How to Gain Weight But Not Stomach Fat

Man on a scale

Although there are exceptions, many people find that it's easy to gain weight by either increasing calorie consumption, decreasing physical activity or doing some combination of the two. If you are prone to gaining weight in a particular area of your body, however, you may wish to avoid this method. Fortunately, there are ways you can gain weight and healthy body mass without increasing your body fat. This can be beneficial to your health, and it can help you maintain a nice physique without adding unnecessary fat to your midsection or other areas of the body.

Build muscle through strength training. Muscle weighs more than fat, even though it takes up less room in the body. By adding muscle mass, you can add a healthy amount of weight without increasing your body's fat stores. Add muscle by incorporating strength training into your workout regimen at least three times a week, to as much as six times a week. Strength training may include weightlifting with barbells or free weights, and it can also include resistance training with your own body mass, such as pushups or pullups.

Add protein to your daily diet through lean meats and fish, or incorporate a protein supplement. Although muscle does weigh more than fat, and adding muscle can help you up your weight, muscle also requires more fuel to build and maintain. Greater muscle mass may increase your body's overall metabolism, and you may require more calories just to maintain your weight. Adding muscle mass can be hard work, but a well-balanced diet can be beneficial when it includes adequate protein and healthy fats.

Maintain aerobic activity such as jogging, walking or playing sports to minimize fat gain while you build muscle. Exercise specialist Shannon Clark notes that a regular cardiovascular workout can help balance out the additional calorie intake required to build muscle. Clark indicates that cardiovascular exercise can also help remove weightlifting byproducts from the body and help build stronger muscles faster. Additionally, aerobic activity can help keep your heart and respiratory system in good condition for better overall health.