While many Americans focus on weight loss, some people have the opposite problem: keeping weight on. Whether you have an overactive metabolism or are looking to add muscle mass to your slim build, gaining weight is a simple matter of increasing calories. But just downing milkshakes and candy bars is a recipe for bad health. It is important to find the right kinds of foods that will help you gain weight in a healthy way.
With about 80 calories and 7g of protein in an average-size egg, eggs are a great source of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. Eggs can be eaten in a variety of ways, from hard boiled to scrambled, or added directly into shakes and smoothies. Their versatility and easy preparation make eggs a staple in most weight gain diets.
Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey and lower-fat cuts of steak and pork are an excellent source of calories and protein for weight gain. Protein helps build muscle mass and bulks up a slim shape in a healthy way. Lean protein contains less saturated fat than high fat meats, such as ground beef, so you can consume more of it and gain weight without raising your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Protein bars are a good source of healthy fats, protein and sugars. They are readily available in grocery stores, convenience shops and health food stores. Since they are easy to eat and not too filling, protein bars make good supplements to regular meals when eaten as snacks and are an easy way to add healthy calories to your daily diet.
Like protein bars, nutritional or meal-replacement shakes are a high-calorie option to add between meals. Convenient and nutritionally-balanced, shakes are a good addition to meals or as a snack, as they provide key nutrients, vitamins, proteins and fats to help the body gain weight safely.
Dairy is a building block of healthy muscle and tissue and is also dense in calories and good fats. Low-fat dairy, such as 1 or 2 percent milk and yogurt contains healthy calories that help your body build and retain muscle mass, creating a more solid physique.
In addition to protein, people with high metabolisms need to consume plenty of carbohydrates so they do not burn their fat or muscle reserves. Rather than choosing simple carbs, such as white breads and sugars, eating complex carbohydrates -- such as those found in beans, whole-grain breads and pastas and sweet potatoes -- provides calories and energy, without raising insulin levels. Other excellent complex carbohydrates to consume are beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grain rice.