Hello everyone! This is my first post here, so hopefully I won't make any enemies right off the bat when I proclaim this:
I would like to gain some weight. /ducks
I'm one of those (obnoxious) guys who's always thin, no matter what he eats. I've heard all the labels/insults/humorous explanations: hard gainer; fast metabolism; 'the skinny gene'; tapeworm.
I'm just over 6', and in high school I weighed about 140 lbs. By the time I was 30 I weighed about 150 lbs. 12 years of a sedentary lifestyle and eating whatever I wanted -- including more than a reasonable amount of carbs/sugar, processed junk, etc. -- and I only put on 10 lbs. And I can probably even explain much of that 10 lb gain with one word: beer.
I had a physical when I was 30. My doctor said I was in good health overall, but he suggested that I gain a little weight. Something about extremely thin people being more likely to die from severe illness that results in weight loss, because there's so little in "reserve". Made some sense to me, but I wasn't optimistic because most in my immediate and extended family are thin even into old age.
Nevertheless, for a year and a half I pigged out. I ate more than I wanted to, more than my hunger demanded. I managed to gain just under 10 lbs, topping out around 160 lbs. Certainly the gain must have been mostly fat, because I barely got any exercise during that time. I managed to hold onto those 10 lbs for a couple years, which brings us to 2010.
This year (like every year) I resolved to "eat more fruits and veggies!" I also wanted to discover why my digestion had been so poor for so long, why my joints were starting to get sore, why my skin and nails weren't looking so good, why I was always tired...etc. After a lot of research, I started to suspect that my unregulated intake of carbs -- especially processed junk, sugar, and gluten -- was at least partially to blame for those nagging ailments. This site kept popping up when I was searching for dietary info, and I've been reading it for the past month or so.
Long story short, I started a PB-like diet about 2.5 weeks ago. Went completely cold turkey on anything wheat, anything processed. Started buying grass-fed beef, drinking the occasional glass of raw milk, eating copious amounts of mostly-organic vegetables for the majority of my carbs -- the whole-foods nine yards. My "sensible indulgences" include the aforementioned raw milk, some nice cheeses (jarlsberg, gouda, and extra sharp cheddar), a daily 4 oz glass of red wine, and a small amount of dark chocolate (one 3.x ounce bar per week, roughly).
My macro-nutrient calorie balance has gone from probably 55% carbs/20% fat/20% protein/5% alcohol before, to 55% fat/20% carbs/20% protein/5% alcohol now. Due to getting most of my carbs from a wide variety of veggies and some fruits, my macro-nutrient profile is much more complete than it was previously when I was eating a lot of pasta, donuts, and cereal. Digestion has improved dramatically, I have noticeably more energy, my mood is better, my eyes aren't feeling as strained, I'm not hungry all the time, my finger nails don't have those little white spots in them, and suddenly I feel like going for a run.
So far, so good, right? One problem: I lost 6 pounds in 2.5 weeks. I don't know if most of that is water loss typical with lower-carb diets or not. I'm still getting around 125g carbs per day on average, so it's not like the Atkins induction phase or anything like that. Anyway, I'm not happy about the weight loss, but I can see why it's occurring; with 50%+ of my calories coming from fat, and bulky veggies comprising most of my carb calories, I'm usually full all day. According to fitday.com, some days I struggle to get enough calories just to break even (approximately 1925). Other days I do a little better, but clearly I'm not cutting it over a 2.5 week period, as I've lost 6 pounds.
Is anyone else having this problem? I've thought it through, and I can only think of two reasonable ways to gain weight: 1) intentionally eat a lot more carbs (probably rice, because I surely cannot get many more carbs from veggies -- they make me feel too full), or 2) start doing some high intensity weight training while eating more carbs/protein (and by definition cutting back on the fat to compensate).
The former approach is much easier and will probably allow me to regain the lost weight in the form of fat relatively quickly. The latter approach is much harder, would presumably take longer, and would result in more added muscle than fat.
Did I miss anything? Do I have any PB brothers or sisters who can relate to a guy who has trouble gaining weight?
I look forward to any replies, and to participating in the forum. Thanks!