Tara Gidus Collingwood

If you’re an athlete trying to gain weight, you may be eating more, but are you eating more of the right foods? Eating lots of high-fat, high-sugar foods is one way to gain weight, but there’s a good chance your performance will decrease, body fat will increase, and more than likely you’ll be left feeling sluggish.


Your body still needs good nutrition even though you’re trying to put on some pounds. Follow these tips to gain weight the healthy way, and still maintain performance and energy levels:

  • Up your portion sizes. Serve and eat more than you typically would at each meal, but start with one meal at a time.
  • Add nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) to items like toast, bagels, oatmeal, waffles, smoothies and more.
  • Add rolls, bread, and crackers to meals.
  • Add granola, trail mix, and nuts to items like ice cream, oatmeal, yogurt and cereal.
  • Use oils. ADVERTISEMENT Cook in extra virgin olive oil or canola oil. Drizzle oil on food before eating.
  • Drink whole milk, chocolate milk, or 100 percent juice with every meal.
  • Eat a snack right before bed.
  • Add slices of cheese or avocado to sandwiches and salads.
  • Add peanut butter, whole milk, ice cream, honey, or chocolate syrup to shakes and smoothies.
  • Eat high calorie (300+) snack bars.

Remember, healthy weight gain takes time. Aim to gain no more than one pound each week—any faster and you’ll end up gaining fat instead of muscle.



Straw-vocado smoothie (550 calories)


Blend together:

  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1⁄2 avocado
  • 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
  • ice

Nutella-nana smoothie (1500 calories)


Blend together:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 scoops protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 banana
  • 2 Tbsp nutella
  • ice


Tara Gidus Collingwood is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness and health promotion.  She is currently the nutrition consultant to the USTA National Campus with Andrews Institute and Nemours, the team dietitian for the Orlando Magic NBA team, the nutrition consultant to University of Central Florida Athletic Department and a nutrition and exercise executive coach at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.


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