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Underweight and trying to gain

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  • Underweight and trying to gain

    Hi, I am a female of 21 years of age with a history of anorexia. I have been stable for a few years now however am still very underweight. I am 5f 3 inches and weigh 43kg. I am following a paleo diet, and exercise 6 times a week, in fitness classes, weight training, cardio and yoga. Can anyone give me any advice for gaining on a paleo diet. Also my family are completely against the who 'paleo life' and are telling me i need to eat lots of carbs in the form of grains. Because it is seen as a weight loss diet on most websites they do not believe i can gain weight following it. Can any one help me to convince them this is possible and that grains are bad for our health. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Personally, I think you are exercising too much. Generally speaking, eat more and move less is a good recipe to gain some weight. Eating more "paleo carbs" should help as you don't need to be low carb in any sense if you are underweight.

    I don't really have any thoughts on your family. You don't have to convince them.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      For me, (as a hardgainer & thinner all my life like you), grains & "carbs" spark my metabolism. My goal has been to slow things down, calm my body down. Primal & higher fat has calmed my body down. Kind of like drinking white wine vs red wine. White wine has the carb effect, sparks me up & almost makes me feel high in a sense. Red wine, kind of like fats, sits heavier in my stomach & warms my belly. I work better in a fatty environment, it calms my metabolism & seems to let my "heal" which is what you may need.

      Again, this is my experience. To gain weight, I needed more calories (without time to eat ALL day). So I turned to dense calories that rest in my stomach a little longer. Fatty meats, full fat yogurts, lots of yolky eggs. I keep sugar low, don't want to excite my body & ignite a fire-burning calorie machine.

      Grains in general simply run through me. Pretty sure I have a wheat allergy & even rice has similar affects on my body. Key for me, primal fats & lower carb. These seem to heal my system.

      I also like intermittent fasting to calm my metabolism. I've found 1-2 huge meals a day, have slowed my metabolism a bit & allowed me to put on some weight & retain more nutrients when I do it.

      All my experiences, still trying to understand what & why these things have positive effects on my body. BUT, we do have a unique problem, we are hardgainers, focused on HEALING, not necessarily gaining. Make sense?


      • #4
        Not a doctor and have never dealt with an eating disorder, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
        1. Eat more. For people looking to gain, this is probably the #1 piece of advice. Calories in > calories burned. There's a thing called GOMAD or Gallon Of Milk A Day. Personally, that sounds like a lot of milk even to me, but the point is drink beverages with calories. Milk is a good choice.
        2. Cut back on the cardio/fitness classes. A strength training program is probably enough, though if you enjoy yoga stick with that too. For cardio just take daily walks and do occasional high-intensity stuff.
        3. Lots of things that you make with grains can be made with other things. Noodles? Get spinach noodles. Pancakes? One whole egg + 1/3 banana + 1/3 cup of almond meal is delicious. Pizza? I've had great success with this recipe.
        4. If it comes down to it, don't be afraid of grains, but choose wisely and sparingly. Brown rice is a commonly-suggested carb for gaining (especially after a workout), and whole grain pasta isn't awful. Weigh your options and decide which is more damaging to your health - some grains or being underweight.

        Finally, congratulations on tackling your eating disorder. I'm sure it can't be easy, but keep at it and keep getting whatever support you need. You got this.


        • #5
          Try to eat the high calorie food. Even with primal the amount of calories variates.
          Also if you want to keep up the sporting you have to eat more protein. You can gain weight with muscle.
          Just remember that for you every pound is a victory, try to celebrate it with primal snacks, there a lot of good recipes for things made of chocolate and nuts...

          Sent from my Nexus S using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
          My story, My thought....

          It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!


          • #6
            Thanks for this advice it was helpful. Yes I have discovered the banana and egg pancake and its amazing Yes battling an eating disorder is very hard and I doubt it will ever be completely out of my head but I am happy to be able to have control of it now. Im pretty against the grains now after finding out the negative impacts they have on my insides, but for carbs I am eating sweet potatoes, butternut squash, buckwheat, quinoa and plenty of fruits and veg. I think your right, I will just have to eat more as my calories obviously are not more than what I am burning off. Its just very hard due to my history. But thanks and il keep you posted on my hopeful progress