4

votes

How to gain weight/up calories without dairy/grain

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 19, 2010 at 4:27 AM

for the past 4 years I've been suffering from oral thrush (candida) though for about 2 of those years I didn't know what the problem was. Its not fun to talk about, worse to have and even harder to get rid of.

I tried a hunter gatherer diet before though at the time I wasn't aware of the paleo movement. so there was some info I could have used. It was very hard to stay on because even though i was definitely out-eating everyone I knew and exercising I still dropped weight. Also, I would eat a large meal and then feel hungry about an hour later. I was very prone to energy crashes. I'm 5'7" and 120 pounds now. i'm not looking to body build but just become healthy again (add 10-15 pounds.)

I'm not supposed to eat any grains and I'm seriously lactose intolerant. I already eat a lot of almonds and some coconut oil. I exercise regularly though I'm going to look into body by science. I checked out fitday and it looks like my average is 1700 cals a day. Is there any advice on how to increase calorie count, weight and good snacks to decrease the hunger? thanks for any input!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2010
at 06:50 PM

Maybe that only happens to people with excess fat.

F8fa4b0809d3b74fcf0361c0d53b60c1

(911)

on July 20, 2010
at 04:19 PM

Instead of butter, which contains trace amounts of lactose and milk protein, go with clarified butter (aka ghee). This is pure milkfat.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:13 PM

I eat lots of avocados (almost 300 calories each, mostly from fat) and 6-12 eggs at a time. Ground beef and beef ribs are fatty and it's easy to get a lot of calories that way. If you can eat 1 lb. of ground beef at lunch, you're off to a good start. Take it slow and try to add 400 calories daily per week. So next week go for 2100 cals, then 2500, etc. You will gradually adapt. People are very adaptable. You can learn to eat 2 lbs. of beef or 12 eggs at a time if you work at it. It's not 100% necessary to eat that much at a time, but it can help. Good luck!

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 20, 2010
at 02:48 PM

that seems like under 2K to me. i prefer dark meat like drumsticks and thighs, give it a try and you'll start tossing the breast meat to the dogs in no time. on a weight gain regime i might just roast a whole chicken and it the whole thing tho.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:47 AM

didn't know about that. coconut oil though has some health benefits that are helping me out right now but its good to be aware

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:45 AM

going to look for that suet. Never thought about it but nows the time to try. Will look into the parsnips but I'm trying to avoid potatoes for the same reason as grains and beans: contains toxins (this case glycoalkaloids) I'm trying the paleo way for avoiding all those foods that contain toxins that are only made edible through cooking.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:40 AM

4000 sounds intense! Can't handle the whey (made from milk, I've tried) but I'll pick up the coconut milk. Is the coconut milk/whey how you get to 4000? Or are there other big cal meals? And yea, prob could gain more than 15. Its just my first goal since gaining anything has been tough even at my most athletic

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:36 AM

Problem with starch for me right now is I'm having a problem with sugar. And all starch turns to sugar. Thats what led me to the paleo diet. Maybe after a month or two of "detox" I'll start experimenting. Thanks though!

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:34 AM

love nori. I'm see about those pork rinds. You can't trip in brooklyn without landing in a bodega without those. I usually cook with olive oil. Shots sounds fun. Olive oil supposed to have multiple health benefits as well.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:32 AM

thanks, interesting breakdown of the carb/protien/fat. very helpful. I'm adding weights to my usual pullup/situp/pushup routine. Not afraid of "bigness" I was just trying to say body building isn't my focus

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:26 AM

Also, I might have underestimated calories. probably closer to 2000 calories a day which is still low to gain weight. Yesterdays food: 3 eggs, about cup of almonds (i'm addicted) some seaweed, 1 chicken breast, kale, one entire butternut squash, 1 burdock, some chia and a trout. Will take your advices and let you know how it goes. Thanks again

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:19 AM

thanks for all the responses! overwhelmed. I'm male and yeah been a light weight all my life. Sadly I can't handle any kind of milk product. I think maybe an issue is I'm partial to chicken over red meat but that's going to change. I'll embrace the fat. Also, I'll def try the coconut drinks. About potato's: I've heard bad things.They contain glycoalkaloids which are toxic though made edible through cooking. I'm under the impression paleo is about avoiding foods with toxins made edible through cooking like grains and beans.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 20, 2010
at 03:29 AM

Starch is the only thing that works for me. I burn fat like no tomorrow...

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 19, 2010
at 05:00 PM

traditionally made butter and fermented milk products are low or no lactose, but most of the butter in the store today might be unsafe. depends on where you get it (farmers market from a dairy artisan or from a European import.) http://www.telusplanet.net/public/ekende/lactose.htm

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:53 PM

had to edit my post, forgot you are lactose intolerant! For other people I'd say mix their protein shake with heavy cream as its 5 grams of fat and 50 cals a tablespoon! You could probably add some oils or even lard to that shake as well. I remember muscle milk is filled with nasty vegetable oil so why not fill your paleo shake with some added lard?

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11 Answers

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 20, 2010
at 04:48 AM

I think the natural suggestion to increase calorie intake would be to eat more carbs, since this will naturally decrease weight loss and will make it easier to eat more calories by stimulating appetite. However you explicitly ask for "good snacks to decrease the hunger." This seems odd- if you're feeling hungry then why not eat more calories? Eating more calories of whatever you're eating now would naturally decrease weight loss.

I think the best source of more calories is more fat, since it's the healthiest metabolically. My main suggestion as to how to do this is to eat a source of fat that isn't coconut. Coconut (being medium chain triglycerides) is notoriously harder to eat in large quantities as it's absorbed differently to other fats and will simply make you nauseous. If you simply need calories then drinking cream or cooking with more butter seem simple solutions. Eating fattier meat is also an easy way to make your meals more filling and more calorific. This would be far easier and healthier if you were eating anything other than chicken though, the fat of which is very omega-6 rich (something to avoid if you're already eating almonds and chia). All of the above are really cheap calories too, and don't require any extra thought on your part.

Is the weight loss you're experiencing largely of lean muscle mass? If not then I wouldn't necessarily worry; you might just be naturally leaning out. Despite our cultural obsession with thinness, as a naturally skinny person myself, I can testify that people will often complain about some-one being dangerously underweight simply for being healthy. If on the other hand you are losing (or simply want to gain) lean muscle mass, then the main driver has to be intense exercise. And by intense I don't just mean hard I mean short and so hard that you couldn't maintain it for a longer period.

2
3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260

on July 20, 2010
at 02:36 AM

Eat starch at every meal, like sweet potatoes, potatoes, or winter squash. If you're able to tolerate raw milk (which contains lactase enzymes), drink a lot of that, too, if you can get it.

If you're like me, all the protein and fat in the world will never make you put on weight. I laugh when people suggest eating more butter to put on weight. I went from too skinny to even skinnier eating all the fat and meat in the world. Overweight people cower in fear when they hear the word "insulin," but insulin is an insulin-sensitive skinny person's best friend. Therefore, eat more starch! Added to existing staples of meat, fat, and vegetables, this should balance your meals and increase your calories with ease.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:36 AM

Problem with starch for me right now is I'm having a problem with sugar. And all starch turns to sugar. Thats what led me to the paleo diet. Maybe after a month or two of "detox" I'll start experimenting. Thanks though!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 20, 2010
at 03:29 AM

Starch is the only thing that works for me. I burn fat like no tomorrow...

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 20, 2010
at 05:41 AM

Nuts are a problem for some people. They contain a lot of omega 6s as well. Basically, they are really large seeds and so perhaps it's a case of they 'just don't want to be eaten' as is often said of other grains.

One way to add calories and fat is start deep frying things in lard or bacon fat. I like to roll chicken in egg and then in coconut flour and then deep fry it. ALways leave skins on the chicken of course. Avocado is another tasty fat source that many enjoy.

There are also some nice baking recipes out there using coconut flour or almond flour. I actually don't eat many straight nuts anymore because I sometimes bake with almond flour and I figure that is already plenty of nut intake for me. It's MUCH easier to eat more food if there is a variety of food in front of you, like maybe some deep fried chicken, a bit of fruit, a bit of veggie and then some banana muffins (made with egg, bananas and almond butter) on the side. If your drink also has calories, all the better! Plus you can make up a giant hoard of the muffins or bakery and freeze em for later or use them for snacks.

If you are hungry an hour later, then snack! I like to keep some cooked bacon around in the fridge for snacking and adding to other foods. Beef jerky is nice for in the car, pemmican also. Have snacks available at all times to make eating easier. Normally I would also say up the carbs, but if you are trying to kill off candida, which lives on sugar, than for you, I would not suggest that you eat more carbs and in fact, try to stick with mostly low carb fruits like berries, at least until you get rid of the candida.

Also consider other important things like getting daily UVB sunlight if possible in order to increase vitamin D. And get plenty of restful sleep and try to keep stress levels down. You will want your immune system functioning properly to fight the candida.

1
7431586c21bca496c5a7ec7bd0ca4d6e

(974)

on July 19, 2010
at 07:46 PM

I don't like dairy fat because any sort of dairy gives me acne. I find almonds hard on my stomach and don't like the taste of coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for weight loss.

My advice is to consume extra fat by eating grass fed suet. You can cut off chunks, cook them in water and eat them. Or you can render the suet into tallow and cover everything you eat in tallow. Pork fat is okay, but the ratio of omega 6/ omega 3 is too high because they feed pigs corn.

Eating starchy vegetables like parsnips and sweet potatoes will help you up the calories and gain weight. Eating carbs causes insulin release. Insulin causes the body to store fat. The liver takes excess carbs from a meal and turns it into fat. The body then stores the fat.
You can also add salt (or lite salt) to make things taster to eat which will help you eat more.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:45 AM

going to look for that suet. Never thought about it but nows the time to try. Will look into the parsnips but I'm trying to avoid potatoes for the same reason as grains and beans: contains toxins (this case glycoalkaloids) I'm trying the paleo way for avoiding all those foods that contain toxins that are only made edible through cooking.

1
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 06:16 PM

Are you female or male? Can't tell from your username. If you are male I think you probably need to gain more than 15 lbs. to be really healthy unless you are a professional rock climber or something. Probably also need to gain more than that for a female as well IMO.

Anyway. My basic advice is to eat a lot and lift heavy things. You can look at this previous weight gain thread, but ignore the advice to eat dairy, obviously.

I have a hard time gaining weight myself. I have had good success with eating around 4000+ calories per day, including a can of coconut milk with a bit of whey protein. I do not like whey protein but I think it is helpful for mass gain. A can of coconut milk is around 700 calories. Start off slow and gradually ramp it up, as too much too fast can lead to digestive issues.

My coach put me on digestive enzymes (NOW Super Enzymes) which may have helped with gaining weight.

Don't know what to say about energy crashes, sorry. =( Post a food log -- it'll help. 1700 calories per day is borderline criminal if you are male, and still pretty small for a female IMO.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:40 AM

4000 sounds intense! Can't handle the whey (made from milk, I've tried) but I'll pick up the coconut milk. Is the coconut milk/whey how you get to 4000? Or are there other big cal meals? And yea, prob could gain more than 15. Its just my first goal since gaining anything has been tough even at my most athletic

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:13 PM

I eat lots of avocados (almost 300 calories each, mostly from fat) and 6-12 eggs at a time. Ground beef and beef ribs are fatty and it's easy to get a lot of calories that way. If you can eat 1 lb. of ground beef at lunch, you're off to a good start. Take it slow and try to add 400 calories daily per week. So next week go for 2100 cals, then 2500, etc. You will gradually adapt. People are very adaptable. You can learn to eat 2 lbs. of beef or 12 eggs at a time if you work at it. It's not 100% necessary to eat that much at a time, but it can help. Good luck!

1
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:48 PM

It would be interesting to know what your macronutrient numbers are. 1700 calories is on the low side as you have acknowledged and making it up with fat seems to be the go to, but are you even getting enough protein? Although my actual calories from protein are a drop in the bucket, I find that is actually the hardest place to get the calories. It's gotta be a really delicious porterhouse for me to make my way through the whole thing. I am gonna guess you've got very little body fat and since you want to gain we could just treat your goal body weight as all lean mass (and if you stay true to paleo it should be!).

  • With your goal of about 135 lbs you are going to want to be eating between 135 and 202 grams of protein a day. That's between 540 and 810 calories a day for protein.
  • The rest you'll have to make up in carbs and fat. If you are going with MDA's top range 100 grams of carbs from fruits, veggies and sweet potatoes that's another 400 calories there. So on the upper range we've gotten to 1010 calories.
  • So now take every gram of protein and slather it in lard. (For others who can do dairy mix some heavy cream in there.) We are talking another 111 grams of fat or around 1000 cals adjusted up if you still aren't adding weight. If you need to add protein through shakes, mix the shake mix with full fat coconut milk.

I would suggest adding a weight training regimen even if you don't want to 'body build' since if you aren't adding muscle you are adding fat. Believe me, if you are afraid of looking like the incredible hulk, put that fear aside and look at my 'before/after' pic in that thread and know that I've been working out for almost 20 years (granted I was SAD and gluten intolerant all that time...). Getting big is hard, doing a good hard work out is just natural.

Also a good thing to note is your resting metabolism--its probably somewhere between 1300 and 1400 calories a day, so getting more calories than those numbers would probably help with weight gain as well.

Hope my thoughts are helpful, sometimes I wish I had trouble gaining weight, but with Paleo I know all too well how easy it is to kinda waste away if you aren't careful.

P.S. If you just want to gain tons of weight and say to hell with health, I have found in the past that a habit of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby (or Fossil Fuel flavor if you want to stay Paleo of course) every night with a six pack of beer and a bacon (again think paleo) pizza got me the extra 30 lbs I needed to fit in with my peers. Anyway, please don't do that.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:32 AM

thanks, interesting breakdown of the carb/protien/fat. very helpful. I'm adding weights to my usual pullup/situp/pushup routine. Not afraid of "bigness" I was just trying to say body building isn't my focus

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:53 PM

had to edit my post, forgot you are lactose intolerant! For other people I'd say mix their protein shake with heavy cream as its 5 grams of fat and 50 cals a tablespoon! You could probably add some oils or even lard to that shake as well. I remember muscle milk is filled with nasty vegetable oil so why not fill your paleo shake with some added lard?

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:04 PM

I would say the easiest way to add calories, and thus perhaps provoke a weight gain, is definitely adding fat to everything. Be creative:

  • when i eat cold cuts i dip each slice in liquid coconut oil or eat each slice with a pat of butter.
  • if i snack on nori or romaine i will do the same
  • when i panfry a steak, i make sure that i pour all the fat from the pan on top of the steak
  • try adding cream to coffee (though i know you mentioned lactoseintolerance)
  • not the best as far as quality of animal but bags of pork rinds from a bodega can get you a nice calorie surge (pure fat too)

I suppose im saying just seriously think before you eat/snack on anything and think of how you can add pretty much butter or coconut oil to it. Also, doing a shot here and there throughout the day of olive oil is a great way. Lots of people in the middle east/mediterranean do this for general health but its also a quick, easy, palatable way to get more dense cals in the game.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:34 AM

love nori. I'm see about those pork rinds. You can't trip in brooklyn without landing in a bodega without those. I usually cook with olive oil. Shots sounds fun. Olive oil supposed to have multiple health benefits as well.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 19, 2010
at 10:06 AM

Butter. Butter. Butter. There is almost no lactose in butter and it's so easy to add calories by just slathering everything you eat in it.

Eating fatty cuts of meat or meat that comes with a lot of fat around the edges is also a possibility.

I wouldn't recommend eating that many almonds though due to the omega 6 load.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 19, 2010
at 05:00 PM

traditionally made butter and fermented milk products are low or no lactose, but most of the butter in the store today might be unsafe. depends on where you get it (farmers market from a dairy artisan or from a European import.) http://www.telusplanet.net/public/ekende/lactose.htm

F8fa4b0809d3b74fcf0361c0d53b60c1

(911)

on July 20, 2010
at 04:19 PM

Instead of butter, which contains trace amounts of lactose and milk protein, go with clarified butter (aka ghee). This is pure milkfat.

1
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 19, 2010
at 06:54 AM

Don't have much for ya but if you do a search on pubmed you'll notice that coconut oil (the MCTs specifically) actually tends to result in weight loss compared to controls fed on an equa-caloric basis with oils like olive oil. There are also a lot of anecdotal reports of it killing appetite and I certainly notice that. Might not be the best choice for someone trying to gain weight.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2010
at 06:50 PM

Maybe that only happens to people with excess fat.

5b514becab9af33952c9458b2d75917a

on July 20, 2010
at 04:47 AM

didn't know about that. coconut oil though has some health benefits that are helping me out right now but its good to be aware

0
D5db204527668aa712504995c0f8f96f

(551)

on July 19, 2010
at 10:27 PM

Up the meat intake. Eat ribs, bacon, etc. That kind of stuff.

Drink coconut milk too.

0
424563ee2575f0620ea221badabb40d7

(272)

on July 19, 2010
at 11:21 AM

What about cans of coconut milk?

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