Hey guys. Help me out here. To make a long story short, I need to gain weight; I'm 136-138lbs at about 5'8, but I feel I'm still growing (at 18yrs old) as I have recently gotten taller and seem to be still getting a bit taller. I actually retain a lot of muscle from years of wrestling/football and 6 or more months of consistent lifting, but from the front I look reallyyy skinny do to my incredibly small/skinny/sucked in waist. I have abs, but the abs from being skinny, not JACKED. How shall I gain weight? I want to hit around 160 (I know it will take time) and want it to be slow, lean gains. I do have a phobia of getting fat, but am quite honestly slowly getting over it. I'm tired of crash dieting for weight gain/loss. I honestly actually know about nutrition and physiology and what not, but I guess subconsciously ruin it for myself, maybe a less intense, minor eating disorder due to being fat 5th-9th grade.
I have been IFing for 14-16 or so hours for the health benefits lately. I also prefer to stay low carb and incorporate lot's of coconut oil in my diet to do health related issues I've made previous posts about. Strength and conditioning is also ideal in my situation because within the next month or so I will be rejoining wrestling and/or jiu-jitsu, and maybe even thai boxing. How shall I gain this mass healthfully? Should I do a more Carb Back-Loading style, because I may get the nuero/brain/psychological benefits of ketosis for my migraines/anxiety while maintaining leptin levels from the carb refeeds? Should I continue my fasts as is, and calorie/carb cycle as endorsed by Martin Berkhan @ Leangains, and stay rather low carb, maybe 70 or so on rest days and then like 200 on workout days? How high should my protein be? I hear so much different protein levels, that gaining weight and/or IF decreases your protein needs and NOTHING over 1g/lb of body weight is needed... if so, how the hell will I gain muscle without adding hundreds of more calories? Also, according to Dr. Doug McGuff, we only hold around 70g glycogen in the liver, 200g glycogen in muscles, so how could I/should I even add more carbs to that amount, even on a refeed day?
By the way, I currently do the Body By Science protocol, because after reading and annotating the first half of that book thus far, the science behind it really convinces me in the health benefits of HIT with weights. It may not be BEST for mass or strength, but definitely best for metabolic conditioning; and it definitely works for mass and strength, just might not be the absolute best. I will eventually switch up the routine after reading more of Drew Bayes work and Ellington Darden, as both are proponents of HIT very similar to BBS.
Please, any guidance will greatly help. Thanks a lot for all the supportive answers/comments I've received previously.
asked byBigPapaChakra (257)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on January 06, 2013
at 11:44 AM
Regular fasting aligned with ingestion of a low carb diet may be stressful for the body long term (I say may, as I do not have adequate evidence on hand/in mind, but hopeful others will chip in... From what I understand, it can be stressful to the adrenals/hpa...) If you're Fasting for the 'heatlh benefits', great, but it might be possible you're constraining your eating window in part due to your 'phobia of getting fat'.
In the same way your restriction of carbs might be reflective of thought processes re fat gain (informed by Taubes' insuling hypothesis perhaps?). There's a lot of debate about this, between for example Jaminet and Rosedale. You seemingly would side with Rosedale, but I have to wodner if, in the context of your desires to put on muscle and get over the phobia of gaining fat, it might be beneficial if you incorparate carbs. Yes glucose can be made into fat, but so can dietary fat. In fact, it is a fallacy that healthy (and unhealthy) individuals are not constandly storing fat from ingested food. How do you think you get through a fast if not be drawing on previously stored energy? Where insulin levels are low the ability of healthy individuals to access the fat is a lot 'larger', but this doesn't mean that for generally healthy individuals (especially very active ones), carbs shouldn't be eaten...
The above isn't to say that IFing or low carbing, or (bot together)h may be detrimental for You, but addressing the underlying issues you have with respect to gaining weight will probably be to your benefit long term (while crash dieting will screw you in the long term...). In this context I would recomend, as sstated, that you incorporate carbs into the mix. There are benefits of ketogenic diets, however for active and generally healthy people, it may not be optimal to restict them (although it might be... see Rosedale). For you though, with the thoughts about gaining weight, I think restricting won't be helpful for overall health, and adding them in some way, tailored to activity levels, would probably make strength gain/and 'metabolic flexiability' a helluva lot easier to cultivate...