Eating Primal and Underweight
I love eating primal, but as an ectomorph, the cleaning up of my diet has resulted in my going from fairly skinny to very skinny. Some of this is good news, my body fat dropped from 12 to 7%, and since eating primal I have managed to get rid back pain that I had been suffering with for some time. I also like the fact that I'm not bloated after dinner, which is what used to happen when I was eating huge plates of potoatoes.
However, friends and family have been concerned about my weight loss. I'm a 27 year old male, 6 foot 2, and currently weigh 135 lbs - underweight by anyone's standards. I put a typical day's eating into fitday recently and discovered that I'm not getting anywhere near enough calories; whilst I'm getting a good range of nutrients, I'm eating only 1500 calories per day on average:
I'd like to put on some lean mass, but I'm finding it hard to up my calories whilst remaining primal - has anyone else experienced anything like this?
Eat more meat. Add more fat. Fat is easy to add by cooking with it.
Looking at your food log, you could easily add more fat by adding coconut milk/cream to the fruit or double cream if you eat dairy, a dressing to the salad (I adore EVOO with balsamic vinegar), cook your meat in butter or coconut oil and maybe add some butter to your veg? Broccoli + butter = delicious imo!
Add some more meat (bacon with breakfast?..or indeed bacon with everything! lol!) as well and you'll see a difference in both calories and ratios I think while still being primal
1500 calories? that's what most people eat to lose weight. Coconut or heavy cream will get your fat up. Drink heavy cream, it's a delicious creamy fat bomb. Put in some cinnamon and nutmeg too...mmm.
My husband has the same delima....except he weighs less than you he is 27 yo 6'2 and is struggling to maintain 130....i will be watching this thread for advice as well
Eat more meat. Aim for 1g protein per lb lean body mass, that'll be about 125g for you. Raw meat is about 17-20g protein per 100g, depending on how fatty the cut. If you aim for 40g protein per meal that's 200g raw meat, so you're looking at about 600g per day. That'll add some fat by itself, plus you'll be using fat to cook your meals as well. You didn't input any pure fats; what are you cooking in? Use fat every time you cook -- butter, lard, coconut oil, tallow. In my BAS I use 50g of olive oil -- that's 450 calories right there, not counting anything else.
If you cooked some meat in a skillet put a half-cup of wine, broth, whatever tasty liquid in the pan after you remove the meat -- leave the heat on. Scrape to release the tasty browned bits and let the boil away until you're left with about a quarter of it, then kill the flame and add a knob of butter. Stir to incorporate the butter, it'll form a nice sauce to pour over the meat. If you want throw some aromatics (garlic, onion, chives, scallions, etc) with the liquid. Like mummybeelee said, butter is a great topper for any vegetable.
EDIT: my non-lunch meals are typically enough meat to get 40g protein (~500cal, but I like the fatty cuts), plus about a pound of total vegetable, cooked in fat. With that much veg, I can easily add a couple ounces of fat, which add another 500 calories. Leafy greens I eat less than a pound because you don't get that much in a bunch (besides they're much more nutritious), but they've got plenty of surface area to hold fat.
Last edited by AndreaReina; 01-29-2011 at 07:36 PM.
It seems to me that increasing carbs by eating more fruit and starchy vegetables might help with weight gain as well. Re: PR carbohydrate curve.
Of course you are getting really skinny. You aren't eating much. Here's a sample menu for a day:
breakfast: 5 eggs in butter or coconut oil, veggies or meat if you want
lunch: salad with a 8 oz salmon, lots of dressing- try to use one that is low in bad fat
dinner: 1 lb. steak, veggies if you want. Eat the entire steak, including the fat on the side and everything.
snack: nuts, cheese, meat, whatever.
You can add in some starchy veggies if you want, but I suggest not.
This should keep you from losing and probably boost you to just really skinny, not super duper skinny. What you might have to get into your mind is that with what you have, you must eat past fullness. So, you may not be hungry, but eat. You can do this however you want, skipping a meal or something, but you still have to get some food into you.
I agree with the above - more meat, more fat. Cream on berries is totally awesome. Drink some coconut milk (you can dilute it with water if it's too thick and it still tastes great), cook with lots of good oils. Put some chopped bacon in that spinach.