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How to GAIN weight?

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  • How to GAIN weight?

    I presume it's simply eating more carbohydrates alongside the diet I already have, which is as listed per day:
    4 eggs,
    1/2 - 1 whole pound of fish/meat with the occasional chicken
    1 green smoothie
    occasional fruit or vegetable to snack on
    Some form of dark chocolate

    So what would be the best way to go about doing this? Eat as many sweet potatoes as I can? Or could I introduce some rice?

    I'm 19, 6' 2'', and weigh around 150 pounds as well.

    All advice is welcome! Thanks.

  • #2
    Can you not increase your fat & protein intake? I'm sure eating sweet potatoes and so on is fine, but why not otherwise? Mix some olive oil into the smoothie, cook the eggs in butter (& scramble them with cream?), butter/coconut oil on the meat (and vegetables, if you ever have them).

    I'm trying to gain weight, I'm not too strictly primal but I'm pretty close. I drink about a pint of whole milk with protein powder and a banana and some cream and some nuts all blended together. Couple it with a steak, eggs, salad, and breakfast and it's a whole lotta kcal. It's been about four weeks, I'm probably up somewhere between two and four pounds, which is fine by me


    • #3
      Originally posted by Moxyfox View Post
      4 eggs,
      1/2 - 1 whole pound of fish/meat with the occasional chicken
      1 green smoothie
      occasional fruit or vegetable to snack on
      Some form of dark chocolate
      That's per day? That's about 20% more than what I eat in a single meal. Quite simply: eat - more - food. No need for more protein, but you need more veggies and fat over the course of the day, I think. You shouldn't need to up carbs; you need to up calories, though.

      Do you adhere pretty well to the kinds of activities espoused by the Primal Laws or what? Activity is important to know.
      August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

      I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)


      • #4
        I'm guessing you're trying to gain muscle?

        more vegetables
        sweet potatoes, some peeled white potatoes some white rice, squashes, fruit like berries
        eat more
        dairy - GOMAD (gallon of milk a day)

        I'm in the opposite boat--I'm trying to lose weight, but I feel like there's no need to avoid primal carbs if you're trying to lose weight. I feel like people on the forum often lose sight of the fact that, yes, the PB does include carbs that aren't just leafy green vegetables. Make sure you meet your protein requirements though.


        • #5
          If you want to gain fat then just eat a lot more carbohydrates and fat. If it's muscle that you want then it's most important that you find a program of lifting heavy things that works for you and stick to it. You'll need plenty of protein too, but it's the lifting that's most important.


          • #6
            You're going to get a lot of advice on this, some of it contradictory. That doesn't necessarily mean any of it is wrong. For what it's worth, here are my observations as a naturally thin person (6'1", < 150lb) who has been trying to gain weight for a while:

            1) Eating more isn't always easy. I struggled to hit maintenance levels of 2,500 calories. The appetite just wasn't there, and it was physically uncomfortable to force myself to eat more.

            1b) Eating more while eating primally was even harder for me. The increase of fats and proteins in my diet made me feel full most of the time, so I ate even fewer calories. I consistently lost weight on a primal diet (the opposite of my goal), so I eventually pulled the plug on my lowish-carb ways (typically 75-100g/day).

            1c) I added in sweet potatoes, white rice, and some dairy in order to stay around 150g/day carbs. For me, life is much easier this way, and I've been able to slowly increase my weight while staying very lean.

            2) At 19, your hormones are probably still configured to rapidly build muscle. But that will go to waste if you don't eat well and lift heavy things. You'll never have it this easy again, so I encourage you to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


            • #7
              I agree with the advice to start weight training if you aren't already. The training will definitely help you gain muscle mass and likely increase your appetite too if that is an issue. Also, you should match your carbs to your activity level. If you just finished an intense weight training or sprint session, feel free to eat a (or more than one) sweet potato/white potato. If you just sit at a desk all day long and don't exercise, it'd be better to keep carbs low.

              I would recommend sweet potatoes or winter squashes (like butternut and acron) as a first choice, then white potatoes (I eat white potatoes frequently just because they are dirt cheap). White rice is ok, but nutritionally void compared to potatoes/winter squash.
              Last edited by yodiewan; 03-16-2011, 10:59 AM.


              • #8
                I was in your same quest after adopting Primal, as I become lean but not muscular, with a frame of 145 pounds with 5'8'' height.
                Now I am at 160 pounds weigth and still growing.

                In brief this is my advice:
                Heavy-weigth lifting as muscle stimulus (I use mostly bodyweigth exercises, but increasing difficulty and with weigthed vest), aim to train most of the time fasted, aim to eat most of what your ancestors ate and good quality food, aim to eat most of your calories and carbohydrates post-workout, aim to sleep well, aim to rest properly to your workout level (from time to time take a week off), don't overthink it just do it!, Consistency is the key and follow your instincts, they always right.

                Also I just made a reply about carbohydrates that pretty much answer your question so I going to cut it and paste it here, with slightly modifications:

                "My own experience has show me that isn't the high or low quantity of carbohydrates what makes the difference in people with healthy metabolism. But instead is the quality of your carbs what matters.
                I have great results building lean muscles and been healthy, ciclyng my carbs (from high-carbs to no-carbs days) and eating most of them from good sources like root vegetables and tubers.
                In evolutionary scheme, I see tubers as a safe source (if prepared properly) as these are mainly starch and we secrete amylase in the saliva and in the exocrine pancreas to digest starch.
                So my general protocol is: avoid cereal and grains sources (specially those containing gluten) the most, (but if you are non't celiac and with a healthy metabolism, don't worry if you eat them from time to time) and favour tubers and root vegetables the most.
                If you want a better and scientific explanation about carbohydrates, check Dr. Kurt Harris post about this here:

                Dr. Harris used to be a low carb eater and recently, after his own experience and investigation, have made the switch to a moderate carb intake.
                I agreed in most of the recomendations he maded in that post. Somethings we disagree, but are minimals aspects.
                Anyway remember that you are encouraged here to find your own path. So make your own informed choice"
                Last edited by Diedelser; 03-16-2011, 11:02 AM.
                Rephrasing the famous Socrates quote: "All I know is that I know nothing" and about that fact, I am still not so sure.

                Greetings! from Jorge from Venezuela.


                • #9
                  +1 to the adding more fat and weight training. Also, coconut products (esp coconut milk) are a great way to get in the extra fat you need - same with avocado. I mean, technically adding in carbs would help with weight GAIN, but it comes with the downsides and it depends what kind of mass you're trying to put on - fat or muscle mass.
                  My Journal!! (but start at page 10 lol) -

                  Weather weenie and bacon-addict who wants to get back to looking and feeling fabulous.


                  • #10
                    I eat almost that much for breakfast, and I'm 5'10" and 160 lbs. When I first started I lost more than I wanted to and found that I wasn't eating enough calories. Like others have said, the increased fat can make you feel full so you eat less. Try starting a account and track how many calories you eat in a day.

                    I'm a fan of Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. You can check it out here: The Starting Strength Novice/Beginner Programs - Starting Strength Wiki Right now I'm on the Practical Programming Novice Program.

                    Eat Primally, lift heavy things, recover, repeat.
                    My wife and I have our own humble food blog. Not 100% primal, but we try to keep it interesting.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by climbergirl View Post
                      +1 to the adding more fat and weight training. Also, coconut products (esp coconut milk) are a great way to get in the extra fat you need - same with avocado. I mean, technically adding in carbs would help with weight GAIN, but it comes with the downsides and it depends what kind of mass you're trying to put on - fat or muscle mass.
                      so more carbs = fat gain
                      more fat = muscle gain?

                      Doesn't compute... I know fat doesn't make you fat, but I don't think moderate primal carbs necessarily make you fat either


                      • #12
                        Too much fat will make you fat. If you've limited yourself to moderate primal carbs then you can regulate your fat intake to achieve your desired level of leanness. Protein is the only macro that can't effectively be stored as fat. I think that moderate primal carbs (i.e. sweet potatoes) are good thing. Carb are converted to glycogen and stored in liver and muscle tissue to be used as quick fuel. It's only after a body's glycogen stores are filled that carbs are stored as fat.


                        • #13
                          When I've wanted to add more calories despite the full feeling in my stomach, I've gone to nuts. If you care about omega-6's, mac nuts, almonds, and walnuts are good.

                          If you can tolerate dairy, cheese worked for me for gaining (fat).


                          • #14
                            Eat more food. I eat much more than you and I only weigh 105 lbs - and I want to gain weight too!


                            • #15
                              Thank you for all the responses, I didn't know this was such a knowledgeable and caring community.

                              I definitely understand the concept that eating more will, obviously, help me gain weight. But I've recently stopped smoking cannabis and my appetite has gone drastically down since then so shoving food down my stomach is a bit painful. I certainly love to eat, but when you're full, you're full.

                              Just to clarify, is it best to eat tubers and higher carbohydrate root vegetables after I complete my exercise or prior to it?

                              And are milk and dairy products a necessity? I personally don't like the feeling of milk and I have no access to raw milk so I'm doubtful if that's the best choice for me. Cheese and butter I will consume in large quantities though.

                              I already eat an avocado a day and cook with mainly organic butter and coconut oil, but I still tend to be very, very lean.

                              I'll just have to experiment with this until I feel the perfect balance between regeneration and exertion. Any more advice is greatly welcomed. Thanks!