1

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Gaining Weight/Eating Enough?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Hey guys, I'm a 21 year old male. I'm 5'11" and 160ish lbs. I'm a pretty athletic guy and some would probably say I have the build of a runner. I did crossfit over the summer, which helped out my strength and I just started it again three weeks ago.

One problem I seem to be having is if I'm eating enough. I starting tracking calories at the beginning because I wanted to make sure I was getting enough fat/protein. I've been eating strictly paleo and going to crossfit 5-6 days a week. On average, I've probably been consuming 1800 calories, which seems extremely low. I feel great, but I'm starting to think that I need to eat more because the pounds are slowly going down (163=>161=>159.6). Another sign I've gotten is constipation, which at first I thought was from eating too much. However, I think this is my body going into starvation mode and holding onto nutrients.

If anything I want to bulk up to 170, but I feel like every time I eat more than my average it goes right to the gut and the body fat percentage starts to go up. This is extremely frustrating. I just want to see the results and if I'm not doing what I need to do, I'd really like some criticism. Thanks!

I'm also around 15% body fat and I'm trying to lean out while gaining muscle

example day:

??? Breakfast (10:15) ??? 3 eggs, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 slice of jones ham ??? Pre-workout (11:45) ??? ?? banana ??? Post-workout (1:15) ??? ?? banana, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup almond milk, 1 scoop whey ??? Lunch (1:45) ??? ?? cup jerk chicken, broccoli ??? Snack (4:30) ??? Organic Pink Lady Apple, 1 serving almonds ??? Dinner (7:45) ??? ?? cup jerk chicken, greenbeans, 1 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 11, 2013
at 06:06 PM

Milk is good source of protein and calcium plus CLA (if grass fed) which has been shown clinically to improve body composition.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 11, 2013
at 06:01 PM

No problem. Glad to help. As you put on muscle your body fat percentage will likely go down, so you'll end up effectively losing that "stubborn fat." Hence, if someone has "stubborn fat" and are already quite thin, they usually just need to build muscle.

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on February 11, 2013
at 05:34 PM

What's your opinion on milk? I've been drinking a lot of whole milk (up to three cups a day) in order to up my calories. It took my stomach a little bit to get used to it, but it seems to be helping. I'm not really a cottage cheese guy (I've tried it many times before), but I'm currently eating a lot of sweet potatoes, almond butter, nuts, and chicken. I do pork occasionally, but chicken is the easiest for me.

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on February 11, 2013
at 05:32 PM

Hey, I really appreciate the response. After I posted this I started to track my calories using an app on my iPhone and I've been forcing myself to eat at least 2800 calories a day. I think I've been chronically undereating for about two years of my life and I feel a lot better already. The first couple of days I was a bit bloated, but now everything's is started to come back down again. I think the reason I wasn't able to get rid of my last piece of body fat was because my body was in "starvation mode."

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2 Answers

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1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on February 10, 2013
at 08:10 PM

No way is that enough food to gain lean body mass on. You should be eating more. Also, I'd try eating 3-4 real meals instead of the 6 snack-sized meals you're currently eating.

You don't need a huge surplus to gain mass, but you do need a slight one and you do need to be progressively overloading the muscle each workout (strength training) if you want to put on nothing but lean muscle mass. That being said, I weigh 152lbs and am around 5%bf and would lose weight on that diet sitting in bed all day long, let alone doing CrossFit 6 days/week (I won't even begin to go into that choice).

I would recommend eating 3-4 actual meals per day. Muscle building foods are not chicken, whey protien powder, apples, almonds, butter, or olive oil. Muscle building foods are nutrient and calorie dense foods. Here is a list of my favorite foods for adding muscle- lean steak/bison (carnitine, creatine), eggs (choline, cholesterol), fatty fish (EFAs), potatoes/sweet potatoes (muscle glycogen and protein sparing affects), shellfish (iodine), and cottage cheese (calcium, slow absorbing amino acids). For micronutrition berries and broccoli/leafy greens are good options.

It's made up the majority of my diet of years now and so naturally I'm biased towards them. I like the results they've given me and so I'm recommending them to you.

(chicken,whey,apples,almonds are all decent foods- just they shouldn't making up your major calories. that's the initial point I was trying to make. Not that they are bad in general. They are good in general. Just not optimal for gaining lean muscles, IMHO).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 11, 2013
at 06:06 PM

Milk is good source of protein and calcium plus CLA (if grass fed) which has been shown clinically to improve body composition.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 11, 2013
at 06:01 PM

No problem. Glad to help. As you put on muscle your body fat percentage will likely go down, so you'll end up effectively losing that "stubborn fat." Hence, if someone has "stubborn fat" and are already quite thin, they usually just need to build muscle.

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on February 11, 2013
at 05:32 PM

Hey, I really appreciate the response. After I posted this I started to track my calories using an app on my iPhone and I've been forcing myself to eat at least 2800 calories a day. I think I've been chronically undereating for about two years of my life and I feel a lot better already. The first couple of days I was a bit bloated, but now everything's is started to come back down again. I think the reason I wasn't able to get rid of my last piece of body fat was because my body was in "starvation mode."

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on February 11, 2013
at 05:34 PM

What's your opinion on milk? I've been drinking a lot of whole milk (up to three cups a day) in order to up my calories. It took my stomach a little bit to get used to it, but it seems to be helping. I'm not really a cottage cheese guy (I've tried it many times before), but I'm currently eating a lot of sweet potatoes, almond butter, nuts, and chicken. I do pork occasionally, but chicken is the easiest for me.

0
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on February 10, 2013
at 05:51 PM

Hey,

 Looks like your putting in a lot of effort, good job! I'm not sure exactly what your daily caloric requirements are but I'm pretty sure they are a lot higher than 1800 calories. You could try using an online BMI calc and then adding the calories you know you are burning at cross fit onto that. I also think that you may want to look into your protein consumption. I don't think you are getting enough. If you are trying to gain muscle mass I have heard that 1g of protein for every lb. you weigh is minimum. 

 I am no expert but thought I would through in my two cents since no one had answered you yet. Best of Luck. 

 - Hannah 

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