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New to the paleo diet/lifestyle!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 03, 2013 at 2:56 AM

Hubby and I just started paleo today. Our story: started because my husband has a really bad lower back problem and he's getting med boarded for the Army because of it. He's 5'11 235 lbs. Been trying to get in shape and not seeing any progress. He really wants to pursue law enforcement but you can't be a cop with a bad back. He's in pain everyday, taking pain meds and sleep meds. This is what brought us to Paleo. We're excited and a little intimidated about cutting out the grains. I'm also a little worried that it might shrink me down way more than I am now. I know it's pretty backwards but I do not want to lose weight, in fact, I've been trying to gain about 10-15 lbs since I'm under weight. I'm one of those people who "eat and eat" and never gain. I'm 5'6 and about 110. Hopefully we'll be posting before and after pics soon :)

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 05, 2013
at 09:35 AM

Upping your calorie intake is really straightforward. You just need to be unafraid to experiment and break habits. If you have not discovered the wonders of coconut oil yet, go out and buy a tub (preferably extra virgin). Lather it on everything - cook with it, use it on salads, have a tbsp in your coffee/tea, bake with it, etc. Don't be afraid of carbs. Fruit, sweet potato, white potato, plantains. Or nuts. Look up some recipes for raw/paleo food bars. Basically, eat lots and lots of natural, whole foods.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 03, 2013
at 04:37 PM

And of course, assuming you stick to real foods, this will be good/healthy/appropriate weight gain, and not to be feared. Like you said -- 5'6" and 110 is definitely on the light side!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 03, 2013
at 04:36 PM

You might actually find that you *do* gain weight by cleaning up your diet. Like someone said below, your being underweight might actually be due to malabsorption -- your body not absorbing and *using* the nutrients you're taking in. This can be the result of gluten issues/leaky gut. When this starts healing, your body will finally be able to make use of the good foods you put inside it.

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3 Answers

1
5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

on January 03, 2013
at 04:39 AM

If you can eat and eat, yet never seem to gain weight, despite being underweight, then you may have some sort of parasite (unlikely), or have some sort of malabsorption problem (likely). Do you take probiotics, or eat fermented food? Do you have any digestive issues? Do you have any symptoms that would suggest high circulating toxin load (acne, inflamed hair follicles on your triceps, dark circles under your eyes, body odor, etc)?

I ask because as far as I know the most common cause of malabsorption issues is damaged gut flora, which compromises the defenses in the intestines, leading to toxins and undigested food particles escaping the gut lining and wreaking havoc on the rest of your body. If you have any symptoms of high circulating toxin load (that is toxins that have escaped the quarantine of your digestive tract), then this possibility is more likely.

The main other symptom would of course be various functional nutrient deficiencies (that is, deficiencies in certain nutrients whether or not you take in enough of those nutrients--a problem of absorption rather than intake). I'm not really sure what these symptoms would be, but thinking in terms of functional nutrient deficiency may in the future help you make sense of any other symptoms you may have now or develop later on.

There are probably other common causes of difficulty gaining weight when underweight despite eating a ton of food, but this mechanism is the one I'm most familiar with, and it's common enough to be given some consideration, especially if you have any of the other symptoms that would be linked (what I described above--symptoms of functional nutrient deficiency or high toxin load).

Good luck!

0
9a6b039f7a00c555960a590b86a0bfb9

on January 05, 2013
at 06:43 AM

Hi everyone! I appreciate your responses. I've always been pretty thin, around the 115 range. I actually downloaded a calorie counter just to see how much i'm taking. Although i felt like i ate good sized meals today i didn't even make to 1500 calories. Eeek! I'm assuming thats a problem as well

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 05, 2013
at 09:35 AM

Upping your calorie intake is really straightforward. You just need to be unafraid to experiment and break habits. If you have not discovered the wonders of coconut oil yet, go out and buy a tub (preferably extra virgin). Lather it on everything - cook with it, use it on salads, have a tbsp in your coffee/tea, bake with it, etc. Don't be afraid of carbs. Fruit, sweet potato, white potato, plantains. Or nuts. Look up some recipes for raw/paleo food bars. Basically, eat lots and lots of natural, whole foods.

0
1b247b3ca673cb9a5c547c69d490de8f

on January 03, 2013
at 03:48 AM

I would looking at the metabolic diet. It's like paleo but. 5 days a week you only 30g of carbs on the weekends you eat up to 300g. It will keep you ft and keep the fat away and put you intune with your body. Basically my diet is like this per day. 2-5 carbs, 20-40 proteins and 60-65 fat/ oils. After you go into ketones burning.

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