Nutrient dense foods, such as whole grain breads and pastas, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and nuts or seeds, are excellent foods for weight gain. Supplementing the diet with extra protein and healthy fats increases total calories without relying on junk foods. Eating more frequently also promotes weight gain.
Begin by selecting nutrient dense, whole foods as the foundation of the diet. Meet daily nutrition requirements by eating lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. Additional protein, such as nut butters or jerky, and additional fats, such as avocados, full-fat dairy products and olive oil, should be added to increase overall calories without resorting to nutrient-poor snack foods.
Frequent meals and snacks also help increase daily calories. For example, in addition to three daily meals, include a smoothie after breakfast, cheese and crackers before dinner and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before bed.
Enjoy calorie-rich treats in moderation. It's alright to occasionally have a piece of pie or some ice cream, or enjoy a handful of jelly beans. However, remember that weight gain, just like weight loss, is a process. While it may be tempting to focus on high-calorie junk foods, a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is better for the body in the long run.