4

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Gaining weight on Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Hey guys,

I just got out of the hospital after my 3rd bowel resection from Crohn's disease and have started on a Paleo diet to ensure it never comes back. However, I'm a 31 year old male, weighing in at 119 lbs. Dangerously underweight. I was looking through some of the older posts about gaining weight on Paleo and I'm seeing a lot of suggestions about eating things like white rice, butter, some milk products, sweet and white potatoes, etc etc. Forgive me for being uninformed, but I thought white potatoes, rice and milk products weren't Paleo legal Those are some of my favorite foods and I would jump on the chance to eat them. What am I missing? I'm already eating as much fatty meat as I can and loads of fruits. Thanks in advance!

-Adam

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 18, 2012
at 12:54 PM

To gain weight you must increase calories. The choices are protein fat or carbs. There's only so much protein that the body wants or needs. Carbs (potatoes/rice) work well (too well for me), but if the starch is problematic, you are left with fat. Add butter or another healthy fat to everything. Drink coconut milk - google Richard Nikoley's Fat Bomb Smoothie over at Free The Animal. It's probably easier to add liquid calories than solids. By the way, butter and cream have few of the molecules (casein/lactose) that are the primary reason that some avoid dairy.

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on June 18, 2012
at 12:26 PM

here is a study showing that SIBO can mimick flares in IBD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728727/pdf/1471-230X-9-61.pdf. Make sure you get tested for SIBO before eating rice and potatoes to gain weight!

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on June 18, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Caution here if a gut dysbiosis and/or bacterial overgrowth is present!!!

B70db91284c149a2e3ee6e92bd53b357

(20)

on June 18, 2012
at 03:29 AM

That's great advice, thank you! My only fear is that my Crohn's is a long-term damage thing. So I might feel fine after eating some butter or some rice, but it's slowly damaging my insides bit by bit. I guess what you're saying is I can reintroduce, but be careful, and everything processed in moderation right? Is there anyone out there in the same condition as me (with Crohn's) who has had success re-introducing things into their diet?

Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 18, 2012
at 03:08 AM

Eat the potatoes. Eat the rice. Drink the *full-fat* milk. Just eat, eat, eat.

2fd566cefde2de38e75e1bc13a966e16

(662)

on June 18, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Had something almost identical all typed out! Find out what works best for you! Many people do excellently on white rice and white potatoes because--although they are nutrient poor--they don't contain anti-nutrients, gluten, inflammatory vegetable proteins, etc.

  • B70db91284c149a2e3ee6e92bd53b357

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4 Answers

2
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 18, 2012
at 12:44 AM

Welcome to PaleoHacks!

Paleo isn't one thing. There's a lot of guess work involved in trying to figure out what paleo people ate so even among people who are trying to "reenact" the paleo diet there will be differences in consumption. Some people try to be as rigid as possible and avoid all the foods you mention, including fruit, and others experiment with these foods to see what works for their bodies.

Some paleo folks consume dairy. The paleo community largely avoids wheat and other gluten containing grains. Some people avoid all grains, some don't. Potatoes and yams/sweet potato consumption has been popularized by Paul Jaminet and his wife in the "Perfect Health Diet" as "safe" starches that are less likely to cause problems for people than other starches.

Paleo, for me is about avoiding grains, dairy, sugar, vegetable oils and processed foods. But, that's what works for me and I don't impose my diet on others.

Another dimension of paleo is the amount of consumption of a given food. I can eat fruit occasionally but it works better for me to avoid large amounts of it. The same with nuts.

I encourage you to experiment with the foods you love and see if they are helpful or not, and to not worry about the "paleo" label. Once you've gotten rid of the vegetable oils, the processed junk foods, and the grains that are troublesome to you you are way ahead of the crowd.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best in your healing.

B70db91284c149a2e3ee6e92bd53b357

(20)

on June 18, 2012
at 03:29 AM

That's great advice, thank you! My only fear is that my Crohn's is a long-term damage thing. So I might feel fine after eating some butter or some rice, but it's slowly damaging my insides bit by bit. I guess what you're saying is I can reintroduce, but be careful, and everything processed in moderation right? Is there anyone out there in the same condition as me (with Crohn's) who has had success re-introducing things into their diet?

2fd566cefde2de38e75e1bc13a966e16

(662)

on June 18, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Had something almost identical all typed out! Find out what works best for you! Many people do excellently on white rice and white potatoes because--although they are nutrient poor--they don't contain anti-nutrients, gluten, inflammatory vegetable proteins, etc.

1
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on June 18, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Although carbs are good for weight gain, I don't think it is a good idea for someone with Crohn's! SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is common in these people and too much starch/sugar could feed the bacterial overgrowth and worsen symptoms of pain, bloating, diarrhea, etc...

I strongly recommend that you work with a qualified health professional that is familiar with the Paleo diet. Look on the Paleo Physician Network or Primal docs for example.

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on June 18, 2012
at 12:26 PM

here is a study showing that SIBO can mimick flares in IBD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728727/pdf/1471-230X-9-61.pdf. Make sure you get tested for SIBO before eating rice and potatoes to gain weight!

0
4cbc4488855b0421943b57de0a9018c2

(212)

on June 18, 2012
at 05:55 AM

I'm attempting the same goal: need to gain weight, and muscle. Regarding weight gain, I do not think there is any other answer than eat more. A lot more. However, because this can be very time consuming, I like to have very high caloric snacks that are easy to prepare and can add to my overall caloric intake. Raw nuts, unsalted, and dried fruit are very easy to start adding to your diet. You can put these in a zip-lock bag to eat whenever needed. Each cup-full can provide you with about 3-400 calories. Sausage is extremely versatile. It comes in a variety of meats (usually chicken and pork) and gives you the protein you need. It's usually precooked so a short time in the microwave or toast-r-oven will do. Try taking some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in spoonfuls. This easily adds ~130 calories per tablespoon!

Potatoes, rice are not strictly paleo but most people seem to agree they are more acceptable. The fact that you love rice and (I assume) it does not affect your chron's negatively tells me you should be fine.

In general, I would not worry about following paleo to the dot. It's not a fool-proof diet and definitely not one size fits all. If you're looking to gain weight AND simultaneously tackle chron's disease, you need to do research that finds the right diet for you.

0
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on June 18, 2012
at 01:07 AM

Maybe, if your goal is to get more nourishment and feel better, you will start gaining weight as a side effect.

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