Are you looking to put on some healthy weight? One approach involves focusing on high-calorie, low-carb foods.
The idea here is to concentrate on foods packed with beneficial nutrients and healthy fats, offering a high energy density without the heavy carb load.
I will delve into some of the best high-calorie, low-carb foods you can incorporate into your diet for weight gain.
The Basics of Weight Gain and Nutrition
Before we jump into the list, it’s essential to grasp the basics of weight gain and nutrition. For healthy weight gain, you need to consume more calories than your body burns in a day—a state called a caloric surplus.
While carbs, proteins, and fats all provide calories, some people may opt to focus more on fats and proteins, particularly if they’re following a low-carb diet.
Understanding High Calorie, Low Carb Foods
High-calorie, low-carb foods are rich in healthy fats or proteins (or both) and contain fewer carbs. These foods can help achieve a caloric surplus needed for weight gain while keeping carb intake low.
However, it’s still crucial to ensure a balanced diet by also consuming adequate fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
High-Calorie, Low-Carb Foods for Healthy Weight Gain
Let’s dive into this world of nutritious and calorie-dense foods that can help you meet your weight gain goals.
Don’t shy away from healthy oils, as they’re loaded with heart-healthy fats and calories. They’re perfect for adding calories without the carbs.
They can work wonders in cooking, salad dressings, or even a sneaky drizzle over meals to up your caloric intake.
Foods: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, coconut oil.
Nuts are a nutrient-rich snack packed with monounsaturated fats. They’re perfect for healthy weight gain, especially for those who’re always on the move.
Foods: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts.
Seeds are loaded with calories, fiber, protein, and a heap of vitamins and minerals. Use them as toppings for salads or yogurt, or simply enjoy a handful as a snack.
Foods: Sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds.
Nut butters are a delicious way to add extra calories, protein, and healthy fats to your diet. They’re great in a weight gainer shake, on whole-grain bread, or teamed up with fruit for a nutrient-dense snack.
Foods: Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter.
It may come to you as a surprise but there are high-calorie fruits that are also low in carbohydrates. Avocados, olives, and coconuts are not only high in calories and delicious but also rich in healthy fats and fiber and low in carbs.
Add avocado to salads, use coconut milk or meat in smoothies, or munch on olives for a quick snack.
Foods: Avocados, olives, coconuts.
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and albacore tuna are packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try to include these in your meals a few times a week, whether grilled, baked, or tossed into salads.
Foods: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, albacore tuna.
Not only are meats protein-rich, but they also supply essential vitamins and minerals. Different cuts and types can be incorporated into meals, from stews to stir-fries to casseroles.
Foods: Beef, lamb, pork, venison.
Dark meat from poultry is not just high in protein but also carries more calories due to its higher fat content. They’re versatile too – think roast dinners, grilled dishes, salads, wraps, and stews.
Foods: Chicken thighs, turkey legs, duck, goose.
Cheese is incredibly versatile and can be an excellent source of calories, protein, and calcium. Snack on them as is, or add them to your meals for a boost of creamy goodness.
Foods: Cheddar, brie, gouda, mozzarella, swiss, blue cheese, camembert.
Chicken and duck eggs are a fantastic source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. There are endless ways to incorporate eggs into your meals – boiled, scrambled, omelettes, or even in baked goodies.
Foods: Chicken and duck eggs.
Full-fat dairy products can add more calories than their low-fat or non-fat counterparts. Plus, they’re an excellent source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Whether in your coffee, tea, spread on bread or paired with nuts and seeds, these dairy delights are easy to include in your diet.
Foods: Full-fat yogurt, cream, butter, milk, sour cream.
Keto-friendly chocolates are made with sugar substitutes and are high in fat, perfect for those with a sweet tooth who want to avoid excess carbs.
Foods: Keto-friendly chocolates.
Tofu, seitan, and tempeh provide plant-based protein and essential nutrients like iron and calcium. They’re versatile enough to be used in a range of dishes, from stir-fries to sandwiches.
Foods: Tofu, seitan, tempeh.
Whey protein, casein protein, pea protein, hemp protein – adding these into your diet can help up your calorie intake and support muscle growth. Always remember to choose powders with no added sugars.
Foods: Whey protein, casein protein, pea protein, hemp protein.
Mayonnaise, tahini, and full-fat cream cheese can add a creamy texture and rich flavor to dishes, and they pack a good caloric punch.
They’re easy to add to sandwiches, salads, sauces, or dips for an extra bit of indulgence.
Foods: Mayonnaise, tahini, full-fat cream cheese.
Coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut meat, coconut butter – they’re all rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that your body can easily digest and use for immediate energy.
They can be used in a variety of dishes, from curries to smoothies, or even spread on toast or used in baking.
Foods: Coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut meat, coconut butter.
To sum it all up, there’s a diverse selection of high-calorie, low-carb foods that can help you achieve a healthy weight gain.
Incorporating these nutrient-dense options into your diet not only contributes to weight gain but also promotes overall health.
It’s important to keep in mind that balance and variety are essential components of a healthy diet. Your journey to weight gain should be enjoyable and satisfying, filled with delicious and wholesome foods from each of these categories.
Enjoy the process, and remember, good health is the ultimate goal!