Most dieting and health advice focuses on losing fat, not gaining it. As such, you may be at a loss for information about how to properly put on fat.
How to be a Fat
Whether you’re gaining fat for health reasons or are an actor preparing for a movie role, there are safer and healthier ways to gain fat than not exercising and eating junk food. By following the correct regimen, you can gain the fat you want while maintaining your health.
Which food is best for How to be Fat?
If you’re underweight and looking to gain weight, it’s very important to do it right.
Consuming soda, donuts, and other junk foods may help you gain weight initially, but it can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
A healthier approach to gaining weight involves gaining a balanced amount of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat rather than a lot of unhealthy belly fat.
A recent animal study suggests that belly fat specifically may be correlated with increased cancer risk.
A high percentage of body fat also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and other health problems, even if you are not overweight.
To gain weight healthily, focus on eating more nutrient-dense foods and living an overall healthy lifestyle that involves exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress, if you can.
This article outlines simple strategies to quickly gain weight — without increasing your risk of disease.
Draw up a meal plan
You’ll have to eat much more in order to gain weight. Focus on nutrient and calorie-dense foods instead of junk food. There are plenty of foods that will help you gain weight and also contain all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Plan on eating more than three meals a day. Increase your meals to five or more per day, which may include snacks throughout the day.
Make sure all your meals have a good balance. Each meal should contain carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats. These three nutrients will help most with your weight gain.
Eating more often and including healthy foods in your diet will get expensive. It would also be helpful if you drew up a new budget to go along with your new diet.
Why weight gain is important
While about 74 percent of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, there are also many people with the opposite problem of being underweight.
Some individuals may be naturally underweight due to genetics or a fast metabolism. Being underweight may also be indicative of poor nutrition or underlying health conditions.
Additionally, many people who are not clinically underweight may still want to gain some muscle and put on weight for other reasons.
Whether you’re clinically underweight or simply struggling to gain muscle weight, the main principles are the same.
Eating the Right Foods
When gaining weight, you’ll want to focus on these “good fats” to help beef up your body fat while still getting the necessary nutrients that your body needs.
Nuts, peanut butter, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, and avocados are all high in unsaturated fats and calories and will still provide you with essential nutrients. Include these in your meals or snack on them throughout the day.
Enhance foods with calorie-rich ingredients. You can continue eating many of the foods you normally do, but make them help your weight gain by adding a few ingredients. Some healthy and effective options include:
- Add hard-boiled eggs to salads.
- Add cheese to sandwiches, eggs, and salads.
- Add sauces and gravies to meats.
Being underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This is estimated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimal health.
However, keep in mind that there are many problems with the BMI scale, which only looks at weight and height. It does not take muscle mass into account.
Some people are naturally very skinny but still healthy. Being underweight according to this scale does not necessarily mean that you have a health problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being underweight is about twice as common among women, compared with men. In a U.S. survey that grouped participants into men and women, 1.3% of men and 2% of women 20 years and older are underweight.
Health risks linked to being underweight
One study found that clinically underweight individuals have nearly two times the risk of death compared to obese individuals, suggesting that being underweight may be worse for your health than being obese.
Additionally, another study found that self-reported health outcomes fell significantly in underweight individuals after the age of 38, indicating that a low BMI later in life may come with increased health risks.
Being underweight can impair your immune function, raise your risk of infection, lead to osteoporosis and fractures and cause fertility problems.
What’s more, people who are underweight are much more likely to get sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting) and may be at greater risk of dementia.
For children, it can also lead to growth and development problems.
Causes of being underweight
There are several medical conditions that can cause unhealthy weight loss, including:
- Eating disorders: This includes anorexia nervosa, a serious mental health disorder.
- Thyroid problems: Having an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can boost metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
- Celiac disease: The most severe form of gluten intolerance. Overall, the incidence of celiac disease has risen throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Diabetes: Having uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) can lead to severe weight loss.
- Cancer: Cancer can cause the body to be in a hypercatabolic state, which leads to increased energy being used. It can cause someone to lose a lot of weight but the severity and weight loss can depend on the type of cancer and the age of the person.
- Infections: Certain infections can cause someone to become severely underweight. This can include parasites, tuberculosis, and HIV infection.
If you’re underweight, you may want to make an appointment with a doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.
This is particularly important if you have recently started losing large amounts of weight without trying.
Different strategies for gaining weight
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to gain weight, there are a variety of strategies you can use to bulk up.
Below, we’ve outlined several different ways to help you gain weight.
Using Techniques to Help Gain Fat
Avoid processed and refined sugar. Just because you’re trying to gain fat doesn’t mean you should binge on junk food all day. You need to focus on high-calorie, high-fat foods that provide vitamins and nutrients. Processed sugar contains no nutritional value and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, rotten teeth, hormone issues, and other health problems.
- Cut out as much sugary food as you can. Candy, cake, cookies, and any other dessert foods are packed with sugar.
- Cut down on or avoid soft drinks altogether. A can of soda contains more sugar than your average dessert.
Use protein shakes to bulk up. In addition to eating more, you can also increase your body mass with protein shakes and powder. A variety of products will provide a protein boost that will help increase your weight and muscle mass if combined with strength training exercises. Remember to use all products as directed.
- Whey protein powder is a popular supplement that you can add to several types of drinks. You can blend up a smoothie using fruit, yogurt, and a few scoops of protein powder.
- There are also a variety of protein drinks and bars you can purchase. Snack on these throughout the day to give yourself extra calories.
- Read all labels when buying these products. Many are packed with added sugar, which can be harmful. Opt for products low in added sugar.
Increase your caloric intake
The most important thing you can do to gain weight is to create a calorie surplus, meaning you eat more calories than your body needs.
You can determine your calorie needs using this calorie calculator.
If you want to gain weight slowly and steadily, aim for 300–500 calories more than you burn each day according to the calculator. If you want to gain weight fast, aim for around 700–1,000 calories above your maintenance level.
Keep in mind that calorie calculators only provide estimates. Your needs may vary by several hundred calories per day, give or take.
You don’t need to count calories for the rest of your life, but it can help to do it for the first few days or weeks to get a feel for how many calories you’re eating. There are many great tools out there to help you.
Increase your protein intake
Adequate consumption of high-quality proteins from animal products is essential for optimal growth, development, and human health.
A 2020 study of 23 individuals demonstrated that increasing protein will increase lean muscle mass.
To promote skeletal and muscle growth and physical strength in healthy adults with minimal to intense physical activity, the Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein is between 1.0 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Up to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight of protein per day may be safe for healthy adults, with the upper limit at 3.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
High protein foods include meats, fish, eggs, many dairy products, legumes, nuts, and others. Protein supplements like whey protein can also be useful if it is difficult for you to get enough protein in your diet.
However, protein may also reduce your hunger and appetite significantly, making it harder to get in enough calories.
Additionally, eating too much protein may also increase your risk of heart disease.
Talk with a doctor to see if increasing your protein intake would help you achieve your goal to gain weight in a safe way.
Increase your intake of carbs and fat
Many people try restricting either carbs or fat when trying to lose weight.
This may make it hard to gain weight, as it will make it harder to get in enough calories.
Eat plenty of high-carb and high-fat foods if weight gain is a priority for you. It is best to eat plenty of protein, fat, and carbs at each meal.
You may want to avoid eating plans such as intermittent fasting. This eating plan can be useful for weight loss and other benefits but can make it much harder to eat enough calories to gain weight.
Make sure to eat at least three meals per day and try to add energy-dense snacks whenever possible.
Increase your intake of energy-dense foods
It’s very important to eat mostly whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
However, these foods tend to be more filling than processed junk foods, making it harder to get in enough calories.
Using plenty of spices, sauces, and condiments can help with this. The tastier your food is, the easier it may be to eat a lot of it. Toppings may also add additional calories.
Also, try to emphasize energy-dense foods as much as possible. These are foods that contain many calories relative to their weight.
Here are some energy-dense foods that may help you gain weight:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and peanuts
- Dried fruit, including raisins, dates, prunes, and others
- High-fat dairies, such as whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cheese, and cream
- Fats and oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil
- Grains, including whole grains like oats and brown rice
- Meat, such as chicken, beef, pork, and lamb; you can also choose fattier cuts
- Tubers, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams
- Other energy-dense foods like dark chocolate, avocados, peanut butter, coconut milk, granola, and trail mix
It may be a good idea to avoid over-consuming vegetables and fruit if gaining weight is a priority for you. The fiber in fruits and vegetables can lead you to feel full faster. This can leave less room for energy-dense foods.
If you need more suggestions, these healthy foods may help you gain weight faster.
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