You want to get fat but don’t know where to start?
Wanting to get fat is a unique goal.
Most people either want to get skinny or muscular. However, there are a few reasons for wanting to pack on extra pounds.
If you’re majorly underweight, adding fat may help protect your organs and improve your health.
Your body needs fat to survive.
Adding fat may also help you move up a weight class without going through the struggle of adding muscle. It can also provide extra protection before going on an arctic adventure or give you more fuel to burn before going on a long hike.
Some people just prefer to be chubbier.
No matter the reason for wanting to get fat, there are ways to do it safely.
If you want to pack on more weight, check out the following tips for how to get fat without increasing your risk of a heart attack or developing diabetes.
- 1 1. Calculate Your Daily Calorie Needs
- 2 2. Set a Goal for Your Weight Gain
- 3 3. Avoid Unhealthy Processed Foods
- 4 4. Fill up on Carbs and Healthy Fats
- 5 5. Try to Eat Your Meals Quickly
- 6 6. Add a Spoonful of Sugar to Your Meals
- 7 7. Stop Lifting Weights and Limit Your Workouts
- 8 8. Try to Become Less Active in Your Daily Life
- 9 9. Avoid Habits That Decrease Your Appetite
- 10 10. Eat Three Full Meals Each Day
- 11 Things to Avoid When Trying to Get Fat
- 12 How Much Body Fat Is Unsafe?
- 13 How to Gain Weight Without Adding Fat
1. Calculate Your Daily Calorie Needs
You need to eat at a calorie surplus to gain weight whether you want to add muscle or fat.
If you don’t get enough calories, your body needs to burn fat or muscle to fuel your organs and muscles.
First, calculate your daily calorie needs. This lets you know how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight.
Before going any further, I want to make clear that this information is based on personal experience and online research.
If you have existing health issues, you should consider talking to your doctor about your plans to get fat.
After determining your daily calorie needs, you can figure out how much you need to eat to start gaining weight.
There are 3,500 calories in one pound.
So if you eat a calorie surplus of 3,500 calories for the week, you should gain about one pound of fat.
That’s typically considered a safe increase as you don’t want to gain fat too quickly.
Add 500 calories to your daily calorie total. If you need 2,500 calories to maintain your weight, start eating 3,000 calories per day.
500 calories times seven days equals 3,500.
2. Set a Goal for Your Weight Gain
Before you embark on your fat-gaining journey, you should set an endpoint. Decide how much weight you want to gain.
For those suffering from health issues that limit weight gains, such as thyroid problems or surgery, work with your doctor to set a healthy weight goal.
If you gain one pound of fat each week, you may gain up to 52 pounds in a year. Unless you’re incredibly underweight, adding 52 pounds of fat could seriously jeopardize your health.
Excess fat accumulation increases the risk of many health complications. You face an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various chronic illnesses.
Adding just 10 pounds of fat can change your appearance without severely risking your health.
To gain fat safely, try setting a small goal such as 10 pounds. After you add 10 pounds of fat, you can decide whether you want to add another 10 pounds, and so on.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Processed Foods
The fastest path to a fatter body is through the drive-thru window.
Scarfing down fast food, sugary snacks, and fried meals can help you pack on weight quickly.
If you want to start adding fat safely, you should at least try to include healthy foods in your diet.
Fill up on natural foods, providing your body with healthy sources of nutrition, such as:
- Whole grains
This is how you gain weight without severely increasing your risk of health complications connected to obesity.
Avoid foods that contain lots of added sugar, such as processed foods. Added sugar may lead to blood sugar spikes, sugar crashes, and decreased energy levels.
Foods with more dietary fiber and complex carbs take longer to digest, making them more filling. As it takes longer to burn these calories, eating these foods also makes it easier to eat a calorie surplus.
4. Fill up on Carbs and Healthy Fats
While you should still include fish, poultry, and other healthy sources of protein in your diet, you can gain fat more quickly with carbs and healthy fats.
Foods that contain more calories per serving allow you to fill up quickly without eating as much. This includes carbs and healthy fats such as nuts, dairy, and dried fruits.
Nutritionists often recommend calorie-dense foods for weight loss but they can also promote weight gain.
High calorie-density foods include:
These foods also tend to have higher levels of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids along with antioxidants and protein.
Basically, you want to focus more on carbs and fats instead of protein.
How much of each nutrient should you eat?
Eating 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight allows you to maintain muscle mass. If you weigh 165 pounds, you should eat about 60 grams of protein per day.
That’s about 20 grams per meal. You can get that much from a typical serving of fish or poultry.
One gram of protein provides four calories. So if you eat 60 grams, you’ll get 240 calories from protein.
If you’re eating about 2,500 calories per day, you’d need to get another 2,260 calories from carbs and fats.
The maximum recommended fat intake for an adult is 35% of your daily calories (close to 875 calories for a 2,500-calorie diet). That leaves a little about 1,385 calories (346 grams) from carbs.
That’s a lot of food.
If you’re not interested in maintaining a healthy nutrient ratio, simply track the total calories and try to avoid eating too much protein.
5. Try to Eat Your Meals Quickly
If you’re naturally skinny and have trouble packing on pounds, you may find it difficult to eat a calorie surplus.
When you’re used to eating less, you’ll likely feel full before you clean off your plate.
To ensure that you consume enough calories each day, eat your meals quickly.
It takes about 20 minutes to feel full after you start eating. When you chew food, your brain registers the taste and texture but you don’t start to feel full until the food reaches the stomach.
As food begins to fill your stomach, your body releases hormones that tell the brain to stop eating.
20 minutes is the average delay but you may sometimes feel fuller more quickly.
When it comes to mealtime, sit down and focus on eating. Don’t socialize or take your time.
If you eat fast enough, you may finish your meal before your brain catches on.
6. Add a Spoonful of Sugar to Your Meals
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down and helps you gain fat. If you’re only eating processed foods, you’re already getting enough refined sugar.
For those following advice discussed and eating healthy foods, you may need a boost. Add a spoonful of sugar to your meals.
Obviously, you don’t want to add a spoonful of sugar to a cheeseburger or scrambled eggs but you can add it to cereal, waffles, and anything else that goes well with added sugar.
For example, you could add a few scoops of sugar to your coffee or beverage.
One teaspoon of sugar contains about 16 calories or four grams of carbs. A tablespoon has 48 calories (12 grams of carbs).
It’s not a lot of extra calories but you get a small boost to help with your goal of getting fat.
7. Stop Lifting Weights and Limit Your Workouts
If you want to maintain your endurance and protect your cardiovascular system, you should still include cardio in your regular routine. However, you should hold off on strength training and intense workouts.
Lifting weights promotes muscle development. Your body uses some of the calories that you consume for muscle repair.
As you gain more muscle mass, you’ll also increase your daily calorie needs. Your calorie intake becomes less of a surplus, limiting your ability to gain fat.
Muscle mass isn’t the only factor that impacts your metabolism.
Strength training boosts your metabolism but your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is mostly determined based on your age, gender, and genetics.
However, your total body mass is still the most important factor. If you gain more muscle, you increase your overall body mass, requiring additional calories to fuel your body.
Give up the weights and start jogging or cycling.
8. Try to Become Less Active in Your Daily Life
Did you know that you burn calories doing almost any activity?
Walking up a flight of stairs burns about eight calories. Just standing up may burn a calorie or two.
The more calories you burn, the more you need to eat to make up for the loss.
Try to become less active but avoid becoming a complete couch potato.
Without any physical activity, you may develop poor blood circulation, increasing the chances of heart disease and stroke.
You also don’t want to work out too hard and end up burning too many calories. Walking burns about 90 to 200 calories every 30 minutes, which can quickly add up.
Think about how much you walk each day. Simply walking across the parking lot outside your workplace may burn a few dozen calories.
So, instead of giving up exercise completely, you should only perform moderate exercise and limit activity in other areas of your life.
For example, instead of taking the stairs, ride the escalator or an elevator.
9. Avoid Habits That Decrease Your Appetite
If you need to eat more food, it helps to stay hungry. There are several common habits that tend to decrease your appetite, such as:
- Drinking coffee
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking a glass of water before a meal
Drinking coffee suppresses your appetite but some of us need it to get up in the morning.
One or two cups won’t dramatically hurt your appetite but drinking it throughout the afternoon may.
Stick to a cup or two in the morning and skip coffee in the afternoon.
Drinking a glass of water before a meal is another trick that people use to eat less.
In one study, people who drank two glasses of water just before eating a meal ate 22% less compared to those who didn’t drink water.
Skip the water and wait for the meal to arrive.
10. Eat Three Full Meals Each Day
If you only eat two main meals each day, you’ll struggle to reach your calorie surplus for the day.
Imagine trying to eat a 2,000 calorie meal. Even if you eat quickly, you’re unlikely to finish before your stomach fills up.
Try to eat three full meals throughout the day and eat snacks between your meals.
You should also use the biggest plates that you have. A smaller plate makes the meal appear larger.
In fact, you should large containers for all your foods and beverages. Instead of pouring chips into a small bowl, use a large salad bowl. Even better — sit down with the whole bag of chips.
Things to Avoid When Trying to Get Fat
You have plenty of options for getting fat quickly but many of them increase the risk of health complications.
Getting less sleep, adding more stress to your life, and taking extra antibiotics are all solutions for limiting your metabolism and increasing your weight gain.
These solutions also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, digestive issues, and stroke.
Less sleep and more stress provide shortcuts but you don’t need to use those methods.
Stick with the 10 solutions discussed above.
How Much Body Fat Is Unsafe?
If you’re trying to get fat in the safest manner possible, you should track your progress.
Weigh yourself each week and try to estimate your body fat percentage.
The most accurate way to measure body fat at home is with calipers. However, you can also take your own measurements and use an online body fat percentage calculator.
The average adult male has 18% to 24% body fat. If you’ve got less than 20% body fat, you can typically see some muscle definition.
If you’ve got 21% to 24% body fat, you’re considered overweight. When you pass 24%, you’re labeled as obese.
For women, 31% to 36% body fat is overweight and 37% or higher is obese.
The medical community has linked obesity to a wide range of health conditions including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
Obesity may even put you at a higher risk of developing some types of cancer.
To stay within a relatively safe range, try to avoid becoming obese. Men should try to stay at 24% or less body fat while women should avoid going over 36%.
How to Gain Weight Without Adding Fat
Instead of adding fat without muscle, some people may want to know how to do the opposite and add muscle without gaining fat.
This is a common goal for people who are “skinny fat”. A skinny-fat person has limited muscle mass and fat around trouble areas such as the midsection.
Trying to blast the fat may reduce the limited muscle mass. The healthier option is to bulk up without adding more fat.
To achieve this goal, you’ll mostly follow the steps discussed with a few changes.
Instead of limiting your protein and strength training workouts, you’ll increase them.
Try to eat at least 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat about 150 to 225 grams of protein each day spread across four meals.
You’ll also need to adjust your calorie surplus. Instead of eating an extra 500 calories per day, add 250 calories.
You gain muscle at a slower rate compared to fat gain. This means that you don’t need to eat quite as much.
Sticking to a 250-calorie surplus should allow you to build muscle without providing your body with excess fat.
Last Thoughts on How to Get Fat
If you want to gain fat, you’ll need to avoid the typical health recommendations. Instead of being more active, limiting your calories, and working out regularly, you’ll want to sit around and eat more.
The biggest factor that influences your ability to gain or lose weight is the number of calories that you eat each day.
If your body needs energy and uses the calories that you consume for fuel, you will not gain weight. When you eat a calorie surplus, you start gaining weight. If you eat fewer calories, you start losing weight.
So, if you want to know how to get fat, simply start eating more.
Add 250 to 500 calories to your daily calorie intake. This allows for about one pound of fat gain every week or two.
You should also cut down on exercise, especially strength training.
As a final reminder, talk to your doctor about your plans to gain fat. If you’re trying to fatten up due to a health condition, you should work with your doctor to devise a safe and healthy diet.