I feel like I'm in the minority here... I am 118 lbs and 5'10" and I want to gain weight. I am dedicated to eating paleo also because i have rheumatoid arthritis and it helps a ton with that. Can't eat nuts though.
Any tips on gaining weight while on this diet? I can't do red meat. All of my meat is fish.
The key to gaining weight is eating. More calories is mo' betta. Whatever you can do to eat more.
Fat is more calorie dense, so it's easier to increase calories with fat. How? Well that depends on you, but try fatty fish, cream sauces or butter (if you do dairy). Maybe you could try Richard Nikoley's "Fat Bomb Smoothie" over at Free The Animal. Use plenty of coconut oil - actually it may be hard to increase weight on coconut oil... Avocados have a good amount of calories...
Carbs help too, so eat those sweet potatoes/potatoes etc.
And it is totally NOT paleo, but the standard recommendation for hardgainers is milk. GOMAD (a gallon of milk per day) is a tried and true method to put some muscle on. Just don't be like Cartman and forget to workout. Raw, if you can get it is also recommended.
That's all I can think of at the moment...
To start: eat whole foods, and eat as much as you want of them. Going the protein shake, body-building-frankenfood route won't do your overall body any favors.
Beyond that, be patient; your body wants to heal itself first and foremost - and depending on your metabolic derangement, leaky gut, allergies, injuries, omega ratios, etc etc etc... it may be a bit of time before you start to have energy for anything beyond repairs.
In 15ish months of paleo, I have come up to 195ish lbs; I was 167 at the end of my phase of raw veganism. I lift some heavy stuff on occasion and walk several miles every day, but I don't have a regimented lifting program or anything of the sort. You could probably speed the process by doing so - but again, elevated cortisol is just another issue that is going to stall progresss, because your body will want to address that issue first.
Be gentle with yourself, and don't be afraid to put a package of bacon and an avocado on top of an eight egg omelet - with some extra cheese!
Being 'underweight'could be the exact thing you need to be for optimum health. Why would you want to load your arteries with fat? Every ounce you put on exerts more pressure on your joints, you don't want that. If you are fit enough to walk several miles a day that's great, how about some yoga for flexibility and strength. Embrace your natural slim shape, there's lots of research now that shows having a less than 10% fat body ratio improves your health long term and your mental abilities. Rheumatoid Artheritis is a PITA.
If you've got that much sensitivity to foods then it probably means you still have leaky gut. Your autoimmune (RA) is not caused by carbs but by specific proteins passing through the gut lining into the bloodstream (leaky gut). You should look into a gut-healing protocol like GAPS or some of the Weston A. Price stuff. Bone broth helps heal the gut, too. Also, I agree that your dinner looks tiny. Believe me, I know where you're coming from. I'm struggling to do paleo and gain weight myself. Sometimes it helps to pump all your food data into Cron-o-meter. This was a real eye-opener for me to see that I wasn't eating anywhere near the amount of calories that I would have initially thought.
Also, I recall reading something at Mark Sisson's blog about doing sprints to tell the autonomic nervous system that it needs to send the signals to gain muscle. You probably wouldn't hurt to gain some fat, but you don't want all of it to be fat. If your body doesn't get the signal to add muscle, then it won't build that tissue. Weight training would help increase bone density which should add some weight.
Good luck from a fellow paleo hardgainer!
Thanks guys (This is Dan W on a different computer, not sure how to respond to you all now.)
Sam Knox: Thank you for your simplicity.
Raney: You have a good point: My body's priorities are probably to heal from arthritis FIRST and then build. Especially since lifting weights with crappy joints is hard.
General question: Are simple carbs necessary to gain/maintain weight? ...Are they necessary period? What if I eat fat, protein and vegetables for the rest of my life? I feel so much better all around when I avoid the sugars and the carbs.
Everybody: I do have a very restricted diet. Basically, right now what I CAN eat without getting flare-ups is fish and non-nightshade vegetables. Avocados FTW!
Eating honey or dried fruit for extra calories is out of the question--sugar=inflammation.
And to those of you who say just eat more, you're wrong, at least for me. Before I had arthritis, I would eat a TON for a long time while active and gain no more than 5 pounds. Gaining is super hard for me.
Again, I guess my body has its priorities, and healing is #1, before I can build. I guess I just am afraid of being way too skinny because of my dietary restrictions.
I bought ghee today, definitely looking forward to using that.
This post is very helpful to me. I'm also 5'10" coming off of a clean gut diet at 118 pounds. Was 135 4 months ago before going gluten free. I'm glad to see that ghee works for you and I'm going to try it. I'm a violinist who has been dealing with chronic pain in my right shoulder. At first I quit playing for a while because I thought (and the doctors thought) I had impingement syndrome. After a couple years I noticed that the pain didn't stem from activity, but flared up after eating mostly meals that contained wheat gluten. Hence my dietary experimentation. I have also been gluten free, mostly dairy free, grain free, mostly fruit free besides berries (do berries give you flare ups?), very few nuts/seeds, peanut free. This diet has helped rid me of the shoulder pain, but I am really concerned about my weight loss and am going to the doctor to see what might be going on internally and perhaps to get a referral to a nutritionist or something. Maybe I have food allergies.
I noticed that goat milk/feta cheese is much more easily digested than cow dairy for me.
Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I'm in the same boat and I'm going to try ghee now. And adding more avocado to things. I haven't reintroduced sweet potatoes to my diet, so we'll see how that goes.
You're not alone.
I suggest you post this at the crossfit forum on crossfit.org.
There are a lot of crossfitters that do paleo, and they should be able to advise you as to the best way to put on weight. (I assume you want to put on both muscle and fat and maintain a normal ratio.)
BTW, I'm not completely sold on crossfit as an exercise methodology, so this is not a recommendation that you adopt crossfit.
I've been doing the same thing. Been trying to do a mass gain for a while now. No matter how much I ate while staying strict, I couldn't put on the weight. So I've been drinking a crap-load of milk everyday (whole milk, obviously). I've also been eating a lot of rice. Carbs are your friend while trying to gain weight. Since expanding my diet a little, I've put on 10lbs in the past two weeks. I'm 6'2", and was 190lbs. I'm currently at 200lbs, with 25lbs more to gain. I'm also squatting three times a week, as well as deadlifting, pressing, and working on my O-lifts. No conditioning/cardio for me at all, and I'd advise you to do the same. I'm finding it's working pretty well so far, although it's really uncomfortable to eat all the time. But you really do have to just eat, eat, eat, and lift, lift, lift. Anyway, hopefully this helps a little.