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Thread: Anyone else eating primal and trying to GAIN weight?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Anyone else eating primal and trying to GAIN weight?

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    Sometimes I feel as if I am the only one here trying to GAIN weight while eating primal. I am currently 20 lbs underweight and trying to eat according to PB so that I can gain healthy weight.

    Here is my history. I had a very healthy pregnancy (not 100 % primal but I did not eat a lot of sweets or processed foods). I gained only 25 lbs and instantly dropped that plus 15 more and am now sitting at about 20 lbs underweight. I am 28 years old 5'6 and 100lbs. My target weight would be about 120lbs and I am trying to get there by eating primal. I have gained about 5 lbs in the past few weeks by eating between 2500-3000 calories a day. I consume about 175g carbs, 150 g fat, 130 g protein. Everyone I know tells me to just go binge on cookies, milkshakes, and doughnuts and the weight will start to pile on but I'm not willing to compromise my health just to meet my weight goal.

    I will tell you what I eat on a daily basis and would love feedback, especially from those that have been where I am at. As you will notice I do eat some foods that are not primal because I am breastfeeding and really do require more carbs and fruit is addictive to me so I try to steer clear of it. I know sprouted bread and quinoa are not primal but they both agree better with me than fruit.

    O.k ,here is a sample of what I eat:


    2 fried or scrambled eggs in coconut butter with fruit or sprouted toast
    Power smoothie made with coconut milk and oil, hemp seeds, spinach or kale, frozen banana and blueberries

    Occasionally bacon or breakfast sausage.


    BAS with whole avocado and 6-8 oz chicken or sardines +other veggies


    Huge portion of steamed or sauteed veggies with olive oil or butter and 6-8 oz grassfed beef, pork, lamb, or salmon. Most days I also add a sweet potato, wild rice, or quinoa. I also eat raw cheese and other snacks on my plate with dinner.


    (usually I pick 2 or 3 things from the following to munch on throughout the day or for dessert)
    6 squares of 90% dark chocolate, 10 oz hemp or coconut milk, 2 oz raw cheese, 6 oz greek yogurt (sometimes with honey), 2 tablespoons nut/nut butters/hemp seeds, small piece of fruit, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons coconut flakes and butter, or fresh whipped cream
    Last edited by Fairychilde; 05-24-2011 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Definitely also trying to gain weight.

    5'4" and on SAD I was 110 on average. After starting primal, what body fat I had has melted off and I'm trying to add some of it back on. I think eventually my body will get to some sort of stasis point--I'm still just two months in or so and I can tell my hormones are still doing a lot of recalibrating. My metabolism hasn't slowed at all and living in a city I do a lot of running around.

    What kind of weight are you trying to gain? Muscle on primal is easy, I find (not true before for me). Fat is trickier. Seems like you're keeping your food levels up.

    I try to aim for 100-150g of carbohydrates every day, and try to make sure my calorie count isn't low, but I find it hard to get to that carb level regularly without somehow incorporating a "cheat" food. I hate tracking my food but I've been doing it and it showed me I unintentionally didn't eat much here and there. Just yesterday, I plugged in everything I ate and I was only at 1400 calories and carbs at 90--this after bacon for breakfast, snacks including fruit and chocolate, lunch with pan-fried liver, more veggie snacks with fat mixed in, a dinner with beef & veggies and a little white rice, and wine. So I made some eggs and had some coconut milk before bed. Have you added up what you just listed? It may not amount to that many calories ultimately, even though it may feel satisfying and you're including good fat.

    Other than that, I'm just going with it. I think I need more fat but I don't feel exhausted or undernourished at all, so I'm kind of going to ride it out for a bit to see if my hormones stabilize. I'd really like to be able to just eat when I'm hungry rather than typing foods into myfitnesspal and correcting at the end of the day (I have it set to gain weight). If this keeps up, I'll have to resign myself to the fact that white rice and sweet potatoes will be staples for me. Not a big deal--I like sweet potatoes--but rice tastes like glue to me right now for some reason, even though it goes down fine.

    It seems like you're eating enough, but if you're not sure, I'd track it, especially due to the demand of nursing. Also, the fact that you're nursing is surely affecting your hormones and that may be messing with your body composition.

    On top of that, since you don't seem to have extra fat stores at the moment, all those extra calories you're eating may be going towards nursing. You may not be able to gain a lot until you're finished nursing. Just some thoughts. If you're feeling undernourished you could see a doctor.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk in greater detail about this stuff...but yeah, there are definitely women who start eating primal and lose too much weight in the beginning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    This doesn't sound like 3000 calories to me.

    2 eggs, cooking oil & toast like 400-500 cals.
    6-8 oz chicken/sardines & avo 600-800 tops.
    Dinner is better but doesn't sound like 1000+ cals.
    Your snacks are good, you just might not be eating as much as you think you are.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I have gained about 5 lbs in the past few weeks by eating between 2500-3000 calories a day.
    Sounds like you're doing pretty well to me! I have tried to gain on PB but I need about 3500 calories a day to get any kind of gain going and it's just too much effort to eat that much on an ongoing basis for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Eat more, in order for myself to gain eating primal, 5'9" 165lbs, usually takes 4000+ calories.

    I agree with Tiger, based on your main meals it looks like you are eating around 1500-2000 or half of what your assuming you intake daily. This could be a bad assumption, but either way you need to intake more food. Try tracking in Fitday or some other food tracker for 2 weeks to get a good idea of your average daily intake.

    Some suggestions to modify your main meals to take in more calories.

    B: Minimum 4 eggs and add some sort of meat 0.25-0.5lb

    L: use chicken thighs and add one more, you can add nuts and cheese to up the cals

    D: double the meat intake

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Yes more eat and more fatty meat, if you tolerate dairy you could also start drinking 2-4 pints of whole milk a day with your meals. You could also add some whipping cream to this if you're feeling extra good

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    North Carolina
    5'6" 141 pounds, looking to put on at least 10 pounds of muscle now that the scale keeps going down because fat is melting off. I'm really upping my beef and fish intake for healthy protein and fat as much as my budget allows and eating more sweet potatoes and other dense natural foods for more calories. Up to around 3000 a day but I could use another 500 for sure, much more than that once I start cross fit and soccer in a month.
    My Paleo Project:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    San Francisco
    Some ideas:

    4 eggs scrambled in 4Tbs butter: 680 kcal

    Hot chocolate:
    45g dark chocolate
    15g coconut oil
    5oz dairy or coconut milk
    Melt chocolate and coconut oil over low flame, add milk and mix with a whisk or hand mixer/stick blender, heat to drinking temp
    425 kcal with dairy milk, 650 kcal with coconut milk; more if you like to top yours with whipped cream

    You're probably getting enough veggies with dinner, so for lunch you can skip the salad and add more calorie-dense foods.

    Drink your calories! If you like it, add cream to your coffee.'

    Cook with coconut milk, yogurt, and/or cream -- this creates a yummy, creamy calorie-dense sauce.

    If you pan-fry steaks and/or chicken, when you're done pour some wine (red or white respectively) into the pan, scrape with a wooden spoon to dissolve the fond, reduce wine. Then add some beef or chicken stock (again, respectively), let that reduce. Turn the flame off, throw a pat of butter (1/2-1Tbs) and stir it up so that it melts and incorporates. Drizzle sauce over meat, enjoy!

    Add eggs to your dinner -- this improves almost any meal, and 2-4 eggs sunny-side up over the veggies will add 140-280 kcal (plus cooking fat) without adding substantially to the volume bulk of the meal.

    Chuck roast is a nice fatty cut that if done as a pot roast and shredded can re-absorb a lot of the fat that renders off during cooking. (And then drop a couple of cooked eggs over that )

    As you ramp up your caloric intake, start Lifting Heavy Things if you aren't already -- mass is determined by how much you eat, your activities will determine whether that mass will come as muscle or fat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Fairychilde View Post
    Sometimes I feel as if I am the only one here trying to GAIN weight while eating primal. I am currently 20 lbs underweight and trying to eat according to PB so that I can gain healthy weight. ...
    What about exercise? You don't mention what you do for that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Shop Now
    Thank you all for such thoughtful responses thus far, especially Lira

    I forgot to mention that I am tracking my calories on Fitday so I am pretty sure I am hitting the 2700-300 mark. I underestimate my food intake as well so I might even be consuming more than that and some days my total carbs are over 200 grams.

    Lira~ Unlike you, I do feel malnourished, weak, and my milk supply seems a bit low due to this. I went and got blood work and I'm B12 deficient and borderline hyperthyroid. I am now getting B12 injections and feel a little better. My blood pressure is low 80/54 and I feel dizzy most days. I am trying to gain both fat and muscle as I look completely emaciated right now. I agree about rice going down like glue but I still eat it for the added carbs.

    I appreciate all of the dietary suggestions. I am casein intolerant and cannot consume any cow's milk (even raw) but I can tolerate raw cheese, greek yogurt, butter, and occasionally cottage cheese or heavy cream. I do drink hemp and coconut milk and occasionally other nut milks.

    I agree that I just need to eat more at every meal but for breakfast that is HARD. I have a hard enough time getting down any food before 11 a.m so sometimes I have to skip breakfast altogether. I know smoothies are not the best for eating PB but sometimes that is the only way to get 500 calories for breakfast.

    I should also mention that my DH is Type 1 diabetic and I test my blood sugar frequently with his glucometer to monitor my blood sugar levels. I have always suffered with blood sugar issues and am on a quest to fix these issues for good through diet. I have come to realize that rice and potatoes and too much fruit cause HUGE spikes in my blood sugar and I would like to give these up for good after I'm at a decent weight. I just need help getting to that weight!
    Last edited by Fairychilde; 05-24-2011 at 09:58 AM.

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