Not everyone wants to see the numbers on the scale come down. If you need to gain weight, junk food is not the answer. To gain weight healthfully, you must make the right food choices so you don't increase your risk of chronic disease. The American Dietetic Association recommends choosing nutrient-rich foods to supplement your diet.
Rich in protein and healthy fats, these crunchy treats may also decrease your risk of heart disease. Sprinkle them on salads, add them to rice or pasta, crush them as toppings for poultry or fish, or just enjoy them as a snack. You also can spread nut butters on crackers, bread or fruit to increase your calorie intake. Just make sure to choose unsalted nuts and nut butters to minimize your sodium consumption.
Milk and Powdered Milk
Adding milk instead of water when cooking is a simple way to boost the protein and calories you're taking in. It'll also add creaminess to soups, mashed potatoes, casseroles or other mixed dishes. Drink milk with your meals as well to add more calories.
With about 120 calories per tablespoon, oils are an easy way to add calories without feeling weighed down by extra food. Your first choice should be an olive or canola oil because of its high content of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Because of its stronger flavor and low smoke point (it starts smoking at lower temperatures when heated), olive oil works better for salads or other cold dishes. Try canola for cooking and baking instead.
This Mexican food staple has made its mark in American cooking--and for good reason! Avocado lends its favorable light taste and creamy texture to any dish, with a lot of healthy fat to boost your heart health and improve your cholesterol levels. Mash it up with some garlic and lemon juice for the ever-popular guacamole and enjoy it with crackers, breadsticks or vegetables. Slice avocado to add it to sandwiches or salads as well.
Small Frequent Meals
For many people trying to gain weight, the challenge is fitting the extra calories in without feeling uncomfortably full. Try to spread your food intake throughout the day by eating small meals and snacks four to six times per day. The American Dietetic Association also recommends seeing a registered dietitian who can help you meet your weight goals.