For some people, gaining weight or adding muscle can be just as difficult as losing weight for others.
However, simply adding certain foods to your diet can make your weight gain efforts both healthy and more effective.
Here are the best foods to help you gain weight or add muscle, the healthy way.
Drinking homemade protein smoothies can be a highly nutritious and quick way to gain weight.
Making your own smoothies is the best way since commercial versions are often full of sugar and lack nutrients. It also gives you full control over the flavor and nutrient content.
Milk has been used as a weight gainer or muscle builder for decades.
It provides a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats and is a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
For those trying to add more muscle, milk is an excellent protein source that provides both casein and whey proteins. Research has even shown it can help you add muscle when combined with weight lifting .
Additionally, studies have found that milk, or whey and casein combined, can lead to greater mass gain than other protein sources .
Try drinking around one or two glasses as a snack, with a meal, or before and after a workout if you are training.
Rice is a convenient, low-cost carb source to help you gain weight. Just 1 cup (165 grams) of cooked rice provides 190 calories, 43 grams of carbs and very little fat .
It is also fairly calorie-dense, meaning you can easily obtain a high amount of carbs and calories from a single serving. This helps you eat more food, especially if you have a poor appetite or get full quickly.
When you’re on the go or in a rush, two-minute packs of microwavable rice can be easily added to other protein sources and pre-made meals.
4. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are a perfect choice if you’re looking to gain weight.
Just one small handful of almonds contains over 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fats.
Since they’re very calorie-dense, just two handfuls per day with a meal or as a snack can quickly add hundreds of calories.
Nut butters can also be added to a variety of snacks or dishes, such as smoothies, yogurts and much more.
However, make sure you pick 100% nut butters with no added sugar or extra oils.
5. Red Meats
Red meats are probably one of the best muscle-building foods available.
For example, steak contains around 3 grams of leucine per 6 ounces (170 grams). Leucine is the key amino acid your body needs to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and add new muscle tissue
In addition to this, red meats are one of the best natural sources of dietary creatine, which is possibly the world’s best muscle-building supplement.
Consider choosing fattier cuts, which provide more calories than leaner meats, helping you take in extra calories and add weight.
In one study, 100 elderly women added 6 ounces (170 grams) of red meat to their diets and performed resistance training six days a week for six weeks.