How to Gain Fat in Your Arms & Legs

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Healthy weight gain
Healthy weight gain (Image: apple image by Andrey Andreev from Fotolia.com)

Increasing body fat is a delicate process since any drastic change in diet can lead to ill health. However, there are healthy ways to gain body fat without jeopardizing well-being. It’s important to include healthy foods that provide sufficient nutrients and to remain physically active. Increasing calorie intake and slowing down metabolism are two important factors for increasing body fat. Keep in mind that lean arms and legs may be inherited. According to the American Dietetic Association, genetics are an important factor when it comes to physical build.

Supplement meals with nutritious high-fat foods that contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats. You can add walnuts, olive oil and avocados to meals to increase fat intake without compromising health.

Drink beverages between meals instead of with meals. Certain beverages decrease appetite and increase metabolism. Do a little research to determine which ones should be avoided while attempting to increase body fat.

Increase caloric intake by eating larger meals and incorporating high-calorie snacks throughout the day. You must consume more calories than your body burns in order to increase weight and body fat.

Add milk and cream to soups, mashed potatoes and casseroles. You can also substitute milk for water when preparing oatmeal and other hot cereals. You'll increase your calorie intake without adding bulk to the meal which makes you feel full.

Keep a record of when and what you eat. Hunger is often the cue to eat but when gaining weight, you may need to remind yourself to eat even when you are not hungry. A food diary also helps to ensure you are getting enough nutrients and not only empty calories.

Tips & Warnings

  • Measure your body fat with a body mass index, or BMI, calculator. BMI is calculated based on height and weight and can give you a general idea where you stand in reference to your goals for increasing body fat.
  • Consider increasing muscle tissue rather than body fat to increase the size of your arms and legs. Consult your health care provider or a qualified trainer to develop a regime that is appropriate for your goals.

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