For those of us who want to gain weight, we usually want the weight to go in all the “right” places. Unfortunately, we can’t control where the extra pounds go. While there is nothing wrong with a little happy weight, there are many who want to maintain or attain a flat stomach. It is inevitable to gain some stomach fat as you increase your overall body weight. But, there are exercises and certain foods choices that can help to limit fat accumulation in your stomach.
Here is how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach, healthily:
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written throughout the content of our website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. What you choose to do with the information provided is at your own risk and discretion. Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, be sure to contact your health practitioner.
1) Do targeted exercises:
When trying to gain weight and in general, exercise is necessary in upholding a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to gaining weight while trying to keep a flat stomach, your workouts are where you are going to be able to tone and trim your abdomen area, so it is best to make the most out of them. Furthermore, you are going to want to aim for targeted strength and cardio exercises that primarily burn calories in the stomach and waist, so you can maintain your gained weight elsewhere.
Aside from your stomach exercises, to gain weight elsewhere, you can further increase your overall body weight with strength exercises. These types of exercises promote exponential muscle growth with resistance-based and compound exercises. To advance your results with your workouts, it helps to gradually increase your weight load and number of repetitions as you progress.
Exercises that can help with how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:
One of the more popular ab exercises, crunches are a highly productive way to tone and shape your core area, with the challenge being felt almost instantaneously.
Ab crunches are particularly more effective for attaining a flat stomach when trying to gain weight, because they concentrate solely on the abdominal muscles. There is also the cross-body crunch and crossed-leg crunch – both very effective variations of crunches.
Flutter kicks are another exercise that help with keeping a flat stomach when trying to gain weight. This exercise strengthens and tones the lower abdominal muscles, which can also help with trimming the waistline. Simply lay on your back with your arms flat alongside and motion each leg in an up/down scissor-like motion, keeping your core tightened the whole time. Use a resistance band for even more muscle engagement.
Elbow planks are a simple yet effective exercise to attain a flatter stomach. Planks are shifting most of your strength to your abdomen area to hold yourself up. There is no major movement involved, so you won’t burn an excess of calories elsewhere, helping to maintain your gained weight. You can also do a side plank, which helps with tightening the waistline and additional abdominal muscles.
This exercise engages all of your abdominal muscles. It is another at-home exercise that requires no type of equipment. Start with your heels placed on the floor and legs bent at the knees. Slightly lean back and keep your arms grasped in front of you. Then, begin twisting the torso on each side while keeping your arms grasped in front of you.
Leg lifts do not require any equipment either but are certainly more beneficial with a leg lift machine you can find at the gym. Simply lay flat on your back with your arms parallel at your sides, and raise both of your legs up and down all the while keeping your arms and back level on the surface. This exercise really engages the abdominal muscles and is a beneficial choices of exercises when seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach.
2) Limit unhealthy carbohydrates
While healthy carbohydrates are a necessity in our diet, try to limit the unhealthy ones like sodas, fries, and other junk foods when trying to gain weight and maintain a flat stomach. These unhealthy foods, often times consisting of refined carbohydrates, contain added sugars that aren’t really used for the benefit of the body. Instead, these processed sugars can gather and contribute to the storage of the unhealthy kind of fats.
This can in turn inhibit progress when trying to attain a flat stomach. Incorporate healthier energizing foods like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes, into your meals that are fulfilling and nutrient-dense.
Foods that help with how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:
Almonds, walnuts, chestnuts
Nuts are known to be packed with calories but multiple health and nutritional benefits as well. This is why they make a great choice of snacks for those seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach. Almonds are one of the healthier nuts. These snacks contain high amounts of protein (great for the promotion of muscle growth), fiber, and calories.
Avocado, mangoes, peas
Fruits and vegetables are a very beneficial source of carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. They contain natural sugars like glucose that help to restore energy.
There are fruits and vegetables that also contain a decent number of calories, like avocados with around 300 calories per fruit, that can contribute to weight gain without accelerating belly fat accumulation.
Quinoa, whole wheat and whole grain foods
Whole wheat and whole grain foods can actually be beneficial for those seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach. The fiber content from whole wheat and whole grain foods tend to create a “full” feeling after eating. With the right food choices, meals with whole wheat/grains can give you the right amount of calories without speeding up belly fat accumulation. Just make sure to timely space out your meals when whole grains/wheat foods are involved to avoid possible bloating. Quinoa is a good choice as it is a complete protein food, meaning it contains all of the nine essential amino acids we need from our diet.
From the legumes family, chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans are just a few healthy food alternatives. These small edibles are densely packed with nutrients including vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, and more.
Because they are small yet nutrient-dense, you are getting a good amount of your necessary vitamins and minerals with a bonus source of calories.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A which is an antioxidant that helps to promote good bone and immune system health. You should consider adding sweet potatoes to your diet in the interest of gaining weight because they are a nutrient-rich, healthful source of calories. There are also a variety of recipes involving sweet potatoes to select from.
3) Maintain a caloric surplus
While trying to gain weight and maintain a flat stomach, you may forget to keep up your calorie intake for the rest of your body. The key to weight gain is maintaining a caloric surplus – consuming and retaining more calories than you burn off. For example, if your recommended daily calorie consumption is 1,800, you would need an additional 300-500 calories daily to gain weight, depending on your metabolism rate. There are many calorie calculators available online to view your specifics.
Consuming more calories is the first part to gaining weight. However, to limit the weight gain accumulating in your stomach area you are going to have to watch the kinds of foods you eat. As mentioned previously, nuts, avocados, and quinoa are a few good food choices because they are nutrient-dense, contain a decent number of calories, and give a fulfilling feeling without the bloating and accelerated belly fat accumulation. Weight gain shakes are another healthy alternative, as they contain plenty of calories and other necessary nutrients all the while still leaving room for the rest of your meals.
More tips for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:
Be wary of waist trainers
You have probably seen or heard of waist trainers, with testimonies posted all over social media. They are supposed to help slim the waist with hardly any physical activity involved. Waist trainers do not cause fat to be burned unless there is some sort of exercise being done. Even then, there has not been enough research or evidence to confirm that they in fact do create a slim waist or flat stomach. Continual and prolonged use of waist trainers may even cause digestive issues and respiratory complications.
Avoid consuming foods too quickly or over-consuming
Another healthful tip for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach, is to avoid consuming foods too quickly. This can lead to bloating because the stomach has not been given time to fully digest and store nutrients. When trying to gain weight, one might be tempted to eat more in order to add the extra calories. However, if you want to attain a flat stomach, aim for nutrient-dense yet high-calorie foods that will supply you with enough calories but keep bloating at bay.
You also want to avoid an over-consumption of food when trying to gain weight but keep a flat stomach. As mentioned previously, the body does not have enough time to fully digest and can lead to bloating. Space out your meals timely so that your foods can healthily digest.
Weight gain supplements help
A good way to reach a caloric surplus for weight gain is through weight gain supplements. This includes weight gain shakes, protein bars, powders, etc. Take this protein powder here, it contains 1,250 calories per serving, along with an ample amount of protein. You can easily reach a surplus of calories for weight gain. Add other nutrient-rich foods alongside like fruits and veggies for more benefit. Just be sure that you are exercising while taking weight gain supplements to limit belly fat accumulation.
Avoid junk foods
Unsurprisingly, it is best to avoid consuming a lot of junk foods if you want to attain a flat stomach. Junk foods are filled with processed sugars and unhealthy fats. These components aren’t reused by the body for betterment. Instead, the sugars from junk foods can cause long term deposits of fat and an increased risk for certain diseases. This excess fat is commonly stored in the stomach area, so try to limit your consumption of junk foods.
With some of the best ways for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach in mind, here is how to gain weight with a fast metabolism
1Jaret, Peter. “Bloating 101: Why You Feel Bloated.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/bloated-bloating#1.