Weight Management Gaining Weight Print 11 Tips to Help You Gain Healthy Weight By Shereen Lehman, MS Updated July 21, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Weight Management Gaining Weight Nutrition for Weight Loss Do you feel like you're too thin? If so, you'll need to increase your caloric intake if you want to gain weight. That seems easy enough, but not if you're too busy to eat, you're just naturally thin, or if you have a health condition that's affecting your appetite. What About Taking Appetite Stimulants to Gain Weight? Doctors may prescribe medications that will help improve appetite. They include some anti-depressants, steroid medications, and drugs related to marijuana. These medications can help but you'll need to work with your doctor to figure out what's best for you. There are several natural products that claim to be appetite stimulants but they don't seem to have any evidence to back up those claims. Zinc supplements may help if you have a zinc deficiency. Again, that's something you should see your doctor about. Stock up on Healthy Weight-Gaining Foods If you don't have much of an appetite, you'll probably do better if you nibble on small snacks throughout the day. If it's a time issue then maybe you need to increase the size of the meals you are already eating. Whether you eat extra meals or increase the size of the meals you usually eat, don't fall into a junk food trap. Choose weight-gaining foods that are both energy- and nutrient-dense. Need some ideas? Take a look at these 11 easy tips that will help you gain weight. 1 Have an Extra Slice of Whole Grain Toast With Peanut Butter at Breakfast Kirk Mastin/Getty Images One way to increase your calories is to increase the size of your meals. Start with a hearty breakfast and have an extra slice or two of whole-grain toast with peanut butter. Whole grains are important for their fiber and peanut butter is calorie-dense and high in fat and protein. Benefits of Eating Peanut Butter 2 Add Extra Cheese to an Omelet and Use an Extra Egg Joff Lee / Getty Images Omelets are usually made with two or three eggs, some cheese and a variety of added ingredients, so they're already energy-dense. Add extra calories by using a little more cheese and an extra egg in your omelet. But save room for some healthy veggies like spinach, peppers, and onions, or maybe some mushrooms and tomatoes. 3 Slice an Apple and Serve With Nut Butter Image Source/Getty Images Most people don't get enough fruits and vegetables, and although most of them are lower in calories, you don't want to give them up. So boost your snack-time calories by slathering some almond, peanut or cashew butter on apple slices. The flavor is fantastic, and you'll get lots of nutrients along with your calories. How to Get More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet 4 Add Cheese Sauces to Green Veggies Martin Jacobs / Getty Images Your mom told you to eat your veggies, and she was totally right. Green and colorful vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But, they're also low in calories. Enhance your energy intake by adding cheese or cheese sauce to your favorite green veggies. 5 Add Chopped Nuts, Oats, Fruit and Honey to Yogurt Joff Lee / Getty Images Here's one of our favorite ideas. Start with a smooth creamy Greek yogurt and add a generous portion of walnuts, almonds or pecans, plus oats and your favorite dried fruit. Top it off with a spoonful of honey, and you have the most delicious and healthful snack or dessert. Yogurt has friendly bacteria that help keep your gut healthy and the nuts have beneficial fats and add the calories you need. How to Eat More Nuts 6 Choose Creamed Soups Over Clear Soups Bill Boch / Getty Images Creamed soups are higher in calories than clear broth-based soups. A big bowl of creamed soup and crusty warm bread can make an excellent energy-dense meal. Keep your creamed soups healthy by choosing a cream of broccoli, cream of mushroom or similar types of soup. 7 Top Your Potatoes With Sour Cream Glenn Peterson/Getty Images Potatoes are on the starchy side, so they're a good source of calories. Amp up the calories by adding sour cream. Potatoes get a bad rap because they're high in carbohydrates, but your body uses carbs for energy and potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sour cream adds a bit of calcium along with the additional calories. You can also add calories with cheese or gravy. Potatoes Can Be Good for Your Diet 8 Eat Larger Portions of Starchy Vegetables Like Potatoes and Sweet Corn Diane Macdonald/Getty Images Sweet corn and potatoes are both nutritious vegetables, and they're also on the starchy side, so they're also higher in calories than green veggies. So, while you don't want to give up on Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale, you can feel free to load up on potatoes and sweet corn. Sweet potatoes are good too. 9 You Can Increase Your Protein Intake (and Calories) With Protein Bars Eising/Getty Images Protein bars are similar to trail mix but a bit less messy. You can make your protein bars or purchase any number of bars in any grocery or convenience store. Check out the Nutrition Facts label to see how many calories you're getting per serving. Make Your Own Protein Bars 10 Drink Whole Milk, 100-percent Fruit or Vegetable Juice Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman You're going to need to drink some beverages throughout the day. Sugary sodas may be tempting, and while they're high in calories, they've got nothing else nutrition-wise. When it comes to beverages, choose whole milk or fruit and vegetable juices to add to your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. 11 Carry a Bag of Trail Mix for a Convenient Snack Creativ Studio Heinemann / Getty Images Trail mix is a mixture of nuts, seeds, cereal and dried fruit. You can buy trail mix in grocery stores or make your own. In fact, you can add a few more calories by adding chocolate chips. Keep your trail mix in a plastic bag or container and carry them with you, so you have something to nibble on throughout the day. How to Make a Low-Carb Trail Mix Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get nutrition tips and advice to make healthy eating easier. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Persons R, Nichols, W. 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