Brian Dean Responds to Weight Gain Request

On our message board, Rowan shared his frustration with obtaining weight gain advice. His efforts so far have not produced the desired results so he wonders what can offer.

Brian Dean a skilled RD and frequent contributor to takes up the issue and posts the following response on our forum.
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Brian offers his take on the weight gain issue:

Hi Rowan,

Thanks for sharing your story.

I first want to emphasize that you’re not alone. Even though the emphasis always seems to be on “how to lose weight”, there are plenty in your position as well.

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can do to gain weight-no matter what you’ve tried thus far.

It sounds like you are making a concerted effort to gain weight by eating foods high in calories. This isn’t a bad idea, but you can gain weight without having to eat nothing but junk food. Not only does eating junk food all the time make you feel tired and run down, but it could set you up for health problems down the road.

One of the first things I’d try is a supplement like Boost or Ensure. These don’t fill you up, have a lot of calories, and is much healthier than junk food. Drink 2-3 per day after meals and you will almost certainly gain weight.

I’d also try to eat high-calorie foods that are healthy. By far the best in this regard are healthy fats.

Here are a few healthy fat foods:

1. Avocados
2. Nuts
3. Olive Oil

This should get you started on the right track. Please post with any questions you have!

Brian Dean MS, RD

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  • Tony Kingkade

    So Rowan,

    Do you want to gain “weight”? We use that term too loosely. I bet you want to gain muscle and not fat. Otherwise, you’ll end up being a soft, pudgy blob and still feel like crap. So you need to do the strategies that body builders use to put on muscle. That’s a structured strength training program coupled with a diet that is “clean” in its foods and provides a caloric excess. No junk food, adequate protein, complex carbs, plenty of fruits and vetables and utilize protein powder shakes/smoothies for supplemental calories. Join a good gym where the trainers know the business of proper old school weight training. Eat the right foods in the right amounts and don’t do a lot of cardio. I don’t care if you are 20 or 60, you can make gains.

  • hi brian You need too eat 3 square meals high in fat and carbs, bread is a good one. you should gain weight if you do this. marie

  • Tony Kingkade

    “high in fats and carbs”…why is that good nutrition? How about lean protein, complex carbs and monounsaturated fats as a base, coupled with a structured strength training (weight lifting) program that will transform your body. Why do people recommend hight fat; high carb diets that just end up putting on adipose tissue? Just stop it! He doesn’t want to look like a pumpkin. He doesn’t want to just weigh more…he wants to look solid! Not pudgy, squishy, jiggly fat. Get it?

  • Mark Patson

    I’ve tried many weight gainers over the years and the Dr Max Powers Anabolic Stack is amazing. It goes down super easily with water without any residue or particles. It doesn’t fill you up or leave you bloated, apparently that’s how it kickstarts your body’s anabolic processes. The fact that it isn’t heavy or bloating also allows you to keep eating and really pack on those calories you need to build muscle.

    Give me great work outs.

  • Hank Frier

    I agree with Tony to some degree. The specific protein, however, should be whey protein. Whey contains a high concentration of the branched chain amino acids which are specifically used by muscle. More specifically it is the leucine in whey which initiates muscle protein synthesis at the molecular level. As to training yes weight training is important but do not forget the cardio/ Best is a mix of the two.