- Diet & Weight Loss
Healthy High Calorie Diet Plan To Gain Weight
A healthy high calorie diet should consist of a balanced meal plan which includes a combination of carbohydrate, protein and healthy fats in every meal. There is such a thing as a healthy high calorie diet. Just because you are required to stick with eating only high calorie foods when trying to gain weight and add muscle, it doesn't mean you should primarily be eating highly processed and sugary foods. To gain lean muscle mass and not fat, you are required to eat "clean".
How many calories should you eat to gain weight and build muscle?
This will depend on your weight in pounds. To maintain your current weight, you only need to consume about 10 calories per pound. For example, a 125 lb person would need to eat 1250 calories just to maintain their current weight. In order to gain weight, you need to consume more calories then what your body requires. A basic weight gain formula is to consume 15 calories per pound of weight. So the same 125 lb person would need to consume 1875 calories. Assuming that you have a fast metabolism (which is the case for most people who want to gain weight), you can overshoot this number a bit, and go on a 2000 calorie diet. If you find that you are not gaining weight after a few weeks, add 300-500 calories.
Eat plenty of protein
You will always gain some fat when doing a high calorie diet, this is unavoidable. This is why you want to consume lots of protein in any high calorie diet. Not only is protein important for building muscle tissue, but the calories from protein are less likely to be stored as fat, so you will maximize your muscle gains. Cheap sources of protein include chicken breasts, protein powder and milk, so they will form the foundation for the majority of your meals.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be one of the largest meals because you tend to burn more calories by doing more activity the first part of the day.
Weight gain shakes are great to have for breakfast or a few hours following the breakfast meal. I prefer to have them in the morning so you don't feel too full later in the day.
Some ideas for high calorie breakfast include:
8 oz of 2% or whole milk (120 calories)
5 eggs omelet (400 calories)
A bowl of Quaker Life cereal (120 calories)
1 cup of low fat yogurt (208 calories)
Some people are in the habit of either grabbing lunch on the go or skipping it all together. If you want to gain weight then you better quit this habit. The solution is to find healthy high calorie lunch recipes that are very easy to make and can be consumed on the go. Chicken and turkey breasts are fairly inexpensive and make a great filling for sandwiches mixed with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. They can be prepared well in advance and refrigerated.
Lean red meat, fish, chicken and pasta dishes are all fantastic ideas for a healthy high calorie dinner. Accompany the meal with some greens such as cooked vegetables and a garden salad. You can add dressing to the meat and salad for some extra flavor and calories.
High calorie snacks, or eating small amounts between meals, is a good way to keep up your energy levels during the day, maintain your blood sugar and avoid insulin spikes. Considering that it's recommended that you try to eat at least 6 meals per day when on a weight gain diet, high calorie snacks are great to have in between large meals, because you can't be expected to eat 6 large meals in a day. Just make sure when snacking you are only eating calorie dense foods, as these pack the most punch.
Some ideas for high calorie snacks include:
celery sticks with peanut butter (100 calories)
3 egg omelet (210 calories)
1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese (100 calories)
1/2 cup of dry roasted almonds (85 calories)
1 large banana (121 calories)
1 cup of low fat yogurt (208 calories)
ham and cheese toasted sandwich (380 calories)
Although it's preferred to always eat healthy, you can occasionally cheat with high calorie junk food, just don't make it the norm. If you are a hardgainer, gaining some fat should be the least of your concerns. The important thing is that you are consistent with eating 6 meals per day and never skip meals. It may seem like hard work initially to eat like clockwork every 3 hours, but the high calorie diet will ensure your body is getting the required nutrients necessary for muscle repair and tissue building after intense training sessions in the gym.
It is important that you learn to enjoy food and not stuff yourself just for the sake of eating. You won't stick with a high calorie diet to gain weight for very long with this mentality. Become useful in the kitchen and get those taste buds of yours firing!