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Healthy Food to Put on Weight

author image Jeremi Davidson
Jeremi Davidson began freelance writing in 2005. Davidson enjoys writing about sports and personal fitness, contributing to a number of different health and lifestyle websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Thompson Rivers University.
Healthy Food to Put on Weight
A bowl of granola cereal on a kitchen table. Photo Credit GROGL/iStock/Getty Images

If you want to put on weight, you must follow a specific diet to do so to ensure that you achieve your goal in a healthy manner. Certain foods can help you to put on lean muscle, when combined with exercise, which remains the healthiest way to gain weight. The key remains to consume foods with low fat values, as this will allow you to reach your weight goals, while staying healthy. Speak to your doctor before beginning a diet plan to gain weight.

Caloric Intake

No matter what you eat as you gain weight, you will want to increase your daily caloric intake significantly. According to Rutgers University, a male should consume a minimum of 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day and a female should consume a minimum of 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day as part of a healthy diet. To gain weight, you should begin consuming an additional 250 to 500 calories per day, which will equate to you putting on 0.5 to 1 lb. per week. If you find it difficult to reach these levels, you can find supplements that will help.


Thick bread made with whole grains will provide you with additional calories that can help with weight gain. Cereals with a high density can also help, although you can simply add flaxseed to your current cereal to gain the same results. If you eat pasta or rice, choose the whole-grain versions, as they contain more of the nutrients needed for weight gain.


Although many people associate vegetables with losing weight, certain members of this family can help you to put on weight in a healthy manner. Potatoes, corn and winter squash will all help you to bulk up and you can include them in nearly any meal. Carbohydrates, such as potatoes, lead to sustained, healthy weight gain because of their high caloric values.


Many believe that since fruit contains water, it will not help you to gain much weight. However, fruit juice and dried fruit contain more calories and can help you to gain weight when consumed as a snack. A banana also contains about 130 calories, while still providing your body with the nutrients that it needs to remain healthy.


Dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt can significantly increase your caloric intake. Adding cheese to your stews, adding yogurt to some granola and drinking a glass of milk with every meal will help you to add calories to your intake throughout the day. Twelve ounces of 2 percent milk contains 180 calories and a cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt can add 200 calories to a meal.

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