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How do I gain weight healthily on a paleo diet

Answered on December 03, 2013
Created December 01, 2013 at 10:36 PM

After cutting a majority of the carbohydrates from my diet, as well as most dairy and fruits, my weight has gradually dropped to the point where I'm getting a little worried. (My mentality could also be hindering the ability to maintain a stable weight) But I've come to enjoy what I eat on my paleo journey and I don't want to drastically change anything.... The bottom line is that I'm losing weight and could potentially become unwell, so I need help to gain some weight back, whilst maintaining a paleo diet... Is it possible for me to keep eating healthy paleo and gain or maintain my weight :/ (I'm young and need guidance haha)

Ceb52cce13ee3eea75de7a06f7fe41a3

on December 02, 2013
at 11:22 PM

Thank you for the information :) I'll be sure to check out the links...

very helpful!! :)

Ceb52cce13ee3eea75de7a06f7fe41a3

on December 02, 2013
at 11:21 PM

-I'm 18

-169cm tall

-Over a period of 1.5 years i have gone from 69kg to 55kg: most of the weight has been shed recently...(I'd say maybe 5 kilos in a couple of months without any strenuous workout regimes)

-1300+ calories... not too sure as I've stopped calorie counting with the paleo diet

-I don't know my body fat percentage

-I'd say a lot of the weight loss is due to my recent switch to paleo.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on December 02, 2013
at 07:24 AM

Basic stats? Age, ht, wt & est body fat (or waist measurement) would give some insight into your situation. Starting weight (& date)? Current weight? Caloric intake & information about workouts (if any) would also be helpful. Without some numbers, everyone is just guessing. :(

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8 Answers

best answer

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40b242249739aace3d136d1e7f120ae7

on December 01, 2013
at 10:56 PM

Organic, grass-fed dairy products such as ghee, butter, yogurt, kefir, and cheese are fine for some people, so if they don't bother you, there is no reason to cut them out. I personally eat goat milk/yogurt/butter and also raw goat cheese, and I am doing fine. Also, feel free to eat a lot of organic free range eggs, especially the egg yolk. Also a few carbs and starches are okay, such as berries and the occasional bowlful of rice or potatoes. Extreme low-carb isn't for everyone.

I don't understand why you should be underweight if you're eating until you're satisfied, unless there's something you're missing. Can you list your general food regimen?

0
Medium avatar

on December 03, 2013
at 08:50 PM

Nut butters! Try having 2 Tbsps of almond butter or cashew butter spread on a green apple in between meals.

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549f97e31a5313ab871983a5904ea31b

on December 03, 2013
at 05:25 PM

So generally, paleo/primal does not prescribe removing all carbohydrates from your diet.

Low-carb paleo (<50g/day) is specifically for weight loss. This is because at this level, the body will switch from glucogenic mode into ketogenic mode. Ketones are the primary mechanism for metabolizing fat log term.

If you are concerned about weight loss, you can raise your carbohydrate load to between 100-150g per day. This will stop the ketones from being created and your body will go back to using glucose as it's primary fuel mechanism. Additionally, eating just over this amount should cause you maintain your weight. Eating significantly over this should cause you to gain weight. This is because the higher the glycemic load (GL) of the food you eat, the more insulin is produced, and therefore the more energy from glucose is stored as fat.

Just remember to eat lower glycemic index carbohydrates to avoid insulin spikes, which are generally bad for you. Foods like sweet potatoes, some fruits (e.g. watermelon), squash, nuts, whole-fat milk products (if you can tolerate it) have carbohydrates that are acceptable. You can also refer to glycemicindex.com for guidelines. If you pick foods that have a GI under 40 or a GL under 20, you will avoid insulin spikes for the most part, while still being able to maintain your weight, or gain weight.

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5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

on December 02, 2013
at 08:46 AM

@Claudia2709

I know someone who loses weight all too easily. He cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from his diet and lost too much weight as a result. There’s only so much fat in a meal that is palatable and he was eating as much as he reasonably could. So his solution is to drink 20ml high quality, cold pressed olive oil, neat, before each of his three meals. This increases his daily calorie intake by nearly 500 cals and thankfully he has gained a little weight now. Also he just had a cholesterol test and his total:HDL ratio is now a wonderful 2.6, which is probably due to the olive oil.

But if you’re on a low carb diet you might want to reconsider the impact on your gut flora in the long term anyway. There is an interesting post at http://humanfoodproject.com/sorry-low-carbers-your-microbiome-is-just-not-that-into-you and you can hear a podcast of the author of it being interviewed by Chris Kresser at http://chriskresser.com/you-are-what-your-bacteria-eat-the-importance-of-feeding-your-microbiome-with-jeff-leach. Additionally the Feed the Animal website is showing a lot of interesting information on this subject at the moment, particularly about resistant starch.The basic message seems to be that low carb can be very beneficial initially but might be harmful if pursued long term.

You might also want to consider the effect of a very high fat diet on nutrient absorption. I can't give any references about this but I know I've heard along the way that although some fat is necessary for the absorption of certain nutrients (calcium comes to mind), a great deal of fat in the meal can actually inhibit absorption. From what you say it sounds like you would need a great deal of fat in your meals to avoid undue weight loss, if you don't want to increase your carb consumption.

Ceb52cce13ee3eea75de7a06f7fe41a3

on December 02, 2013
at 11:22 PM

Thank you for the information :) I'll be sure to check out the links...

very helpful!! :)

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on December 01, 2013
at 11:47 PM

A theory that seems plausible is that by eating a natural healthy real food diet you will eventually level out to the weight your body should naturally be. Since you didn't provide stats I have to assume you are gauging your weight correctly, however we often don't see ourselves the same as others do. I've found that my appetite has become substantially less than pre paleo, which I consider to be the satiating effects of real fats, protein and veggies. I'm not in danger of being to thin anytime soon and weight lifting does help add the muscle.

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Ceb52cce13ee3eea75de7a06f7fe41a3

on December 01, 2013
at 11:08 PM

Thanks for replies!

I eat eggs and various vegetables like spinach and tomato for breakfast, sometimes even seafood or other meats...

Lunch is meat with vegetables on the side; usually cabbage spinach onions tomatoes, but I do enjoy all vegetables besides white potatoes.

Dinner is the same as lunch.

I snack a little bit in between these meals but not much... I also have a dark chocolate treat every day.

I drink tea or coffee occasionally :)

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on December 02, 2013
at 07:24 AM

Basic stats? Age, ht, wt & est body fat (or waist measurement) would give some insight into your situation. Starting weight (& date)? Current weight? Caloric intake & information about workouts (if any) would also be helpful. Without some numbers, everyone is just guessing. :(

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Ceb52cce13ee3eea75de7a06f7fe41a3

on December 01, 2013
at 10:43 PM

thanks for the reply!

Im not diagnosed, and a paleo diet is definitely not my substitute for treatment but I like the food I eat and I want some guidance as to how I can use a paleo diet to gain weight in conjunction with workouts and a sporty life... What do I need to do is my main query

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32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 01, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Don't go paleo as a substitute for eating disorder treatment.

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