Most of us lack the time to prepare a big breakfast before running off to school, job or practice. Cereal is a popular choice because it’s quick and easy. But—like many other foods—not all cereal is good for you. Avoid brands with high sugar content, and stick with those filled with fiber, carbs and protein, like Special K Protein Plus.
Breakfast cereals are high calorie foods, and they’re a favorite snack for many people — you don’t have to stick to eating them at breakfast. Anyway, if you get carried away and overfill your bowl, you have the rest of the day to burn off those excess calories.
Oatmeal contains the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and protein for a pre-workout meal. Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates which makes it a great food before your workout. Oatmeal’s nutrients will also fill your muscles with the glycogen they need to make it through a long workout.
100 g serving of cooked pasta contains only 380 calories. It’s the rest of the ingredients, such as the meatballs on the spaghetti, which contribute to this being a high-calorie dish. Of course, pasta does have a lot of carbs, so it’s apt to be more filling. Whole grain pasta is healthier, but takes longer to digest.
4. Whole Bread
You can eat healthy and pack on pounds at the same time by eating whole wheat bread instead of the overly processed white bread. One slice of the brown variant contains 69 calories. Make no mistake; it is healthier, since it’s more natural than its processed counterpart. Even healthy nutrients can make you bulk up.
5. Sweet and Mashed potato
Potatoes are mounds of carbohydrates and contain little proteins too. This makes it an ideal diet for those lean and thins who desperately want to put on weight. The vitamins like vitamin-C and B-complex also help in proper absorption of this carbohydrate. That is why they make an inevitable part of the diet of Sumo Wrestlers.
6. Brown rice
Brown rice is an excellent source of complex carbs. You can serve brown rice alongside chicken breast, asparagus and some beans to make a perfect post workout meal. You can even get the powdered form of brown rice (they sell it in supermarkets or organic food stores) and stir them into your post workout shake to make it a more powerful solution. Carbohydrates are essential in building and repairing your muscles, hence be sure to include adequate amounts in your diet, especially after you workout.
7. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an affordable source of calories, source of vitamins, minerals and other health-protective food compounds and other health-protective food compounds. Peanut butter is extremely healthy even with its high amount of calories. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, needed to build and repair muscles but not high in carbohydrates needed for muscle fuel.
Peanut butter is probably the easiest muscle building food on this list to make. Don’t try spoonful peanut butter! Mix with other healthy food. Luckily, peanut butter combines nicely with banana, bread, apples, oatmeal, crackers, raisins, and even pasta. These combinations will balance your sports diet.
Cheese is one of the foods that make you gain weight. Cheese is basically concentrated milk, so its nutrition value is similar. This means high in protein and calcium. Cheese is a great source of both casein and whey protein. Whey protein is great for your muscles and has higher biological value than any food on this list. Because casein protein is a slower digesting protein; cottage cheese is great before bed. Having cottage cheese before bed will help your body build muscle while staying in an anabolic stage overnight.
9. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a nutrient and antioxidant packed food that is well worth the calories and best eaten in moderation. Different types of chocolate have different ratios, of course, but if you have a sweet tooth and you want to put on some extra weight, why not try them all?
Yogurt is an ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates for exercise recovery and muscle growth. If you eat regular yoghurt with fruit added (not sugar-free) the extra carbohydrates from the fruit will boost your blood levels of insulin, one of the keys to reducing post-exercise protein breakdown. Yogurt is one of the few foods that contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a special type of fat shown in some studies to reduce body fat.
11. Ice Cream
Ice Cream, a favorite dessert of many is commonly made by combining milk products, sugar or other sweetening agents, pieces of fruits, nuts, chocolates and sometimes solid additions. All ice creams may have different nutritional content depending on the ingredients used.
Typically an ice cream may contain a wide range of calories from 250 calories to 900 calories per 100 gm depending on the ingredients used. Most of the ice creams are high in fat, sugar and cholesterol all of which when consumed in more amounts are responsible for weight gain.
Butter is primarily a saturated fat. It has continually been thrown under the bus and gotten a ton of bad press is now the newest “health food” according to a study out in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Salted butter has 36 calories for each 5-gram serving. The calories should pile up, depending on the thickness of the butter or margarine that you’ll spread on the bread.
13. Vegetable Oils (Soybean, Peanut, Palm, Olive)
Purified vegetable fats do not lag far behind animal fats. Try choose oils like Canola and Olive that are not hydrogenated, and therefore do not contain harmful trans fats. Vegetable oils provide 1927 calories per cup, 124 calories per tablespoon, and 44 calories per teaspoon.
14. Nuts, Peanuts, Almonds
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and heart healthy fats and fibers, nuts are a great snack food, particularly if they are dry roasted unsalted. They are extremely high calorie. Salted, roasted cashew nuts, for example, have 165 calories for each serving.
15. Beans (Garbanzo, Lentils, Kidney etc.)
Beans are a great source of dietary fiber and protein; both of which are great for building muscle. This delicious source of protein can be eaten as a mid-day snack or as a side for lunch or dinner. Beans are also a good source of essential nutrients, like iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
16. Salad Dressings
Depending on the type of dressing and the amount that you will pour on to your favorite salad dish, it can pack 50 to as much as 85 calories for each 1-tablespoon serving. If you’re trying to give yourself some curves, quit ordering your salads dry! Choose something delicious and creamy, like a Parmesan/peppercorn dressing. You can’t get more delicious than that!
Mayonnaise can be described as a thick, creamy sauce or dressing that is made of soybean oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. 1tbsp mayonnaise provides 57 calories containing 44 gm fat, i.e. 80% of calories come from fat. This leads mayonnaise to unhealthy weight gaining food.
18. Pure Fruit Juice
Aside from giving your body the vitamins and nutrients that it needs, pure fruit juices also pack a lot of calories. One ounce of the commercially-packaged fruit juice contains 57 calories. This is further proof that just because a food or beverage is high in calories doesn’t mean it’s not healthy in other ways. You need those vitamins!
One large banana contains 120 calories, and when you slice that up with your peanut butter sandwich or breakfast cereal, guess how many more calories you can get? This fruit is excellent for weight gain, but it won’t be unhealthy. And bananas really are excellent when you eat them with other foods that are high in calories.
Eggs, especially egg whites are chock-full of muscle-building protein, making them an ideal way to start your day. One egg delivers four to six grams of protein, as well as vitamin B12, which plays a key role in brain function, the nervous system and blood formation. These nutrients will fuel your body, ensuring an effective workout later in the day.
Eggs provide about 6 g of protein each along with 71 calories. Scrambled eggs make a nutrient-dense, calorie-rich breakfast — especially if cooked with olive oil. Add a hard-boiled egg to salads, stir a raw egg into soup or include in stir fries to increase calories.
21. White Meat (Chicken, Turkey)
Chicken is probably best muscle building food because it is cheap, easy to cook, and great in about 1000 recipes. Chicken is really high in protein, has no carbohydrates, and very little fat. One chicken breast has around 25 grams of protein and only about 130 calories. This makes it great for almost any time of the day or night.
Grabbing the right fish can lead to a healthy meal—low in sodium but filled with protein and other important nutrients, like vitamin B12. Half a fillet of salmon gives you a whopping 40 grams of protein, making it the preferred choice for muscle-building athletes.
23. Lean Read Meat: Beef
Red Meat is great because it is high in protein and has something chicken and fish cannot offer you, creatine. Eating red meat will help you to naturally maintain your optimal creatine levels. Red meat unfortunately tends to be higher in cholesterol and fat than some of the other muscle building foods but also should not be completely neglected.
If you are having trouble gaining weight, try switching to red meat. Red meat is higher in calories which might be just what you need to start putting on the extra muscle.
24. Whole Milk
Milk is one of the best natural muscle building foods on this list. Milk has a biological value of 95, which means the body uses it very efficiently for building muscle. Milk is great at almost any time of the day and great combination of simple sugars and protein.
Milk’s mix of simple sugars makes it great in the morning, after a workout, and a late night snack. It will give your body a little extra burst of energy when you are running low. Milk makes the perfect natural post workout drink, second to that of a whey protein shake.
Without a doubt this is one of the best supplements you can buy. Protein is essential for the repairing and building muscle tissue after a good weight training session. Since getting the proper amounts of protein need throughout the day can be time consuming, whey protein shakes are a quick and effective way to get protein.
To conclude, be sure to add in these super foods into your diet if you want to gain weight mass as quickly as possible. The trick is to eat a balanced, healthy and natural diet. Spread 5-6 small meals evenly throughout the day to ensure that you are getting enough calories. As a hardgainer, you need to eat even if you do not feel hungry, as you need to overcome your naturally high metabolism rates. You have to force your body to adapt to the new calorie intake so that it can grow.