Calories dense foods

There are some people in this universe for whom gaining weight is as difficult as is losing weight for others. But it can be simple if one knows which foods are calories dense and nutrient dense at the same time. They can make weight gain effective and healthy. Here is the list of calories dense foods that would assist in putting on some muscle and fats to the body.

Calories dense and nutrients dense foods for weight gain

Foods to gain weight can be of plant or animal sources. But these foods should be calories dense and at the same time have good quantities and quality of nutrients in them. The diet should have starches, complex carbs, healthy fats, healthy protein, oils and full -fat dairy.

List of calories dense foods

Protein smoothies made at home

Homemade smoothies can help gain weight quickly and effectively. The commercial ones have lot of sugars in them and lack the essential nutrients. These include chocolate banana nut shake, Vanilla berry shake, chocolate hazelnut shake, caramel apple shake, super green shake etc.

One serving of these smoothies have around 400 to 600 calories with lots of protein, minerals and vitamins. Protein supplements are an additional way to procure extra protein in diet.

Calories dense foods
Calories dense foods (Source: The Times)

Full-fat milk and milk products

These build muscles and assist weight gain. Milk has protein, calcium, minerals, vitamins and fats along with lactose. One can have it in between meals or with workouts, before or after. Milk smoothies would be another delicious way to incorporate milk into your diet especially for those who do not like the smell or taste of milk. Honey, vanilla, fruits can enrich it. Full fat yoghurt and cheese are also beneficial in this context.


It is affordable source of carbs. Easy to cook, it is good for busy people. One can microwave it or cook it in bulk and refrigerate it for the week. And consume portions of it as needed with different sources of protein and healthy fats.

Starches, potatoes, cereals, whole grains foods

These are calories dense foods. Starchy foods such as oats, whole wheat, quinoa, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter root vegetables, squash, beans and legumes are good sources of carbs for weight gain. One can also eat them as cereals or cereal bars. But natural and real form is better than processed ones.

Breads of whole grains and sandwiches made with them can aid in adding some fats and muscles to the body. Sourdough bread is especially satisfying and nutritious.

Calories dense foods
Starchy vegetables (Source: iHealth unified care)

Nuts and nut butters

These are nutritious with healthy fats. They are perfect for weight gain. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and their nut butters assist to put on weight. They are also good for the memory and cognitive function. Eat them raw or after soaking or in roasted form. One can use them as toppings for cereals and smoothies or in desserts.

Dried fruits

These are concentrated forms of energy with antioxidants and micronutrients. They have fiber too. Eat them as a snack or add them to other food dishes for that energy boost.

Red meat

It is good for muscle with lots of protein. Its leucine induces muscle building. Creatine as supplements are also effective to increase muscle mass and hence weight. Opt for fattier cuts. But have them in moderation.

Calories dense foods
Dried fruits (Source: Unlock food)

Oily fish

These fish like salmon, tuna have high levels of healthy fats and can cause increased weight. The omega 3 fatty acids in it also are protective for heart and cardiovascular system.


These are full of healthy fats. These are calories dense fruits. One avocado gives 322 calories with 29 grams fats and 14 grams of fiber.

Dark chocolate

These are calories dense and can help to put on some fats and muscles to the body in a healthy way. 100 grams has 600 calories with a lot of antioxidants.

Whole eggs

These have complete and highly bioavailable protein with fats. Yolk has fats and essential nutrients. Depending on your capacity, you can eat one to six eggs in a day.

Also, read Hidden junk foods: how to spot and make your diet truly healthy??

Healthy fats and oils: Calories dense foods

Olive oil is excellent and one tablespoon of it gives 120 calories. Use it on salads or in dressings for health benefits. Canola, coconut and avocado oil are equally effective.