Content of article
Path to improved wellness
Most people you know are probably struggling more with losing weight than gaining it. But if you’re among the 1.4 percent of American adults aged 20 and over who are underweight, you’ll want to pay attention. You could be dealing with a high metabolism or fighting an unknown underlying problem that’s keeping you from gaining weight.1 Here are some tips on how to gain weight in a fast yet healthy manner.
Why Gain Weight And What Your Metabolism’s Got To Do With It
Anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of below 18.5 is considered underweight.
2 While being overweight has its own health risks — like increased chances of heart attack, stroke, or metabolic syndrome — being underweight is not without its problems. Not being able to hold enough pounds can weaken your immune system, leave you feeling constantly tired, and cause your bones to become fragile, putting you at risk of osteoporosis.3
If you’re underweight, you may have a high metabolism. High or fast metabolism refers to a high basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your metabolic rate tells you how many calories your body burns to keep you breathing, your blood circulating, and your body temperature properly regulated. In essence, it’s the minimal energy requirement for your body just to function. When you burn a higher than average amount of calories in this state, you have a high BMR.4 If you’re dealing with a fast metabolism, keep reading to find out the healthiest ways to pack on the pounds.
1. Eat More Than You Burn
Of course, food plays a vital role in weight gain. And just like how people trying to lose weight must be careful about what they eat, so should you. As a rule of thumb, you should consume more calories than your body burns every day. Get the help of a nutritionist to figure out how much you should be eating, or simply up your intake by around 300 to 500 calories a day. If you do this consistently, you should see the numbers on the scale slowly move up.5
2. Eat More Often
If you’re finding it hard to chow down more calories at each meal, try breaking them down into multiple snacks and meals. This will make it easier to consume those extra calories without making yourself feel sick. Aim to have three meals and three snacks a day if you can.6
3. Don’t Binge On Unhealthy Food
Yes, donuts, sweets, sodas and fried or fatty foods may help you gain weight, but it will ultimately be unhealthy weight. This will do you far more harm than good. If you gain fat rather than lean body mass you could end up with a cholesterol problem. And those sweets and candy can cause tooth decay, among other larger issues. Aim to have a balanced diet loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit, healthy lean protein, beans, fiber, and fluids, as well as more energy-dense foods.7
4. Have Energy-Dense Foods
High-energy foods that pack a lot of calories into each mouthful are perfect for someone trying to gain weight. These foods are typically easy to snack on or add to your existing meals to up the calories in a healthy manner. Good energy-dense sources include foods like beans, dried fruits, eggs, nuts, and peanut butter.8 Here are some ideas for you to try9 10 11 :
- Dried fruits added to your porridge
- Smoothies made with dried fruits and milk (avoid adding any sugar and don’t have more than 150 ml a day)
- Eggs, poached or boiled, with wholegrain toast
- Peanut butter on toast
- Nut butters to replace regular butter
- Flax and chia seeds added to whey- or plant-protein-based meal replacement shakes
- Hummus and pita
- Rice puddings
- Unsalted nuts
- Home-made granola bars, sweetened with dates or honey if required
- Wholewheat crackers with cheese
- Jacket potatoes
- Pumpernickel, rye, and oat bran bread — visually, look for dense-looking bread instead of white bread that’s lighter and fluffier
- Corn, peas, and tuna-based salads rather than watery, lettuce-based salads
5. Eat Enough Protein
The recommended intake of protein is just 0.8 grams per kilogram of your weight. If you intend to add muscle mass or you do a lot of weight training, you could probably do with more protein. Some experts quoted in a Harvard Health Publication suggest trying to get between 15 and 25 percent of your daily calories through healthy proteins. While some believe that an increase in protein intake can actually help you lose weight, there’s still conflicting evidence to support that.12 Research has shown that additional protein intake can help with muscle-enhancement efforts.13
6. Don’t Eat Salads First
Consume the energy-dense foods and muscle-building protein before you eat the other food on your plate. That way if you don’t feel you can eat anymore, at least you have already eaten the most calorific foods. While you should be getting in your five fruit and vegetable servings every day, it’s just as important to have enough protein to power your workouts and help build muscle. It’s also important to maximize your calorie intake with each meal, so you can hit that additional 300-500 calories a day.
7. Lift Weights To Build Muscle
As you attempt to gain weight, doing cardio exercises like swimming or running can be counterproductive. Aerobic exercise or cardio burns a high number of calories and might negate that extra food intake. On the other hand, if you lift weights, your body will build muscle and the extra calories you consume will go toward those muscles. There’s an extra bonus to this: you’ll also get a sculpted, well-built physique.
Weight training or resistance training using resistance bands or free weights are your best bet for working those muscles. For optimal results, do short sets of exercises rather than long, drawn out ones. Train twice or three times a week and take rest days in between to let your muscles recover — that’s when they grow.14
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends certain exercises for hypertrophy or muscle building. Every time you lift weights, aim to do 6 to 12 repetitions of each exercise in each set. Performing about 3 to 5 sets is ideal. Take 30- to 90-second rests in between; ACE Fitness suggests 45-second breaks for optimal growth.
Some exercises for muscle growth include15 :
Work the back of your thighs and glutes without straining your back.
- Stand behind a barbell, your feet shoulder width apart and toes turned a little outward.
- Bend down as if you’re sitting into a chair — the back straight and chest lifted up.
- Now bend forward so you can hold the barbell, with the palm of one hand facing up and the other down. Squeeze it tightly in your hands and let your feet press into the floor, your weight sinking back into your hips.
- Move up to stand by pushing your hips forward, the back flat.
- End by standing upright with your legs straight and shoulders back.
- To get back to your original position, shift your weight onto the hips again as your knees bend.
: Full body16
You will need to use a chin-up bar for this exercise.
- Stand under the bar keeping your arms stretched up, palms faced away from you.
- Jump up to grab the handles, gripping firmly with your thumb around the handle.
- You can cross your legs to bring stability to your body as you brace your abdomen. Align your head to the spine and keep your wrists straight and forearms neutral. Move your shoulders down and back.
- Bend your elbows as you pull yourself up slowly. Your elbows should point down to the ground as you pull. Try and keep your body perpendicular to the ground and avoid swinging it as you pull up.
- Carry on until your chin is at bar level or hand level. Hold.
- Now slowly return to the original position letting your elbows straighten out.
- Your abdomen must stay engaged throughout. Your shoulder blades must be pulled down.
: Back and arms17
Also called the Forward Lunge, this exercise requires a barbell and rack. Do this sequence of movements by alternating legs.
- Stand in front of a rack and place the barbell at shoulder height.
- Bend a little so you’re below the bar and position yourself so that the bar rests behind your neck extended across your shoulder blades and back. Grip it tightly with your hands placed just beyond shoulder width.
- Now lift your chest up and feel your shoulder blades squeezed together. Your back must remain straight.
- Stand and pick the bar up off the rack. Move two steps back with feet hip distance apart.
- Next, step forward on your right leg and let your left knee drop almost to the ground, but without actually touching the floor.
- Use your right foot to push into the floor and pull back up with your left leg to return to a standing position.
- Alternate legs.
: Hips, buttocks, legs, and thighs18
Standing Shoulder Press
The standing shoulder press requires a barbell and rack.
- Put the barbell at shoulder height on the rack. Hold the bar firmly with hands kept shoulder width apart. Your palms must face up to the ceiling.
- Now dip below the bar and pick it up off the rack, resting it across your shoulders with the palms still facing up and elbows ahead.
- Ensure your back stays straight as you take a step back, pressing the barbell overhead.
- Bring the weight back down to your shoulders to complete the sequence.
: Shoulders and arms19
You will need a barbell for this exercise.
- Hold a barbell firmly with your palms facing down. Your shoulders, elbows, and wrists must line up straight.
- Raise the bar off the rack, bending forward from your hips. Your back must remain straight, your knees slightly bent.
- Bring the bar down to the ground so your elbows are now straight.
- Ensure your back is still straight as you pull the bar up close to your belly button.
- Lower the bar back to the starting position again.
: Arms, shoulders, and back20
To do this exercise, use a raised platform that allows you to lie back with your feet on the ground. A flat bench is ideal. If you hold the elbows out from the body, you’ll work more of the pectorals. If you keep the elbows in close to your sides, you’ll work more of the triceps. Get help from a spotter for safety.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your spine neutral.
- Pull your shoulder blades back and down so that they’re firmly touching the bench along with your head and butt. Your feet must remain flat on the floor. All these points must stay in contact with the bench and floor throughout the set.
- Wrap your thumbs around the dumbbells with palms facing forward.
- Raise the dumbbells up to the ceiling while keeping your wrists neutral. Extend your elbows completely so that the dumbbells are just below eye level or over your eyes.
- Inhale while bringing the dumbbells down to the mid-chest level with hands armpit width apart. Allow the dumbbells to gently graze the chest, taking care not to bounce them off the chest.
- Exhale while bringing the dumbbells up just below or at eye level, elbows straightened.
: Chest, shoulders, and arms
8. Kick Up The Weight Gain With A Few Easy Lifestyle Changes
When your own metabolism is quickly burning through calories, you have to be a little strategic in order to kick up the weight gain. Here are some simple, healthy tips to pack on a few more pounds.
- Set alarms for meal or snack times: This will help you avoid missing a meal or snack.
- Plan ahead: Making grocery lists and meal plans can help you stay on track.
- Track and reward yourself: Track your resistance/weight training regimen and reward yourself for staying with the program. Have little treats for each milestone, whether it be a trip to the spa or buying that new book you’ve been thinking about.
Treat Underlying Health Problems Keeping You Underweight
Being underweight may not be about your metabolism, but could be a sign that something else is going on in your body. Certain health problems can cause weight loss, including depression, hyperthyroidism, undiagnosed diabetes, Addison’s disease, overtreatment of an underactive thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, lupus, stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastroenteritis, tuberculosis (TB), mouth ulcers, and dementia. HIV, AIDS, and cancer are also linked to weight loss. Watch for symptoms and consult a doctor if you suspect any of these may be associated with your weight.21
Fat has a bad reputation for causing people to be overweight and obese. However, not all fat is bad. In fact, breaking down and storing energy (calories) as fat is good. It’s just one of the many ways the body uses food to function, heal, and grow.
Stored energy from fat helps you get through a strenuous job or workout. It plays a key role in brain development, and in preventing inflammation (swelling) and blood clots. Fat contributes to healthy hair and skin, as well.
You can determine whether you are underweight by using a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. This online tool considers your weight, height, age, and gender to calculate a score. If your BMI is less than 18.
Your doctor may put you on a weight gain program if you are underweight. However, this is not permission to go crazy with junk food. Healthy weight gain requires a balanced approach, just like a weight loss program.
Eating junk food may result in weight gain. However, it will not satisfy the nutrition your body needs. Even if the fat, sugar, and salt in junk food doesn’t result as extra weight, it can still harm your body. For a healthy weight gain, the following tips can help:
- Add healthy calories. You don’t need to drastically change your diet. You can increase calories by adding nut or seed toppings, cheese, and healthy side dishes. Try almonds, sunflower seeds, fruit, or whole-grain, wheat toast.
- Go nutrient dense. Instead of eating empty calories and junk food, eat foods that are rich in nutrients. Consider high-protein meats, which can help you to build muscle. Also, choose nutritious carbohydrates, such as brown rice and other whole grains. This helps ensure your body is receiving as much nourishment as possible, even if you’re dealing with a reduced appetite.
- Snack away. Enjoy snacks that contain plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates. Consider options like trail mix, protein bars or drinks, and crackers with hummus or peanut butter. Also, enjoy snacks that contain “good fats,” which are important for a healthy heart. Examples include nuts and avocados.
- Eat mini-meals. If you’re struggling with a poor appetite, due to medical or emotional issues, eating large amounts of food may not seem appealing. Consider eating smaller meals throughout the day to increase your calorie intake.
- Bulk up. While too much aerobic exercise will burn calories and work against your weight goal, strength training can help. This includes weightlifting or yoga. You gain weight by building muscle.
Before beginning a weight gain program, talk to your doctor. Being underweight may be due to an underlying health problem. It won’t be corrected by diet changes. Your doctor will be able to help you track your progress. He or she will make sure that healthy changes are taking place.
What foods help you gain weight?
Whether you have a fast metabolism or a naturally slender frame, gaining weight in a healthy way can require the same hard work and diligence as losing weight in a healthy way. Having a high metabolism means your body burns energy from food at a faster rate than your peers (friends/family members or others your age).
This means that we require more energy from food in order to grow and develop. However, having a naturally fast metabolism doesn’t mean it’s healthy to run to the vending machine and snack bar at every opportunity.
It’ still important to eat plenty of healthy, well balanced foods: eating at least 3 meals a day, plus nutritious snacks in between to boost your overall energy intake. It may help to bump up those portion sizes as well!
Since each food group includes different nutrients it is important to include all food groups (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) during each meal and snack. By including healthy balanced meals and snacks, your body will be able to stay energized to grow strong and gain the appropriate weight.
In order to provide your body with enough energy, we recommend “nutrient-dense” foods. Nutrient dense foods provide the body with a lot of energy as well as vitamins and minerals. Think – avocado, nuts, seeds, peanut butter!
These foods provide your body with plenty of energy but within a relatively small, regular portion size. For more ideas, check out our Healthy Snack page or read here about quick easy tips to boost energy and calories of snacks and meals!
Other ideas to help with healthy weight gain include making a grocery list before you go shopping and then buying ingredients that you can use to prepare meals at home and on-the-go ahead of time. This way you can pack your food to prevent any unexpected meal skipping.
Another idea to get strong and build muscle to your frame is to use free weights and do weight resistance exercise. However, be sure to speak with your health care provider (HCP) before starting a new exercise routine.
Skinny guys usually think they can eat anything they want without gaining weight. They believe they can eat junk food all day because they have a fast metabolism. Some think they can’t gain weight because they don’t digest the food they eat, are stressed out, or “have worms”…
Here’s the truth: you can eat everything you want without gaining weight because you don’t eat a lot. I know you think you do, but you don’t – otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny. Really.
Track your daily caloric intake for proof. Spend the next week logging everything you eat in an app like myfitnesspal. You’ll see you’re not eating that many calories. This is the main reason why you’re not gaining weight. Skinny men always overestimate how much they eat.
This doesn’t mean a high metabolism doesn’t exist. Some people have a harder time gaining weight because they’re more active (hardgainers tend to fidget more). Others are naturally skinny because they have small frames and thus aren’t born to be big and strong (ectomorphs).
But every skinny guy, hardgainer and ectomorph who eats more calories than he burns gains weight. It doesn’t matter if you have a high metabolism, skinny build, or bad genetics. The only difference is that you’ll need to eat more food than the average person to put on weight and get bigger.
Stop believing you can’t change your body because of your metabolism. Stop thinking you’ll always be skinny because everyone in your family is. Start understanding this is mostly a matter of nutrition.
The three ingredients to go from skinny to muscular are nutrition, training and consistency. Here are the most important tips to gain weight for skinny hardgainers and ectomorphs…
- Eat More. Eat more calories than your body burns. How much depends on your metabolism and activity levels. But if you’re not gaining weight, you’re not eating enough.
- Eat More Meals. Small meals are easier to eat than big ones. They don’t make you feel stuffed. Wake up earlier, eat breakfast, and then eat 3-4 more meals a day.
- Eat Caloric Dense Foods. Food high in carbs and/or fats has more calories per serving. It takes less eating to create a caloric surplus. Bulk on pasta, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
- Eat More Protein. Your muscles need protein to recover from your workouts and grow bigger. Eat a whole source of protein with each meal – meat, chicken, fish, eggs, etc
- Go Liquid. Blended food digests more easily than solid food. Make weight gainer shakes by mixing oats, milk, banana, peanut butter and whey protein in your blender.
- Track Calories. Skinny guys over-estimate how much they eat. They think they eat a lot but they don’t. Track your calorie intake to make sure you’re eating enough to gain weight.
- Lift Heavy. Stop wasting time with curls and flies. Do free weight, compounds like Squats and Deadlifts instead. They trigger more strength and muscle gains to gain weight.
- Be Consistent. If you eat a lot today but little the rest of the week, you won’t gain weight. You must consistently eat more than you burn to increase your body-weight.
How much weight do you have to gain to stop looking skinny? A simple rule is to take your height in centimeter, substract 100, and that’s your goal weight in kg. Anything less you’ll always look skinny.
|Height||Minimum Weight||Maximum Body-weight|
|1m62 / 5’4″||62kg / 136lb||78kg / 172lb|
|1m67 / 5’6″||67kg / 147lb||82kg / 181lb|
|1m73 / 5’8”||73kg / 160lb||86kg / 190lb|
|1m77 / 5’10”||77kg / 169lb||90kg / 199lb|
|1m83 / 6’0”||83kg / 182lb||94kg / 207lb|
|1m87 / 6’2”||87kg / 191lb||98kg / 216lb|
|1m93 / 6’4″||93kg / 204lb||102kg / 224lb|
|1m98 / 6’6″||98kg / 215lb||106kg / 233lb|
As an example, I’m the ectomorph type with a small frame, narrow wrists and long limbs. I weigh 77kg/170lb at 1m73/5’8″. I’m not a big guy but people I meet always notice I lift weights.
Blending your food in liquid form makes it digest more quickly than solid food. The blending acts like pre-digestion by breaking down the food for you. You don’t feel full as long and can eat again more quickly. It’s therefore easier to gain weight if you get some of your calories in liquid form.
The easiest way is by making your own mass gainer shakes. They only take five minutes to make which makes it easier to hit your calorie surplus every day. Here’s a simple 1000 calorie home-made mass gainer recipe for skinny guys who want to gain weight…
Just mix it all in your blender. This shake will get you 1048 calories from 80g protein, 120g carbs and 28g fats. Drink one for breakfast and you’re a third of the way to your daily calorie surplus. You’ll gain weight easily if you eat two solid meals and some snacks during the rest of your day.
Avoid weight gainer supplements. They’re usually filled with cheap sugars that will make you fat and fart. Buy regular whey protein instead, and make your own weight gainer with oats and milk.
And if you’re lazy, then just drink milk. One liter whole milk has 600kcal and 33g protein. Two liters has 1200kcal, four liters 2400kcal. Milk is tasty, portable and requires no preparation. Drinking a gallon of milk a day is extreme but it’s effective for gaining weight. Check the GOMAD guide.
Most skinny guys wanting to gain weight find that the eating is harder than the training. This is normal since you’re only training three times a week for about an hour on StrongLifts 5×5.
Failing to plan is therefore planning to fail. You don’t go to the gym and then wonder what to do. You have a plan – StrongLifts 5×5. Similarly, you don’t open your fridge to find it empty and then wonder what to eat. You’ve done your weekly groceries and have a meal plan to gain weight.
On StrongLifts 5×5 you’re doing the same exercises every week. There’s no variety except the weight. One of the many advantages of this is that it’s easier to stick to the program (and the one you stick to is the best). You can apply the same strategy to your nutrition by eating the same every day.
This means you get variety by eating a different meal each time. But you eat the same four to five meals every day. If this sounds repetitive, most people eat the same most of the time anyway (80/20 rule). Plus, when you get bored of your diet, you just switch some meals and continue.
Eating the same every day will make your grocery list easier. You have less ingredients to buy, and just multiply by seven days. It’s also cheaper because you can buy more in bulk. The better you do your groceries, the less likely you are to run out of food mid-week and then skip meals.
Cook in advance. Prepare your food for the day in the morning (wake up 45 mins earlier) or when you’re back home. Or spend Sunday afternoon batch cooking your meals for the week. Don’t leave home without food and then wonder what to eat at school/work.
Put some mixed nuts or trail mix in your bag just in case. 100g has over 500kcal.
Start eating 10-15% more calories per day, every single day.
For most guys that means eating an extra 250-400 extra calories per day.
You can easily get that by eating an extra 15-20 dried prunes per day as a snack.
The key is to consistently eat more calories than you burn.
By eating more calories than your body burns.
Some people have thyroid problems (like hyperthyroidism) that increases their metabolism and causes weight loss.
But most skinny guys, including ectomorphs like me, simply don’t eat enough calories.
Start eating more calories than you burn, consistently, and you’ll gain weight.
This start by tracking your daily calorie intake with an app like myfitnesspal.
That will show you that you’re not eating that much in the first place.
Then you start eating more – 10-15% extra calories per day.
Do this consistently and you’ll put on weight.
Eat 15% more calories every single day. Take 5g of mono hydrate creatine every day.
You’ll easily weigh 5lb more within seven days.
Of course that’s not going to be five pounds of muscle.
It’s mostly going to be water retention from the creatine.
Because you can only gain about half a pound of muscle in a week using natural methods (no steroids).
If you want to gain a lot of muscle, it will take more than 7 days.
It takes most guys a year to gain 20-25lb of muscle naturally.
It’s not possible to gain muscle faster than that unless you take steroids.
For extremely skinny, under-weight, hardgainers and ectomorphs, the best way is to drink a gallon of whole milk a day.
This is GOMAD – it adds 2400 calories a day which creates a caloric surplus so you gain weight quickly.
It’s possible to gain 25lb in 25 days with GOMAD.
Because you’re not eating a lot. Otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny.
Install myfitnesspal, and track everything you eat for a week. Most guys need at least 2500 calories a day to maintain their body weight. You’ll see that you’re barely eating that. That’s why you’re not eating weight.
It doesn’t matter if you eat junk food a lot, or a big pizza here and there. If your average daily caloric intake is not above maintenance, you will not gain weight.
Because it doesn’t matter how big or fatty that one meal is. What matters is how many calories you eat on average.
Track your calories and you’ll get proof that you are not eating as much as you think.
Heavy compound exercises like Squats and Deadlifts are the best exercises to gain muscle weight.
They stress your body and muscles with heavy weights. This increases your testosterone levels and makes you build muscle.
Start light so you can focus on form, and gradually increase the weight. Check StrongLifts 5×5.
The best foods to gain weight are foods that are caloric dense.
Caloric dense foods make it easier to gain weight because you get more calories per serving.
You reach a caloric surplus faster (more calories in than out). It’s more efficient than eating low calories food.
Liquid foods also help you gain weight because they digest faster than solid foods.
That means you can eat again faster if you eat liquid foods than solid foods.
Here are some of the best foods to gain weight:
- Whole Milk. Milk is portable, and one liter has 600 calories and 30g of protein.
- Dried prunes. 20 prunes have about 500 calories. Prunes are also portable and tasty.
- Mixed nuts. High protein, high fat, portable, no cooking. 500kcal per 100g serving.
- Pasta. 350kcal/100g dried pasta (before cooking). Easily 500kcal if you add sauce/cheese.
- Peanut butter. 100kcal/tablespoon. Peanut butter sandwiches can easily be 400kcal each.
- Oatmeal. 200kcal/50g. Easily 500kcal if you add a banana, peanut butter and whole milk.
- Rice. 350kcal/100g dried rice (before cooking). Add chicken breast and you get 500kcal.
10-15% more than maintenance.
Most guys need 2500 to 2800 calories to maintain their body weight.
So eating 400kcal/day extra will make you put on weight.
That means eating 2900 to 3200 calories per day total.
You can easily get there by eating 20 dried prunes a day as a snack.
Most skinny guys will gain weight if they eat 3000 calories a day. A guy weighing 55kg with moderate activity levels needs about 2400 calories to maintain his weight. So if he starts eating 3000 calories a day, consistently, he should start seeing weight gain.
Skinny guys with a bad genetics, a slow metabolism, or just a stubborn body, may need to eat even more than 3000 calories a day (GOMAD is recommend in that situation).
However, guys weighing 90kg who are looking to gain even more weight, will probalby not gain weight if they eat 3000 calories per day. As they need 3000 just to maintain.
The general rule is that the heavier you are, the more calories you need to eat every day to continue to gain weight.
3000 calories a day will make a lot of guys gain weight, as most guys weigh about 75kg. Guys weighing less than 75kg will definitely gain weight on 3000 kcal/day. But heavier guys will need to eat more than 3000 kcal/day to gain weight.
No. You usually gain one pound of fat for every pound of muscle when you eat more calories than you burn.
This is not a problem however since you can easily burn the fat later while maintaining most of the muscle you’ve gained.
0.82g of protein per pound of body-weight (1.8g of protein per kg). That’s about 110g of protein for a skinny guy who weighs 132lb/60kg.
Eating more protein will not make you gain more weight. It will only waste your money, money you could better use to buy caloric rich foods. Remember the most important thing to gain weight is to eat more calories than you need. Spend the money on food, not protein. You don’t need that much protein to gain weight.
Eat Caloric Dense Foods
Vegetables are healthy but don’t have many calories. 100g salad only has 25kcal while 100g pasta has 380kcal – 15x more. It’s easier to gain weight if you eat foods that contain more calories per serving. You have to eat less food to reach your daily caloric surplus.