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How to Gain Belly Fat

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How to Gain Belly Fat
Nutritious, high calorie food. Photo Credit OleksandraUsenko/iStock/Getty Images

Many people regard belly fat as public enemy No. 1 for their physical health. They turn to methods such as diet and exercise in an attempt to burn off this excess fat. The desire to gain belly fat isn't as common. If this is your goal, do not attempt to gain body fat unless your doctor recommends it.

Increasing Body Fat

Try as you might, it's not possible to specifically increase the fat around your belly without also gaining overall body fat. Likewise, it's impossible to burn a chosen deposit of fat anywhere in your body. Although everyone gains fat more readily in certain areas -- for example, around your midsection or on your hips -- you can't adopt a diet that will solely add fat around your belly.

The Science of Fat Gain

The relationship between the calories you consume and those your body uses for energy dictates your ability to gain overall body fat. To gain fat, you must consistently consume a larger number of calories than you expend. This state is called a caloric excess and is the opposite of a caloric deficit, which is needed to lose weight. You can reach a caloric excess through means such as consuming a high-calorie diet and decreasing the amount you exercise. It's important, however, to attempt this process only under the recommendation and care of your doctor.

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High-Calorie, Healthy Diet

Although an unhealthy diet filled with items such as fast-food products, soda and sweets can cause fat gain, it's possible to shift your body into a caloric excess while still eating healthy foods. Focus on high-calorie foods that are nutritious, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, fruits such as bananas and whole-grain breads. These products are high in calories but also provide valuable minerals, vitamins and fiber to help you increase your caloric intake without eating empty calories.

Beware of Belly Fat

Gaining belly fat isn't advisable for more than just reasons related to your appearance. A buildup of fat in this part of your body is a significant health concern because, in addition to the fat that sits close to the surface, fat also packs itself around your organs. Belly fat increases your risk of several health issues, including insulin resistance and diabetes. Fat gain is also tied to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

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