Healthy Weight Gain Diet Chart

Being underweight affects body growth and development. This can lead to various health issues like anemia, nutritional disorders, osteoporosis, decreased immune functionality, fertility problems, and increases the risk of early death. Body Mass Index is the popular metric for defining body weight. For a healthy body, the body mass index value should lie between 18.5 to 24.9. Any value below 18.5 is considered underweight. Thus, one should maintain proper body weight to avoid health complications.

Underweight people opt for numerous methods to gain weight. Some prefer to eat high-calorie food products like French fries, potato chips, sodas, donuts to gain weight while some prefer added supplements and protein powders. All these products can help you to gain weight but these unplanned approaches are not healthy ways of gaining weight. Eating processed and such unplanned foods can lead to the accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the belly and other organs. This in turn increases the risk of heart-related ailments, obesity issues, and diabetes. Thus, one should aim to gain weight by building body muscles in healthy ways.

Understand body calorie needs

The best way to plan your body weight gain diet is to understand your body’s calorie needs. The standard body calorie needs are as follows:

  • 2000 calories per day for women and
  • 2500 calories per day for men

Thus, if you are aiming to gain body weight, consume foods above your body’s calorie needs. For slow weight gain, your diet plan should increase 300 to 500 calories per day more than the required amount. For rapid weight gain, a 700 to 1000 calories per day increase shall be required.

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But the above calorie need does not fit all the sizes. A person’s body, right, height, size, gender, and physical activity levels impact the body’s calorie needs. Thus, finding the right caloric need shall help in a proper diet plan for weight gain. The steps for finding the calorie needs are as follows:

Step1: Know the Resting Metabolic Rate

Resting Metabolic Rate helps in calculating the body’s calorie needs while resting. Just multiply 12 to your current weight.

Thus, for a female of 38 years, with a 65 kg weight, the resting metabolic rate is 1716 calories. This is the minimum energy requirement required by the body for proper functioning.

Step 2: Add your activity level

Your lifestyle impacts your body’s energy needs. Thus, multiply your resting metabolic rate with the following values based on your levels of physical activities to find the right energy needs.

  • Lightly exercises of 1 to 3 days/week: multiply by 1.2
  • Moderate exercises multiply by 1.4
  • Hard exercises multiply by 1.6
  • Extra Hard exercises multiply by 1.8
  • Super Hard exercises multiply by 1.9

For example:

1,716 calories/day x 1.4 (moderately active) = 2,402 calories/day

Step 3: Increase calories for weight gain

If you are aiming for weight gain then add 5 to 10% calories more to the body’s needs. Thus, for 2,402 calories/day add 300 to 500 calories per day for healthy weight gain.

Diet chart

Based on the above calorie needs, the healthy weight gain diet plan should include balanced food products like whole foods, cereals, fiber-rich products, unsaturated fats, lean meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

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Note: the weight gain diet plan varies from one person to another person’s body calorie need and thus must be consulted with the dietician before following. The diet chart may include other fruits, non-veg options.

TimingsBest to eat
Early Morning7 a.m. – 8 a.m.5 to 6 pieces of almonds, cashew, or walnuts
Breakfast8 a.m. – 9 a.m.2 slices of bread with butter and 1 boiled egg or omelet.


A bowl of cornflakes or oats with milk

Or 1 plate of daliya, upma with salad

or 2 roti with a small bowl of dal and 1 cup of vegetable with salad.

Or 2 paratha stuffed with paneer or cheese or potatoes.

Drink a small glass of vegetable or fruit juice.

After Breakfast11 a.m. – 12 p.m.A full glass of milk or fresh fruit juice
Lunch1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.A small cup of rice, with a cup of dal, half cup of vegetable, salad and a small cup of curd or yogurt.


3 chapattis with a cup of dal, half cup of vegetable, salad, and a small cup of curd or yogurt.

Instead of dal, you can prefer 3 chicken breast pieces or fish pieces or a boiled egg curry or soybean curry.

Evening snack5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.Vegetable sandwich with small cup of fruit juice.

Or 1 cup fruit salad and 1 cup almond milk

or 1 cup potato chat with 1 cup tomato soup

Or 1 cup upma/poha with 1 cup vegetable juice.

Dinner8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.3 chapatti+ salad+ 1 cup dal or vegetable curry or egg curry or 2 pieces chicken gravy.


½ cup of rice+1 cup of kidney beans or vegetable curry or egg curry + salad.

Before bed10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.Drink a glass of low-fat milk.

The above weight gain diet plan can be modified as per your food preferences. Try consuming a healthy and balanced diet. Eating frequently, healthy sleep, and a balanced diet shall help in healthy weight gain.  Drink water after having meals and avoid drinking before meals.

Bottom line

Weight gain diet plan requirements vary from one person to person as it is dependent on a person’s physical activity levels, body energy needs, age, sex, and medical condition. It is therefore essential to consult a dietician before following any diet plan. Moreover, the weight gain process may be slow and the results may take time. Your commitment and happy spirits shall help you to achieve your goal. Thus, remain happy, focused, and fit to achieve good results.

Originally posted 2022-03-28 16:54:06.


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