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How to Gain Weight on Paleo??

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

My husband and I have been doing Paleo (sometimes primal because of dairy) for 6 months now. I am losing weight which is what i wanted to see but he is also losing weight and very unhappy about it. He has always been a very lean, muscular male and since starting paleo he has shed all body fat (currently 7%). He is trying to gain more weight to put on more muscle but he can't seem to gain any weight. He usually eats whatever Paleo dish i cook so mostly protein cooked in good fat with plenty of veggies on the side. Should he be eating loads of sweet potatoes and possibly white rice in order to get in enough "good" carbs to gain weight. He eats constantly during the day and cannot gain any weight. He struggles to maintain his current weight due to Paleo and crossfitting 5 times a week. He is 6'1" and 160lbs with a VERY fast metabolism!!

D0928a4e9bf5704060e1052008549b60

(5)

on September 21, 2012
at 02:49 PM

Thanks for the sample food list. He totaled up his calories and was only eating around 2000 cals a day. So he is going to try and up his calories and carbs a lot now.

98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

(1632)

on September 21, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Coconut milk curries!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 21, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Imagine every-time you park your car for the night little robots come out and fix everything. Would they have more to fix if you drove to the corner store, had a coffee, and drove home? Or if you went on a 100 mile drive followed by a drag race? Clearly the later. Damage is synonymous with inflammation in the body, the more you pound yourself the more inflammation and Omega-6 upregulates the inflammatory messengers your body uses to signal the need for repair.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:50 PM

Does activity level truly have a bearing on inflammation? I'm very sensitive to most inflammatory foods and have not experienced this side effect from consuming nuts/nut butters. My activity level is okay, could use some improvement but I'm not sure how being more active would cause more inflammation?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:36 PM

For someone who is really active that much omega-6 could be a real drag on the joint health, lots of inflammation. Sweet, sweet inflammation...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Metcon + calories =/= muscular hypertrophy for most men. If he was a she that might work better but I've never seen anyone do 5 metcons a week with supplemental lifting and grow anything but a belly.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:18 PM

Dairy = Growth (even if it isn't the lactose)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 20, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Lactose=growth? What?

D0928a4e9bf5704060e1052008549b60

(5)

on September 20, 2012
at 09:16 PM

He lifts heavy. He goes to CF 5 days a week but most weeks he does strength 3 days a week after his regular WODs. He is obsessed with working out and eating strict paleo so he won't cheat or miss a gym day. He is just looking for a "paleo" way to gain weight. He is just worried that it isn't healthy for him to be as low in body fat as he is.

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9 Answers

best answer

0
877ded1787562057ee2e1a4548b6050a

on September 21, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, butter, fried plantains, yuca root. The provide a lot of carbs and are delicious!

best answer

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 21, 2012
at 02:12 PM

If you want to gain weight, you have to eat more. It's hard to do when you are eating lots of veggies.

Think energy density. Lots of Calories, Small Volume. That's the only way to get there.

  • Fat, especially nuts, nut butters, and meat
  • Dairy, especially butter and cream
  • Tubers and Roots
  • Fruit -- but it's mostly sugar, so keep in check

  • best answer

    1
    510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

    (20888)

    on September 21, 2012
    at 02:38 PM

    The main hormone involved in weight gain/loss is insulin (don't be pedantic and downvote me for the simple explanation, this gets it right 90+% of the time, the rest is details.) That's why paleo works so good as a weight loss diet (even though that's not the main benefit of the diet). Paleo generally lowers carbs (by cutting out grains and sugars) and your insulin goes down and you start shedding fat. So if you're looking at bulking up, you need to take in more carbs.

    Like @LikesLardinMayo said, actually weigh and measure food for a day to make sure he's getting enough food. Here's a sample day from me that actually is 5,000 cals: https://sites.google.com/site/themikelinks/figures/sample-food

    Once he knows he's eating enough, then start playing around with the carbs. I've posted on here before that I can change my weight +/-10 lbs in a week just by tweaking my carbs. When I have a high glycolitic weekend coming up, I'll "carb load" the week before with potatoes, sweet potatoes, homemade potato chips fried in bacon fat, etc and can easily pack on 10 lbs. Then after the weekend, I pull out the carbs and the 10 lbs comes right back off. The only change in diet is carb load.

    D0928a4e9bf5704060e1052008549b60

    (5)

    on September 21, 2012
    at 02:49 PM

    Thanks for the sample food list. He totaled up his calories and was only eating around 2000 cals a day. So he is going to try and up his calories and carbs a lot now.

    4
    06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

    on September 20, 2012
    at 09:13 PM

    Some quick hitters:

    • Slow down on the crossfit. The body will adapt to demands placed upon it. Too much bodyweight isn't advantageous to crossfit workouts (power to weight and metabolic conditioning are).

    • Lift a lot of HEAVY stuff. Larger muscles and "thicker" bones are advanatageous for picking up a lot of heavy stuff.

    • Consume raw dairy if tolerated. Lactose + amino acid profile of the dairy + others = growth (synergy and not just the lactose)

    • Gotta eat big to get big. But this only works if the body is using the nutrients to adapt to the new stimulus. For crossfit, the energy would likely not be directed toward growth (hence the metabolism mentioned above)

    Matt
    PhysiqueRescue.com

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:18 PM

    Dairy = Growth (even if it isn't the lactose)

    A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

    (12682)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 09:27 PM

    Lactose=growth? What?

    D0928a4e9bf5704060e1052008549b60

    (5)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 09:16 PM

    He lifts heavy. He goes to CF 5 days a week but most weeks he does strength 3 days a week after his regular WODs. He is obsessed with working out and eating strict paleo so he won't cheat or miss a gym day. He is just looking for a "paleo" way to gain weight. He is just worried that it isn't healthy for him to be as low in body fat as he is.

    3
    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:17 PM

    Sorry but the fast metabolism thing is usually a myth. Most hard-gainers say "I'm eating sooo much" but when you actually have them weigh and measure they end up circa 2000 kcal.

    If he lifts heavy, and doesn't do cardio and actually eats 3000-5000 kcal a day he will grow. However that is A LOT of food. I don't think people realize just how much food that is. He'll be measuring his meat in POUNDS not OZ's. He'll also be eating several pounds of yam or potato a day.

    Forgetting diversity, and to give you an idea of what he'd be eating...

    3 pounds of chicken breast, weighed AFTER cooking. 3 pounds of yams 1 cup of butter + non-starchy veggies which frankly don't count as calories only nutrition.

    That is 5,000 kcal, 300g of protein. That's about right for a Paleo bulk.

    3
    16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:09 PM

    Nut butters are delicious calorie bombs. If you need to gain, it's an easy addiction to pick up. I will say though that dropping the nut butter once at optimal weight might be more difficult than initially expected. Don't say you weren't warned. ;)

    16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

    (2640)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:50 PM

    Does activity level truly have a bearing on inflammation? I'm very sensitive to most inflammatory foods and have not experienced this side effect from consuming nuts/nut butters. My activity level is okay, could use some improvement but I'm not sure how being more active would cause more inflammation?

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on September 21, 2012
    at 02:03 AM

    Imagine every-time you park your car for the night little robots come out and fix everything. Would they have more to fix if you drove to the corner store, had a coffee, and drove home? Or if you went on a 100 mile drive followed by a drag race? Clearly the later. Damage is synonymous with inflammation in the body, the more you pound yourself the more inflammation and Omega-6 upregulates the inflammatory messengers your body uses to signal the need for repair.

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:36 PM

    For someone who is really active that much omega-6 could be a real drag on the joint health, lots of inflammation. Sweet, sweet inflammation...

    1
    4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

    (1881)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 08:48 PM

    Start sucking down cans of coconut milk with meals. It's loaded with calories!!

    98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

    (1632)

    on September 21, 2012
    at 02:35 PM

    Coconut milk curries!

    0
    Ec943673c408f52261a480682b38c072

    on October 28, 2013
    at 09:15 PM

    Paleo is not the best diet for gaining weight. In order to gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your maintenance calories. He seems to be burning a lot of calories probably through crossfit. So figure out what the maintenance level of calories are (that means also all the calories expended doing things like crossfit) and then add 500 to 1000 calories more than that. This means he will have to eat a lot more than what he is eating now. How to Gain Weight

    0
    2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:33 PM

    dont stop the cross fit, and make sure that he gets his calories in, or ill lose weight, yams are great carbs!

    77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    (78467)

    on September 20, 2012
    at 10:36 PM

    Metcon + calories =/= muscular hypertrophy for most men. If he was a she that might work better but I've never seen anyone do 5 metcons a week with supplemental lifting and grow anything but a belly.

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