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Can Vitamins Help You Gain Weight?

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 09, 2021

Can Vitamins Help You Gain Weight?

While many people think that being overweight or obese is unhealthier than being underweight, the truth is, they both have health risks. Thus, if you are underweight, you should consider gaining some pounds until you are within the normal BMI range. Reports say that healthy weight gain is 1 to 2 pounds every week, but how can you attain that? What foods should you eat and is it true that you can take vitamins to gain weight?

Can You Take Vitamins to Gain Weight?

If you struggle with weight gaining and have asked the advice of many people, you probably have heard of the suggestion to take some vitamins because they are “pampataba.”  But is it true?

According to reports, the short answer is no, vitamins do not really cause weight gain. At least not on their own. People who claim to have gained weight due to taking multivitamins, as per the reports indicate, are perhaps misunderstanding the bigger picture of their lifestyle and diet.

For instance, some people take multivitamins because they feel that they lack certain micronutrients in their diet. To compensate, they resort to store-bought supplements. However, it’s also possible that even with the supplement these people are still not taking active steps to make healthier nutritional choices.  These unhealthy choices might have led to their weight gain or lack of weight loss.

But then again, it’s not wrong to say that some vitamins might really help you gain weight, especially if you take them with a well-balanced diet. After all, taking multivitamins may increase your chances of obtaining all the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

What Vitamins Can Assist You in Gaining Weight?

While all vitamins help our body to function well, these are two specific vitamins to gain weight:

  • B Vitamins. A number of people who have Vitamin B deficiencies may develop eating disorders that can hinder their ability to gain weight. Additionally, B vitamins function to maintain muscle tone. Some B vitamins even help in converting carbohydrates to energy, which is an important part of metabolism. Deficiency in Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) can cause weight loss. Lack of B9 and B12, on the other hand, can also cause anemia, a condition that may result in appetite loss, and therefore lead to weight loss.
  • Vitamin C. With Vitamin C actively boosting our immune system, it can protect us from various illnesses that may potentially lead to weight loss. Doctors even indicate that in adults, one of the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency is weight loss.

Foods to Eat if You Want to Gain Weight

More than looking for vitamins to gain weight or those that are “pampataba,” you are encouraged to focus on your diet and nutrition. Here are the suggested foods to help you gain weight.

Red Meat

Red meat is rich in leucine, an amino acid which many consider as one of the vitamins to gain weight. This is because leucine helps in muscle protein synthesis. Additionally, red meat is also creatine-rich. If you will look at some muscle-building supplements in the market, you will notice that they have creatine, too.

Salmon and Oily Fish

Like red meat, salmon and oily fish are also rich in proteins. They even have the bonus of containing omega-3 fatty acids, which offer protection from various illnesses. Some of the most common oily fish are mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines.

Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt

You will be happy to know that if you want to gain weight, you can count on cheese. Not only is it high in protein, but cheese is also calorie-heavy and tasty. The best cheeses to add to your diet are feta, mozzarella, cream cheese, and goat cheese.

Milk and yogurt, like cheese, are also high in protein. They have carbs, calcium, fats, and other essential vitamins and minerals as well. For yogurt, try to choose the full-fat kind.

Whole Eggs

Did you ever wonder why body-builders are fond of eating whole eggs? It is because they are packed with healthy proteins and fats that are essential in gaining weight. Besides, eggs are quite versatile as you can make meals out of them or add them to different dishes.

Rice and Whole Grain Breads

For people who lack appetite, rice is a good option because you can better enjoy it with delicious viands. It is calorie-dense and also offers a lot of nutrients. Whole grain bread, on the other hand, is rich in starch that helps in weight gain. As an added benefit, it is also high in fiber, which is good for digestion.

Nut and Nut Butters

Since gaining weight encourages you to make every bite count, you also have to think about snacks. Nuts and nut butters are perfect for snacking. They are healthy, high in calories, and can be eaten on their own or blended into smoothies and yogurt.


Avocados are perfect for those who want to gain weight because it contains a lot of nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, it has a lot of calories.

Foods to Avoid if You Want to Gain Weight

vitamins to gain weight

Even if you are working hard to bulk up, looking for food and vitamins to gain weight, it’s not advisable for you to binge on unhealthy foods. These unhealthy foods are those that contain empty calories (like junk food) and those that are high in saturated and trans fat. Sure, medical experts say that you can “cheat” by eating cakes, pastries, and ice cream from time to time, but binge-eating on them or other foods that are high in sugar is still not recommended.

Additional Tips to Gain Weight Through Diet

  • Try to have 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day instead of 2 to 3 large meals.
  • Consider healthily drinking your calories through shakes and smoothies made from fruits and vegetables.
  • Think about when you are drinking. Some people lose their appetite because they drink before meals. Try drinking with or after meals.
  • Top dishes with nutrient-rich or calorie-dense foods like cheese on scrambled eggs or fat-free milk in stew.
  • Key Takeaways

    Are you still looking for vitamins to gain weight? If you are, try to be more mindful of your diet. The more you consume a variety of healthy foods, the more you are likely to gain the vitamins and minerals that you need not just to gain some pounds, but also to become healthier.

    Learn more about Healthy Eating here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 09, 2021

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