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How do you gain weight in a healthy way?

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Quick Answer

According to registered dietitian Kathleen M. Zelman for WebMD, healthy weight gain involves eating calorie- and nutrient-rich foods, eating more meals a day and building muscle mass. Having enough protein in a diet is also essential to healthy weight gain.

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How do you gain weight in a healthy way?
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Full Answer

Zelman notes that eating high-calorie foods loaded with fat or sugar is not enough for healthy weight gain. Instead, eat healthy foods with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Nutrient-rich snacks such as yogurt, nuts and fruit can help supplement a healthy diet instead of adding junk food with empty calories. To gain weight, it is also important to eat more often.

Zelman suggests eating at least six meals a day, with a minimum of three high in protein, vegetables, fat and starch. With this method, a person can gain up to 1 pound per week. However, someone trying to eat this much food may find it hard to keep up such a large appetite. Walking before a meal, enhancing meals with spices or herbs, drinking liquids separately from meals and adding fruit to a meal are all ways to whet the appetite. Another important factor in healthy weight gain is muscle mass; many people who struggle with maintaining a healthy weight do so because they lack developed muscles. To build muscle, pair regular strength training with high-protein foods and snacks such as protein bars, protein shakes and low-fat chocolate milk.

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