The majority of my readers (and the population in general) seek knowledge on how to lose body fat. I have written extensively on this topic and even have a successful Fat loss program for people who have this sole aim.
But what if you wanted to put on fat? What would I recommend? In this article, I cover exactly that.
Please note - if you're still interested in losing fat yourself, do the opposite of everything I have listed below and you're going to see rapid results!
This means plenty of vegetable oils such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil and even large doses of fish oil.
All these oils are prevalent in restaurants, cafes and kitchens around the world, so tracking them done is not hard.
Vegetable oils are all high in omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fats, commonly referred to as 'PUFA's.
PUFA's are easily oxidised and can cause a lot of health damage, for more on this topic read - PUFA's: The Worst Thing For Your Health That You Eat Everyday.
But for those looking at increasing body fat levels, they're a godsend. Excess intake of Omega 6 fats is linked to obesity (1).
The body stores excess PUFAs as body fat, (2) plus both rat studies (1) and human studies have found that groups who consume more PUFA fats, with all other variables being equal (including total calories) gained more body fat.
You can test your Omega 6 levels with an inexpensive in home test through LetsGetChecked.com (use code ALEXFERGUS to save on these tests)
Individuals who are seeking rapid fat gain have been known to carry around flasks full high PUFA oil - sipping on it throughout the day. It is that effective as a fat gainer.
So continue cooking in canola oil and making sure it's abundant in your diet. If you eat out a lot and buy a lot of packaged foods then this won't be hard.
A diet high in pesticides such as glyphosate will help promote fat gain. Glyphosate exposure causes a range of health damage on the body (read more about in my article - Glyphosate: Why You Need To Eat Organic).
But for those looking at increasing body fat, glyphosate destroys beneficial gut bacteria and inhibits cytochrome P450 - which in turn causes inflammation and obesity (3). Obesity - that's what we're after right?!
Not only that, but glyphosate exposure will decrease sex hormone production - meaning lower levels of the fat burning hormones testosterone (4) (we will cover other ways to decrease testosterone soon).
That's not all. Glyphosate exposure causes mineral deficiencies - malabsorption is a great way to boost fat storage (I'll explain why later in this piece)(5) And it can cause hypothyroidism - another beneficial way to increase body fat levels (6)
The best way to increase glyphosate in your diet - eat GMO roundup Ready crops. Soybean, corn and wheat are all great examples here.
If you can't get access to these foods, then any conventional non-organic food (produce or meat) is going to be contaminated in glyphosate.
Even better than short sleep, aim to have the worst night sleep possible - wake up frequently, have background noises disturbing you and go to bed at irregular times.
In fact - do the complete opposite to everything I say in my Sound Asleep Course and you're on your way to rapid fat gain!
Sleep has a huge impact on the fat gain (or loss). When you have a bad night of sleep, your body produces less leptin hormone (7)
Leptin plays a huge role in regulating appetite - when levels are high, your body will have a low appetite (assuming you are leptin sensitive, more on this soon).
One bad night of sleep can significantly decrease your leptin levels - you will wake up feeling extremely hungry.
Not only this, but the lack of sleep is going to increase stress hormone cortisol (another great way to increase fat levels), decreases testosterone (great news if you seek higher fat levels) and decreases sensitivity to neurotransmitters such as dopamine (you are going to be craving junk food!)
So stay up late, watch more episodes of your favourite TV series and aim for a few hours of light sleep. If you use a Oura Ring (read my review HERE) sleep tracker, aim for a sleep score of 70% or less for optimal fat gain.
You might think that jogging at a medium intensity for hours and hours a week is counter-intuitive to your fat gain goals. Well, think again.
Exercising in this 'no man's land' is very stressful on the body. It's harder than walking - meaning it's requiring more energy for output, but it's easier than sprinting - meaning you don't need to stop after a few seconds, you can continue for hours on end.
As a result, you have an increase in the production of cortisol, the stress hormone while also suppressing testosterone and growth hormone (both of which are potent fat burners).
Also, excess cardio creates high amounts of inflammation in the body and increases free radical production. But as this type of exercise doesn't 'hurt as much' as sprint training or weight training, you can be tempted to do it for longer and longer on a more frequent basis.
This guy has his cardio dialed in for optimal fat gain!
So skip the interval training, skip the long walks, go for a long jog instead if your goal is fat gain. If you are serious about your goals, you should sip on a mass gainer shake or a sugar-rich sports drink during these sessions
I often get overweight clients come to me who are in a hypothyroid state. What does this mean? Simple, their metabolism is ruined, they have cold hands and feet, little energy, their T3 labs are low and most importantly - they're fat.
A symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Now I don't recommend trying to become hypothyroid as it's not a fun state to be in, but there are lessons to be learnt if your goal is body fat gain. So how do you slow the metabolism down to increase fat gain?
Here are a few pointers:
Eat an ultra low carb diet for an extended period (3months or longer)
Eat an ultra low-calorie diet for an extended period.
Eat a low nutrient diet (lacking in minerals such as selenium, zinc and iodine)
Overtrain - lots of endurance training is a great way to reach this state.
If the fat gain is the goal, slowing down your metabolism is going to help. So try those tricks above to pour water on the fire that is your metabolism. Just be sure to have some gloves and thick socks on hand!
Testosterone is a powerful fat burner in both men and woman.
Research has shown that higher testosterone levels led to an increase in energy expenditure from muscle tissue at rest (8) and hormone-deficient men who are given testosterone supplements in a lost an average of 16kg over five years. (9).
The men were fatter with lower testosterone levels.
So how does one lower their testosterone in order to increase body fat?
The most comprehensive way is to do the opposite to what I outline in this article - 29 Proven and Effective Ways to Boost Testosterone Naturally.
I will cover a lot of the big factors in this list, but if you are looking for a quick run through of ideas, here goes: Avoid eating saturated fat (replace it with vegetable oil), avoid lifting weights (stay at home or do chronic cardio instead) and maximise estrogen levels (beer, plastic and chemicals are all great for this).
If you're looking to increase body fat levels, say goodbye to your tan and avoid sun exposure.
Vitamin D from sunlight exposure is shown to increase testosterone (10). Not only that, sunlight exposure is linked to thyroid health and sleep quality - both things that will decrease body fat.
Also, sunlight exposure, independent of vitamin D status - helps lower body fat levels (22). more reason to stay inside as you eat GMO grains cooked in vegetable oils.
Trans fats are man-made fatty acids that are associated with various health issues and fat gain.
Similar to the PUFA's outlined earlier, you want to eat plenty of these partially hydrogenated oils if fat gain is your goal. Especially if weight gain around the belly is a priority.
Researchers at Wake Forest University found that trans fats increase fat levels around the belly. They do this not just by adding new fat, but also by moving fat from other areas to the belly (11).
Trans fats should be a staple in your diet, like vegetable oils, these fats are going to be your trump card to speed up your fat gain. Studies even show that trans fats increased fat deposits even in the absence of caloric excess (12). Meaning you don't need to force fed yourself to get fat!
Trans fats are found in heavily processed foods like crackers, cookies and margarine. You'll find these in supermarkets all around the world.
The more stress in your life, in your body and in your environment the more likely you are to gain body fat. Not only is stress a great way to gain fat (read how in my article Why You Need To Do Less To Lose Fat), but it's also a great way to maintain body fat levels.
So if for whatever reason you don't have your regular access to doughnuts made from GMO wheat, full of trans fats that were cooked in canola oil - don't worry. Introduce as much stress into your life as possible and the excess cortisol is going to help protect that previously stored body fat.
What could you do to increase your stress load? Have a read through the article I mentioned above as a start.
Otherwise here are a few ideas - max out your credit card on junk food and don't pay the bill. Debt collectors will be sure to increase your stress load. Leave for work at the last minute so you get stuck in traffic. Fly United Airlines. Live next to a high transmission power-line. Date a jerk. Have triplets. Skip sleep. Say Yes to every request you get.
Embrace the stress (and the resulting fat gain!)
The body has a built-in mechanism to avoid excessive fat gain. If you are serious about increasing your body fat percentage you need to override these mechanisms.
To achieve this we need to look at leptin in a little more detail. Remember leptin is a hormone that helps control our appetite. When it's released in the body we are less hungry.
It makes sense to try and lower leptin in the body - lack of sleep is one way to achieve this.
Leptin is created in body fat tissue. The more body fat the more leptin will be produced. So as you increase your body fat your brain is going to get more signals saying 'slow down, we don't need more food'. Hormones are powerful things and the strongest willpower in the world may falter here.
But there is a way around this. We can develop leptin resistance - meaning that leptin doesn't have an effect on our brain. Despite more leptin being released from the fat cells, it won't have an impact on your satiety. You can get fatter and keep the appetite. Awesome!
So how do we induce leptin resistance? Well firstly, don't join The Program as I walk you through exactly what you need to be doing to resolve leptin resistance.
Instead, here's what you need to do: Continue to eat massive meals whenever possible. Years of overeating create high levels of leptin (known as hyperleptinemia), which causes leptin to become less effective at controlling appetite.
You also need to eat calorie dense foods whenever possible - processed cookies and doughnuts are a great option. So are calorie dense smoothies. Drink your calories.
Other factors that help include - irregular meal times, irregular sleep/wake cycles and messed up circadian rhythms. If you can afford it - book regular long haul flights. Watch movies and eat whenever they bring out food. Plus take your own snacks.
You need want to create as many mixed signals in the body around sleep times, light cycles and feeding times. International travel is a great way to achieve this.
For more on Leptin and how it leads to weight gain, see my article Why You Need To Learn About Leptin If You Are Overweight.
Another hormone that plays an important role in fat gain is ghrelin. Ghrelin is your hunger hormone - when it's released you feel hungry (the opposite to leptin).
As more and more leptin is released from your fat cells your body will produce less ghrelin. So you may find yourself eating less.
Do not fall for this feeling of fullness. If you are serious about weight gain you must continue to eat. Even if you are not hungry.
Ensure you have snacks with you at all times. Snack between meals, even if you know lunch is only an hour away.
Go on what I call the 'see-food' diet - if you see food, whether it's the sweets at the mechanic's reception desk or the bagels in the office - eat it.
This is also another great way to increase your resistance to leptin - overriding the bodies' natural hormonal cycles.
You can't let the body have it's way if you want to become obese. A healthy happy body is lean. You can read more about this here - The Secret To Looking AND Feeling Amazing. You need to take charge of your body and go against what it desires.
EMF - or Electromagnetic Fields - are natural forces emitted from the sun, earth even people. With modern technology, we have added to these forces - creating Non-Native EMF fields.
Sources of these fields include cell phones, wifi routers, cell towers, power lines, smart meters, bluetooth, electric cars, radio towers and electrical wiring.
These unseen forces can play havoc on our health. Not only can they reduce testosterone levels (13, 14) but there is evidence that dirty electricity (a form of nnEMF) is a cause of obesity (15).
So make sure you sleep close to your wifi router, carry your phone in your pocket at all times, use as many wireless devices as possible and live in a densely populated city - surrounded by electrical wiring and cell towers.
Never lift anything heavy. Don't even lift heavy bags of groceries or furniture. Pay people to do that or even better, use a grocery delivery service so you minimise movement and don't need to expose yourself to the sun.
Resistance training of any form is going to slow fat gain progress. There is a reason why the guys and girls lifting weights are so lean! In my article 11 Reasons Why You Need To Lift Heavy For Fat Loss I go into why this is the case.
But if your goal is weight gain then forget about lifting anything more than your arm, or your body if you need to move.
Stressing the muscle is not only going to use precious energy (that could be stored as body fat) but it's going to build new muscle tissue which will require further energy to maintain it (meaning you need to eat more to stay in the same shape).
Plus, resistance training causes a hormonal cascade of events that are not supportive of fat gain.
If you use a wearable like Fitbit or Oura Ring, try and limit your daily step count to 4000 steps or less to maximise fat gain.
Every time you move you are expending energy. And movement requires muscles to fire. Muscles will adapt to the stressor. This adaption also uses more energy.
Those standup desks you see popping up in offices, forget about them. You want to remain in the same spot for as long as possible. Another reason why long haul travel is perfect for fat gain!
In fact, it only takes 2 hours of sitting to down-regulate lipase enzyme (your fat burning enzyme), up-regulates ghrelin (appetite hormone), and decrease leptin sensitivity ( a hormone that controls how full you feel).
So the longer you sit, the less fat you burn and the hungrier you become!
If you are snacking on trans fat or PUFA containing meals while being exposed to nnEMF during this time you're going to see some amazing fat gain progress!
What do I mean by this? Simple - ensure all your food comes from a cardboard box, a can or wrapped in plastic. Frozen meals, crisps and cookies are all winners here.
If you must eat vegetables, buy the canned variety full of preservatives, avoid anything fresh.
To take this a step further, look at the ingredients list, the more numbers you see the better. The more names you can't pronounce the better. For meat products, I would go for the lowest cost and fattiest cuts of meat.
You want to eat meat that was raised in a feedlot while eating GMO grains and being pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Farmers do this so the animal fattens up faster (you could try and mimic this lifestyle).
The great news for you is that a lot of these toxins are stored in the animals fat - eating this fat is a double win for you. Plus, these cuts of meat are always the cheapest!
Not only do you have a cheap source of fat (and fat that will be higher in pesticides and polyunsaturated fats due to the animal's diet) but you also get exposure to these toxins - if you can flood the body with enough of the toxins the body will also store them in your own body tissue.
This is why eating a heavily processed toxic diet can lead to fat gain, even in those thin people who have 'great genes' (have a look at their belly next time they're at the beach, I bet they have some belly fat!)
Processed = Fat Gain!
But that's not all. Xenoestrogens, pollutants and chemicals are synthetic compounds that have disruptive effects on our body. Xenoestrogens, for example, mimic the action of estrogen produced in our cells and can alter hormonal activity.
These chemicals can stimulate estrogens in the body, bind to estrogen receptors, causing fat accumulation, bind to gene signalling in fat tissue and cause new fat cell formation along with inflammation, disrupt leptin production by fat cells, and suppress adiponectin (glucose regulation and fatty acid breakdown) in fat cells.
It’s possible to gain fat by being exposed to too many toxins. Stay away from fresh whole foods. If your great grandma could eat it as a child then you shouldn't eat it.
If you are following all the recommendations above I would assume that your diet is already lacking in nutrients. But to fast track your fat gain goals you may want to take it a step further.
Studies have shown that obesity can be brought on by malnutrition (16). It makes perfect sense. If the body is lacking in vitamin nutrients, it's going to increase our appetite. In turn, you will eat food and the body will hope it gets what it's lacking.
You can use this to your advantage. Stay away from nutrient dense foods. Organ meats like liver (packed full of nutrients) should never be eaten, nor should shellfish, eggs, bone broth or even fruit and vegetables. Stay away from these foods. Remember - if your great grandma could it eat, you shouldn't eat it.
Instead, eat processed and refined foods. Sugar, corn syrup, vegetable oils and packaged goods. If you must eat out, get deep fried food - it will be fried in fattening vegetable oils and the meat or produce will rarely be organic or pasture fed (restaurants will usually state when their ingredients are high quality, save your money and eat elsewhere if your goal is weight gain).
And don't even think about taking a multivitamin! Stay away from all supplements whatsoever. Remember, we need to create a nutrient deficiency - so that the body increases hunger.
Phone screens, TVs and computers all emit what's referred to as blue light. This particular wavelength of light has been shown to suppress melatonin and increase cortisol (17).
You can read more about this in my article How Blue Light Is Ruining Sleep & Making You Sick Fat & Tired.
If your goal is disrupted sleep and weight gain these are both great outcomes. You may have seen people wearing fancy Blue light blocking glasses avoid these. Instead, saturate your eyes and environment with artificial light once the sun goes down.
Don't wear these - they lower stress, increase melatonin and help you sleep.
Install white fluorescent lights in your house, keep all the televisions on, remember to turn the brightness on your screen right up. Looking at these screens when it's dark outside send a signal to the brain that the sun is up, the days are long and the food is in abundance.
This is great if your goal is fat gain. You are signalling to the body - eat, be merry, stay up late and get fat because winter is coming and that means less food and shorter days.
If you maximise your screen time late at night your body will be tricked into thinking it's summer, helping you increase your fat gain (and also disrupting your melatonin and leptin levels). Win win.
The famous saying goes 'you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with'. So hang around fat lazy people.
Unfollow all those inspirational lean fitness people on social media. Instead, find friends who like junk food, movies and beer. The fatter they are the closer to them you should become.
Find your local 'Homer Simpson'.
Peer support is a powerful motivator. You need to minimise any temptation or peer pressure to eat 'healthy' or exercise. Instead, you need friends that have a similar goal to yours and will help you on your goals.
You may even want an accountability coach if you are very serious about your goals or make it a competition - whoever can put on the most weight in 6 months wins.
Beer is the perfect drink of choice if fat gain is your goal. Why?
Firstly it has been shown to decrease testosterone levels (18). Secondly, it's high in carbs and alcohol. As alcohol is metabolised first by the body, the carbs will be pushed away to be stored as fat. Thirdly, beer is made from hops and hops contain potent estrogenic substances (19).
This is going to help increase fat gain, and as a bonus, hops are classified as an anaphrodisiac herb – it lessens sexual desire - which is wasted energy expenditure for those looking at increasing fat levels.
Finally, many beers are contaminated with glyphosate (20), the pesticide that is going to help you with your fat gain goals.
So wash down your microwave meals with beer!
Soy is a great food source to help you on your weight gain quest. Even better, a lot of processed foods you find in the supermarket contain soy - whether it's soy flour, soy oil, soy protein or a derivative of soy.
If you are eating processed food, you will be eating some soy.
Why is it beneficial for fat gain? Soy contains phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) that have similar effects to estrogen in the body. Consumption has been linked to lower testosterone levels (38).
Even better, soy is high in poly-unsaturated fats. Those fats that are going to help grow your waist size. Plus, GMO soy is high in the glypohsate residue. So if you can get your hands on some genetically engineered soy (it's everywhere in the US) then you're on to a weight gain winner!
You can read how bad soy is in my article 13 Reasons Why Soy Is The Worst Food In The World
I have mentioned this earlier, but it needs its own section. Long haul travel may be the perfect way to accumulate body fat.
When you stop and think about it, it's so obvious as to why. You're stuck in a seat for extended periods - if you wanted to move you can't go far.
You're exposed to huge amounts of radiation as you travel in a metal tube in a thin atmosphere. Not to mention new planes that have onboard wifi.
The food is terrible - you will be exposed to vegetable oils, pesticides and feedlot meat.
Your sleep is disrupted. It's very hard to sleep well on a plane.
It's stressful. Customs, security, foreign languages...
It messes up your body clock and sleep cycles - perfect if leptin resistance is the goal!
There you go. If you're looking to increase your body fat levels you now know how.
I should mention - all these recommendations are for increasing body fat only, and with this comes a big health cost. In fact, the recommendations above can be extremely dangerous and in all fairness, I don't recommend anyone following the protocols above.
Instead, what I hope to achieve from this article is to show people what they should avoid doing if they want to decrease fat levels. I'm sure many of you have read through this thinking 'I do that', or 'that applies to me'. If that is the case, and your goal is lower body levels (and increased health) then you now know what you should change.
If you are really serious about looking and feeling amazing and need all these protocols mapped out for you, please consider my health coaching program here.
This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is an ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.
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