Weight Gain
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Meal Plans for Gaining Weight

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Hi, I'm new to this site and I'm really hoping that it will help. I have always been skinny and the only time I've ever gained and kept on a bit of weight was after I had my son. But my issue is whenever I get stressed I lose my appetite. Since having alot of stressful times the last little while, I've lost all my weight I had on. I'm currently 27, 5'7" and 116 lbs. I hate the way I feel and look at this weight and was hoping with some guidance from people who are going through the same thing will help me. I've been reading everything I need to do and that I have to eat at minimum 3000 calories a day. As much as I really want to gain the weight I can't seem to consume that much into me in a day. This is where you come in, does anyone have meal plans you could share so I can reach my 3000 calories a day. I would really appreciate any reply! Thanks!

Edited Nov 06 2013 11:05 by coach_k
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11 Replies (last)

B: 1 cup of cereal e.g. bran flakes with 1 cup of whole milk and a banana chopped in; 2 slices of thick toast spread with 2 tbsp of peanut butter ~800 calories or so

L: A sandwich made of 2 slices of bread spread with 1 tbsp of butter, 4 slices of ham, 1 cup of salad; 1 cup of fruit juice e.g. apple; packet of crisps e.g. walkers; container of yogurt ~700 calories or so

S: 1 cup of whole milk, granola/cereal bar ~350 calories

D: Protein,carbs,veggies e.g. Spaghetti bolognaise or sausages with mashed potato and beans ~ aim for a 600 calorie minimum

P: 1 bowl of ice cream with strawberries ~200 calories

S: 1 cup of whole milk with 4 sandwich cookies e.g. oreo's ~350 calories


Select from one of the following menus

  • Orange juice (12-oz glass)
  • Bowl of Cheerios (large) with granola added, skim milk
  • Bagel or 2 slices of wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each piece


  • 2 pieces of fruit
  • A glass of juice (12 oz)
  • A breakfast sandwich of an English muffin
  • Scrambled eggs (2)
  • 2 pieces of ham
  • 2 slices of cheese


  • Bagel with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Smoothie, made with:
    • 1 scoop of protein powder
    • 8 oz yogurt
    • 12 oz skim milk
    • 1 cup of frozen fruit



  • Sports drink
  • Snack (choose one)
    • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    • A container of yogurt with granola
    • A small bag of trail mix and sports drink
    • Energy bar, such as Balance, Power or Clif Bar



Select from one of the following menus

  • Submarine sandwich (12-inch), made with one of the following proteins:
    • Chicken
    • Tuna
    • Steak
    • Ham and cheese
  • Baked chips
  • Lemonade or juice


  • Cheeseburger
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • French fries (small)
  • Milkshake (small)


  • Grilled chicken salad
  • Baked potato
  • Juice


  • Wrap
  • Salad
  • Milkshake


  • Bagel sandwich with turkey, cheese, and fruit
  • Pasta with sauce and 2 pieces of chicken
  • Salad


  • Omelet with 3 eggs, cheese, vegetables,
  • Hash browns
  • Toast (2 slices)


Afternoon Snack

  • Drink (choose one)
    • Low-fat milk
    • Juice
    • Lemonade
  • Snack (choose one)
    • Banana with peanut butter (2 tablespoons)
    • Trail mix with cereal, nuts, and dried fruit (1 cup or 2 handfuls)
    • Cheese and crackers
    • Cereal (large bowl)


Split your plate evenly between protein and carbohydrates

  • Protein (choose one)
    • Steak
    • Chicken
    • Fish
    • Pork
    • Turkey
  • Carbohydrates (choose one)
    • Pasta
    • Baked potato
    • Rice
    • Corn
  • Side (choose one)
    • Salad
    • Cooked vegetables
    • Fruit
  • Drink (choose one)
    • Low-fat milk
    • Juice
    • Lemonade


Late-Night Snack

  • Snack (choose one)
    • Bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt
    • Smoothie or protein shake with ice added
    • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Sample Exchange Meal Plan

Breakfast (2 carb + 2 protein + fat or “dairy” + fruit)
-bagel with cream cheese or 2 slices toast with peanut butter + yogurt + fruit
-smoothie with banana, milk, and peanut butter + toast or granola bar
-2 eggs + toast with peanut butter + fruit
-cereal or oatmeal or granola + milk or yogurt + fruit + nuts or peanut butter

Lunch (2-3 carb + 1-2 protein + fat or “dairy” + vegetables)
-a sandwich or wrap with a protein (egg, tofu) + a fat (avocado, cheese, hummus) + vegetables or tomato soup + chips
-salad with beans + an egg + toast and butter or baked beans 
-pasta + meat + vegetables with oil, butter, or hummus
beans with rice + vegetables + fruit with fat (peanut butter, almonds or cheese)
-2 slices bread with hummus or mayo + protein (egg, lunch meat, tofu) + lettuce/tomato + 1 serving crackers or chips
-frozen meal, instant noodles, or can of soup + carrots and hummus + fruit

Dinner (2-3 carb + 1-2 protein + fat or “dairy” + vegetables)
-pasta with protein + side salad with 2 tbsp dressing + milk
-rice with veg, beans, avocado and protein + milk
-2 hard-boiled eggs, a tossed salad with two tablespoons of oil dressing, a cup of rice

Snacks (2-3/day)
-supplement drink, shake, or bar + fruit
-granola bar or muffin + fruit
-crackers + vegetables with hummus
-two scoops ice-cream or ice cream cone
-chocolate bar or 2 cookies with milk
- pita bread or crackers + hummus
-1 oz nuts + string cheese or yogurt
-apple + peanut butter
-toast with spread + fruit
-crackers + soy latte
-soy yogurt + fruit


You probably want to eat really dense foods if you are having problems with feeling too full.  

So try to eat high-calorie, low volume foods.  Some ideas are:

  • nuts or trail mix
  • dried fruit
  • full fat milk or yogurt
  • Weight gain drinks (like ensure plus)
  • smoothies or milkshakes
  • bagels
  • Nut butters
  • cheese (full fat)

Here is a sample meal plan:


Smoothie, made with 1 c whole milk, 1 c full fat greek yogurt, 1 banana, 2 TB peanut butter = aprox. 600 calories

with 1 or 2 pieces toast with butter

Snack:  1/3 cup trail mix (190 cals) and 8 oz juice (120)

Lunch:  turkey sandwich with cheese; salad with dressing and nuts; 1 c chocolate milk

Snack:  apple with 2 TB peanut butter, yogurt

Dinner:  Pasta with oil or pesto, veggies with dip/dressing, 3-4 oz protein; juice or milk

Snack:  ice cream with nuts; dried fruit

May 09 2012 09:46
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Hello, I'm new to this website and wondering if anyone knows of any drinks/shakes that can help me gain weight?

al29: Ensure or Boost are popular. I prefer the taste of the ready-to-drink Carnation Instant Breakfast bottles.

I want to send a big thank you to those of you who provided me with meal plans. There are so many things to choose from and will be very helpful!! Thank you :)
May 09 2012 20:08
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Where could I buy those drinks from?

al29: pretty much any grocery store or supermarket, even drug stores.

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hello, i reaaly liked your diet plan however what protein powder would you suggest to use?

I had B: 2x wheetabix with yogurt on top

S: packet crisps x chocolate wafer bar

L: sandwhich with filling , apple , yogurt

S: yogurt x packet little biscuits

D: main meal

S: chocolate bar, yogurt, fruit, pack crisps
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