Athlete Weight Gain Meal Plan

healthy meal plan weight gain Jan 03, 2024
Athlete Weight Gain Meal Plan

Some effective foods to add into breakfast, lunch and dinner to get plenty of calories each day

There are different types of weight gain. It’s easy though expensive, to sit around the ice cream shop eating banana splits. You’ll gain weight but your muscle mass won’t increase making harder for you to move. There are a multitude of health risks associated with excess body fat. A healthy weight gain regimen increases lean body mass and performance.

The goal is to get bigger while getting faster and more agile along with maintaining good health. You will need to acquire some new habits like eating in balance (protein: carbs: fat) and learning to eat more. The younger you are, the more difficult it is to gain ‘good’ weight. Be patient, stick with it. Below are multiple techniques of how to gain healthy, productive weight.


A meal plan is include below the recommended amount of food an athlete should eat

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast to help you gain muscle.
  2. Eat every three hours ending with balanced bedtime snacks.
  3. Consume protein with every meal to boost your muscle mass.
  4. Eat fruit and/or vegetables with every meal.
  5. Eat healthy fats for good nutrition.
  6. Stay hydrated/drink water throughout the day to help healthy weight gain.
  7. Consume Whole Foods 90% of The Time. Protein powder is part of the 10%.

Eat more and more frequently

If you are underweight, you feel full faster. Consume five to six medium-sized meals during the day rather than two or three large meals. You need to teach yourself to eat more! Eat something every 3 hours. Protein first, finish with fruits and vegetables. Consume protein adequate, balanced meals and snacks.

Be protein adequate

Fastest way for athletes to gain weight is to add more grams of protein to their diet

You can consume as much protein as 1 gram/pound of bodyweight or 200 grams/day for 200 lb. body if you are actively training. More than that if you need it to balance the carbs. 40gm/meal and the other 40+ grams split between snacks.

Athletes focus too much on eating a high calorie diet instead of focusing on quality sports nutrition and eating in balance. While adding a high calorie diet will lead to weight gain, most athletes want functional weight to improve sports performance as well. Being protein adequate will help you lose weight if that’s where you need change.

Add more healthy fat into every meal (Make every meal count)

Adding some calories from healthy fats are a great snack for athletes that are on the move

Fat doesn’t make you store body fat. Too many carbs compared to the amount of protein makes you store body fat. Eat monounsaturated fats: olives, avocado, (tree) nuts and their oils. Avoid trans fats and limit saturated fat. Dense in calories without the insulin surge issues. If you’re aiming for weight gain in a week, then choose good fat, protein and carbs.

Choose nutrient-rich foods

Snack on jerky, nuts, peanut butter, cheese, dried fruits and avocados. Have a bedtime snack, such as plain yogurt, blueberries and walnuts or cashews, or a snack plate of avocado, sliced vegetables or fruit, and lean meat. Good fats in the place of trans fat similar to the tablets.

Therefore, avoid chips, candy, and cakes and other sweeteners and fried foods. The foods that are high in protein as well as low in fat are chicken breast, tuna fish plus extra seafood, vegetables, fruits, turkey, and lean meats, etc. As part of an overall healthy diet, choose whole grain breads, garbanzo bean pastas; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; lean protein sources; and nuts and seeds.

Add On Top

Add extras to your dishes for more calories — such as cheese in egg dishes and casseroles, and fat-free dried milk in soups and stews. String cheese is a good add-on. Peanut butter goes with any fruit topping.

It’s OK To Treat Yourself

Even when you’re underweight, be mindful of excess sugar and fat. An occasional bowl of ice cream is OK. But most treats should be healthy and provide nutrients in addition to calories. Balanced nutrition bars, jerky followed by nuts or peanut butter with grapes, and plain yogurt with fruit are good choices.

Smoothies And Shakes Can Help

Adding Smoothies and shakes are great for athletes struggling to get enough calories from food

Don’t fill up on diet soda, coffee and other drinks with few calories and little nutrition value. Instead, drink smoothies or healthy shakes made with milk, whey or plant protein and fresh or frozen fruit, and sprinkle in some ground flaxseed. In some cases, a liquid meal replacement may be a good replacement.

Some things you need to know…

The problem is that these foods tend to be more filling than processed junk foods, making it harder to get in enough calories. Using plenty of spices, sauces and condiments can help with this. The tastier your food is, the easier it is to eat a lot of it. Also, try to emphasize energy-dense foods as much as possible. These are foods that contain many calories relative to their weight.

Also drinking fluids before meals blunts your appetite. Don’t drink anything within 45 minutes of a meal then not until at least 30 minutes after a meal, not during. Fill your stomach with food. If you drink coffee you need to balance it with protein powder and grass-fed butter like Kerrigolds.


Best foods to include in a healthy weight gaining diet



Most athletes do not get enough calories from protein in their diet

Meat like Turkey, chicken, beef, pork, lamb and fish. Choose fattier cuts. If you can get wild game or buffalo, that would be the best. Avoid processed meat like sausage, commercial burger, peperoni, bologna, etc. they are full of toxicity with very little nutrition.

Fats and oils

Add some more calories to your diet with healthy oils to add with lunch and dinner

Peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil (not for cooking), olive oil (for cooking) and avocado oil are best. Dark chocolate (80%+ cocoa), avocados, peanut butter (not homogenized), some trail mix. Nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, Brazilian nuts, etc. Nut butter especially almond and cashew nut butter work as well.

High-fat dairy

Healthy fats are a great way to gain weight . Cheese, milk and whole eggs all contact fat.

Whole milk, greek yogurt, cheese (cottage cheese is a great option). Better yet, use non fat dairy and add fat with tree nuts, peanut or nut butters.

Dried fruit

Some examples of dried fruit you can add to your diet and increase daily calories

Raisins, dates, prunes, peaches and others.


Adding grains to you diet are great to gain weight and very simple to add

Whole grains like (steel cut) oats and black or brown rice. whole rice is better than white rice. whole wheat bread if it’s 100% whole wheat. cracked whole grain is the best choice.


Potatoes, carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes and yams. Careful not to overdo based on balance with protein.

Fruit and Vegetables

Should be eating fruits throughout the day to ensure healthy weight gain

Salad and fruit are the best finish to any meal, not just dinner. full of nutrition and tasty. Necessary for good general health. Its almost impossible to overeat leafy greens.

Many of these foods are very filling, and sometimes you may need to force yourself to keep eating even if you feel full.

Use bigger plates

Get bigger plates to fit more food on your plate especially for breakfast and dinner

Definitely use large plates if you’re trying to get in more calories, as smaller plates cause people to automatically eat less.

Get quality sleep

It is important for athletes to get plenty of sleep per day to maintain high energy

Sleeping properly is very important for muscle growth. The younger you are, the more you need. 8 hours is a good target. 70% of your growth hormone is secreted while you sleep. Taking 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night is extremely necessary and of utmost importance to be able to gain weight fast in 7 days and that too in a healthy way.

While you are sleeping your muscles are rebuilt, growth hormone is secreted. Remember, if you do not get sufficient rest then you will not get profit from your diet as well as exercise. So, take a rest! This is the simplest and best way to gain weight in a week. Remember your bedtime snack for balanced blood sugar while you sleep.

Eat energy-dense foods and use sauces, spices and condiments

Some great spices and condiments to use to put on food

Eat your protein first and vegetables last

If you have a mix of foods on your plate, eat the calorie-dense and protein-rich foods first. Eat the vegetables last. High-protein foods include meats, fish, whole eggs, many dairy products, legumes, nuts, and others.

Protein supplements

A great way to add more high calorie protein to meal plan

Whey protein can also be useful if you struggle to get enough protein in your diet. Lift Heavy Weights and Improve Your size and Strength To make sure that the excess calories go to your muscles instead of just your fat cells, it’s absolutely crucial to lift weights.

Go To A Gym And Lift At Least 4 Times Per Week

Athlete working out in gym to increase weight gain

Lift heavy and try to increase the weights and volume over time. Athletes should not exceed lifting 6 days per week or twice per day. If you’re completely out of shape or new to sports performance training, consider hiring a qualified personal trainer to help you get started. Under 12 years old should use mostly body weight training exercises. It’s probably best to take it easy on the cardio for now — focus mostly on the weights. Doing some cardio is fine to improve fitness and well-being, but don’t do so much that you end up burning all the additional calories you’re eating.


Sample 1 Day Diet For Weight and Muscle Gain

Preparing Meal Plan For The Week

Waking Up

10g – 20g whey protein in water. Must hydrate first. Older adult coffee drinkers should add to their coffee.


Scrambled eggs or omelet with 2 – 4 whole eggs with string cheese and herbs.
1/2 an avocado.
1 cup steel cut oatmeal with fruit like grapes or blueberries on top


Greek yogurt, low fat with a half cup of fruit or an orange
Large handful mixed nuts
an orange or an apple
Drink water 30 min before or 30 min after.


chicken breast or 50g tuna (canned in water)
1/2 cup Basmati rice, brown rice or whole wheat or chickpea pasta
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
Large mixed salad
fruit for dessert


1 piece of chicken
1 cup cottage cheese / quark
Large handful mixed nuts
Mug green tea

30 mins pre-workout

6 grams ptrotein and 9 grams carbs in a sports nutrition bar
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds or nuts

Immediately pre-workout

Drink water unless your urine is clear.


during workout sip on water

Immediately post workout

same as 30 min pre workout. 6gm protein:9gm carb:1.5gm fat. the other half of the nutrition bar if you can find the right one.

(60 – 120 mins later)

50g lean red meat or 50g chicken / turkey or 60g white fish
1 cup whole grain rice or 1 cup whole wheat or chickpea pasta or 3-4 small boiled new potatoes or 1-2 large sweet potato (dry roasted)
Large serving of vegetables / salad
Fruit for desert like an apple, orange, handful of grapes or berries


Same snack as 30 min pre workout. peanut butter and fruit or vegetables like radish or red bell pepper tastes great.

Late snack

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (non or low fat) with grapes or berries and a handful of walnuts. Even 1 glass of milk, is better than most other options.

As with all the meal plans this is merely a guide and should be used to help you understand how to gain productive weight! Ensure you eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, healthy carbs, fruit and vegetables every day. Eat a colorful plate and drink plenty of water 30 – 45 min before and after eating. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs and lifestyle and adjust with progress.

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