fun and eating your way to a healthy, normal weight.