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Thread: New here, and...I don't want to lose weight! page

  1. #1
    The Big L's Avatar
    The Big L is offline Senior Member
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    Primal Fuel


    Hello everyone! This is my first post here, so hopefully I won't make any enemies right off the bat when I proclaim this:


    I would like to gain some weight. /ducks


    I'm one of those (obnoxious) guys who's always thin, no matter what he eats. I've heard all the labels/insults/humorous explanations: hard gainer; fast metabolism; 'the skinny gene'; tapeworm.


    I'm just over 6', and in high school I weighed about 140 lbs. By the time I was 30 I weighed about 150 lbs. 12 years of a sedentary lifestyle and eating whatever I wanted -- including more than a reasonable amount of carbs/sugar, processed junk, etc. -- and I only put on 10 lbs. And I can probably even explain much of that 10 lb gain with one word: beer.


    I had a physical when I was 30. My doctor said I was in good health overall, but he suggested that I gain a little weight. Something about extremely thin people being more likely to die from severe illness that results in weight loss, because there's so little in "reserve". Made some sense to me, but I wasn't optimistic because most in my immediate and extended family are thin even into old age.


    Nevertheless, for a year and a half I pigged out. I ate more than I wanted to, more than my hunger demanded. I managed to gain just under 10 lbs, topping out around 160 lbs. Certainly the gain must have been mostly fat, because I barely got any exercise during that time. I managed to hold onto those 10 lbs for a couple years, which brings us to 2010.


    This year (like every year) I resolved to "eat more fruits and veggies!" I also wanted to discover why my digestion had been so poor for so long, why my joints were starting to get sore, why my skin and nails weren't looking so good, why I was always tired...etc. After a lot of research, I started to suspect that my unregulated intake of carbs -- especially processed junk, sugar, and gluten -- was at least partially to blame for those nagging ailments. This site kept popping up when I was searching for dietary info, and I've been reading it for the past month or so.


    Long story short, I started a PB-like diet about 2.5 weeks ago. Went completely cold turkey on anything wheat, anything processed. Started buying grass-fed beef, drinking the occasional glass of raw milk, eating copious amounts of mostly-organic vegetables for the majority of my carbs -- the whole-foods nine yards. My "sensible indulgences" include the aforementioned raw milk, some nice cheeses (jarlsberg, gouda, and extra sharp cheddar), a daily 4 oz glass of red wine, and a small amount of dark chocolate (one 3.x ounce bar per week, roughly).


    My macro-nutrient calorie balance has gone from probably 55% carbs/20% fat/20% protein/5% alcohol before, to 55% fat/20% carbs/20% protein/5% alcohol now. Due to getting most of my carbs from a wide variety of veggies and some fruits, my macro-nutrient profile is much more complete than it was previously when I was eating a lot of pasta, donuts, and cereal. Digestion has improved dramatically, I have noticeably more energy, my mood is better, my eyes aren't feeling as strained, I'm not hungry all the time, my finger nails don't have those little white spots in them, and suddenly I feel like going for a run.


    So far, so good, right? One problem: I lost 6 pounds in 2.5 weeks. I don't know if most of that is water loss typical with lower-carb diets or not. I'm still getting around 125g carbs per day on average, so it's not like the Atkins induction phase or anything like that. Anyway, I'm not happy about the weight loss, but I can see why it's occurring; with 50%+ of my calories coming from fat, and bulky veggies comprising most of my carb calories, I'm usually full all day. According to fitday.com, some days I struggle to get enough calories just to break even (approximately 1925). Other days I do a little better, but clearly I'm not cutting it over a 2.5 week period, as I've lost 6 pounds.


    Is anyone else having this problem? I've thought it through, and I can only think of two reasonable ways to gain weight: 1) intentionally eat a lot more carbs (probably rice, because I surely cannot get many more carbs from veggies -- they make me feel too full), or 2) start doing some high intensity weight training while eating more carbs/protein (and by definition cutting back on the fat to compensate).


    The former approach is much easier and will probably allow me to regain the lost weight in the form of fat relatively quickly. The latter approach is much harder, would presumably take longer, and would result in more added muscle than fat.


    Did I miss anything? Do I have any PB brothers or sisters who can relate to a guy who has trouble gaining weight?


    I look forward to any replies, and to participating in the forum. Thanks!


    - TBL


  2. #2
    Allbeef Patty's Avatar
    Allbeef Patty is offline Senior Member
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    I wish I could tell you that I know you feel, but I don't.


    What's your fruit intake like? How about avocados? Nuts? Honey?


    I'm trying to come up with calorically dense foods for you without getting too far from a PB framework. A great way to get those calories would be a nice fruit salad with coconut milk, nuts and honey. An occasional indulgence for me (without the honey), but it could be a couple of times a day thing for you.


  3. #3
    Tarlach's Avatar
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    Do you really want to put on fat?


    The only sensible way to gain weight and get bigger is to add muscle mass. That means strength training.

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

  4. #4
    The Big L's Avatar
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    I'm fine with putting on some fat actually. My doctor specifically recommended that I do so, as my body fat % was estimated to be around 9-10% (and I'm not an athlete).


    I've never been "ripped", though I do have decent muscle definition. Because I have so little fat, I've always had a visible 6-pack (or at times, an 8-pack).


    But you're right, it probably does make sense to try to add some muscle mass. I think I'd find it acceptable to add a bit of fat and muscle. Adding muscle sounds like it would be a real challenge for me WRT diet though, since I already have a tough time getting enough calories to maintain weight. I suppose it's possible that strength training would increase my appetite enough to keep me from losing any more fat.


  5. #5
    Stabby's Avatar
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    Yes I would think that muscle would be the way to go. I'm 5'9 and 135 pounds, up from 130 pounds (I added 5 of muscle). I'm shooting for 5 more pounds of muscle but I fear that if I do that I will spend far too much time in front of the mirror posing.


    No excess adipose tissue, a six-pack and tight, strong muscles is probably more desireable than a big ol'

    bulk, eh? I don't see how rock-hard pecks and a six-pack fit in with body fat.

    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

  6. #6
    The Big L's Avatar
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    Hi Stabby -


    I don't believe that adding muscle mass -- or indeed, having rock-hard pecks and a six-pack -- is mutually exclusive with having or gaining body fat. Everyone has body fat; it's essential for life. I guess it all comes down to your definition of what "excess" means.


    Anyway, could you elaborate on what you did to gain those 5 pounds of muscle? Diet, exercise, how long it took, etc.? I don't mean to ask for excruciating detail -- just an overview would suffice.


    Thanks!


  7. #7
    yodiewan's Avatar
    yodiewan is online now Senior Member
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    Welcome! Good to have you here.


    When I started eating PB style, I initially lost weight too. I had to get over my CW fear of fat to get in the necessary calories to gain some weight. From your macronutruent percentages and diet overview, it sounds like you're doing pretty good. But don't be afraid to slather your vegetables and meats in butter, olive oil, coconut oil, whatever if you aren't already.


    And I highly recommend weight training to gain weight and add muscle. It might take a while, but if you lift consistenly and intensely, you WILL see results.


    Also, in my personal experience, I needed a "boost" to gain some weight. For two or three weeks, I totally stuffed myself. I'd drink at least half a can of coconut milk a day, take shots of heavy cream, and roast up a chicken and eat as much as I could in one sitting. Fortunately I didn't have to continue eating like that to maintain the weight!


    If you haven't read Mark's post on gaining muscle, I highly recommend it:

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/gain-...-build-muscle/


  8. #8
    chima_p's Avatar
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    I would think you would need more amino acids than fat to survive any type of serious illness. I don't think you are going to starve any time soon. You still have over 54,000 calories in reserve anyway. If you gain muscle the proteins would supply both energy and amino acids for repairs.


    The easiest way to consume more calories would be to drink them. You could easily make a 500 cal shake with whey protein, milk, nut butters, coconut oil, bananas.


    Hit the gym. Get at least 1000 cal more a day and you should gain muscle. If you don't... eat even more.


  9. #9
    BlazeKING's Avatar
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    Just eat lots (5000kcal+) and lift heavy. Follow Rippetoes Starting Strength.


    You'll be hardpressed to find a serious powerlifter or bodybuilder who will tell you that you can gain lots of muscle with minimal fat in a short time(disregarding steroid usage). But it doesn't seem like fat is an issue to you, good.


    Good news though, fat comes off A LOT easier then muscle does. And when you eat a lot and gain a lot of weight and muscle, your metabolism will be in full speed meaning that when you cut again the fat will melt off fast.


    Just eat and lift man and don't worry about fat until you get over 200lbs. 70sbig.com can get you the motivation to eat big. A lot of those guys follow primal+gallon o' milk.


  10. #10
    animalcule's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    I'm a girl, but I'm right there with you. I'm 5'5" and I weigh about 104 lbs currently. Waaaay underweight and I've been trying to gain weight through overeating for years now. I will gain a few pounds, then when I stop stuffing my face or make the slightest changes in activity, it falls right off again. So frustrating.


    There is no way to put on muscle without also putting on some body fat, which many people don't seem to understand. No matter how much you work out, there is a limited amount of muscle tissue you can build in a period of time, and studies have shown that most people can only add a few pounds of actual muscle tissue per year when they are lifting heavy and mainlining protein - I think 18 lbs in one year was the record and it was only the one guy (although they haven't done any studies with people eating the PB!). Eat plenty, lots of protein, and work out - when you gain weight it will be both fat and muscle.


    I've decided to make peace with the fact that I am naturally skinny and am focusing on my health. However weight loss was NOT an option and I was nervous starting out.


    I've been primal for about 5 months now and I have gained 3-4 lbs. I eat pretty low carb, tons of fat, moderate protein, and lots of food. I haven't been working out at all since I officially gave up grains/beans/sugar. My muscles are more defined anyway.


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