ZocdocAnswersIs it normal to only gain weight in certain areas?

Question

Is it normal to only gain weight in certain areas?

Not overweight or anything (at least not too much). But I only seem to gain weight around my chest and belly, nowhere else. I'm 19 and male. I know I need to work out to stay fit, but is it normal to only gain weight in these two places?

Answer

Questions about healthy eating, activity, and weight control can always be discussed with your primary care physician. He or she can place your questions in the context of your health history and physical exam to help you make the best choices for a healthy lifestyle. As you astutely note, most people will notice initial weight gain in particular parts of their body over others. For men, the chest and abdomen are often the first places in which excess adipose tissue will deposit. (For women, this is often the hips and thighs). Patterns of weight gain and fat deposition are determined in part by genetics (you may notice the same kind of pattern in the men in your family) as well as by hormones. In general, you can't target 'fat-burning' to your particular trouble areas, but you can maintain a healthy weight and overall fitness by sticking to healthy eating habits and regular physical activity. If you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight (including in the trouble areas), and weight-lifting or resistance training can help you maintain muscle tone throughout. The key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is to start early--you are in the perfect position now to cement habits that will serve you well throughout the decades to come.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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