Gaining weight can be a challenge for many. However, a balanced meal plan and sticking to the meal plan are important factors leading to healthy weight gain. The healthy weight gain meal plan consists of adequate proportions of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
You should avoid any form of unhealthy fats (saturated and trans-fats) and junk carbohydrates as they will only cause fat accumulation and unhealthy weight gain.
The current article provides essential tips for healthier and quicker weight gain. Here, we discussed a simple yet effective 5-day healthy weight gain meal plan for people looking for faster weight gain.
Considerations For Healthy Weight Gain Meal Plan
Designing a healthy weight gain meal plan can be challenging. First, you need to decide on your daily surplus calorie intake for healthy weight gain—the type of food items, macronutrient balance, frequency of meals, etc.
All play an essential role in helping you to develop your 5-day healthy weight gain meal plan. Following are the salient considerations for designing your healthy weight gain meal plan:
Quality Is Important
Once you have decided on your daily calorie intake, you need to prepare a balanced healthy, weight gain meal plan. It would help if you understood that consuming calories is not the only deciding factor for healthy weight gain.
Your meal plan should consist of healthy food items that provide you a balanced proportion of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Unfortunately, many people only count the calories they are consuming without considering the quality of their food sources.
Junk food like fries, burgers, etc., can also provide you your required daily calorie intake, but they are not healthy as they are made with trans-fats, saturated fats, and sugar. Consuming such food items will lead you to gain unhealthy weight by fat accumulation near your waistline and belly.
When you stick to a healthy weight gain meal plan, it helps increase your body’s muscle mass, leading to healthy weight gain. In addition, once you start eating a healthy and balanced weight gain meal plan, your body will get used to it, and you will not relapse back to unhealthy eating habits.
Patience Is The Key
A healthy weight gain meal plan should not be considered as a sprint to a destination. Instead, it would help if you remembered that healthy weight gain is a slow process, and you need to religiously adhere to the meal plan and stay patient for getting the desired results.
If you find it difficult to adjust to a heavy diet immediately, you should slowly increase your calorie intake. Increasing your calorie intake by 15-20% should lead to a weight gain of 1 pound per week.
If you are gaining weight too quickly, the weight gain can be due to fat accumulation only, which is not desirable and unhealthy.
Divide The Meal Plan Into Smaller Meals
Moving to a high-calorie and massive weight gain meal plan is not easy. The new meal plan will most likely be very different from your existing diet. You may find it difficult to eat large quantities of food as they may make you feel bloated and overstuffed.
An honest way to overcome this problem is to divide the entire meal plan into at least six smaller and equally spaced meals throughout the day. It will ensure that you eat smaller portions at one go and are not overstuffed. Smaller meals will also help you stay energized throughout the day.
Include Protein In Your Diet
Proteins are essential in your diet if you are planning for muscle mass growth. A healthy weight gain meal plan should source 30-35% of your daily calorie requirements from proteins. Lean meat sources like chicken, fish, pork, eggs, red meat, etc., should be included in your diet for getting sufficient protein.
One gram of protein provides you nearly four calories and also helps in muscle growth. Therefore, you should consume approximately 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Red meat contains leucine, an essential amino acid that prevents muscle breakdown and promotes muscle growth.
Use Protein Supplements Judiciously
You can consider adding protein supplements to your meal plan for weight gain quickly. While it is not mandatory, and you can gain weight even without them, consuming protein supplements expedites the result. Protein supplements make it convenient to provide nutrients to your muscles, which helps them to multiply.
Fats Are Good Too
Fats are one of the most confusing food macronutrients. Most of us think consuming fats is dangerous to our health. However, it needs to be understood that fats serve an essential role. They are instrumental in absorbing many vitamins, hormone regulation, providing a source of energy, proper brain functioning, etc.
It would help if you avoided trans-fats and saturated fats, which are dangerous for your health. Consuming such fats will only cause unnecessary fat accumulation in the body, thereby promoting unhealthy weight gain if you aimed to get up to 30% of your daily calorie requirements through fats in your 5-day meal plan for weight gain.
Consume Sufficient Carbohydrates For Energy
Taking sufficient carbohydrates in your meal is essential for weight gain. This is because carbohydrates are the primary energy source for your body. It keeps you energized and provides the brain with glucose, which aids in clear thinking and optimal brain functioning.
Though, you need to be conscious of the type of food sources from which you are deriving your daily carbohydrate intake. It would help if you only ate clean and healthy carbohydrates from grains, fruits, vegetables, etc.
You should avoid processed and highly sweetened food items as they will only provide you unhealthy junk carbohydrates. An ideal weight gain meal plan should consist of carbohydrates meeting up to 40% of your daily calorie intake.
Do Strength Training
While many do not realize it, strength training plays a vital role in promoting healthy weight gain. In addition, you should add energy training to your daily routine for quicker and healthier weight gain.
Strength training helps to progress your muscle mass, which leads to weight gain. It is always recommended to gain weight through muscle mass instead of fat accumulation.
Another advantage of doing regular strength training is that it will increase your appetite and help you digest your massive 5-day weight gain meal plan easily. If you don’t work out regularly, the additional calories consumed can get stored as fats in your body, which is not good as it will lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Track Your Performance
Tracking your daily calorie intake and weekly weight gain can keep you focused and motivated towards achieving your goal of healthy weight gain. In addition, when you follow your performance, you are aware of the progress made toward your goal.
You can see the visible results, which reenergize you to keep working towards your goal. Unfortunately, many people drop out of their weight gain meal plan after a few days as they cannot see any visible results.
Once you see noticeable results, you will be driven to stick to your meal plan, eventually leading to healthy weight gain. Tracking your performance also helps identify any gaps in your meal plan.
Sample 5-Day Weight Gain Meal Plan
You can follow the below-mentioned sample 5-day weight gain meal plan for healthily gaining weight:
Breakfast is intended to have a higher fat concentration to keep you energized throughout the day. (Total calories-832, Fats-540 calories, Protein-196 calories, Carbohydrates-96 calories)
- 4 eggs fried in 1 tablespoon of butter
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- Half-cup pico de gallo
This meal is carbohydrate-dense to provide you with the energy to do the hefty training and lifting. (Total calories-953, Fats-333 calories, Protein-80 calories, Carbohydrates-540 calories)
- 3 cups cooked oatmeal
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 large banana
The post-workout meal is designed to provide any lost glycogen n the liver and skeletal muscle due to an intense workout. (Total calories-431, Fats-27 calories, Protein-80 calories, Carbohydrates-324 calories)
- 2 scoops of fluid recovery mix
The lunch has to be a high carbohydrate diet to keep your muscles ready for the next day. (Total calories-1292, Fats-342 calories, Protein-282 calories, Carbohydrates-668 calories)
- 3 cups gluten-free cooked pasta
- 2 cups spaghetti sauce with meat and vegetables
- 2 slices of gluten-free bread
The post-lunch snacks have to be low in carbohydrates, which helps to regulate blood sugar. (Total calories-565, Fats-333 calories, Protein-188 calories, Carbohydrates-44 calories)
- 5 large pieces of beef jerky
- 2 slices of string cheese
The dinner has to be high in protein and low in fats. Ideally, carbohydrates should only come from vegetables in the feast. (Total calories-504, Fats-36 calories, Protein-396 calories, Carbohydrates-72 calories)
- 3 chicken breasts
- 3 cups steamed broccoli
The pre-bedtime snack has to be rich in protein, ensuring a slow release of proteins to keep a steady amino acid flow during sleep. (Total calories-444, Fats-4 calories, Protein-228 calories, Carbohydrates-212 calories)
- 2 scoops of casein protein
- 8 ounces of skimmed milk
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Much Calorie Surplus Should I Target?
You can add up to 5 to 10 percent of the needed calories as a surplus for weight gain. So in simple words, you have to add about 500 calories a day to your regular meals. But again, it depends on person to person has everyone have different height and body structure.
How Much Protein Supplement Can I Use Daily Safely?
If you are taking enough protein from food, then a supplement is not necessary for you. You can take about1 two scoops of protein a day. Man can take about 25 grams to 50 grams, and females can take 23 to 46 grams of protein powder.
Which Foods Contain Good Fat?
You can obtain good fats or unsaturated from a variety of foods. They are present in nuts, avocado, peanuts, sesame, olives, peanut butter, and different seeds, including sesame, sunflower flaxseed, etc., and fish.
Is A Pre-Workout Meal Necessary? Can I Use Protein Shakes Or Smoothies Instead?
A pre-workout meal is necessary because it gives energy for the workout. It is recommended to take a full meal 2 to 3 hours before an activity. You can take a protein shake before a workout because it will help in muscle building. Also, you can add protein powder to a smoothie and drink it as a pre-workout meal.
You can gain weight by creating a surplus of calories, but a healthy weight gain meal plan offers you a chance to achieve a healthy weight, which will help you in the long term. However, gaining unhealthy weight can also create many problems that’s why you should follow a healthy meal plan to gain proper weight.