An adult may be underweight for a number of reasons, including illness, stress, medication, or deliberate weight loss, but maintaining a healthy weight is essential in ensuring strong bones and the successful functioning of the body. To gain weight healthily, it's important not to simply fill your diet with junk foods because these contain saturated fats that induce sluggishness, build flabby body mass, and increase risk of coronary disease. This 7-day diet plan incorporates all the vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated “good” fats you need to gain weight in a healthy way.
- Breakfast. Oatmeal with whole milk, chopped almonds, and a half cup of raisins. A glass of fresh orange juice.
- Snack. A cereal bar with a banana.
- Lunch. Baked potato with tuna and a matchbox-sized portion of cheese grated on top. A portion of fruit gelatin and a cookie for dessert.Snack. An apple and a few squares of dark chocolate.
- Dinner. A portion of grilled chicken with avocado salad and whole grain bread, drizzled with olive oil. Fresh mango topped with yogurt for dessert.
- Snack. A vanilla smoothie made with whole milk.
- Breakfast. Two eggs, scrambled with whole milk, served on two slices of whole grain bread. A glass of fresh orange juice.
- Snack. Yogurt with a peach.
- Lunch. Chicken pasta salad. A quarter bar of dark chocolate.
- Snack. Sliced avocado on whole grain crackers.
- Dinner. Stir fried turkey cooked in vegetable oil with tomatoes, onions, and peppers, served on brown rice. A banana for dessert.
- Snack. A glass of whole milk and a cookie.
- Breakfast. Whole grain cereal with whole milk, topped with sliced mango.
- Snack. Crackers topped with mashed banana.
- Lunch. Leftover turkey stir fry and an apple.
- Snack. A packet of trail mix and a matchbox-sized portion of cheese.
- Dinner. Grilled tilapia with sweet potato, roasted bell peppers, and couscous. A glass of fresh orange juice and a piece of cake.
- Snack. A strawberry smoothie made with whole milk.
Repeat “Day 1”, substituting tuna for baked beans at lunchtime and chicken for grilled salmon at dinnertime.
- Breakfast. A hard-boiled egg with two slices of toast and a glass of fresh mango juice.
- Snack. A packet of reduced-salt potato chips and a peach.
- Lunch. A ham-salad sandwich on whole grain bread, a yogurt, and two squares of dark chocolate.
- Snack. A banana and peanut smoothie made with whole milk.
- Dinner. Prawns and salmon cooked in vegetable oil, served with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce. Fresh fruit salad.
- Snack. A glass of whole milk and a cookie.
Repeat “Day 3”, substituting the lunchtime stir-fry with leftover seafood pasta, and salmon with grilled chicken breast at dinnertime.
- Breakfast. Oatmeal with whole milk, mixed with fresh mango and chopped almonds.
- Snack. A handful of raisins, a yogurt, and cereal bar.
- Lunch. A peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. A glass of fresh juice and a cookie.
- Snack. Crackers topped with mashed avocado.
- Dinner. Salad with mackerel, lentils, and anchovies, drizzled in olive oil, with a whole grain roll. A portion of fruit gelatin for dessert.
- Snack. A banana smoothie made with whole milk.
Before making major changes to your diet, ensure that the symptoms that initially caused you to be underweight are no longer there - consult with a doctor if necessary. Remember that, even while trying to gain weight rapidly, it's important to exercise regularly, too. Limit the amount of fat-burning cardiovascular exercise you do, and focus instead on building muscle mass by increasing the time you spend on resistance exercise and weight training.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Balancing calories. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/calories/index.html?s_cid=tw_ob232
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated Fats. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/unsaturatedfat.html
- Columbia Health. (2009). Avocados are fatty - are they healthy? Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/avocados-are-fatty-are-they-healthy
- The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. (2007). The truth about fats: Bad and good. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Truth-about-fats.shtml
- National Health Service UK. (2013). How can I gain weight safely? Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/2302.aspx?categoryID=51&
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Underweight adults. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Underweightadults.aspx