A Diet Plan to Gain Weight for Girls and Women

Gaining weight should be easy, right? Well, for many girls and women it simply is not. One thing that people may not realize is that it is just as difficult gaining weight as it is for most people to lose weight

Why do you need to gain weight?

Before getting started, ask yourself why do you need to gain weight. Your reason should be based on your needs, not the needs of other people.

Record your goals and reasons into a journal. Your journal can be a notebook or in an app like Evernote. Review them weekly to remind yourself why your are dieting to gain weight

Mostly importantly don’t be afraid to change your goals. If you do change your weight gain goals or reason for gaining weight, be sure to write why.

Make a plan based upon your goals and timeline

A basic weight gain plan must start with at least the following information:

  • Current weight
  • Target weight
  • How many days to reach your target weight
  • Activity level – In order words, how much physical activity you do on a daily basis
  • Body Type – See descriptions below and note that many planners do not take this into consideration but it is important
DateCurrent WeightCurrent Activity levelTarget Weight

A Body Weight Planner can help you create personalized calorie and physical activity plans to reach a goal weight within a specific time period and to maintain it afterwards.

Many free body weight planners are available online, so don’t feel pressured to purchase one. The National Institutes of Health has a great planner — see the video below to learn how it works.

Visit the Body Weight Planner website to see how many calories you should consume.

Does Your Body Type affect Gaining Weight?

In short, yes. Besides a fast rate of metabolism, there are different body types. If you are aware of your body type, it can help you gain weight. The three basic body types are: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.

According to the American Council on Exercise, most Endomorphic bodies have the most difficulty gaining weight and provides this description

“models who grace the covers and pages of most fashion magazines tend to have an ectomorph body type. In addition to being tall, they have a thin build, long limbs, small joints and thin bones.”

People with a mesomorph body type tend to have a medium frame. They may develop muscles easily and have more muscle than fat on their bodies. They are typically strong and solid, not overweight or underweight.

The body type endomorph is categorized as big, higher body fat, often pear-shaped, with a high tendency to store body fat. Endomorphs have a high percentage of fat in their body and losing weight is difficult for them.

They should focus on high intensity cardio exercises and should increase their reps while lifting weights. Shortening rest periods between the sets to 30 seconds will help.

Endomorphs need to control their diet and calorie intake to reduce weight. High protein meals will suit people with this body type.

You may not fit into any of these three categories. And that’s okay. It is not necessary that you will fit exactly into one of these types. Your body type can be a combination of two of these as well.

Add 500-1000 additional quality calories per day to gain weight

Most women need 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day to maintain their weight, so a weight gain meal plan for women should contain 2,100 to 3,400 calories a day.

Generally, eating an extra 500 to 1,000 high quality calories a day can help you gain 1 to 2 pounds a week. 1-2 pounds per week is considered a healthy and reasonable rate of weight gain.

What are high quality calories?

There are many sources for eating additional high quality calories. Food containing healthy fats and protein should be considered high quality calories.

Low quality calories typically come from heavily processed food. The bad things about heavily processed food are:

  • Increase your blood sugar level, which may cause your body to store more fat.
  • increase your cholesterol level.
  • Lower your energy level

How to add Healthy Fats for high Calories

But you have to be sure the calories you’re consuming are quality ones. You cannot depend on junk food for a healthy caloric surplus. It will lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Good fats are necessary for muscle growth and the production of hormones. This is essential for the growth and strength of muscles. This also helps to elevate the metabolic rate, which in turn helps the body lose bad fats and gain good fats. Fats are essential for many vital bodily functions.

Sources of healthy fats include:

  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
  • Soybean and safflower oil
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

How frequently you should eat to gain weight

You should eat every 2-3 hours. Smaller, more frequent meals can easily help digest food without disturbing the digestion process.

Note that when you have divided your heavy meal into smaller, you cannot skip any meals. This means eating when you don’t necessarily feel hungry.

What should you eat on a daily basis to gain weight

The MyPlate Plan from the USDA shows what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. Your food plan is personalized, based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. 

Click the Start button for a Free Personalized Plan

Eat a healthy Breakfast

Start the day off right with a healthy breakfast. Nutty and Fruity Amaranth Hot Cereal is an easy breakfast recipe that contains lots of healthy fiber. Instead of using rice milk, substitute whole milk for additional calories.

Nutty and Fruity Amaranth Hot Cereal Recipe (Makes 1 serving)

  • 1/3 cup amaranth
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the amaranth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed. Stir in the rice milk, cranberries, nuts and chia seeds. Pour into a bowl and serve. 

Tip: Add Whey protein power to your cereal for extra calories. You can also buy a protein enhanced milk such as Silk Protein

Drink at least 120 oz of water per day

Most of us do not drink enough water thinking it will help us lose weight. The reality is that being dehydrated can hurt dieting.

The benefits of drinking water include:

  • Aiding in food digestion
  • Ridding body from harmful toxins
  • Burning calories more efficiently by improving metabolic rate.

Add Muscle instead of Fat to your body

Simply put, muscle cells weights more than fat cells. So adding additional muscle vs gaining fat is the most efficient way to add weight and it is also the best for your long term health.

Adding muscle be accomplished by adding exercises such as traditional weight, kettlebell, or bodyweight training . The good news is that it only takes 15-30 minutes of targeted exercises, 3-4 days per week to add muscle to your body.

Read A Ten Minute Full Body Workout Hack for Busy Women to get started.

Add Supplements to safely add calories

In some cases, diet and exercise alone may not bring results as quickly as you would like. Another way to achieve your goal is to add weight gain supplements to your diet.

Supplements such as whey protein are easy to add to your diet and will not make you feel full

Visit our Weekly supplement deals page for more details

Track your calories using a food diary

Keeping a food diary to track your usual intake before starting can help you determine your individual calorie needs for weight gain. There are many apps available on your phone as well to track your calorie intake.

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Gaining weight is hard work. The keys to successful weight gain are: starting with a goal in mind, creating a plan and staying consistent with your eating and exercise.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice and should not be used or interpreted as such. You should always consult a medical professional before making drastic changes to your diet and physical exercise

Comments (1)
April 7, 2019

Basics Why You Can’t Gain Weight. Skinny guys usually think they can eat anything they want without gaining weight. They believe they can eat junk food all day because they have a fast metabolism.

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