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Top 8 Foods to Gain Weight

Top 8 Foods to Gain Weight

For people new to trying to add size and muscle, I often get asked what the best foods to gain weight are. However, this question implies a fundamental misunderstanding of the primary goal of this type of diet plan. Eating enough of literally any food will make you gain weight and some of the most effective foods include, doughnuts, sugary drinks, candy, french fries, and most fast foods. Eat a high caloric diet like this and I can guarantee you will gain weight very quickly, but the majority of your weight gain will be pure body fat. A far better question would be, “What are some foods to gain muscle while minimizing fat gain?”

Fight the temptation.....

When answering this question, there are various schools of thought about how “clean” a bulking diet should be. Some people barely focus on the quality of their calories, even eating the foods to gain weight I listed above, and prefer to cut the excess body fat off later. Though you will grow the fastest with this method, I am definitely not a proponent of using it. Since there is a fairly low limit to the amount of muscle you can put on, I don’t see the purpose of adding a ton of extra fat for no real reason. Another group of bodybuilders attempts to eat extra clean in an attempt to add only pure muscle. Although this sounds good in theory, this method can be very restrictive and it can take a ridiculously long time to add significant muscle mass. It is far easier to eliminate body fat during a cut than it is to add muscle during a bulk, especially if you are a hardgainer. Therefore, I suggest a more moderate approach that involves eating large quantities of foods to gain muscle and accepting some fat gain as a result. I suggest referring to How to Set Up a Massbuilding Diet to find the optimal caloric surplus and macronutrient ratios to optimize this goal.

So, what are the top foods to gain quality weight? Everyone will have their personal preferences and suggestions, but there are common foods that should definitely be included on any massbuilding diet. The focus should be on foods high in protein, complex carbohydrates, or healthy fats. Here’s a list of my top 8 foods to gain weight without gaining excess fat.

#1 Food to Gain Weight: Chicken

Chicken is without a doubt the king of any bodybuilder’s diet. It’s cheap, easy to prepare, and packs a ton of protein per ounce. Although any lean meat, including red meat, is great for a massbuilding diet, it’s impossible to go wrong with chicken. The only downside, is that chicken is not a high calorie food, so don’t let this be your only source of protein or you will struggle to meet your calorie requirements. Feel free to substitute turkey or lean beef for some variety.

Chicken is a cheap and easy way to get protein in your diet!

#2 Food to Gain Weight: Eggs

Eggs are perhaps the most iconic bodybuilder food for a reason. They provide one of the best-quality sources of dietary protein. Additionally, egg yolks are very nutrient-dense and a reasonable source of fat when massbuilding so opt for whole eggs to get max value out of the food. Don’t worry—eating a reasonable amount of egg yolks will not raise your cholesterol or cause heart disease.

One of the easiest breakfast foods to cook!

#3 Food to Gain Weight: Milk

For many years, bodybuilders have used the GOMAD (Gallon of Milk a Day) method to gain weight when massbuilding. Although that method is a little too extreme for my taste, drinking a large quantity of milk provides a great source of protein and fat while making calorie totals far easier to hit.

#4 Food to Gain Weight: Tuna/Salmon

Along with being another ridiculously high-quality protein source, fish contain omega-3 fats, which have an amazing list of benefits and should be a large part of any healthy diet.

Grilled salmon makes for a great dinner!

#5 Food to Gain Weight:  Brown Rice

An excellent source of slow digesting complex carbohydrates. Eating plenty of healthy carbs is crucial to gaining muscle, and the carbs in brown rice are an ideal energy source around workout time.

#6 Food to Gain Weight: Almonds

Most nuts provide a great source of healthy fats while being quite calorie-dense. Raw almonds are my personal top choice and make an ideal snack on the go between meals.

The perfect snack when you're on the go!

#7 Food to Gain Weight: Yams

Another perfect source of carbohydrates for energy, which also provide plenty of fiber. These are ideal to replenish muscle glycogen stores after a tough workout.



#8 Food to Gain Weight: Oats (or Quinoa)

For the price, raw oats are hard to beat as a source of complex carbohydrates and are easily one of the best foods to gain weigh cleanly. They can be cooked into oatmeal, eaten raw to maximize caloric intake, or blended into a post-workout massgainer shake. Though quinoa is often forgotten about, it has a similar nutritional profile, and is a perfect alternative to add some variety to your diet.

Add some fruits and....voila!


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