What to Eat to Gain Weight Healthily

As I mentioned, you should be thinking how to gain weight healthily and not how to gain weight fast. No point gaining xx muscles within the next few years but put the next 50 years of your life at risk. Not all calories are made equal, so think of the food sources from which to get your calories. Ideally, you would want to get your calories from whole foods.

You could read my other article – what to avoid to gain weight healthily – for a more complete picture.

Do also check out Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking Program to learn how to cook, which I believe is the secret to gaining sustainable weight heathily and effectively.


Food to Eat to Gain Weight Healthily

1. Water

Not exactly a food but I still want to emphasize this. You have to drink lots of it. Water will prevent dehydration, which can be easily brought about by an intense session in the gym. This is especially so when you are on a fat loss diet to get lean and ripped – you will be even more prone to becoming dehydrated.

Losing water/not drinking enough can easily affect your bodily functions and your strength as well, which affects the effectiveness of your gym workout.

Water also serves to transport nutrients around your body. This is crucial especially when you consume bodybuilding supplements.


2. Eggs

My favourite, since they are cheap, easy to eat, can be made in many different ways and contains a lot of nutrients.

Choose omega 3 eggs for extra nutrients (1):

  • Has 39% less Arachidonic Acid, an inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acid that most people eat too much of
  • Has 5 times as much Omega-3 as the conventional eggs

For those worried about the high cholesterol value of egg yolks, fret not.

They are actually jam packed full of important nutrients, especially the fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

A study by the University of Connecticut also concluded that there were either no change or beneficial changes in the cholesterol levels of people who consume 3 or 4 eggs a day (2).

It’s actually not the cholesterol that’s bad for you. It’s the combination of poor metabolism, deficient diets and toxins that is bad for you (when they combine together to break down cholesterol.


3. Lean meat

gain weight

Lean meat such as turkey, chicken or sirloin should be your preferred choice.

Always go for the leanest you can find!

Meats are good sources of proteins for you to gain weight healthily.


4. Fish

This is a must, not just for its proteins, but for its omega 3 fatty acids (which many other foods and diets lack), vitamins and minerals.

Avoid this only if you have some allergy to it.

Ideally, get genuine wild salmon if you can to gain weight healthily.


5. Fruits

Fruits are such a wonder source of nutrients.

You get complex carbs, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and the list goes on.

Make sure you eat at least 2 servings of fruits per day.

Also, have a variety of fruits to benefit from the various vitamins and minerals which will help you gain weight healthily.


6. Vegetables

Surprisingly, vegetables actually aid your recovery a lot.

Their high antioxidant properties will help reduce the amount of free radicals from intensive training and help heal damaged muscle cells.

Vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fibers which are ALL beneficial to your body to gain weight healthily.


7. Other sources to gain weight heathily:

Legumes, rice, grains, green tea, extra virgin olive oil, POTATO, oatmeal.

For a comprehensive list of food items to eat, classified by carbs, proteins and fats, do sign up to my free inner circle.


8. Healthy fats:

Flaxseed oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts.

Basically sources of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids.

Saturated fats are actually alright as well, contrary to some popular beliefs. Check out ectomorph diet guidelines to understand why if you have not.




(1) Sammana, S., Kunga, F. P., Cartera, L. M., Fostera, M. J., Ahmada, Z. I., Phuyala, J. L., et al. (2009). Fatty acid composition of certified organic, conventional and omega-3 eggs. Food Chemistry, Volume 116, Issue 4, 911–914. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814609003513

(2) Fernandez, ML. (2006). Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 9(1), 8-12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16340654?dopt=Citation



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  1. Max

    lol agree with the list but it’s a pain eating clean..

    • Wayne

      haha no pain no gain.. you will get used to it soon and you will be thinking why didn’t you start eating clean earlier not just for bodybuilding but for the health benefits!

  2. Bizaaro

    @ Wayne Dude , Can you reproduce this list with veg items cause there are many who dont eat non veg thats why

    Thanks !

    • Wayne

      Hey Bizaaro good question! but sadly i do not have much knowledge in this area since I’m not a vegetarian.

      but not to worry, I will do some research on this area and then put a page on this site about that!

  3. Drago

    Do I take the homemade weight gainer (Vince De Monte Weight Gainer) along with this diet everyday?

    • Wayne

      Hey Drago!

      I can’t give a definite yes or no to your question.

      It is best if you are able to calculate your daily calorie needs and see how your diet fits in. If you are already consuming 300-500 calories about your daily calorie needs, there is no need to take weight gainers.

      If you aren’t, then a homemade weight gainer is an option. However, it’s always best to get your calories from whole foods.

      But then again, it will depend if you have the time to prepare your meals. If you don’t, weight gainers are a convenient option.

      Yup, so it ultimately depends on your situation.

      • Drago

        So my daily calorie needs is 2240. I eat mostly like 800 at the most from food, but drinking weight gainer would definitely help me, right?


        • Wayne

          yea bro it will definitely help, but i wouldn’t advise that. Not all calories are made equal, so I would suggest getting most of your calories from whole foods.

          For instance, since 2240 is ur daily calorie maintenance level, you could probably consume 2600 calories. Try to get at least 1600~1800 calories from whole foods and you can add in the home made weight gainer by Vince Delmonte.

          yup that’s it but I will still always advocate getting your calories from whole foods alone if that’s possible!

  4. Justin

    Is taking a preworkout still good

    • Wayne

      It’s good, but not necessary. If need be, I would suggest creatine and amino acids/protein supplements. However, don’t neglect the most important factor of all – eating a proper meal before your workout. cheers

  5. Zamaine

    Hey Dave,

    First of all, thanks for the website! I’ve been following your advice on healthy eating, compound weight lifting, and the necessity of protein for the past month and I’m happily stepping up my weights at the gym at a decent pace.

    My main concern at the moment is my calorie intake, as I don’t know if my increased eating habits are optimal for my clean bulking regiment. I’m finding it difficult to monitor my calorie intake on home cooked meals as there are foods (particularly fruits and vegetables) that aren’t sold with a nutrition label. Is there an easy to use online guide that you know of where I can search a food and be informed on its nutritional values, such as calories, vitamines, minerals, etc?


    • Zamaine

      Woops, don’t know why I said Dave!

      Sorry Wayne, drowsy mornings suck! ;p

    • Wayne

      Hi Zamaine!,

      You might want to check http://www.caloriedatabase.com/!

      For me, I personally don’t count calories any more because I know my body quite well and I can decipher the signals it sends to me, though I’m not always correct haha.. It’s good to eat more gradually, because as you gain more muscle mass, your metabolism rate rises and therefore you need to eat more.

      It’s good that you have derived some value from this site, any more questions, feel free to ask! :)

  6. joe smith

    I don’t care how much it will cost me I will try this diet. Thanks very much:)

    • Wayne

      Np! I’m glad it helped! :)

  7. steve

    Hi Wayne

    Have a few questions
    1st is there something that tells you some meals you can cook ( and take them as lunch) since I work about 30-35hrs a week is difficult to eat right unless its made like the night before
    2nd basically could you just tell me a work out program ” I thought about joining gym “but since I don’t know what to do I held off ( I don’t know if this matters or not but I can do 100 push up and sit ups / bench 120 lbs -only 10x reps :(
    3rd since I’m pretty active ( I try run 3/4 times a week training for 10k up to 5k now )
    And since I burn 2767.856 calories a day how many calories should I be eating to help me bulk up ‘ healthy of course ‘ – trying get in shape so I can join navy –
    4th are there certain veggies that should be avoided or eaten more often then others
    5th (not really a question ) I’m 145lbs right now if that matters
    6th since I have some junk food in my house how often should I eat it ( once its gone I won’t be more ) but didn’t know if there something like eat small amount every 2-3 days or something

    Anyway sorry about super lengthy text
    Great site love it ( I tried one other but it wasn’t built for skinny weak people like me )
    “Glad this one is free also ”
    Have a great day

  8. Austin

    I’m guessing getting my proper intake won’t be cheap?? I have weights class 4 times a week, 2 of those days are cardio(big no no). My BMR with activity level added is 2870 cal burned a day and 1793.75 without activity. Does it cost a lot to get proper intake? It’s going to be several weeks before my chickens start to lay so I’ll have to keep buying eggs until then.


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