How Many Extra Calories You Really Need To Gain Weight

You may hear a lot about tips for weight loss — what to eat, how to exercise, what diet shakes work, or what tea to drink — but how often do you hear tips for gaining weight? In certain circumstances, people need to put on the pounds, including body builders, athletes, those with health conditions, or people who are underweight. According to Healthline, a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5 is considered underweight.

How many daily calories is enough to increase the number on the scale? According to Verywell Health, 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of fat, but depending on your body weight and activity level, some math is required to find your magic number. First, you have to calculate how many calories your body needs to sustain your current weight, and then you have to add a surplus of daily calories. For example, if you add an extra 350 calories per day to your sustainable calories, you can gain approximately one extra pound about every ten days (via Verywell Health).

Choose nutrient rich foods for weight gain

Adding a milk shake and a bacon cheeseburger to your daily menu is easy enough, but eating trans fats or too much sugar can be harmful to your health, even if you are underweight (per Harvard Health Publishing). Gaining weight too fast can also yield unwanted results such as excess fat accumulation (via LIVESTRONG). When trying to gain weight, make sure your added calories come from nutrient dense sources, like whole milk, avocados, quinoa, sweet potatoes, nuts, and whole grains (via Medical News Today).

Many times, those looking to gain weight would prefer the pounds come in the form of more muscle rather than fat, and adding calories from protein sources is essential for building muscle (via Healthline). Eating more protein daily from sources such as chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans, will aid in healthy weight gain. The Mayo Clinic suggests consulting with a professional, such as a dietician or doctor, when trying to gain weight to be sure you're doing so in the healthiest manner.