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Going primal with "skinny gene"

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  • Going primal with "skinny gene"


    I'm a newbie and have just started going primal. I'm reading "The Primal Blueprint" - halfway across - and absolutely convinced this is the right diet for me... and everyone on this planet, most likely.

    Summing up my background... I'm Portuguese and have been living abroad (in Luxembourg) for the past 11 years. My diet has always been more or less the traditional Portuguese diet. Huge predominance of grains (especially bread and rice), lots of tubers (love potatoes!), meat and fish (less than meat), some vegetables and fruit, and some sugar, but not a whole lot.

    My health problems: several autoimmune diseases and a perpetual inflammatory process. Nothing really serious, but pesky things. Have a sedentary life (being a translator) and a stressful one. Haven't been doing any exercise for many years now. I'm a small creature (5'2'') and have been skinny from birth. "Skinny gene" in the family. My usual weight is around 90 pounds.

    Am starting this thread because I haven't found any case similar to mine in the Forum or around the website. I know I'm a bit of an ET. My doubt is: how to go primal without losing weight? And, if possible, gaining a little weight. I stopped eating grains completely (even bread) 3 days ago and have already lost 2 pounds, oops! Have an even bigger appetite than usual and am not sure about the most fattening primal foods I can eat...

    Would really appreciate some guidance for a skinny and famished ET who just wants to be healthy and substantial enough. And who is fully determined to go primal all the way - feeling some health benefits already, too.

    All the best,

  • #2
    Hey msousa,

    We're pretty much the same size! I'm 5'1" and about 94 lbs. I actually gained a few pounds without trying while following the Primal Blueprint guidelines. I eat a ton of beef, some eggs, bacon, lamb, chicken, coconut and olive oil, and leafy green veggies. Nuts are great for packing on the pounds, and dairy if you can tolerate it. Just eat meat, veggies and fats until you're full and your weight should stabilize.

    Hope that helps!

    * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
    Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


    • #3
      Hello Pixy,

      Thanks a lot for your email. It's good to know there are other people about the same size! I'll increase the quantities and eat till I'm full. And yes, I can tolerate dairy. And I've started eating nuts as snacks too. I suppose my weight will end up stabilizing, as you say

      All the best,


      • #4
        You're not the only skinny grok or grokette around here. It is possible, but often difficult for people like us to gain weight period, not to mention doing so on a lower-carb diet as found in the PB.

        Here are some thoughts on the issues you raised:

        1. Diet
        Eat what Mark talks about in the Primal Blueprint. You may need to eat more of it (and possibly go higher than his carb recommendations) if you're having trouble maintaining or gaining weight.

        2. Exercise
        You need to start exercising, no excuses. Follow something simple like Mark's Primal Blueprint Fitness guide. Don't go too cardio-heavy or it will be even harder to maintain weight. You're looking to add strength and perhaps a bit of muscle mass. Also, if you're more active you'll probably need more food to maintain or gain weight, and hopefully your appetite will increase commensurately.

        3. Weight/health
        If you eat nutritious foods to satiety and get sufficient exercise, you're setting the stage for a healthy body composition and weight. You might already be at or near a healthy weight for your frame, so don't obsess about adding pounds; on the other hand, I would keep an eye on the scale to make sure you don't start losing too much weight. A few pounds a day in either direction is normal. You might or might not find that your health issues improve or go away when you're eating healthy and money would be more on the 'might' side.

        4. Adapt
        Generic advice like the stuff in Mark's book or what I'm telling you here can be good, but you have to go with what works for you. Listen to your body, observe what happens when you feed it and exercise it, and make adjustments to suit your goals.
        Last edited by The Big L; 01-11-2011, 06:02 PM. Reason: formatting anomaly


        • #5
          Starchy carbs like potatoes and sweet potatoes will be your friends if you need to keep your carbs up to maintain your weight.
          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


          • #6
            I would second the sweet potatoes. However, if reducing inflammation is your goal you should consider that potatoes can trigger inflammation for some (myself included).

            In addition to eating primally, I follow the recommendations regarding lectins here:


            I eliminated the groups they recommended and then added them back one at a time. Elimination of high lectin groups made a HUGE difference in inflammation for me. I am in the process of adding groups back to determine which ones are the cause.

            Good luck!
            Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



            • #7
              Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I'm putting them into practice and it seems to be working for this grokette.

              Big L - Taking into account all the points you mention, including exercise. No excuses, indeed! And particularly liked the "adapt" idea. Looks crucial to me.

              Dragonfly - Potatoes and sweet potatoes are in fact helping me with my weight, which is a relief!

              Jammies - Very interesting article about lectins. Testing the groups sounds like an excellent idea to me. Lots of ground to cover!

              Many thanks, once again, for all your support



              • #8
                Moien from a fellow luxemburger (I think we are the only ones here)

                We do have such high qulity food and restaurants around here (and sooo many of the good ones are portugese), so you should find enough good stuff to eat! Fill up your plate and have at it!
                What I found is that we are used to much higher food standards than most Americans on this board (no offense!), so you shouldn't be too worried!

                We have very high quality meat at the butchers shops, and very good produce at the supermarkets (Especially Cactus), or you could go to one of the several markets all over the country, so don't stress about that, just relax and eat your heart out!

                edit: About the dairy, if you can tolerate it, Biog makes an excellent Bio-Joghurt, as well as sour cream (the Luxlait one is also ok, but not Bio), mix a becher of the joghurt with a bit of sour cream, put some fresh berries (Cactus has them year round) into that, and if you want sweet add a touch of cinnamon...... Deliciousness right there, best dessert ever!

                scheinen Owend nach,
                Last edited by claude512; 01-14-2011, 10:11 AM. Reason: more stuff