10 High-Calorie, Low-Carb Foods for Easy Weight Gain

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Carbohydrates — or carbs — are great for gaining weight since you can consume a lot of them before feeling full.

However, some people may not feel the best on a high-carb diet while others may want to limit them for other reasons like diabetes.

The good news is that, while effective for increasing calories, you don’t need to rely on carb-rich foods to gain weight.

This article lists the best 10 high-calorie, low-fat foods and snacks to help you effortlessly gain weight.

high-calorie low-carb foods

A look at the 10 best high-calorie, low-carb foods for weight gain

Here’s a quick look at how these high-calorie, low-carb foods compare:

Food or SnackServing SizeCaloriesCarbs
Ribeye steak6 ounces (180 grams)4140 grams
Salmon5 ounces (140 grams)3630 grams
High-calorie shake or smoothie1 shake or smoothie306–31018–21 grams
Dried coconut1 serving (40 grams)26010 grams
Avocado1 medium-sized22712 grams
Eggs3 eggs2100 grams
Peanut butter protein balls1 ball18710 grams
Almonds1 ounce (28 grams)1646 grams
Pumpkin seeds1 ounce (28 grams)1634 grams
Olive oil1 tablespoon (14 grams)1260 grams
High-calorie, low-carb food list

1. Ribeye steak

Nothing says tender and juicy quite like a ribeye steak.

Ribeye steak is a cut from the cow’s rib section.

It’s much fattier than other cuts like sirloin or top round.

Ribeyes contain no carbs, providing all of their calories from fat and protein.

Enjoy a ribeye steak with asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, or a different nonstarchy vegetable.

A 6-ounce (180-gram) ribeye steak provides (1):

  • Calories: 414
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fats: 25 grams
  • Protein: 48 grams

2. Salmon

White-fleshed fish like tilapia and cod is protein-rich and lean, providing about 100 calories per 3 ounces (85 grams).

However, salmon and other types of oily fish like mackerel and herring are rich in fat and provide significantly more calories, making them an excellent alternative to their white-fleshed counterparts for weight gain.

Salmon is naturally low in sodium and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

You can pan-fry, bake, or grill fresh salmon fillets.

Alternatively, you can buy canned salmon and make salmon patties or add it to a salad to keep the carbs low.

One 5-ounce (140-gram) portion of salmon provides (1):

  • Calories: 363
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fats: 23 grams
  • Protein: 36 grams

3. High-calorie shakes and smoothies

High-calorie shakes and smoothies are good options for snacks between meals.

While most high-calorie shake and smoothie recipes are high in carbs, you can easily incorporate high-calorie, low-carb ingredients.

Here are two high-calorie, low-carb shakes and smoothies to try:

Peanut butter chocolate shake


  • 2 tbsp (33 grams) peanut butter
  • 1/2 medium-sized unripe banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened coconut milk

This recipe calls for an unripe or green banana since they have more fiber and less sugar than their ripe or yellow counterparts (2).

Any chocolate-flavored whey protein powder works well.

Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • Calories: 306
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Protein: 29 grams

Blueberry avocado smoothie


  • 1/2 cup frozen avocado chunks
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened milk

This smoothie uses blueberries since they are one of the lowest-carb fruits and pair well with avocado.

Most of the carbs in an avocado come from fiber. Blueberries also provide some carbs as fiber.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This shake provides:

  • Calories: 310
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Protein: 28 grams

4. Dried coconut

Dried fruit is generally concentrated in sugar since it has most of its water content removed through drying methods.

However, dried coconut is a good high-calorie, low-carb option since most of its calories are from fat.

About 70% of the carbs in dried coconut come from fiber.

Enjoy dried coconut by itself as a snack, add to low-carb trail mix, or use it in shakes and smoothies.

One serving (40 grams) of dried coconut provides (1):

  • Calories: 260
  • Carbs: 10 grams
  • Fats: 26 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams

5. Avocado

Avocado is technically a fruit but is commonly classified as a vegetable.

Most of an avocado’s calories from healthy monounsaturated fats.

Avocados provide carbs but about 75% of them are present as fiber, bringing the net carb count down.

An avocado that gives to firm gentle pressure is ripe and ready to eat.

The simplest way to enjoy avocado is by sprinkling it with a pinch of salt and pepper, but you can also top them on eggs for extra protein and calories.

Frozen avocado chunks are a great addition to shakes and smoothies.

One avocado provides (1):

  • Calories: 240
  • Carbs: 13
  • Fats: 22 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams

6. Eggs

Eggs are a nutrition powerhouse, rich in many vitamins and minerals.

They provide no carbs but plenty of protein and healthy fats.

The yolk and white contain equal amounts of proteins but the yolk is where most of the nutrition is.

One whole egg provides around 70 calories, so you should aim to have at least three to get a fair number of calories.

Eggs are extremely versatile with many simple and delicious ways to cook them.

Combine eggs with avocado for more calories.

Three medium-sized eggs provide (1):

  • Calories: 210
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fats: 15 grams
  • Protein: 18 grams

7. Peanut butter protein balls

Peanut butter is a shelf-stable kitchen staple.

Most of its 190 calories per 2-tablespoon (33 grams) serving come from fat with a small percentage from carbs.

Peanut butter is great by itself, but you can increase your protein by making low-carb peanut butter protein balls.

Here’s a peanut butter protein ball recipe you can try:



  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix the ingredients into a dough.
  3. Roll the dough into 14–16 equally-sized balls.

One peanut butter protein ball provides:

  • Calories: 187
  • Carbs: 10 grams
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams

You can also add peanut butter to shakes and smoothies.

8. Almonds

Almonds are a great grab-and-go high-calorie, low-carb food if you don’t have chewing problems.

Most of their calories come from fats and fiber makes up three of the six grams of carbs per serving.

You can find unsalted, salted, and flavored varieties.

Enjoy them as a snack alone, add them to salads, or make a low-carb trail mix by combing them with popcorn, dark chocolate, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and other nuts like pecans.

One ounce (28 grams) of almonds provides (1):

  • Calories: 164
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fats: 14 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

9. Pumpkin seeds

Harvesting and roasting pumpkin seeds is by far my favorite fall tradition.

But pumpkin seeds — whether store-bought or harvested and roasted yourself — are great to enjoy year-round, especially for gaining weight.

They provide a similar number of calories as almonds but provide more protein and fewer grams of carbs.

For a calorie boost, drizzle pumpkin seeds with olive oil and roast them.

One ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds provides:

  • Calories: 163
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fats: 14 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams

10. Olive oil

Olive oil provides all of its calories from fat, making it carb-free.

Olive oil, especially extra virgin, is among the least processed cooking oils, meaning it retains the most antioxidants and nutrients.

An easy way to incorporate more olive oil and boost your calories is to drizzle it on low-carb vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, and zucchini, and roast them.

For extra calories, you can also add olive oil to protein shakes for a creamy texture.

One tablespoon (14 grams) of olive oil provides (1):

  • Calories: 126
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fats: 14 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

The bottom line

These high-calorie, low-carb foods and snacks are great if you feel better with fewer carbs or you have conditions like diabetes.

Many of these options are good sources of protein and can help you reach your protein needs.

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