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Gaining weight (not bulking up) in a controlled, healthy way

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 10, 2013 at 5:28 AM

I've been eating a paleo diet for 3 weeks, and I've lost 4-6 pounds. The problem is, I'm not trying to lose weight! In fact, if I go much lower than this I'm likely to run into some serious health problems (the details are excessively personal, but trust me on this).

Does anyone have advice on how to overeat in a healthy way? By which I mean, I want to eat enough extra calories to gain back some of this weight -- but not in a way that might screw up my satiety signals or blood sugar or predispose me to putting on excess fat in the future. I love eating and I can think of a bunch of ways to comfortably add fat and carbs, I'd just like to choose a way that's reasonably sane.

Bulking up through strength training is not an option at this time. My elbows, wrists, and knees are fragile and I generally can't handle weight-bearing exercise, even bodyweight stuff like push-ups. I'm trying to do this just through diet, and I'm fine putting on fat.

Update: I should have mentioned, my current BMI is just under 18. Dropping below this weight in the past has caused me serious health problems that take a while to recover from, which is why I don't want to take a wait-and-see approach.

To clarify, I'm not just looking for advice on how to eat more calories. I'd like advice on particularly good (or bad) calorie sources / schedules / other considerations for healthy and limited weight gain.

B72e976b2df9e7f01315830062a5209c

(1365)

on April 10, 2013
at 03:20 PM

I Agree. Lots of fatty cuts of meat, lots of sweet potatoes, be liberal with the butter and coconut oil, and milk/cream if you do dairy.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 10, 2013
at 12:51 PM

I should have mentioned, my BMI is just under 18 right now. In the past dropping lower than that has brought on serious problems that take me a long time to recover from, so I don't want to mess with it even if it could possibly be is okay. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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2 Answers

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 10, 2013
at 02:52 PM

If I were you (assuming that you have sorted out any digestive issues):

I would eat more frequently.

Up the starchy carbs and fat.

Add a bit more salt and/or sugar to your diet to increase your appetite, if needed.

If dairy works for you, try drinking some raw milk or eating yoghurt.

B72e976b2df9e7f01315830062a5209c

(1365)

on April 10, 2013
at 03:20 PM

I Agree. Lots of fatty cuts of meat, lots of sweet potatoes, be liberal with the butter and coconut oil, and milk/cream if you do dairy.

0
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on April 10, 2013
at 09:45 AM

Who is to say you will keep on losing weight? This could be a 'setpoint' at which your body stays for a while. It just took 3 weeks of 'paleo' to find that out... It is very possible that the weight loss is related to you removing triggers of inflammation, 3 weeks isn't a very long time, if I were you I would wait before doing anything to try and gain weight, particularly if you have reservations...

Anyway, on the presussopition that you do 'need' to gain weight: if you're underweight now, your sateity signals could be 'screwed up' already, in which case the thing to do is eat more in the ways you've already thought of.

One thing that comes to mind that could help is that long chain fats eaten alongside carbs in requisite amounts represents a combo that is very likely at aiding in drives to deposit fat.. in fat gain arguably... Before doing anything though I would not do anything to try and gain weight.It is not a fait accompli that you will keep losing weight. 2 kilos in 3 weeks sounds reasonable but it is not a drastic amount to lose in that period. So again I'd say wait, be. In mean time you might consider if you're eating a similar amount to how you were, and how your satiety responses etc are, stress in life that may affect appetite, hormones... Maybe use cronometer and quantify to some extent whow much you're eating now, compare to before...

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 10, 2013
at 12:51 PM

I should have mentioned, my BMI is just under 18 right now. In the past dropping lower than that has brought on serious problems that take me a long time to recover from, so I don't want to mess with it even if it could possibly be is okay. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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