It can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you have been used to continuously dieting and trying to lose weight. The media is constantly barraging us with tips for weight loss, but they rarely address another challenge that many women face – how to gain weight healthily.

In this article we will address how to gain weight for women specifically. Although training and diet plans for men and women are not as different  as you might think, there are some key differences such as hormones and total calorie intake. However, before we look at that let’s get back to basics…

Fat Gain or Muscle Gain?

Weight can either be gained as fat or muscle and in both cases weight gain is caused by an increased caloric intake. A simple formula for each is as follows:

Increased calories + no exercise = Fat gain
Increased calories + resistance exercise = Muscle gain

Obviously gaining fat is both unhealthy and undesirable so healthy weight gain should refer to a gain in muscle. The good thing about muscle gain is that it will mainly occur in the right places leading to an increase the size of your butt, thighs and hips to give a more curvaceous figure without an increase in waist size. Overall this will create a more tight and toned physique.

Weight Training is Not Just for Guys!

For gaining weight healthily, both men and women should consider training with weights. Most women believe that by working out with weights or doing pushups, they will build a manly, muscular physique. Unlike men, women to not produce a large amount of testosterone, one of the primary muscle building hormones – women simply can’t build muscle at the same rate as men. For women, weight training without steroids will lead to a slim and toned physique rather than becoming big and bulky.

Example Training Plan

I would recommend performing resistance exercises 3-4 times per week following a simple full body routine. An example of such a routine which can be performed at home might be:

Perform these 6 exercises as a circuit, take a 2 minute rest and repeat the whole circuit a total of three times. If it is too easy, Increase the number of repetitions and circuits performed. If you have access to a gym, add weight and introduce new exercises as you become stronger to keep the body challenged – there are plenty of examples on this website. Keep track of your progress and try to improve every session!

What You Should Eat

Resistance training literally tears down our muscle fibres, which signals the body to grow and become stronger for the next workout. We need to increase our caloric intake to supply our body with the nutrition it needs to repair damaged muscle tissue – especially right after working out.

Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles and should be included in every meal. Choose whole, nutrient dense foods to keep your body healthy and eat large portions to provide the nutrition that is needed for your body to grow. For help working out how much you should eat, check out our nutrition calculator!

An example diet for someone trying to gain muscle might look like this:

Oats and whole milk, Omelette with tomato

Rice with vegetables and fish, 1/2 Avocado

Chicken with potatoes and vegetables, 2 tbsp olive oil

Handful of raw nuts, Avocado

What if I Want More Help?

Luckily, help is at hand! We have developed a training plan specifically for women, which features two phases:

  • Healthy weight gain
  • Sustainable fat loss

This guide comes with free email support throughout so that we can ensure you are achieving your weight gain targets.

how to gain weight for women healthy

Summary: How to Gain Weight for Women

1. Perform resistance exercises 3-4 times per week
2. Increase caloric intake with natural, healthy foods rather than junk food
3. Ensure you are getting enough protein to repair your muscles