This is a compact guide on how to increase your body fat percentage naturally. Eating energy-dense foods and having a good eating pattern is the best way to gain body fat efficiently.
Below you will read more about the foods you should eat, how many meals to eat (time gap between two meals) & some other tips that will help you gain some muscle mass & increase your body fat percentage.
Note: To save you some time, I have included a daily meal plan for gaining fat (from WikiHow). You can use that meal plan as it is or use it to get some ideas about the types of meals you will eat for your breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Read the below section to understand how to choose your goals and why you shouldn’t focus on gaining body fat excessively for one or two weeks. Instead, increase your body fat percentage gradually in a healthy way.
After this section, you will read in detail about – how to increase body fat percentage.
Things To Keep In Mind While You Are Planning To Increase Your Body Fat
In short: Gain body fat gradually. Avoid unhealthy foods & give your body some time to get used to the changes. Don’t eat unhealthy foods, fast foods, cheese, butter or oily foods in large quantities to increase your body fat percentage within a short period.
Everyone knows that when you eat more calories than you burn, your body starts depositing fat. To consume more calories, some people say to depend mostly on fast food and refined carbs.
But you can’t do that if you want to gain body fat in a healthy way.
You can depend on high-calorie food items and some fast-food (not fried food) but you need to eat healthy foods, vegetables and fruits too.
No matter if your goal is to gain muscle or fat… never consume an excessive amount of oily foods. Instead, focus on high-protein food sources.
Also, set realistic goals. You can comfortably gain 1.5 to 2 lbs of muscle mass & body fat within 35 to 40 days. But don’t push your body to gain that much body fat & weight within 15 days or in a week.
Increasing your body weight too fast can create problems like – discomfort in your bone joints and hormonal changes in your body and you can become less flexible than before.
3 Best Ways To Increase Your Body Fat Percentage Naturally
The types of food you eat have the most impact when you want to increase body fat. Apart from food types, the quantity of energy-dense foods you eat & your eating habit determines how much muscle mass & body fat you will gain.
Section 1 – you will read about the types of food you should eat, the number of meals to eat in a day and eating habits for gaining fat.
Section 2 gives you some exercise tips to maintain a good shape while increasing your body fat percentage & body weight.
In Section 3 – you will find how much rest do you need to have a healthy body fat percentage.
1. Eating the right food to increase body fat percentage.
The types of foods you eat in your meals act as a crucial factor when it comes to gaining body fat.
Our body uses mainly protein, amino acids, and water to form and maintain muscles in our body. Fat in the human body is stored in fat cells, called adipocytes.
Fat cells present in your body increase and decrease their size – depending on how much fat your body is storing. So, to increase fat in your body; you need to eat foods which help in fat formation.
List of energy-dense foods to increase fat in your body:
- Milk products: Whole milk, full-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, cream.
- Meat: Chicken and beef.
- Fish: Salmon and other oily fish
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes.
- Oils: Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
- Nuts & dried fruit: walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts, raisins, dates, prunes.
- Others: Avocados, peanut butter, multigrain, bran, coconut milk, dark chocolate.
Foods to gain body fat & muscle mass for vegetarians:
- Pulses & legumes: Lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, chia seeds etc.
- Fruits: Jackfruit, raisins, dates, guava, bananas, kiwi fruit.
- Soy milk.
Best eating habits to gain body fat
To maintain a good amount of muscle mass and achieve a healthy body fat percentage, make sure you are not skipping your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Why my body fat percentage is low? – This might be the reason.
One thing that lowers fat formation in the human body is – when someone skips a meal or spends some hours (5 hours or more) without eating any food. That time your body depends on the stored fats in your body to provide you energy.
Eat something healthy & nutritious in your breakfast
Generally, there is a 9-13 hours gap in between your dinner and breakfast. So, if you don’t eat your breakfast then it will be harder for you to gain body fat & weight.
Skipping meals from time to time can lower fat formation in your body.
When your body doesn’t get adequate energy supplies … it uses a portion of stored body fat in order to fill the gap.
If you are trying to increase your fat percentage then probably you don’t want to burn those fats which are already present in your body.
Hear’s what you need to do to maintain a healthy body fat percentage:
Try not to skip any of your regular meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner). If you think you can get stuck with something and might skip a meal -then keep some food with you. It can be a protein bar, some healthy snacks, dry fruits etc. But don’t be on an empty stomach for more than 4 hours during the day.
Number of meals to eat to increase body fat percentage
Eating – 4 meals in a day can give you better results in terms of gaining weight and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. From those – 4 meals, you can eat 2-3 meals in normal quantities. For the rest of 1-2 meals, you can eat less amount.
The reason for eating – 4 smaller meals is: that when you eat food in small quantities; it helps your body to digest faster.
Diet plan from WikiHow – Daily Meal Plan for Gaining Fat – Have 5 variations, downloadable. (link opens in a new tab.)
2. Exercise tips to stay in shape while gaining body fat
When you are trying to increase your body fat percentage and muscle mass, you can better control your shape by doing some exercises on the side. If you are trying to gain some body fat for say 40-50 days – you can do less cardio for that time and do these exercises.
The first part of this section is for those who exercise with weights. And the second part is for those who do body-weight exercises.
If you work out with weights in the gym:
- Within 13 days – lift weight only 3 days. And 2-days, do bodyweight exercises.
- Increasing more resting time helps your muscles to fully recover and it gets larger.
- Focus on chest, leg, biceps and shoulder exercises.
- Other 2 days do a slow jog, cycling, swimming for 15 to20 minutes.
Exercises you must do:
- Deadlifts: 2 sets of 5-10 reps + 1 set (heavyweight) 3-5 reps.
- Squats: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Bench press: 2 sets of 8 reps + 1 set (heavyweight) 6-8 reps.
- Push-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Shoulder press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- And other exercises of your choice. ( Gym session time recommended 45 -50 minutes.)
If you exercise at home:
Here are some ways and tips to keep your body in shape while you are bulking without going to the gym.
Exercise for 3 days a week. For most people 10 to 15 minutes. (if you want to gain more muscle mass then you can exercise for up to 45 minutes.)
On other days feel free to spend 20 to 30 minutes cycling, walking or slow jogging to maintain good health.
Related – Home workout secrets to get better results.
Exercises you need to do 3 days a week:
- Bodyweight squats
- Pull-ups and chin-ups
- Bodyweight lunges
Below I included several videos, which will demonstrate and show you how to do those exercises with proper form.
After that – the next section where you will know about – how much rest you need to increase your body fat.
How to do the perfect push up
Body-weight squat tutorial video
Simple Stretching workout video
3. How much rest do you need to increase your body fat
To increase your body fat percentage at night you need to sleep for 6-7 hours. Apart from having an adequate amount of sleep, you can follow your usual daily schedule.
If you follow the above two then you don’t need to give much focus to the amount of rest you should have during the day in order to increase body fat percentage. But to stay healthy and to gain body fat naturally you should have 6-7 hours of proper sleep at night.
FAQs About How To Increase Body Fat Percentage
What causes body fat percentage to increase?
The type of food that you eat, your eating pattern and your daily activities mostly denotes how much body fat you should have. These three factors can increase or decrease your body fat percentage.
How long does it take to increase body fat percentage?
If you eat correctly and do adequate physical activities to keep your body healthy then within 2 weeks you can see changes in your body fat percentage. For a major increase in body fat percentage it can take 40-70 days.
What foods increase body fat?
Many food items can help you healthily increase your body fat percentage. To gain body fat you should eat – whole milk food products, cheese or cottage cheese, oily fish like salmon, meat, nuts and dried fruits, dark chocolate etc.
Can body fat increase overnight?
An increase in body fat percentage doesn’t happen overnight. It can take days and weeks before you see any major changes in your body fat percentage. However sudden hormonal changes and rapid increase or decrease in water mass in your body can change your body fat percentage.
What causes sudden increase in body fat percentage?
If you are seeing a sudden increase in your body fat percentage then most likely it’s because of a sudden hormonal change that affects your body fat percentage or it’s because of sudden changes in your muscle tissues water content.
Our body fat percentage depends on –
- What food do you eat and how much
- Your physical activities and how many calories you burn on a daily basis
- Hours of rest your body gets.
To increase your body fat percentage you should never skip your meals. Because when you skip a meal your body uses stored body fat to supply energy for your body.
The best eating habit to increase body fat percentage and bulk up is to eat 4- 6 meals a day. You can adjust the amount of food you want to eat each time according to your preferences.
also, Your diet must include high-protein foods, carbs (rice, potatoes), and fish.
If you follow these then you will gradually start increasing your body fat percentage and muscle mass naturally.
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