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  1. #1
    Maggle's Avatar
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    Getting too skinny?

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    Long time reader, first time poster..

    My husband and I have been primal since the end of May, and we LOVE it! We feel great, I'm losing weight I wanted to lose (15lb so far, yay! 10 more and I'll hit my lowest weight since having kids. 10 more after that and I'll weigh what I did as a teenager! Trying to lose somewhat slowly though since I'm still nursing our youngest)..

    The problem is that he's losing weight too. My husband is one of those guys who has always been extremely thin, no matter what he eats. It runs in his family. Since going primal, he's down to 162lb, at 6'7". Pretty darn underweight! He doesn't want to be this skinny.

    Working out has never helped him bulk up in the past (he's tried everything to try to gain weight at some point or another!), but I suppose he could give that another shot? I think we also just need to make sure he eats more/enough, which is hard when you feel so sated all the time! He does forget to eat sometimes.

    I'm always encouraging him to put a little more butter on his food, not cut the fat off his steak, etc, but he's never really had a strong inclination toward really rich food so that's hard too. We've also been having him eat more carbs than me (he has a bowl of puffed rice with pastured half & half almost every night before bed, eats a lot more bananas and various tubers, he even chows down on potato chips made with avocado oil...).

    Do you guys have any other suggestions for him?

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    Dirlot's Avatar
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    He needs to eat more.

    Has he ever tried a proper, progressive 5x5 or 3x5 routine?
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    Figlio di Moros's Avatar
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    Right, eating more and working out are the only things I can think of. What's his BFP?

    Also, try encouraging him to eat more fat, and skip the carbs. Yeah, they'll put weight on him, but not muscle. Make sure he gets the necessary amounts to maintain his glycerol(sic?) stores, but up the fats and protein(to a reasonable level) to try to put on as much muscle as possible.

    Also, how old is he? Testosterone goes down over time, and while eating properly should help, if you're not so young anymore I'd suggest HGH or steroids to help bulk up, so long as he quits after gaining the weight.

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    Goldie's Avatar
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    My son-in-law is the same way. Along with a "normal" breakfast (eggs, bacon) he makes himself a protein shake, and he adds coconut oil to it. That's an easy way to up calories in a healthy way.

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    Maggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirlot View Post
    He needs to eat more.

    Has he ever tried a proper, progressive 5x5 or 3x5 routine?
    Umm.. I don't actually know what a proper, progressive 5x5 or 3x5 routine is? Would love to know more!

    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Right, eating more and working out are the only things I can think of. What's his BFP?

    Also, try encouraging him to eat more fat, and skip the carbs. Yeah, they'll put weight on him, but not muscle. Make sure he gets the necessary amounts to maintain his glycerol(sic?) stores, but up the fats and protein(to a reasonable level) to try to put on as much muscle as possible.

    Also, how old is he? Testosterone goes down over time, and while eating properly should help, if you're not so young anymore I'd suggest HGH or steroids to help bulk up, so long as he quits after gaining the weight.
    He guessed his BFP is in the single digits, but we don't know. Are those online estimators that use your height/weight/waist reliable? I will try to encourage more fat over carbs. It's honestly hard to get him to eat more fat or more in general. Guess that's part of how he's always stayed so thin! He's 28, so still pretty much a spring chicken. Neither of us has ever been particularly athletic or anything, we skew more on the nerdy side, so we have a lot to learn about all this stuff..

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
    My son-in-law is the same way. Along with a "normal" breakfast (eggs, bacon) he makes himself a protein shake, and he adds coconut oil to it. That's an easy way to up calories in a healthy way.
    That's a good idea, and sounds like something he might actually eat. Thanks!

  6. #6
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    He could try what always stalls other people's weight loss efforts. He could make big fruit smoothies with whole cans of coconut milk. He could eat lots of strawberries dipped in almond butter. He could eat nuts and cheese as snacks. He could eat lots of Primal almond flour fake pastries and other treats.
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  7. #7
    zoebird's Avatar
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    My husband is this body type.

    Your husband *can* put on muscle. My husband carries about 40-50 lbs of extra muscle than his "normal weight." But, I'll characterize a bit. He is 5 ft 7 inches, ectomorphic body type. He was a distance runner, and his lowerest weight was 118. When he added weight training to his running, he moved up to 130lbs. When he dropped 'chronic cardio," He went up to about 135.

    Then he discovered "hard gainer" method. (Stuart McRobert -- Beyond Brawn. It's a book).

    With diet, *rest* and lifting weights (and I mean *lifting* **weights**), he was then able to move up to 175 of *lean muscle mass.* He got injured before we moved to NZ, and dropped down to 150 because he was doing body weight only (which kept some muscle and body fat low, but he lost a LOT of muscle in the two years). Now that he's lifting heavy again (in his third cycle this year -- the book explains cycles), he's back up to 165. His body fat is about 8-10%. He's looking to get up to 170-175 again, but keep the same leanness.

    He needs more carbs on his lifting day (once a week), but not on his body-weight day (once a week). He does sprints 1x per week and also walks/hikes and on occasion -- say 2-3 times per month -- will go for a run (which he enjoys).

    He's pretty active. He'll also do his mobility exercises/stretches/yoga every other day or so.

    He eats about 2500 calories per day on "non weights/bodyweight days" and about 2800-3000 on those days. This is an estimate, I don't calculate what he eats.

    When he's living *really* heavy (toward the end of a cycle), he drops his body-weight day and just has one work out every 7-10 days.

    It helps him build muscle in a consistent manner, and has definitely helped him maintain a healthy weight.

  8. #8
    EncinoMan's Avatar
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    Anybody can gain weight, but for your husband it will likely not be easy. There are a ton of programs out there (Starting Strength, Strong Lifts, BBS to name a few) that all work. Pick one and follow it.

    And don't be afraid to get under some weight. When I started lifting again I was too timid about what I could lift and only started seeing results when I significantly upped the weight.

    Also, as stated above, to get big you have to eat big. "bulletproof coffee" and the like, while terrible for those looking to drop fat, are great for loading more calories into your diet.

  9. #9
    Uncephalized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Right, eating more and working out are the only things I can think of. What's his BFP?

    Also, try encouraging him to eat more fat, and skip the carbs. Yeah, they'll put weight on him, but not muscle. Make sure he gets the necessary amounts to maintain his glycerol(sic?) stores, but up the fats and protein(to a reasonable level) to try to put on as much muscle as possible.
    Going low carb would be the opposite of helpful for a hard gainer trying to gain weight. Someone who is naturally skinny will not suddenly gain a bunch of body fat because he eats rice and potatoes. Including a reasonably high amount of carbs (up to several hundred grams on workout days, primarily starch) will help him in several ways. One, it will be easier to take in more calories than if he tries to rely on only fat calories--eating more calories is the most important thing he can do to his diet if he wants to gain weight, period. It will keep his glycogen well-filled which will allow him to lift harder. It will help him maintain his metabolic rate at a high level, which will increase his body's ability to grow new tissue and recover faster from workouts. And it will actually help him produce testosterone. Simultaneously restricting carbs (which is a stressor to your body; don't fall for the low-carb mantra that ketosis is the body's "preferred" state--lots of people with long-term VLC-induced fatigue, constipation, hair loss, muscle wasting and low libido would beg to differ!) and engaging in regular heavy lifting will stress the body over time, can lead to hypothyroid/low body temperature/slow metabolism/adrenal fatigue, and will make it an unpleasant effort for him to eat enough food.

    Low carbing is not the right tool for every job, and it's definitely not the right one for adding pounds to a skinny dude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Figlio di Moros View Post
    Also, how old is he? Testosterone goes down over time, and while eating properly should help, if you're not so young anymore I'd suggest HGH or steroids to help bulk up, so long as he quits after gaining the weight.
    You'd rather he took steroids than eat some post-workout potatoes? Are you serious? Let's try proper exercise nutrition before resorting to illegal and risky pharmaceutical intervention, shall we?
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  10. #10
    Figlio di Moros's Avatar
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    Not all steroids are illegal, and only become harmful over long periods of time. Besides, the suggestion was intended if he was older and had lowered testosterone.

    But, good point w/ the carbs.

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