Are you someone who can never seem to gain a pound? Do your friends roll their eyes every time you complain about not being “big enough?” While many people struggle with losing inches, the inability to gain weight has its drawbacks just like anything else. It causes insecurity, an unhealthy diet and even illness. Do you want to gain weight the healthy way? We’ve got the answer to your biggest weight gain concerns (and all it takes in three steps a day to land the body you’ve always wanted.) 

Green vegetable smoothieAdd a Daily Smoothie to Your Diet

One of the most common rules for losing weight is to stop drinking away your daily caloric consumption. In order to gain weight, think in reverse and add on a nutrient rich (but high calorie) smoothie. It’s a perfect pre-workout or post-workout meal, and is an easy on-the-go option—no matter how busy you are, or how much weight you wish to gain. If you’ve tried to gain weight in the past and have failed (while stuffing yourself to the brim with carb heavy foods) a healthy, green smoothie is the perfect option.

To create a fool proof smoothie at home, load up your blender with a few cups of spinach, one cup of fruit, a tablespoon of honey, half a cup of steel cut oats, some protein powder, a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds and half a cup of juice or coconut water. Then, blend and drink up! Voilà—you just created the perfect way to add some bulk without becoming bloated.

Eat your Last Meal Right Before Bedtime

One of the worst things you can do in an effort to lose weight is to go to bed following a big meal. To gain weight, eat right before you go to bed and speed up the weight gain process. Make sure that the late night meal you chose isn’t a burger and a large helping of fries, but full of complex carbs instead. Eat a bowl of pasta (whole grain), topped with an extra helping of veggies and shrimp or chicken. This ‘larger than usual’ portion size will give your body those extra calories it needs to pack on the bulk, without sacrificing the nutrients you need for protective health and wellness.

Tackle Multiple Food Groups at Once

If you live an overly active lifestyle or have a faster than normal metabolism, it may be difficult to gain weight at all. Trying to gain weight can be as frustrating as attempting to lose it, so try the “multiple foods” shortcut instead of stuffing your body with nutrient poor foods (that don’t give you the results you want.)

If you think about it logically, what approach will help you pack on the extra calories so you can inch up on the scale—eating one type of food at a time, or multiple food groups at a time?

If you’re used to having a small breakfast in the morning (such as an apple or bowl of oatmeal), try having a heartier breakfast that’s composed of several food groups, such as fruit, lean protein and whole grains. Toast a piece of whole grain bread, top it with a layer of your favorite nut butter (almond is a smart choice!) and top it with slices of banana and flax seeds. You’ll sneak in those extra calories before you’ve had your morning cup of Joe!

Gaining weight isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard to do, either. Try the tips mentioned here and give yourself two weeks away from the scale. Your body weight will fluctuate from day to day, but when you get creative about how and when you eat, you can’t lose (literally!) When you consume the right types of healthy foods, you’ll add bulk and definition—allowing you to feel more confident than you ever have, and loving the body you’ve worked so hard to achieve!