I am 22 years old and am currently very underweight. I am 5ft 3 inches and weigh 6.7 stone (41kg). I am about 1 stone underweight. I am trying to gain on a paleo/ primal inspired diet however am struggling. I do take part in quite a lot of exercise per week as it makes me feel alive and keeps me happy, I really enjoy working out. I train 5-6 days a week mixing up cardio, weights, fitness classes, yoga and swimming. Generally 1 to 1.5 hour per day.
I have given an example of what I eat per day and wondered if anyone could advise me as to where im going right and wrong?
Breakfast- Egg and banana pancake (1 egg, 1 banana, teaspoon of flaxseed, teaspoon of coconut oil, cinnamon, tablespoon of natural yogurt)
(training/ gym workouts)
Mid morning- handful of mixed nuts and 1 apple
Lunch- chicken breast or 2 eggs or salmon fillet with mixed salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn, beetroot, avocado, broccoli, half sweet potato), teaspoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar 1 gluten free oat cake.
Mid afternoon- fruit or carrot sticks
Dinner- Whole fish baked (sea bass, trout, mackerel, herring, salmon fillet), mixed vegetable, slow roasted tomato and butternut squash tagine with lots of herbs and spices. Homemade buckwheat flatbread (gluten free buckwheat flour and water.
Bed time snack- pot of natural yogurt with teaspoon of whey protein powder and 3 cashew nuts, few blueberries.
Please, help any advise?
You are eating what is equivalent to someone who is trying to lose weight. Why is that? Increase your food and decrease your exercize.
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The problem I have is I feel full from what I am eating, I don't know where or what to add in to my current diet to help. Lowering my exercise is hard as I love it so much, but I am prepared to up my food to help me, just wanted some guidance with ideas how and where?
Originally Posted by oceangrl
Eat whole meats. Replace your chicken breast with some bone in skin on chicken thighs. Replace baked fish with some pork ribs, bone in ribeye, or some other primal cut of meat. Ditch the oats and buckwheat as well. Use some butter and coconut oil in your cooking or in your sweet potato.
Thats my general "primal" recs.
Ok don't like pork and beef so little problem. Also why ditch the buckwheat and gluten free oat cake?
Was options to increase your caloric load in a primal way. If that don't fit your style/palate then I guess just eat more of whatever floats your boat, but I would suggest at least eating the whole chicken as opposed to just the breast....much more primal, less money, and less wasteful IMO. As to the grain question it depends..... Are you attempting to eat a primal/paleo diet or just gluten free? If you are doing gluten free WAPF sort then have at it. If your giving the primal thing a real 100% shot then all grains go bye bye. Good luck
Originally Posted by jenhamer
Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-20-2013 at 02:32 PM.
Use more fats, instead of a tsp, use a tbsp... Increase your animal protein consumption. Eat some nuts and seeds. Just increase your intake of calorie dense foods.
What Gigi said--you can get more calories in as fat without feeling full as you would on, say, a piece of chicken. So, fattier meats, butter and coconut oil for cooking and topping, full fat yogurt...if you train 1.5 hrs a day you should be hungry...and will need enough carbs, so potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice maybe.
You are eating about as much as I do... and I'm trying to lose weight and I only cardio exercise 2 a week...
You can of course cut back on the sports but if you enjoy it that's not a real option. just make sure you listen to your body.
Ideas for extra calorie intake:
- change your morning pancake into an omelet with veggies and sweet potato in it. try to eat 2.
- you are allowed according to primal to have pure chocolate, try and see if you can coat the nuts with melted chocolate.
- replace the chicken with beef. cold beef is really good in a salad. add nuts to your salad...
- for dinner, change the white fish with meat. colored fish is nice and fatty, I think you gain more from meat than from the white fish.
Hi Jen, you are indeed very tiny and I commend you on trying to increase your weight in a healthy way. THe food you are eating looks very nice but as others have said it looks more suitable for a fat loss plan. I understand that saying "eat more" is easier said than done, you will have to coach yourself into taking more calories on board. I think you can do this by tweaking everything to be a bit more nutrient dense and more towards "real foods" than salads and lightweight items. My suggestions would be:
Originally Posted by jenhamer
A small amount of flaxseed is very filling, why not drop it and add an extra egg to your pancake, even if you can't eat it all at first, but you can try. Swap out the yoghurt for cream, butter or full fat yoghurt.
Your morning snack could be more of a meal since you just worked out. What about adding a smoothie with whole milk, another banana and some berries for flavour. Still eat the nuts if you like, chocolate covered was a good idea And/or some dried fruit like dates or raisins, you will be able to get more calories from a few of them than from a raw apple. Or if you're going to eat the apple, cut it and dip it in almond butter or cream cheese.
Good on you having protein at lunch and the avocado is good too. Please ditch the sweetcorn, it is a grain and difficult to digest. Same goes for the oat cake, it doesn't offer enough value for the effort it takes to eat it, unless you really want to drench it in butter and honey. Don't be afraid of fat, and you can also afford more sugar than some of us. The sweet potato is good, make sure it has been cooked with fat eg coconut oil. You can slather much more than 1tsp of olive oil over the lot. Instead of a salad, if you cook the veges they are easier to both eat and to digest and you will be able to eat more of them. Butter makes everything taste good.
Mid afternoon is probably unnecessary to be eating especially if lunch was a genuine meal. Fruit and carrot sticks are difficult to overeat and in your case that is what you need to do. THerefore I would change them for chocolate and raisins (Makes me gain weight, haha). Or a chicken drumstick, or another boiled egg.
Dinner sounds delish, but still needs more nutritional value. Add some fat when you bake your fish and veges (eg coconut oil) and again when you serve them eg coconut cream. The flatbread again is not giving you enough real nutrition, spread it with almond butter or sub it out for a creamy vegetable dish.
That bedtime snack doesn't sound very appetising. ARe you just trying to get some more calories in? Make a delicious primal treat with almond flour and coconut, or some primal truffle balls, or a big hot chocolate drink. Rather than just a few bits and pieces which it sounds like you're just trying to choke down for the sake of it.
Good luck, try to make every bite count. You also may need to "persuade" yourself just to eat a bit more each time. Best wishes.