How to Gain Weight When You Cut Calories from your Diet

Cutting back on calories is requisite if you are trying to lose weight, but you can cut calories and still gain weight. With self-discipline, focus and effort, you can achieve muscle gains over time.

Himanshu Sharma
Weight ManagementWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Apr 12, 2018Updated at: Apr 12, 2018
How to Gain Weight When You Cut Calories from your Diet

A weight gain typically includes a high-calorie diet and a strength training schedule. Cutting back on calories is a requisite if you are trying to lose weight, but you can cut calories and still gain weight.

How to Gain Weight When You Cut Calories from your DietPacking on extra pounds is not as easy as it seems, and it becomes more challenging when you have to cut calories. The approach can work only when you make sure that you have included all proper nutrients in your diet. Eating often, but high-energy foods, lifting properly and limiting cardiovascular exercises are some of the aspects you need to focus on to gain weight.

Make a Diet Plan

Make a diet plan that gives you enough calories or keeps you at a safe level to gain weight over time. Since you cannot increase calories intake, proper nutrition becomes more important. You need to make a diet plan that includes all food groups. Your diet should include a lot of high-energy foods such as fresh fruits, fish, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meat. Consult with a health care provider when to create an ideal diet plan and ask if consumption of 1,200 calories a day is safe.

Focus on Proteins

In order to gain weight, you need to up your protein intake. Include in your diet protein-rich foods such as poultry, eggs, dairy, fish and lean meats. These food choices will give your muscles much needed amino acids that help repair and build muscle fibres.  Another way to increase proteins is by drinking protein shakes; they are an easy way to get the extra protein you need to pack on pounds. Besides, they are convenient and you can carry a bottle of protein shake wherever you go.


Now that you are eating fewer calories, you may think of skipping meals. Do not skip meals; rather eat smaller but frequent meals. Plan your meals and set reminders.

Strength Training

Since you are eating less, you need to focus on strength training. It usually includes weight lifting and supports weight gain. Those who strength train, gain weight by melting fat from muscle, which contributes to your overall body weight. Strength workouts reward your overall wellness besides helping you gain lean muscle. There has to be a balanced workout routine (say strength training for 30 minutes every two days). Resting between the workout sessions is as important as the exercises so that your muscles relax and make you ready for the day.

Stay Motivated

Gaining weight when cutting on calories may seem like an impossible task initially, but with self-discipline, consistency, focus and effort added to the right actions, you can achieve muscle gains over time. Keeping a journal that has all your progress records is one way to give yourself a lift.

Gaining weight, when you are cutting calories, should always be accompanied by a medical opinion. Consult a nutritionist or your general practitioner to help you make a weight gain plan.

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