I went to see a documentary last night, "What the Health". Made me think about how I eat, and things I know. I eat basically a modified vegan diet. Since I went to nutrition school, I combine the ideas I learned, which are elements from Weston A Price (https://www.westonaprice.org), veganism, and raw food concepts.
I've always been thin and wanted to gain weight. I go to the gym, and I see that that helps. I get clarity, I feel good, and I look better, and yes, I do gain weight. The load from the workouts, cause my body to take in more calories. I'm hungrier more often, and I don't take any weight gain powders.
But I found a better way. When I looked into the possibility of weight gain for vegans, I saw a youtube video of a guy who worked out and entered his daily food intake in an app. Never saw that before.
I found a website, then app, that did the same thing. The one like and use is eatthismuch.com, and I can tell it 1) how much I weigh, and 2) how much I want to weight, and by when. It calculated how many calories I need to eat per day, which is super cool! That's when it dawned on me. It's not the "weight gainer" or so much the "high calorie" foods (which are important) as I used to think. To gain weight as a vegan or any other person, it's really the total calories in a day, day after day.
For example, if you normally eat 2500 calories a day, and change to eating 3200 calories, you will gain weight. Whether it's rice, beans, pasta, whatever. Total calories is the key.
I was used to eating a certain way and certain amount. Total habit. Now, I know how many calories are in foods I eat, and how much I need, so it's not random, and I don't have to rely on just being hungry and going to the gym, which I do enjoy. I can be very precise about it, which I really enjoy.
Another thing is that I have been training myself to add a 4th meal. I used to eat 3. So, each meal is a little bigger, and now I usually, but not always, have that extra meal. This has all made a big difference.
Last, more snacks. Unsweetened cacao nibs, coconut chips, a scoop of nut butter here and there. It all adds up.