I’m going to share with you 7 high calorie foods to gain weight. Every once in a while, in health & fitness forums, I’ll notice some people asking what foods they can eat to gain weight. Other times, I’ll notice folks saying they’re having trouble hitting their daily calorie intake, and they’d like to know what foods they can eat to add more calories.
I’ve run into this issue myself, as I’m now eating at a 500 calorie surplus every day, with a goal of gaining weight. It was awkward at first, cause I spent so much time burning fat off my body, and losing 15 pounds, until my physique became as lean as it had ever been.
Now, I’m moving in the opposite direction, eating at a lean bulk and I’m happy to say I’ve gained about 4 pounds of muscle in the past few months. This, of course is possible with the combination of an eating plan & a powerful workout routine.
Whether you’re trying to gain weight or just hit your daily calories, these items below should help you achieve your goal. They’re not necessarily all healthy foods, but they’re calorie dense, and should make it much easier for you to gain weight with them.
1 – Oils
- 1 Tablespoon = 120 calories
Just a single tablespoon of olive oil or any oil for that matter, has 120 calories. This is actually one of the best options for gaining weight that I know of. It’s also one of the worst options for losing weight. So for anyone eating at a calorie deficit, I suggest swapping out olive oil for olive oil spray, which has zero calories.
However, you’re here to gain weight. Just think about it for a moment. You can turn a boring low calorie salad into a delicious 120 calorie feast in just a moment. Just add a tablespoon of olive oil to the salad.
What I personally do is mix the olive oil with a bit of lemon juice and it’s delicious. Add some nuts to it, and you’ll increase the calories even more. We’ll get to nuts below.
And it doesn’t have to be olive oil that you choose. It could be vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or more, but I personally go with olive regularly, cause it’s heart healthy, and just tastes great.
Other ways to add oils to your diet are to just fry up your favorite foods in a tablespoon or two of oil. Chicken, fish, pork, steak, you name it.
This is one of the easiest ways to add calories to your diet to gain weight.
2 – Butter
- 1 Tablespoon = 100 Calories
Who doesn’t love butter? This has got to be one of the simplest ways to gain weight. It’s similar to oil in calories, and butter just has an amazingly delicious flavor that works well on so many different foods.
From spreading it on toast, to frying up your morning eggs in it, it’s amazing, and very calorie dense.
3 – Nuts & Nut Butters
- 1 Ounce Mixed Nuts (about a handful) = 170 calories
- 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter = 190 calories
I was visiting my brother recently, and we were talking about fat loss, and how he eats low carb to lose weight, but he’s been having trouble continuing to lose weight. He’s under the impression that by eating low carb, you’ll lose weight.
Contrary to popular belief, that isn’t true. Losing or gaining weight has everything to do with your calorie consumption. Nuts and nut butters are very calorie dense.
Not only are these items calorie dense, it’s very easy to overeat on these items. For instance, adding two tablespoons of peanut butter to toast sometimes isn’t even enough for me. I want more.
When I was hanging out at my brother’s place, I noticed him eat a handful of cashews. Then he grabbed another handful of them. Then another. That’s about 510 calories he ate right there without even thinking about it.
In a way, nuts and nut butters are even easier for gaining weight than olive oil and regular butter. That’s because nuts and nut butters are so delicious, and so high in calories, it’s very easy to eat them on their own, and go overboard at the same time.
4 – Rice
- One cup of cooked rice = 204 calories
Rice is one of my go to side dishes whenever I’m cooking dinner. I’d say I eat rice a few times a week. It goes amazingly well with pretty much any meat I cook, whether that’s steak, pork tenderloin, chicken, or shrimp.
I love rice, cause it’s a high carb, high calorie food, which is inexpensive and quick and easy to prepare.
5 – Potatoes
- 1 Large Potato = 283 calories
Potatoes are another fantastic way to add a whole lot of calories to your diet. Plus, they’re so versatile, there are many ways to prepare them. In fact, you could even take it to another level and add more calories to these potato calories. I do that with oil all the time.
So, I’m pretty crazy about my air fryer and use it every single night. I also like to make my own french fries. So I’ll take a potato and cut it up into fries or even cubes. I then mix it all up in olive oil and throw it into the air fryer. Then you’ve got deliciously crunchy high calorie fries that will help you on your weight gain journey.
This is just one of the many ways I love to make potatoes. Depending on the size of the potato, a large can add almost 300 calories to your diet. Plus, by topping it with cheese and sour cream, you can easily bump that up to 400.
I strongly suggest using a food scale to get the weight right though. It’s almost impossible to gauge how many calories a potato has by eyeballing it.
6 – Whole Milk
- 8 Ounce Cup Whole Milk = 150 calories
Whole milk is far more calorie dense than skim, which is what I drink regularly. I can easily drink 2 – 3 cups of skim milk a day, and that clocks me in at about 160 – 240 calories.
But if you drink 2 – 3 cups a day of whole milk, you’ll be taking in 300 – 450 calories very easily. Add it to cereal or eat it with a delicious chocolate chip cookie, and you’re adding a whole lot of calories to your diet pretty seamlessly.
7 – Regular Soda
- 1 Can Of Soda = 140 – 170 Calories
Soda is probably one of the last foods I would suggest anyone consume for weight gain, considering how unhealthy it is for you. But the truth is, they can and will help you gain weight.
The thing about soda is it’s incredibly easy to down an entire can in just a few minutes. I know people who can drink 3 – 4 cans of soda a day.
I definitely don’t recommend this, but if you drank 4 cans of Mountain Dew in a day, you’re adding 680 calories to your diet. Not to mention the caffeine may make you a bit crazy.
High Calorie Foods In Summary
Now that I think of it, there are so many more high calorie foods to gain weight, so I may consider writing a second part to this article. The foods listed above are definitely some of the easiest items you can add to your diet.
I especially feel that oils and butters can almost seamlessly add calories to your already favorite foods, and just make them more flavorful. My personal go to when I want extra calories on just about any salty food that I eat is olive oil. I love it. It’s high in calories and also delicious and healthy.
If you’re looking to gain lean muscle, then I suggest you check out this article. There’s a process to gaining muscle, especially if you don’t want to pack on extra fat. That’s one of the downsides of overeating. People trying to gain weight often get it wrong, and what ends up happening, is they not only pack on muscle, but also unwanted fat.
So, I eat at a lean bulk, and I’ve gained about 3 – 4 pounds of lean muscle over the course of the past few months, which I’m happy about. It’s all about strategically adding calories month after month, until you hit a spot where you’re gaining about 1 – 2 pounds of muscle every 30 days.
It’s not enough to just add calories, but very important to also make sure to hit specific protein requirements daily also. This, combined with a proper workout routine, ensures that when you’re gaining weight, it’s in the form of lean muscle, and not unwanted fat, which happens far too often to many people trying to bulk.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it to be helpful. If you have any questions at all about anything written here, please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading!