The majority of people who talk about weight management solutions still hold tight to the idea that weight management is a simple process of managing calories in and calories out. We’ll get into the complexity of this very idea next week, but to set the stage, I wanted to share 14 ways to help you get fatter. Rather than talking about what you should do to lose body fat, you may learn more if you know what works to become fatter. When you become aware of the many causes of weight gain, you’ll understand why you’ll need to take a different approach to weight loss and fat loss.
1. Add Sugar to Each Meal
Mary Poppins suggested a spoonful of sugar to help medicine go down, but if your goal is to add a little more size to your thighs or love handles, you should try to add a little extra sugar to each of your meals. If you eat a lot of processed foods, you’re probably already doing that. You can even find added sugar in processed meats. Don’t stop there, though. White flour, bread, waffles, many cereals, chips, granola and crackers are easily converted to sugar as well. If you’re not keen on eating plain sugar, these foods should help with being able to add on extra body fat.
2. Limit Fat and Protein Intake
Healthy Fat and protein have significant effects on appetite. Both of these macronutrients contain nutrients essential to our health. By avoiding these foods, you’ll be more likely to have an insatiable appetite. People who eat them with every meal have a harder time overeating and may not have as much desire for carbohydrate-rich or sugary foods. When following a fat-gaining plan, it’s best to avoid these two macronutrients and place more emphasis on processed carbohydrates.
3. Sleep Less Than 7 Hours Each Night
Imagine how much more time you’ll have in your day if you skip out on sleep. If you’re trying to fatten up, this can be a great solution. Missing out on sleep will probably increase your appetite, making it easier to fill up on more junk food, but it can even help you gain body fat without changing your nutrition habits. Reducing sleep duration and quality helps your body become more of a sugar-burner so you don’t use up the fat stores you’re trying to preserve.
4. Overuse Antibiotics
Though some types of bacteria can lead to illness, our health depends on millions of beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract. A growing body of research suggests that gut bacteria play an important role in weight regulation. The bacteria in the digestive tract have been shown to communicate with other parts of the body, including “brown fat” which is a type of fat that can help increase calorie expenditure. Other research has shown the bacteria in the gut may also affect how much energy we get from food we eat, which can affect weight management as well. Antibiotics do not discriminate. They are designed to wipe out all bacteria, which means good bacteria are lost through antibiotic use and this may contribute to weight gain.
5. Leave a Night-Light or Two On in Your Bedroom
Your eyes might be closed when you sleep, but some research, though still on animals, has shown leaving faint lights on during sleep can cause an increase in weight gain even when controlling food intake. Light doesn’t affect us only through our eyes. The cells throughout the body are affected by light and dark, so leaving a night-light on may affect your ability to get into a complete, restful sleep. Disrupted sleep seems to contribute to gains in body fat and other health changes, so leave a night-light or two on, or make sure your cell phone blinks or buzzes during the night.
6. Sign Yourself and Your Kids Up for a Few More Activities
If you still have a little time left in your weekly schedule to relax, find a way to fill it up. If you stay overcommitted, you’ll have a harder time eating quality meals and fitting in exercise. Over-commitment will increase your level ofstress and help to keep you up later at night as well. The over-commitment could help the whole family with gaining body fat.
7. Start Each Day with a Bowl of Cereal and Fruit Juice
The great American breakfast, or at least the breakfast often advertised on television, is a bowl of cereal and juice. Low in protein and fat, and high in easily digestible carbohydrates, this breakfast is a great way to start the day with your goal of accumulating additional body fat. And such a breakfast can leave you hungry just a couple hours later. You may even start feeling the effects of low blood sugar, like trouble focusing, a reduction in energy and increase in irritability. The low blood sugar can be an advantage on a fat-gaining plan as it will lead you to eat more high-carbohydrate snack foods. Starting the day this way sets you up for a blood sugar roller-coaster, which will keep you snacking throughout the day and keep you on track with your fat gain goals.
8. Eat Extra Gluten
If you’re among the many people affected by gluten consumption, eating foods with gluten can help with gaining weight. It can act as an appetite stimulant and may make certain processed foods addicting. If the thought of giving up bread, pasta, pizza or other gluten-containing foods seems almost unbearable, there’s a possibility gluten has you hooked. That’s good news if you’re trying to gain body fat.
9. Assume Your Metabolism Is Functioning Just Fine
Some people think as we age, we should expect to get fatter. Men should continue to gain fat around their belly and women should gain more fat around their thighs and arms. Often the reason for these changes isn’t just diet and exercise. It’s a shift in the function of the metabolism. If you want to keep gaining weight, be sure to avoid having your metabolic health checked. Comprehensive blood testing can identify shifts in your metabolism, like changes in thyroid, testosterone, estrogen and blood sugar, which can all impact the way you use and store fat. If you want to gain more body fat, you’d be better off avoiding these types of tests as you may find something has gone awry and feel the need to do something about it.
10. Over-train or Under-recover
When it comes to your exercise program, you can help your body store more fat by either overtraining or under-recovering. Both have the same effect, but the perspective is a little different. Overtraining is often the result of following a poorly designed exercise program. You can over-train by working out every day with high levels of intensity. Each person is different, but generally, high-intensity workouts include metabolic conditioning or circuit training workouts where heart rate is elevated for most of the workout. Even running can lead to overtraining if individuals don’t vary their pace each day. Group fitness classes can also lead to overtraining if participants choose high-intensity, full-body workouts every day.
Overtraining can also be the result of under-recovering. Though an exercise session may not seem to be too challenging on the body, if someone does not take in sufficient amounts of protein and other nutrients, they won’t be able to recover from one workout before beginning the next.
In both situations, cortisol levels go up, the body burns more sugar and it becomes easier to store more fat and difficult to get rid of it. In addition, overtraining can lead to a loss of muscle tissue – exactly what you’re looking for on this fat gain plan.
11. Use Extra Stimulants
Caffeine has some benefits in moderate amounts. Overdoing caffeine, though, can wreak havoc on your adrenal system. As much as it may give you a lift in small quantities, it can contribute to a general lack of energy, motivation and enthusiasm if you use stimulants in high quantities for too long. Though it probably won’t help you gain fat by itself, when you add it to all the other habits mentioned here, it can help.
12. Avoid Vegetables and Fruit Except in Juice Form
If you’re striving to gain fat, be sure you’re not eating your produce. Instead, meet your vegetable and fruit requirements through juice. Juice is much more concentrated in sugar, especially fructose, and does not include fiber, which may help reduce your appetite. Loading up on juice is a great way to increase calorie intake, much like drinking soda would be. If you focus on using only fruit over vegetables and fruit for your juicing, you’ll be able to increase the amount of sugar per serving.
13. Use Containers Made with BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many plastic containers, the lining of food cans and even cash register receipts. BPA has been attacked over the past several years for its endocrine-disrupting effects. A recent study shows it has the potential to significantly increase production of insulin, the body’s primary fat-storage-signaling hormone. Those looking to train their body to store more fat may benefit from using more containers made with BPA to keep insulin levels elevated. Cooking or microwaving with containers that use BPA may increase your body’s exposure to this chemical.
14. Reward Yourself After Each Workout
If you’re going to include exercise in your fat-gaining program, be sure to reward yourself after every workout. It doesn’t take much to offset what you burn in each workout. Have a muffin, some chips, or a bowl of pasta. You’ll replace all the glycogen you burned in your training session and eat enough extra carbohydrates that it will help contribute to your fat stores. Most of these foods also have hidden sources of processed fats which will also help with filling up your fat stores.
There are probably a few other habits you could take advantage of in pursuing a higher level of body fat, but those mentioned above are a great place to start. If gaining more fat isn’t really your thing, or if you’d like to lose some fat, we’ll talk about that soon. In the meantime, if you want to drop some body fat, do the opposite of the recommendations above.
Written by Tom Nikkola
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.