These days it is fashionable to lose weight. Everyone and their brothers and sisters are talking about losing weight but no one cares that most of us want to add weight or at least maintain the tinini one we have.
Some people are naturally thin and find it difficult gaining weight. These group of people are often bullied but few people see that as bullying. Yes, while it is alright to ask a thin someborri: “You are too thin, are you eating at all?”, you dare not tell a fat person that “You eat too much!”. Mmh, if you try that, all the advocates of plus size people will descend on you. That’s a story for another day.
This post is to list some foods and snacks that will help you add weight. If you are being called bonga fish, atinga no blood, longa longa, ogwu azu (fish bones), bag of bones, willy willy, fido dido right now in your life, get in here! Abeg help me with more names they call thin people.
The following are 10 foods and snacks that will help you add weight.
1. Nuts: Groundnuts (Peanuts), Cashew Nuts, Tiger Nuts
Nuts contain lots of healthy fats and protein. Chew as a snack in-between meals. Eat roasted groundnuts (peanuts) with ripe bananas as we do in Nigeria and you have a great snack that will help you add up. Bananas are fattening too so there you go. Details on bananas later.
Chew tiger nuts (aki awusa, ofio, aya) with groundnuts or on its own, blend it with coconuts and dates (dabino) to get Tiger Nuts drink and enjoy!
Cashew nuts are also great, though more expensive than the other nuts. But I did warn you that if you want to gain weight, you need to have a full pocket, didn’t I?
2. Peanut Butter (okwo ose in Igbo)
Peanut Butter is said to contain 100 calories per tablespoon. That’s a lot of calories for one tablespoon of mede mede. And the good thing is that the fats and oils in groundnut is healthy and groundnuts contain proteins too.
In Nigeria, all you need to do is buy well-roasted peanuts in the market, peel and take them to those people that have manual grinders in the market and they will blend them into peanut butter for you. They will even do the peeling for you right there in the market. You do not need to add any other ingredient because in Nigeria, roasted peanuts are already salted. After grinding, put in a glass jar with a cover and close tight.
You can grind this at home with a dry mill but it is messy abeg. Outside Nigeria, peanut butter is readily available in supermarkets.
Use peanut butter as bread spread just like you would spread jam, butter or margarine on slices of bread. Add it to your smoothies or simply lick it at any chance you get so that the adding up can start happening already. Remember, there are 100 calories in 1 tablespoon!
3. Whole Milk or Full Fat Milk
If you live in Northern Nigeria, close to the cattle farms then you are in luck. Fura, milk as it comes from the cow is milk with all the fat intact. So if you have access to this type of milk, binge on it till you are drunk on cow milk.
If you are not close to any cows that produce milk, look for whole milk in big supermarkets like Shoprite and Spar. Whole Milk comes in small 1 litre cartons. Oldenburger is a good brand of whole milk (UHT) that is available in Nigeria. Do not buy the powder one, buy the liquid one with whole milk or full cream written on it.
Outside Nigeria, pasteurised whole milk is available in supermarkets.
If you are looking to gain weight, never ever use skimmed or semi skimmed milk in your life again, ever!
I would like to mention here that cheese, which is a derivative of milk, is mostly high in fat making it a great food for adding weight. It is not common in Nigeria so we eat imported cheese that is mostly available in foreign and big supermarkets.
Add cubes of cheese or grated cheese to your salads, eat cheese as a snack if you can stand the salty taste and use slices of cheese to eat bread as a sandwich.
And you do not like Pizza? What?? Think of all that cheese topping you are missing out on.
That one we call “Avocado Pear” in Nigeria, do you know that one of it can easily contain 300 calories? That’s a lot for one small fruit. You can easily overload on calories with this fruit so abeg ooo, take this your chopping up ministry easy o.
Add avocado to your salads, mash and use as bread spread, add it to smoothies or just eat it as a fruit. It goes well with Nigerian rice dishes.
There are many ways to enjoy this fruit so load up when it is in season.
There are lots of information about losing weight but almost nothing on weight gain. So if you know anything that those who want to lose weight are doing, do the opposite. Weight watchers usually run away from bread. That means you need to make bread your friend, in fact find someone who owns a bakery and make him/her your BFF.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I used to finish one loaf of bread at a sitting. Yes, and I was adding up and adding up soteeeh my obstetrician started warning me that my baby will be so big. This was I that was not a fan of bread before then. That is one proof that eating bread makes you fat. I ate and I saw the results. I am not saying you should be like me and finish one loaf of bread at a sitting but this post is about fattening up, right? So chop up we will!
And when you team those slices of bread with avocado spread or peanut butter spread, you will come here and testify within a short time.
Smoothies are a great way to get in more calories into your body. If you are like me (I hate chewing), drinking calories will be much less tasking for you. You can easily get 2 bananas into a supersize serving of smoothie and drink it all up but try eating the bananas and see if you can get past the first one.
Please note that all smoothies are not created equal so you need to be careful here so you do not pedal backwards. Since you are looking to add up, avoid vegetables-only smoothies. Stick to smoothies made with bananas, avocados, mangoes (because they contain natural sugars in large amounts and will help your weight gain ministry).
Also, add oat flour and peanut butter to the smoothies because they help with weight gain as they contain lots of protein. I have some weight gain smoothies recipes coming up.
Not only do yams contain large amounts of carbohydrate (making them great for weight gain), the carbohydrates in yam have a nutritional value. The dietary fibre in yams also helps decrease bad cholesterol and regulates blood sugar levels.
Oya, start digging into those pounded yams and yam porridges without feeling guilty!
Black eyed beans oo, brown (oloyin) beans oo, remember what your mama told you about beans containing 100% protein?
Beans actually contain more carbohydrates than protein but the truth is that they still contain more protein than many other foods that’s why they are regarded as THE protein food. So by eating beans, you get the best of both worlds, carbohydrate for fat gain and proteins for muscle gain. This means you will not be wobbly as you gain the weight.
Isi Ewu and Nkwobi anyone? Meat, especially meat with marbling (streaks of fat), that part of meat known as tozo in Nigeria, helps with weight gain. So eat meat and eat more meat. If you can, just roast the meat and chew it with vegetables. This way of eating meat (steak) is not common in Nigeria but I am giving you that information now. So cut chunks of meat, roast or grill and choplate.
Red meat is said to be bad for us because of the bad cholesterol it contains but once a week enjoyment will not hurt, will it?
10. Sweet fruits
We have lots of sweet tropical fruits in Nigeria and you may be surprised at the amount of calories these fruits contain. Bananas, mangoes, dates (dabino in Hausa and sold by Hausa Mallams that sell aki awusa/ofio/aya), pineapples, avocado even apples are all high calorie fruits.
One medium banana contains 100 calories. That means if you eat 5 in a day we are talking about 500 calories. You can easily eat 5 bananas in a day, can’t you? Don’t look at me like that!
Most thin people have very small stomachs so they can’t really eat much. I want to add up, I want to add up but when you are told what to eat and how many times to eat in a day to add up, liver will fail you, abi?
That’s it! Now go and chop up and be happy.
This is not a healthy diet advice. As you eat these, make sure you get a good measure of all classes of food too. Go for regular health checks with a qualified doctor to make sure your body can handle all these extra calories it is getting. While one person’s body can process these and remain healthy, another person’s body may not be able to handle all these extra food that is being thrown at it.
There is no guarantee that you will gain weight after eating all these. While some people will quickly gain weight after being on a weight gain diet for a month, others will never gain weight whatever they eat. The ability to add weight and maintain it is in our genes amongst other factors that I may write about later. Look around you, are the members of your family mostly on the thin side or on the big side?
So give these a try, give the diet some time to take effect and see if they work for you.