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Need help eating more

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  • Need help eating more

    I'm convinced that I need to be eating more, but I'm not quite sure how. My typical breakfast used to be 3 poached eggs but now I'm trying to add something more caloric. I've had success with the almond pancakes (with butter cut in as they were too dry otherwise) and fresh breakfast sausages. Lunch used to be a big salad: wimpy even with 1-2 T of oil so I'm trying to add some meat to it. Dinner's fairly standard, meat and veggies of some sort.

    My problem is that even with the breakfast and lunch modifications I'm barely pushing 2000 kcals a day, and I'm convinced it's the reason I'm seeing zero progress in my work-outs. When having lunch and dinner I get up from the table full, so the ways I would get more from the meal are have more meat and less veg, which I don't want to do for micronutritional reasons, or add more fat to the veggies, which I'm trying to do but doesn't always work. It's not that I'm fat-averse (169g yesterday), but without something to sop it up I just don't like the feeling of oil-coated broccoli.

    The solution that suggests itself to me is to have snacks available but I don't really know what would work. It would ideally be something that requires minimal prep time and is portable -- those attributes would enable me to take it to work. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    EDIT: For completeness' sake (and because they came up some posts down), my stats: Male, 5'11", 128lbs. Don't know my bodyfat but I'm one of those terminally skinny guys.
    Last edited by AndreaReina; 12-07-2010, 12:22 PM.

  • #2
    Do you drink coffee or tea? Coconut milk is a wonderful caloric addition.

    For portable snacks- pork rinds and nuts come to mind. I like to treat myself to good VERY dark chocolate. That's usually good for about 180 calories and it's mostly fat if you get really good dark stuff.


    • #3
      I have nuts and dried fruit as a snack.
      Also, you can easily add nuts to a salad and they are packed with calories.
      Or nut butters. Almond butter and apple slices - minimal prep time and portable.


      • #4
        I get my daily caffeine from espresso -- no cream for this boy. But pork rinds, now there's an idea. And it just so happens, I have the raw material in my freezer.

        I'm concerned about the Omega-6 content of nuts, so I'm keeping my consumption moderate. That's actually the one thing that really bothers me about the almond meal pancakes, 12 grams of O6 is a lot!

        Diana, how dark is your choc, and where do you get it? Trader Joe's 72% dark has something like 5g sugar per square so though I like it, I don't eat too much. Then again, it's not like I started eating primally to fix insulin resistance, so I can probably handle some sugar.


        • #5
          Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
          Diana, how dark is your choc, and where do you get it? Trader Joe's 72% dark has something like 5g sugar per square so though I like it, I don't eat too much. Then again, it's not like I started eating primally to fix insulin resistance, so I can probably handle some sugar.
          Trader Joe's doesn't make anything darker than 72% in the "pound plus" bars, but they do stock some 86% by the checkout. I find that the darker the chocolate, the less likely I am to overeat on it - I don't think I'm insulin resistant, but sugar seems to override all my natural hunger signals.

          Anyway, try tossing half an avocado in your salad at lunch if you want to get your calories up. Delicious and nutritious!
          The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

          You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout


          • #6
            for just about any woman here, 2000 kcal is plenty. Mark's wife, Carrie eats about that daily and lifts heavy with a personal trainer multiple times a week.

            What is it that you are and aren't seeing in your workouts. In other words, specifically, in terms of performance, what are you trying to change?

            iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


            • #7
              If you ate 169 grams of fat yesterday then that is over 1500 calories just from fat. If you are shoring that up with meat and veg I can't understand how you're having a hard time coming up with more than 2000 calories.


              • #8
                Liquid calories are the easiest way to increase your daily intake, if that's your goal. For example, mix equal parts coconut milk and whole milk, add a dash of cream and either a banana or some chocolate or something. That right there is a big daily caloric surplus. Drink before bed, you'll add weight.
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                • #9
                  My grand total yesterday was 2125 according to FitDay so I'm able to exceed it but I need to make a particular effort to really include those fats. I've only recently made these changes so it may be that I'll be seeing better results just with that but everything I've read and heard tells me that I still need more.

                  I'm doing the bodyweight routine from the ebook and haven't seen any increases in my rep count; I go until my muscles physically can't do the next rep. (Knee) Push-ups actually just went up last night (after weeks of stagnation) so I'm hopeful but my jacknife press and pull-ups have been stuck ever since I started. I'm a guy by the by, my name's the italian version of Andrew. 5'11", 128 lbs if that helps.


                  • #10
                    as un-appetizing as it sounds, downing a tablespoon or two of EVOO before bed helps.

                    i also use a smoothie if i'm lacking in KCals for a day. 1 cup of berries (17 carbs), two scoops or more of protein powder (27g protein minimum), and as much heavy cream as i need to get the KCals i'm looking for. that smoothie can be taken with you to work frozen and allow it to thaw until you need it.

                    otherwise, keep some beef jerky handy.

                    not sure what kind of time you have for breakfast (i suppose you could make this any time though), but my breakfast today clocked in at 787 KCal.

                    3 eggs
                    2 Tbl heavy cream
                    1 slice of turkey breast in my omelette
                    1 cup spinach
                    five strips of side pork
                    1/4 cup of Kraft mexican four cheese
                    2 tbl of the leftover pork grease
                    1 tbl heavy cream in my coffee


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                      Diana, how dark is your choc, and where do you get it? Trader Joe's 72% dark has something like 5g sugar per square so though I like it, I don't eat too much. Then again, it's not like I started eating primally to fix insulin resistance, so I can probably handle some sugar.
                      I like Scharffen Berger 99%. It's marked 99% because it does add a little vanilla bean, but that's it. I think, if I remember right the breakdown is 180 calories, 9 carbs, umm... 15g of fat... and 3 or 4g of protein. One serving size is a big thick square too. Not one of those flimsy little wafers like Lindt- lol.

                      Edit: Found linkage.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the ideas! The liquid route sounds promising, and I'm scheduling a meeting between my pork rinds and cast-iron skillet


                        • #13
                          Andrea, amico, come stai?

                          Although it might surprise you to hear this, you, my friend, are on the wrong plan completely. You are doing pretty much the opposite of what you need to in order to achieve your body re-composition.

                          Insulin 101

                          The fundamental principle that drives the success of PB diets and other low carbohydrate approaches is insulin control. Insulin is the hormone that is the body's indicator of short term nutritional status. When you eat, your pancreas detects the nutrients in your blood stream and secretes insulin into the blood stream. Depending on the food, more or less insulin is secreted, with refined carbohydrates and simple sugars eliciting the most dramatic response.

                          All food elicits an insulin response. If it does not, it is not food from a physiological perspective. In the extreme pathological case of Type I diabetes where the pancreas is incapable of secreting insulin in response to food being ingested, without the administration of exogenous insulin, patients literally starve to death irrespective of the quantity of food eaten.

                          Once the insulin is in your blood stream, it binds to receptors on the cells of various tissues indicating to them the presence of nutrients and causing the uptake of nutrients from the blood stream. Tissues have varying capacities for nutrient uptake, with adipose tissue ( fat cells ) having a disconcerting ability to virtually take in unlimited ( I'm exaggerating ) amounts of nutrients. Other tissues will take in nutrients necessary for energy and repair, and once they have their fill, they become insulin insensitive, as they have fulfilled their requirements. Muscle tissue, for instance, becomes insulin sensitive post exercise in order to replenish glycogen stores. Once this happens, the muscles become insulin resistant.

                          Practical Application

                          Most non-diabetic people have issues with fat and fat loss. The way they control their adipose tissue mass is by reducing the amount of insulin in their system, and therefore reducing the signal to the adipose tissue to accumulate energy stores.

                          Your issue is pretty much the opposite. I suspect that you secrete very moderate amounts of insulin in response to eating and your body is essentially not detecting the presence of food. You are not Type I diabetic, but you are probably pretty close. It might be worthwhile seeing a doctor.

                          You may wish to get a blood glucose meter or clinistix to measure your urine glucose levels. If your body is not secreting a lot of insulin, you would expect blood glucose levels to be fairly high. You would probably also find yourself going to the bathroom quite a bit, and perpetually thirsty in order to make up for the fluid you were passing. I don't think you have to worry about being diabetic, though, because your appetite is not ravenous, so your body is assimilating nutrients, albeit at a snail's pace.

                          In terms of your diet, however, you are one of those few that get a free pass with respect to carbohydrates. You can actually eat them until the cows come home due to your ( speculated ), blunted insulin response. In fact, you need to eat highly insulinogenic foods in order to try to get your body to assimilate more, and to stimulate your appetite. This is pretty anti PB.

                          You might try drinking more whole milk, as milk produces a strong insulin response. If you are into powdered food, you might also try whey protein shakes, as whey protein in particular produces a pronounced insulin response. Fruit juices with meals might also help stimulate insulin. Try lowering your fat intake as fat interferes with carbohydrate absorption from the digestive tract. Like I said, anti PB.

                          Good luck.

                          My blog :

                          Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.


                          • #14
                            I'm having a blood panel taken in a few weeks, I'll make sure to pay attention to glucose though I'm not really exhibiting the other symptoms you mention, frequent urination and attendant thirst. I would also get drowsy after having a carby lunch, would that still happen with an impaired insulin response?


                            • #15
                              You need to eat in a way to encourage muscle gain.
                              Last edited by Sue; 12-10-2010, 12:52 AM.