Best Weight Gaining Diet: Indian Diet Plan for Weight Gain

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While obesity is becoming a serious health disorder, being underweight is also causing leading health problems like osteoporosis, weakened immune system, infertility, etc. This condition of malnutrition is known as karshya in Ayurveda. [1]

Are you also underweight and do not have your ideal body weight? Are you looking for a weight gain diet that can also help promote your overall health? If yes, then you’re at the right place.

Best Foods To Include In a Weight Gain Diet 

To gain weight, you must include these foods in your diet:[2]

  1. Whole carbohydrates
  2. Healthy fats
  3. Protein

Carbohydrates are the nutrients that the body uses for energy. Proteins help with muscle growth and maintenance. Dairy products help increase calorie levels, and unsaturated fats help increase healthy cholesterol in the body [2].

Some of the best examples of these foods include whole grains, dry fruits, potatoes, avocados, milk, etc.[2]

Best Weight Gain Diet Plans for Indians [3][4]

1. Early Morning

Start your morning by drinking a glass of lemon water (in lukewarm water). 

2. Breakfast

Eat a fulfilling breakfast, such as a paratha with curd or butter and a cup of milk. You should also include two bananas and some soaked nuts. Apart from parathas, you can also have poha, daliya, or peanut butter toast for breakfast. Basically, have some healthy calories and eat sufficient portions.

3. After Breakfast

Before taking your lunch, eat any fruit or drink fruit juice. You can also have some chocolate or some protein drink.

4. Lunch

Lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day. Include rice, curd, and salad in your lunch along with two or three chapatis with any dal and vegetables such as mixed vegetables, capsicum mixed with potatoes, etc.

5. Evening Snack

You can eat some toasted bread with tomato sauce, cheese balls with butter, vegetable cutlets, or vegetable rolls along with a cup of tea in the evenings. Non-vegetarian people can opt for egg whites, boiled eggs, omelets, etc. as an evening snack.

6. Dinner

Eat chapati and any green veggies in your dinner. Non-vegetarian people can try including a healthy portion of meat and rice in their dinner. Do not forget to include a salad of cucumber, carrot, onion, etc.

7. Bedtime 

Before going to bed, drink ½ a glass of skimmed milk.

Foods to eat and avoid to gain weight [5]

A balanced diet with proper dietetic rules can help avoid a lot of common health concerns. The source of life for all living beings is food; growth, strength, intelligence, and satisfaction are all established in food. Food is significant as a nutritional source as well as having therapeutic value. When you’re trying to put on weight, there are certain foods you must include in your diet plan and certain foods you must avoid. Here are a few examples of both:

Foods to eat

Foods advised for weight gain are as follows:

For vegetarians:

  1. Nava anna (New rice or grain)
  2. Shali rice (A red rice variant)
  3. Wheat and its products
  4. Carb-rich foods like oats, bread, avocados, potatoes, soda, soft drinks
  5. Milk, Dahi, Paneer, and more milk products
  6. Clarified brown butter (Ghee)
  7. Madhura dravyas (Sweets) like payasam (milk kheer) and more
  8. Herbs like: Ashwagandha, Vidarigandha, Shatavari, Yashtimadhu, Chyawanprash, Triphala, Nagbala, etc.

For non-vegetarians:

  1. Egg whites
  2. Fish
  3. Chicken
  4. Mutton

Foods to avoid

Vata-increasing foods should be avoided when you’re trying to gain weight.

For vegetarians:

  1. Astringent or bitter-tasting fruits such as Cranberries or unripe fruits
  2. Raw vegetables
  3. Dried Cereals
  4. Corn and popcorn
  5. Crackers
  6. Millets
  7. Rice Cakes
  8. Black Beans
  9. Chickpeas and split peas
  10. Lentils
  11. Soy milk and other hard-to-digest foods

For non-vegetarians:

  1. The yellow part of the egg
  2. Raw meat

This isn’t an exhaustive list. This list will go on and on. If you’re trying to gain weight, you should add Vata-pacifying foods to your diet chart. You should avoid foods that increase Vata.

A Sample Diet Plan You Can Follow to Gain Weight

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Either weight gain or weight loss can’t just happen overnight by changing your diet. It is recommended that you couple it with a nice exercise or weight-training regimen.

Meal of the DayDiet
Early Morning2-3 glasses of water1 cup of green tea with lemon and ginger
Breakfast60-80 gm oats4 egg whites / sweet yogurt + apple + chocolate4 walnuts with 2-4 dates1-2 banana
Mid-MorningA handful of sprouts + 2 spoons peanut butter1 scoop whey with a cup of 300-ml toned milk
Lunch250 gm chicken / paneer + 250 gm brown riceSalad, Curd
Pre-exercise Snacks250 gm fish / 6 egg whites / 250 gm boiled potato / sweet potatoes + saladA handful of dry fruits + an apple
Post-exercise DrinkA smoothie made of Oats, Banana, Peanut Butter, Dry Fruits and Almond Milk. You can add a prescribed protein powder to it.
Dinner250 gm chicken / paneer / tofu150 gm riceSalad
Post-dinnerHalf a glass of skimmed milk

This is a protein-rich diet that should be taken for the purpose of weight gain. However, it is recommended that this diet be coupled with a nice exercise routine.

More Tips To Gain Weight [1]

  1. Eat three to five meals a day at regular intervals of time.
  2. Maintain a 2-2.5 hour meal gap between your meals of the day.
  3. Practice weight training and other exercises every day.
  4. Eat a diet rich in protein to support muscle growth.
  5. Always focus on muscle gain while you’re trying to gain weight
  6. Ashwagandha is an herb you must include in your diet when you’re trying to gain weight. (Check for allergies)
  7. Eat foods rich in fibrous carbohydrates and healthy fats to increase the number of calories and nutrients in your diet. 
  8. Seek help from doctors, dietitians, and fitness professionals for developing diet and exercise plans.

How Many Calories are Required to Gain Weight [5]

  1. To gain weight, you should add at least 300-500 more calories to your current calorie intake.
  2. In cases of severe malnutrition, you have to add 800-1000 more calories to your current calorie intake.


1. Can you gain weight only by following a diet?

Either weight gain or weight loss can’t just happen overnight by changing your diet. It is recommended that you couple it with a nice exercise or training regimen.

2. What kind of diet should you take for weight gain?

You should take a protein-rich, carb-rich, and Vata-pacifying diet for weight gain. You should also add some healthy fats. You must include Ashwagandha in your diet if you’re looking to gain weight. However, you must consult a medical practitioner for a proper diet chart to gain weight. Only a medical practitioner can provide you with a diet chart that fits your individual needs.

3. How should you consume rice in your diet for weight gain?

Newly harvested rice or red rice variant should be consumed for the purpose of weight gain. You shouldn’t consume rice in dried or puffed form or as rice cakes.

The Takeaway

Consuming appropriate nutrition is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Your diet needs to be balanced and full of nutrients to help you gain weight healthily. 


This is a generic article. Therefore, before incorporating this weight-gain diet plan into your life, consult a doctor and nutritionist. Sometimes, dietary changes won’t be enough to address an underlying health issue you may be experiencing.


  1. Gain weight quickly and safely
  2. Food groups to help gain weight
  3. Healthy indian diet plan for weight gain

Dr Sunanda Ranade

Sunanda Ranade is Vice-Chairman of the International Academy of Ayurved, Pune, India, and an expert Ayurvedic gynecologist and nutritionist. She has been working in this field for the last 47 years. Dr. Sunanda Ranade holds a Doctorate in Ayurveda. She is also the author of several books on Ayurveda and Yoga, which have been published in Marathi, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


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