The United States is in the middle of an obesity epidemic. Researchers, politicians and educators clamor for methods to slim America down, but their efforts have had limited effect. The 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 26.6% of adult Americans were obese, an increase of 3 million obese adults since the beginning of 2008. If you want to end the obsession with dieting and healthy eating and embrace the current trend towards fatness, making a few changes in your eating habits will help you on your way.
Increase the amount you eat. In the simplest terms, you gain weight by taking in more calories than you burn. Since you need 3500 extra calories to gain a pound, aim to eat an extra 500 to 1000 calories a day for a weight gain of one to two pounds a week.
Focus on high-fat, high-calorie foods like candy, potato chips, pastries and fast food that provide many calories very efficiently. A 2004 study in "Public Health Nutrition" reports that people who eat out often, eat diets with a high percentage of fat and select full-fat rather than reduced-fat options increase their chances of gaining weight.
Skip breakfast. Avoiding an opportunity to eat may sound counterproductive to your goal of gaining fat. But skipping breakfast increases the appeal of high calorie foods a 2009 study in the "European Journal of Neuroscience" found. Forget to eat breakfast, and it will assist you in downing the double cheeseburger, fries and soda you eat for lunch.
Veg out in front of the television. A 2003 study in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" found that television watching significantly increased a woman's odds of becoming obese. Watching television takes up time that might otherwise be wasted exercising, and commercials encourage viewers to eat unhealthy foods. Sitting for hours in front of a television also provides plenty of time to eat the high-calorie junk food that helps with weight gain.
Move as little as possible. Participating in sports, walking and even daily physical activities like cleaning house burn calories that could be stored as fat. Decreasing the amount of exercise you get each day may help you gain fat faster according to a 2004 study in the "American Journal of Epidemiology." Researchers found that middle-aged women who reduced their average daily physical activity had a greater chance of gaining weight.
Tips & Warnings
- Make your drinks count. Choose high-calorie, low-nutrient drinks like alcohol and soda rather than a non-calorie option like water.
- Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index; One Million Surveys Reveal Portrait of Americans' Well-Being; Elizabeth Mendes
- FitnessforWeightLoss.com; How Many Calories Are in One Pound (Lb) of Body Fat?; Stephanie Averkamp;
- "Public Health Nutrition;" Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Excess Weight Gain and Obesity; BA Swinburn, et al.; 2004
- "European Journal of Neuroscience;" Fasting Biases Brain Reward Systems Towards High-Calorie Foods; Anthony P. Goldstone; October 2009
- "Journal of the American Medical Association;" Television and Other Sedentary Behaviors in Relation to Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women; Frank B. Hu, MD, Ph.D., et al.; Apr. 9, 2003
- "American Journal of Epidemiology;" Physical Activity and Changes in Weight and Waist Circumference in Midlife Women: Findings From the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation; Barbara Sternfeld, et al.; 2004
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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