3

votes

I'm trying to GAIN weight on Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 04, 2012 at 5:04 PM

I feel like I'm in the minority here... I am 118 lbs and 5'10" and I want to gain weight. I am dedicated to eating paleo also because i have rheumatoid arthritis and it helps a ton with that. Can't eat nuts though.

Any tips on gaining weight while on this diet? I can't do red meat. All of my meat is fish.

66263362980fdfbe7e65f4d9acafab92

(0)

on August 10, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Haha no problem. Glad to hear you're taking care of yourself mentally and not just physically. I'm on SCD; pretty similar to paleo from what I hear diet wise and its helped me a ton. If you've got any questions, ask away, otherwise keep on keeping on!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on July 25, 2013
at 11:27 PM

It's not taboo at all for me. Poop is a fascinating, rewarding subject, full of wonder and enchantment. My poop sinks. I eat lots of fat and gain lots of energy from it, so I don't think it's fat malabsorption. Thanks for the tips, though. I've been doing a lot to repair my gut, like raw, fermented foods and bone broths, and it's sorta helping. I've also become more comfortable with my weight. I don't *need* to be bigger, if that's not my body's natural equilibrium.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2013
at 01:02 PM

As a former fat person, I've never had any issues eating any food...that was the basic problem...and the weight loss didn't change that. But I never dropped to the starvation weight levels you guys are at. I hope your food sensitivities go away with weight gain, good luck getting some meat on your bones.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2013
at 12:56 PM

118 at 5'10" is skeletal weight. As a fat person I had metabolic issues which went away as I lost weight. But the weight loss came from all over, and while my legs are strong my shoulders are bony. My upper body joints are creaky, which was never a problem when I was fat. I don't know how I could "spot gain" weight there but it would sure feel better. Maybe lifting - getting some exercise targeted at shoulders.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on July 13, 2013
at 01:56 PM

If you aren't gaining weight, you aren't eating enough. It's that simple in 90% of people I work with. It takes just as much dedication to really bulk up as to lose a bunch of weight. You can't skip meals or take it easy one day. If you aren't getting 1g/lb of protein, then you're doing it wrong. If you are eating less than 4 meals a day, you're doing it wrong. Attack your goal with a purpose, and eat like a man.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 30, 2012
at 03:43 PM

what about duck?

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:13 AM

You're right. My bad. Just keep doing what you're doing. Maybe you will just magically have different results one of these days. Why are you asking what you should eat and then telling everyone you can only eat what you already eat? Doesn't seem like you're interested in solving anything here.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 30, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Chicken also inflames my joints. I know, I know, I'm difficult. Even organic, bug-fed chicken. Coconut inflames my joints a lot as well. So do bananas, and actually the vast majority of carbohydrates, especially simple sugars.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 30, 2012
at 01:54 AM

If you read my comments (or stuck to paleo foods), you would not be suggesting a dairy overload.

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on November 29, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Just sounds like encouragement for an eating disorder. Usually if your eating enough and still underweight, you have a malabsorption issue. Can be very detrimental to your health. Your organs need protection.

5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

(23)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:58 PM

If I was eating only lamb chops I would need 2kg yes. Most of the time over the last 3 years I ate: Morning 6 eggs, 50 grams butter Standard meal at my workplace. eg spag boll, lasagne, fish and chips etc + desert. Dinner: 900g packet of economy NZ lamb chops That was enough to maintain 180lbs @ 5'11. I'm now following Ray Peat because I'm sick of having to eat massive meals of meat just to maintain my weight and no more.

5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

(23)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:56 PM

If I was eating only lamb chops I would need 2kg yes. Most of the time over the last 3 years I ate: Morning 6 eggs, 50 grams butter Standard meal at my workplace. eg spag boll, lasagne, fish and chips etc + desert 900g packet of economy NZ lamb chops That was enough to maintain 180lbs @ 5'11. I'm not following Ray Peat because I am sick of it.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 26, 2012
at 04:07 PM

4.5 lbs of lamb a day? Sorry, but WTF?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 26, 2012
at 04:06 PM

"Eat more" is offensive. I notice no difference when I stuff myself all the time. It's not that simple.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:31 PM

I like you .

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:44 PM

woops meant 3-4 times a week

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:07 PM

304 times a week is a little light, don't you think?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Fat is required for muscle growth - as about 80% of muscle tissue is made of fat. GOMAD is for hardgainers only, not for fatties. There may be better methods, but f he is having difficulty eating enough, drinking calories is an option. Perhaps Richard Nikoley's fat bomb smoothie would be a better approach. Obviously he is not going to do GOMAD as lactose is a problem for him. It is a reasonable approach for a true hardgainer (ectomorph) who can handle the dairy. I would say that raw, grass fed would be best for anyone that wants to try it. (I'm a diabetic fatty, so it's no good for me either.)

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:17 PM

what ever you do don't do GOMAD. That is the most ridiculous method there could ever be that is guaranteed to pack on tons of fat.

05dbf09e64b5e3ea3a5928378f6bd29e

on July 10, 2012
at 03:18 PM

That is such a small dinner, imo. I'd double the anchovies or add some salmon and white potatoes. Can you eat dairy? I'd add cheese to everything. What about whey?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Beef (and all animal meat except for fish) make me flare up. Coconut also makes me flare up. I wish it weren't true, obviously, but it really is.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Sounds delish to me! I actually am naturally drawn to fatty foods, so this is probably a good thing. My dinner tonight was an avocado with gelatin, 2 Tbsps of ghee, broccoli, and 5.5 oz of anchovies in olive oil. The ghee is good! I look forward to eating squash and sweet potatoes as well.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Also, to reiterate my previous statement: it can take some serious time for those of us that were "hard gainers" or just stick-men, to heal our internals to the point where weight gain is even a feasible option. Leaky gut was my biggest obstacle in that regard, and it took a good 8 - 9 months to fully resolve.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:56 AM

I wouldn't say that carbs per se are necessary for gaining weight, but some insulin response may be. This is dairy's place in my diet. Can you do starches, maybe some squashes? You're going to stay pretty lean in strict keto, even some fruit might be beneficial for this purpose. I don't like the fact: but I take a fair amount of naproxen and ibuprofen for my issues, which DO improve if I'm 100% dedicated to my diet, but... quality of life factors into my diet. You might have to decide which compromises are least detrimental.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 04, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Simple carbs aren't necessary for weight gain, but they are almost certainly the easiest way. Carbs aren't strictly necessary in the diet, but there is some controversy over whether a zero-carb diet is optimal. You might just be one of those people (not uncommon in overfeeding studies) who gain weight only with great difficulty on any diet. People respond differently to exercise. You might find that something low impact (swimming, for example) will stimulate your appetite beyond weight-maintenance. At the end of the day, being "too skinny" is a problem lots of people would like to have.

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on May 04, 2012
at 07:00 PM

As a general rule, yes. It is really no more complicated than that. The OP wants to gain weight. He is severely underweight and apparently has a ton of health issues to go along with a bunch of allergies and sensativities. I don't know what he can eat but i know he needs to eat a lot more of it. No red meat but how about pork shoulder - cheap, easy, full of calories. How about chicken legs? How about duck, grass-fed lard or tallow? How about tubers? There is no sense in me getting into specifics because I have no idea what the OP's limitations are. He just needs more.

A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

(2393)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Carbs can totally be paleo, you can eat yams and sweet potatoes. Paleo isn't macro-nutrient specific. And if you don't want to eat all the time, it's gonna be hard to gain. Not impossible, but if you don't want to eat carbs either, then it's going to be a tough uphill climb. I wish you the best, and please let us know what ends up working for you. Cheers to gaining!

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:33 PM

+1 for Cartman.

3cc6c371d2482e98d1f4e69329399493

(274)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:29 PM

+1 for frustration with weird and important foods that cause flare-ups. That sh!t is frustrating.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:01 PM

And is your advice to people looking to lose weight "eat less..."?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Have you tried peeled sweet potatoes, white rice, and plantains? Yams/sweet potatoes are NOT a nightshade like potatoes and usually not problematic for those with RA.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:37 PM

First of all, milk makes me sick. Second of all, carbs make me sick, and they are not paleo. I am paleo partially because all carbs (even legumes to an extent) make my rheumatoid arthritis flare up badly. So rice and milk are out of the question. Furthermore, I don't want to be eating *all* the time. My digestion is not that strong.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:36 PM

Thanks. I'll up my olive oil consumption.

1ef2c3bfd6bb37877b02fddc819bebac

(399)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:31 PM

I'd go for clarified butter aka ghee if I were you because butter is not part of anti inflammatory paleo protocol and so might bother your joints. Everyone is different though so try it. If it does bother your joints then try ghee.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Lactose makes me all flegmmy and sick.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Weight in general, fat is good. : ) I can't "do red meat" because it makes my joints flare up.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Thanks. Yeah, I am eating lots of avocados, and I'll add some butter in there too. Can't do coconut butter because it flares up my joints.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:24 PM

what do you want to gain - lean muscle mass or fat or both?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:20 PM

Why can't you "do red meat"?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I'm sure he meant that he wants to pack on the fat. ;)

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:16 PM

GOMAD is pretty legit.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Weight "weight" or muscle "weight"?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

I was going to say just this, but I expanded it a bit...

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21 Answers

5
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:13 PM

The key to gaining weight is eating. More calories is mo' betta. Whatever you can do to eat more.

Fat is more calorie dense, so it's easier to increase calories with fat. How? Well that depends on you, but try fatty fish, cream sauces or butter (if you do dairy). Maybe you could try Richard Nikoley's "Fat Bomb Smoothie" over at Free The Animal. Use plenty of coconut oil - actually it may be hard to increase weight on coconut oil... Avocados have a good amount of calories...

Carbs help too, so eat those sweet potatoes/potatoes etc.

And it is totally NOT paleo, but the standard recommendation for hardgainers is milk. GOMAD (a gallon of milk per day) is a tried and true method to put some muscle on. Just don't be like Cartman and forget to workout. Raw, if you can get it is also recommended.

That's all I can think of at the moment...

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Lactose makes me all flegmmy and sick.

2194b1863657b6be2e49ae0dac911c72

(139)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:16 PM

GOMAD is pretty legit.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:33 PM

+1 for Cartman.

1ef2c3bfd6bb37877b02fddc819bebac

(399)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:31 PM

I'd go for clarified butter aka ghee if I were you because butter is not part of anti inflammatory paleo protocol and so might bother your joints. Everyone is different though so try it. If it does bother your joints then try ghee.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Thanks. Yeah, I am eating lots of avocados, and I'll add some butter in there too. Can't do coconut butter because it flares up my joints.

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:17 PM

what ever you do don't do GOMAD. That is the most ridiculous method there could ever be that is guaranteed to pack on tons of fat.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Fat is required for muscle growth - as about 80% of muscle tissue is made of fat. GOMAD is for hardgainers only, not for fatties. There may be better methods, but f he is having difficulty eating enough, drinking calories is an option. Perhaps Richard Nikoley's fat bomb smoothie would be a better approach. Obviously he is not going to do GOMAD as lactose is a problem for him. It is a reasonable approach for a true hardgainer (ectomorph) who can handle the dairy. I would say that raw, grass fed would be best for anyone that wants to try it. (I'm a diabetic fatty, so it's no good for me either.)

3
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 04, 2012
at 07:12 PM

To start: eat whole foods, and eat as much as you want of them. Going the protein shake, body-building-frankenfood route won't do your overall body any favors.

Beyond that, be patient; your body wants to heal itself first and foremost - and depending on your metabolic derangement, leaky gut, allergies, injuries, omega ratios, etc etc etc... it may be a bit of time before you start to have energy for anything beyond repairs.

In 15ish months of paleo, I have come up to 195ish lbs; I was 167 at the end of my phase of raw veganism. I lift some heavy stuff on occasion and walk several miles every day, but I don't have a regimented lifting program or anything of the sort. You could probably speed the process by doing so - but again, elevated cortisol is just another issue that is going to stall progresss, because your body will want to address that issue first.

Be gentle with yourself, and don't be afraid to put a package of bacon and an avocado on top of an eight egg omelet - with some extra cheese!

3
631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

on May 04, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Eat more.......

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:01 PM

And is your advice to people looking to lose weight "eat less..."?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

I was going to say just this, but I expanded it a bit...

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on May 04, 2012
at 07:00 PM

As a general rule, yes. It is really no more complicated than that. The OP wants to gain weight. He is severely underweight and apparently has a ton of health issues to go along with a bunch of allergies and sensativities. I don't know what he can eat but i know he needs to eat a lot more of it. No red meat but how about pork shoulder - cheap, easy, full of calories. How about chicken legs? How about duck, grass-fed lard or tallow? How about tubers? There is no sense in me getting into specifics because I have no idea what the OP's limitations are. He just needs more.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 26, 2012
at 04:06 PM

"Eat more" is offensive. I notice no difference when I stuff myself all the time. It's not that simple.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on July 13, 2013
at 01:56 PM

If you aren't gaining weight, you aren't eating enough. It's that simple in 90% of people I work with. It takes just as much dedication to really bulk up as to lose a bunch of weight. You can't skip meals or take it easy one day. If you aren't getting 1g/lb of protein, then you're doing it wrong. If you are eating less than 4 meals a day, you're doing it wrong. Attack your goal with a purpose, and eat like a man.

2
52b059a41bd12149a3e9a0f0e753e42b

on December 02, 2012
at 08:08 AM

If you've got that much sensitivity to foods then it probably means you still have leaky gut. Your autoimmune (RA) is not caused by carbs but by specific proteins passing through the gut lining into the bloodstream (leaky gut). You should look into a gut-healing protocol like GAPS or some of the Weston A. Price stuff. Bone broth helps heal the gut, too. Also, I agree that your dinner looks tiny. Believe me, I know where you're coming from. I'm struggling to do paleo and gain weight myself. Sometimes it helps to pump all your food data into Cron-o-meter. This was a real eye-opener for me to see that I wasn't eating anywhere near the amount of calories that I would have initially thought.

Also, I recall reading something at Mark Sisson's blog about doing sprints to tell the autonomic nervous system that it needs to send the signals to gain muscle. You probably wouldn't hurt to gain some fat, but you don't want all of it to be fat. If your body doesn't get the signal to add muscle, then it won't build that tissue. Weight training would help increase bone density which should add some weight.

Good luck from a fellow paleo hardgainer!

2
620d3166a026760dc5e85d5b1b475c83

on August 15, 2012
at 08:22 AM

Being 'underweight'could be the exact thing you need to be for optimum health. Why would you want to load your arteries with fat? Every ounce you put on exerts more pressure on your joints, you don't want that. If you are fit enough to walk several miles a day that's great, how about some yoga for flexibility and strength. Embrace your natural slim shape, there's lots of research now that shows having a less than 10% fat body ratio improves your health long term and your mental abilities. Rheumatoid Artheritis is a PITA.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:31 PM

I like you .

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on November 29, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Just sounds like encouragement for an eating disorder. Usually if your eating enough and still underweight, you have a malabsorption issue. Can be very detrimental to your health. Your organs need protection.

1
9d27751f72bdf2c47ebc86ba6df834c8

on July 13, 2013
at 11:43 AM

This post is very helpful to me. I'm also 5'10" coming off of a clean gut diet at 118 pounds. Was 135 4 months ago before going gluten free. I'm glad to see that ghee works for you and I'm going to try it. I'm a violinist who has been dealing with chronic pain in my right shoulder. At first I quit playing for a while because I thought (and the doctors thought) I had impingement syndrome. After a couple years I noticed that the pain didn't stem from activity, but flared up after eating mostly meals that contained wheat gluten. Hence my dietary experimentation. I have also been gluten free, mostly dairy free, grain free, mostly fruit free besides berries (do berries give you flare ups?), very few nuts/seeds, peanut free. This diet has helped rid me of the shoulder pain, but I am really concerned about my weight loss and am going to the doctor to see what might be going on internally and perhaps to get a referral to a nutritionist or something. Maybe I have food allergies.

I noticed that goat milk/feta cheese is much more easily digested than cow dairy for me.

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I'm in the same boat and I'm going to try ghee now. And adding more avocado to things. I haven't reintroduced sweet potatoes to my diet, so we'll see how that goes.

You're not alone.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2013
at 01:02 PM

As a former fat person, I've never had any issues eating any food...that was the basic problem...and the weight loss didn't change that. But I never dropped to the starvation weight levels you guys are at. I hope your food sensitivities go away with weight gain, good luck getting some meat on your bones.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2013
at 12:56 PM

118 at 5'10" is skeletal weight. As a fat person I had metabolic issues which went away as I lost weight. But the weight loss came from all over, and while my legs are strong my shoulders are bony. My upper body joints are creaky, which was never a problem when I was fat. I don't know how I could "spot gain" weight there but it would sure feel better. Maybe lifting - getting some exercise targeted at shoulders.

1
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 10:22 PM

Thanks guys (This is Dan W on a different computer, not sure how to respond to you all now.)

Sam Knox: Thank you for your simplicity.

Raney: You have a good point: My body's priorities are probably to heal from arthritis FIRST and then build. Especially since lifting weights with crappy joints is hard.

General question: Are simple carbs necessary to gain/maintain weight? ...Are they necessary period? What if I eat fat, protein and vegetables for the rest of my life? I feel so much better all around when I avoid the sugars and the carbs.

Everybody: I do have a very restricted diet. Basically, right now what I CAN eat without getting flare-ups is fish and non-nightshade vegetables. Avocados FTW!

Eating honey or dried fruit for extra calories is out of the question--sugar=inflammation.

And to those of you who say just eat more, you're wrong, at least for me. Before I had arthritis, I would eat a TON for a long time while active and gain no more than 5 pounds. Gaining is super hard for me.

Again, I guess my body has its priorities, and healing is #1, before I can build. I guess I just am afraid of being way too skinny because of my dietary restrictions.

I bought ghee today, definitely looking forward to using that.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Also, to reiterate my previous statement: it can take some serious time for those of us that were "hard gainers" or just stick-men, to heal our internals to the point where weight gain is even a feasible option. Leaky gut was my biggest obstacle in that regard, and it took a good 8 - 9 months to fully resolve.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 04, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Simple carbs aren't necessary for weight gain, but they are almost certainly the easiest way. Carbs aren't strictly necessary in the diet, but there is some controversy over whether a zero-carb diet is optimal. You might just be one of those people (not uncommon in overfeeding studies) who gain weight only with great difficulty on any diet. People respond differently to exercise. You might find that something low impact (swimming, for example) will stimulate your appetite beyond weight-maintenance. At the end of the day, being "too skinny" is a problem lots of people would like to have.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:56 AM

I wouldn't say that carbs per se are necessary for gaining weight, but some insulin response may be. This is dairy's place in my diet. Can you do starches, maybe some squashes? You're going to stay pretty lean in strict keto, even some fruit might be beneficial for this purpose. I don't like the fact: but I take a fair amount of naproxen and ibuprofen for my issues, which DO improve if I'm 100% dedicated to my diet, but... quality of life factors into my diet. You might have to decide which compromises are least detrimental.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:25 PM

A tablespoon of butter or oil is 120 calories. You can put it on anything you eat. Protein, carbs, leafy green vegetables- they can all be used as fat delivery devices.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:36 PM

Thanks. I'll up my olive oil consumption.

0
66263362980fdfbe7e65f4d9acafab92

on July 24, 2013
at 11:30 PM

I noticed everyone else has beat me to the 'eat more' suggestion, so I'll come at this from a different angle. Maybe it's not so much what's going into your body, but what's going on inside it. You could have something up with your digestive system.

I had a similar story to you, (food sensitivities, slim/not being able to gain weight and it didn't matter how much or what I ate). Turns out my digestive system was all messed up, because of a couple of severe food intolerances.

Pay attention to what comes out as much as what goes in (gross I know). Seriously though, I noticed my poop floated(greasy) and food was starting to pass through undigested. My body has trouble breaking down fats and I also had some candida overgrowth. I won't get into too much more detail.

Not saying this is what's up with you, but if the whole consuming more calories hasn't worked for you, it might be worth looking into other areas that can affect weight gain.

P.S. You don't have to tell me what your poop looks like haha. It's kind of a taboo topic. Hope this helps!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on July 25, 2013
at 11:27 PM

It's not taboo at all for me. Poop is a fascinating, rewarding subject, full of wonder and enchantment. My poop sinks. I eat lots of fat and gain lots of energy from it, so I don't think it's fat malabsorption. Thanks for the tips, though. I've been doing a lot to repair my gut, like raw, fermented foods and bone broths, and it's sorta helping. I've also become more comfortable with my weight. I don't *need* to be bigger, if that's not my body's natural equilibrium.

66263362980fdfbe7e65f4d9acafab92

(0)

on August 10, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Haha no problem. Glad to hear you're taking care of yourself mentally and not just physically. I'm on SCD; pretty similar to paleo from what I hear diet wise and its helped me a ton. If you've got any questions, ask away, otherwise keep on keeping on!

0
303753c51478657446e1f1ae363e696e

on May 01, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Dan, I have a lot of problems similar to your own. I'm 38 now, but from age 17 to 25 I was a regular and heavy power lifter; at 17 I was 170lbs but at 25 I was 230 (6'3") with a 1400 lb bench/squat/dead total. I was hovering at around 8000 (up to 10000) calories a day - I am a very hard gainer. Right around that time, I started noticing that my joints were getting achy; I took a little time off my regimen, and the longer I waited, the more pain I noticed (endorphins/adrenaline was killing the pain). I got away from weight lifting as my joints got worse - right now, my joints allow me to do body weight exercises about once a week. I also have irritable bowel and a natural allergic reaction to corn.

A few years ago I started experimenting with Paleo (nothing processed, no grain, no dairy, no potatoes, no legumes - i.e. just meat, eggs, nuts, fruit, veggies), and am now on the autoimmune subset of that (no nightshade, no eggs, no nuts, no seeds, no NSAIDS, no alcohol, or cross reactive foods - Tylenol is ok for pain, but not so great for liver). I had found some definite improvements with my first incarnation of Paleo, but probably twice the improvement since getting on the autoimmune version. The main point I've been building up to is this: the pain in my joints is a sensitive barometer to what I eat - if I break down and have some ice cream (natural as can be) I feel like I have an awful hangover, and am achy for several days. One thing that I have noticed is especially important is the quality of the food I eat: fully grass fed red meat, free range organic chickens, organic vegetables - these things are as important to the way I feel as eating the right types of food. Eating a fatty grain fed steak gives me aches and pains; grass fed steak digests perfectly, and causes no flare up.

I also take a fair quantity of high quality fish oil every day (Carlson's with lemon and Green Pasture fermented cod), which seems to help joints a lot. Like someone else mentioned, I would be careful with the amount and type of fish you are consuming; heavy metal and parasite levels in fish are becoming insane (especially farm raised); at least get yourself checked for heavy metals periodically - no reason to trade one problem for another.

Right now, I'm at 170 again (exceedingly lean), though I eat to capacity at every meal - lot's of fat, lot's of meat. I have been on the autoimmune for about 4 months now, and am greatly hoping that some of the other folks are right about the healing of my gut leading to a general increase in health, and hopefully I will gain back a little weight. Thanks everyone for what you've written here. Dan, you're not alone in pain or difficulty in gaining. Let me know if you find any game changers.

0
A90dfb3c8b984191d8102ccfc0203e90

on November 30, 2012
at 05:33 AM

For weight gain, calories out < calories in.

Instead of just fish, try chicken as well - it's not red meat and the dark meat has more calories. Add lots of fats - avocado, coconut oil, coconut milk. For carbs, eat bananas and sweet potatoes and potatoes and yams and fruit and rice (if you do rice). And work out by lifting heavy.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 30, 2012
at 03:43 PM

what about duck?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 30, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Chicken also inflames my joints. I know, I know, I'm difficult. Even organic, bug-fed chicken. Coconut inflames my joints a lot as well. So do bananas, and actually the vast majority of carbohydrates, especially simple sugars.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on November 29, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Raw milk, or pasteurized if you don't care about that... both will help with muscle gain. Be careful eating too much fish. Farmed is super unhealthy and our oceans aren't exactly ideal environments, either.

I wouldn't eat seafood more often than every other day, and I would diversify as much as possible.

I'd say to poke around on bodybuilding.com they're pros on muscle gain.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:13 AM

You're right. My bad. Just keep doing what you're doing. Maybe you will just magically have different results one of these days. Why are you asking what you should eat and then telling everyone you can only eat what you already eat? Doesn't seem like you're interested in solving anything here.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 30, 2012
at 01:54 AM

If you read my comments (or stuck to paleo foods), you would not be suggesting a dairy overload.

0
Cef02a038acb48c252166da3940a0369

on November 29, 2012
at 11:18 PM

define "eating a ton" i've had people tell me they have a high metabolism and eat alot and they'll list what they had the day before. i tell them i eat that much at breakfast what did you have the rest of the day? alot of people that think they can eat whatever and not get fat or gain weight don't really eat as much as they think. count out the calories add 500 divided out in the day. basically slowly add more. don't expect to eat what a 300 pound body builder can eat. and i find it easier to eat more in smaller frequent meals. i'm 5'7 180pounds 8-9% bf. but thats how you gain weight is to eat more. unless you just have a thyroid problem or some other issue your not digesting food. and do compound movements. isolation doesn't do crap for mass

0
5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

on September 26, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I understand your problem in gaining weight.

Following L.Cordain or wolf, no matter how much I ate of their plan, how many nuts, olive oil, lean meats or sweet potatoes I ate, I could barely maintain my weight - and I spent a lot of time trying. I dropped a lot of weight I didn't want to lose on their recommendations.

Yes, had I been massively overweight that would have been super! but I was already very slim and muscular- abs and veins popping out in my arms etc, so I actually just lost muscle.

THE ONLY WAY in then end, to maintain or gain weight on 'paleo' was to eat VERY fatty meat. I'd eat lamb chops, up to 2kg a day. Eggs - 6 a day and 100 grams of butter a day.

You are on a path to an eating disorder - excluding foods on a whim that they cause you to 'flare up' will take you further than you want to go, trust me.

Everything is a balance. Some foods will cause this, some will cause that. To say Carbs are causing you this problem is madness.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 26, 2012
at 04:07 PM

4.5 lbs of lamb a day? Sorry, but WTF?

5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

(23)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:58 PM

If I was eating only lamb chops I would need 2kg yes. Most of the time over the last 3 years I ate: Morning 6 eggs, 50 grams butter Standard meal at my workplace. eg spag boll, lasagne, fish and chips etc + desert. Dinner: 900g packet of economy NZ lamb chops That was enough to maintain 180lbs @ 5'11. I'm now following Ray Peat because I'm sick of having to eat massive meals of meat just to maintain my weight and no more.

5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

(23)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:56 PM

If I was eating only lamb chops I would need 2kg yes. Most of the time over the last 3 years I ate: Morning 6 eggs, 50 grams butter Standard meal at my workplace. eg spag boll, lasagne, fish and chips etc + desert 900g packet of economy NZ lamb chops That was enough to maintain 180lbs @ 5'11. I'm not following Ray Peat because I am sick of it.

0
F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:18 PM

You need to eat.. and eat a lot. Go and hit the weights 3-4 times a week and eat as much food within the paleo diet as you possibly can, more than necessary for satiation.

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:44 PM

woops meant 3-4 times a week

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:07 PM

304 times a week is a little light, don't you think?

0
48b3a3fac68ce4e0b80d8d29a584cc93

(242)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Fry your foods on butter. Use TONS of olive oil. Buy the fattiest beef cuts. Deep fried chicken wings (keep the skin on!) Can you have coconut meat? It's very calorie dense. Combine it with avocado and you have an amazing tasting caloric bomb.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 05, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Beef (and all animal meat except for fish) make me flare up. Coconut also makes me flare up. I wish it weren't true, obviously, but it really is.

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on May 05, 2012
at 12:59 AM

My boyfriend has also been trying to gain weight, we have found the only time he gains weight is when he literally glugs olive oil and ghee onto EVERYTHING (literally, he will pour ghee onto his meat) and eats sweet potatoes, yams, and plantains with almost every meal. Smoothies made with berries are great, he can drink them all the time and not feel overstuffed. Also taking regular walks and moving as much as he could really helped bump his appetite up.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Sounds delish to me! I actually am naturally drawn to fatty foods, so this is probably a good thing. My dinner tonight was an avocado with gelatin, 2 Tbsps of ghee, broccoli, and 5.5 oz of anchovies in olive oil. The ghee is good! I look forward to eating squash and sweet potatoes as well.

05dbf09e64b5e3ea3a5928378f6bd29e

on July 10, 2012
at 03:18 PM

That is such a small dinner, imo. I'd double the anchovies or add some salmon and white potatoes. Can you eat dairy? I'd add cheese to everything. What about whey?

0
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Lift weights and eat to satiety in your current diet.

0
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:19 PM

I suggest you start by making a log of your food, and then creeping up the calorie total. You definitely need to eat more to gain weight, but don't go all out and eat 8kcal for 2 weeks right away if your current intake is something like 2kcal. Bump it up by maybe 250-500kcal per day until you start seeing a slight steady increase. Do a re-look at the total about once every two weeks. Make small but effective changes.

If you are having trouble getting enough calories on a lower carb diet due to satiety/fullness issues, get a jar of honey or some dried fruit and just eat little nibbles of that before your main food. The fruit and/or honey should seriously increase your appetite.

0
A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

on May 04, 2012
at 05:33 PM

I've been doing the same thing. Been trying to do a mass gain for a while now. No matter how much I ate while staying strict, I couldn't put on the weight. So I've been drinking a crap-load of milk everyday (whole milk, obviously). I've also been eating a lot of rice. Carbs are your friend while trying to gain weight. Since expanding my diet a little, I've put on 10lbs in the past two weeks. I'm 6'2", and was 190lbs. I'm currently at 200lbs, with 25lbs more to gain. I'm also squatting three times a week, as well as deadlifting, pressing, and working on my O-lifts. No conditioning/cardio for me at all, and I'd advise you to do the same. I'm finding it's working pretty well so far, although it's really uncomfortable to eat all the time. But you really do have to just eat, eat, eat, and lift, lift, lift. Anyway, hopefully this helps a little.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:37 PM

First of all, milk makes me sick. Second of all, carbs make me sick, and they are not paleo. I am paleo partially because all carbs (even legumes to an extent) make my rheumatoid arthritis flare up badly. So rice and milk are out of the question. Furthermore, I don't want to be eating *all* the time. My digestion is not that strong.

A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

(2393)

on May 04, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Carbs can totally be paleo, you can eat yams and sweet potatoes. Paleo isn't macro-nutrient specific. And if you don't want to eat all the time, it's gonna be hard to gain. Not impossible, but if you don't want to eat carbs either, then it's going to be a tough uphill climb. I wish you the best, and please let us know what ends up working for you. Cheers to gaining!

0
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 04, 2012
at 05:25 PM

I suggest you post this at the crossfit forum on crossfit.org.

There are a lot of crossfitters that do paleo, and they should be able to advise you as to the best way to put on weight. (I assume you want to put on both muscle and fat and maintain a normal ratio.)

BTW, I'm not completely sold on crossfit as an exercise methodology, so this is not a recommendation that you adopt crossfit.

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