Sample Meal Plan for a Weight Gaining Diet

Eating a big bowl of oatmeal can help you gain weight.
Burke/Triolo Productions/Taxi/Getty Images

You can gain weight by increasing your daily calorie intake, but you'll have the best results if you goose foods that are good for you rather than high-calorie junk foods.

Here's how:

Use the Harris-Benedict formula to determine your daily calorie need and add about 500 calories per day to gain a pound or so per week.

Once you know how many calories you need, take a look at my sample meal plant for a 2,500 calorie day weight gaining diet.

It has a balance of healthful foods, so you get plenty of nutrients and fiber. If you feel like you need more calories, you can adjust this menu by adding extra snacks or eat larger portions.

Follow This 2,500 Calorie Menu



  • One cup oatmeal with one-half cup reduced-fat milk and one-half cup raisins
  • One cup orange juice
  • One cup black coffee

Morning snack

  • One apple and 24 almonds
  • Glass of water


  • Sandwich with two large slices of whole grain bread, four slices of lean turkey, two tomato slices, lettuce, and mustard
  • 10-ounce glass of reduced-fat milk
  • One baked sweet potato with a pat of butter or margarine

Afternoon Snack

  • One protein bar
  • Glass of water


  • Fresh garden salad with three tablespoons salad dressing
  • Six-ounce salmon filet
  • One cup cooked spinach
  • One-half cup mashed potatoes with butter or margarine
  • One glass wine (or milk or 100-percent fruit juice)
  • One dinner roll

Nighttime Snack

  • One-half cup plain yogurt with one-half cup sliced strawberries
  • Glass of water

You can bring this menu up to 3,000 calories with the following additions:


  • Add one slice whole grain toast with two tablespoons peanut butter

Morning or Afternoon Snack

  • Add one cup reduced-fat milk

Nighttime Snack

  • Add seven whole wheat crackers

I designed this meal plan using Calorie Count.

Membership is free, and you can keep track of the foods you eat.

Keys to Gain Weight Successfully

Eat at least three meals every day with larger portions if you have the appetite for it. If you don't feel like eating much, then you might do better with five or six smaller meals spaced a few hours apart.

If you tend to forget about eating at regular intervals, you can set a reminder to eat by using an alarm clock or the timer on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Or leave notes on your desk.

Carbohydrates are your body's preferred form of energy, and you need to give your body the energy it needs to perform your daily tasks, plus some extra calories. Increase your carbohydrate intake with whole grain bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables to increase calories.

Please don't resort to eating highly processed junk foods to get your extra calories. Sure, they're energy-dense, but they're low in nutritional value, and worse, they can be bad for your health if they're high in saturated fats, trans-fats, added sugar or sodium.

Fat can be your friend. Fats are high in calories so eating more high-fat foods can help you gain weight. Choose wisely. The best weight-gaining foods contain healthful fats such as fish, avocado, olive oil, flax, nuts, and seeds.

Continue Reading