While you can't completely transform your body in just one week, it's possible to add a small amount of fat to your frame in that time. If you wish to gain more weight, extend your efforts over the next weeks and months until you reach your desired size. And remember that healthy weight gain involves proper nutrition, not gorging on french fries and cookies.
The Calorie Connection
Weight gain is all about eating more calories than you burn for energy, prompting your body to store the excess as body fat. One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories; therefore, you'll gain 1 to 2 pounds in a week by creating a surplus of 500 to 1,000 calories each day. At a moderate activity level, you can estimate daily calorie burning by multiplying your weight in pounds times 15. For example, a moderately active 130-pound person burns about 1,950 calories per day and will gain 1 to 2 pounds in a week eating 2,450 to 2,950 calories each day.
The best foods for weight gain are calorie-dense, meaning they contain a relatively large number of calories with little bulk. Options include granola, nuts, peanut butter, whole-wheat bagels, thick bean soups and dairy products such as cheese. Because dairy and meats are high in saturated fat -- which is linked to heart disease -- you should choose low-fat versions, even though they contain fewer calories. You also need fruits and vegetables for proper nutrition, even though few are rich in calories. Relatively calorie-dense options include bananas, pineapples, potatoes, avocados, beets and corn.
It may seem logical to fill up with large meals, but you'll be able to fit more calories into your day by eating frequent meals and snacks that don't make you uncomfortably stuffed. McKinley Health Center recommends eating five to six times per day for weight gain. For example, eat four reasonably sized meals as well as two snacks between meals.
Top It Off
Toppings add calories to food with little bulk, allowing you to easily consume more calories in meals. Add avocado slices and reduced-fat cheese to sandwiches, sprinkle cracker crumbs or sun-dried tomatoes onto your soup, top salads with a handful of nuts, or add raisins or other dried fruit to your cereal. And rather than drinking water with meals, wash food down with skim milk or 100 percent fruit juice to increase calorie consumption.