Skinny-fat: Bulk or Cut?

How To Gain Weight Without Belly Fat

How do I gain weight without getting fatter—especially fat on the belly? It took me trial and error over the years and reading over 1,000 studies to learn how to do this. Inside I’ll break down the steps.

Before we talk about the solution to gaining weight without belly fat, we first need to understand what belly fat is.

What Is Belly Fat?

Belly fat is linked to chronic inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes. This is well known in the most current research, but I haven’t seen any fitness or health coach talking about this.

Belly fat is not a normal fat storage pattern. Normal fat is called subcutaneous fat, and it’s underneath the skin.

Belly fat is known as deep, superficial subcutaneous fat, and it’s also correlated with visceral fat, which is between your muscles and organs. This type of fat is correlated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (2006 study). (This is the same type of fat that causes the double chin as well.)

Visceral Fat

Deep stubborn fat

So you will need more food—protein, fats, and carbs to gain weight. But that food must not be inflammatory.

If you eat even more inflammatory foods, that will cause your belly to grow larger.

So the solution is to eat more foods that actively help your body to heal from inflammation or, at the very least, are neutral when it comes to inflammation.

What is the main source of chronic inflammation?

The main cause of inflammation is related to disturbed gut health. There are other factors, such as environmental and lifestyle factors, that can play into this as well. For example, even just one night of sleep deprivation can temporarily cause insulin resistance and cause fat gain in the belly. Some things like fluoride exposure, which isn’t food, (toothpaste, soda pop, drinking water) can cause disturbed gut health.

Beginner Steps To Gain Weight Without Belly-Fat

Eat More Of These Foods

  • 100% grass-fed meats like lamb, beef, goat, and other ruminants
  • Wild seafood like cod, sockeye salmon, mackerel, etc.
  • Raw honey
  • Raw dairy
  • Fresh fruit
  • Berries
  • Sprouted rice
  • Squashes, cucumbers, etc.
  • Organ meats to help heal your body (Liver, sweetbreads, kidney, etc.)
  • Meat stock/bone broth for collagen and fat-soluble vitamins
  • Overnight oats
  • Sourdough bread

Eat Less Of These Inflammatory Foods

  • White Sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • White Flour
  • Pasteurized dairy
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Foods with additives (come out of a box, restaurant foods, etc.)
  • Unprocessed carbs (brown rice, brown wheat, etc.)

Other Factors Related To Inflammation

  • Water quality (spring or well water is best)
  • Fluoride exposure (toothpaste, water, soda pop, non-stick pans)
  • Food additives/preservatives/pesticides
  • Lack of sleep (under 7 hours is not enough, 7.5 for okay, 9 hours is ideal)
  • Artificial light at night
  • Air pollution (includes moldy homes, living near smoke stacks, etc.)
  • Sedentary lifestyle (try walking at least 7,500 steps a day)
  • Lack of sunshine (try and get outside into the fresh air every day. You are less likely to burn in the early morning and sunset.)

Disturbed Gut Health & Belly Fat

If you already have disturbed gut health, even “healthy” foods can cause inflammation due to the inability to digest them well. This includes pasteurized dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, legumes, and whole grains that are unprocessed (corn, oats, spelt, etc).

The good news is that you can improve your gut health by improving your immune system, killing pathogenic bacteria like H Pylori, improving nutrient status and resolving deficiencies, and getting everything your gut needs to be healthy, such as enough collagen intake.

Lift weights To Reduce Fat Gain

Lifting weights will tell your body to add muscle mass as an adaptation to the workouts. But more than that, lifting weights subtly changes your appetite. For example, instead of wanting a slice of pizza for dinner—after lifting weights, you might find yourself wanting a double or triple patty burger. This is your body telling you to eat more protein/meat. This will help steer you away from inflammatory foods and towards nourishing, protein-heavy foods.

Walk 10,000 Steps A Day To Melt Stubborn Belly Fat

In the past, as I entered into my thirties, every time I would eat a bulking diet (calorie surplus) and lift weights, I would just get fatter.

One day, I decided to do an experiment and add in 10,000 steps a day for 30 days. I made a bet with a friend to make sure I’d follow through.

By the end of the month, I had gained four pounds and lost 1″ at the waist! I had successfully gained weight, and not only did I not gain any weight on the belly, but I also lost stubborn fat off the gut!

Walking can lower blood sugars without the body needing to produce insulin. It does this by burning up sugars through muscular contractions. This lowers inflammation without even changing anything else in the diet/lifestyle. Walking can be a very powerful tool for this reason.

Want More Advanced Tips?

This is just the beginning. Many people can succesfully fix their problem just by integrating these principles. If you want to learn some intermediate and advanced tactics to melt off stubborn belly fat while gaining weight from lean mass, you’d love our programs.

Burn Stubborn Fat, Gain Muscle

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