Hi everyone, I'm a 21 yo female, 5'3", about 101 lbs and looking to gain a little bit more weight. I don't want to gain too much FAT and I do fairly strict Paleo (I eat full-fat dairy on occasion). Right now I'm eating 1700-2000 calories but find that I get hungry extremely quickly even after a big meal. I lift weights 3-4 times a week and do cardio. Should I listen to my body and eat whenever and however much I want? Of course, I will be eating all Paleo foods. Usual day: Breakfast: eggs, sausage, sauteed kale + mushrooms, an apple/banana Lunch: salmon/turkey/lamb with green beans, baby greens salad + tomatoes Dinner: Chicken/beef/pork with veggies Snack: almonds/macadamia nuts/nut butter, avocado I get most of my calories from fat, then protein. I eat anywhere from 80-120 g of carbs. I would just like some advice on how many calories I should be taking in (to see a gradual weight gain with minimal fat gain) and if there are certain foods I should emphasize.
Listening to your body is almost always the best way to go. Just eat when you're hungry and your body will gradually adjust itself to maintain homeostasis.
Since you're lifting weights and exercising, you won't gain much fat if any, as long as you're eating more protein/fat and not tons more carbs. If you're simply maintaining your weight right now with your current calorie intake, then up your calories by 300-500 a day.
Since you're currently eating ~1700-2000 calories, the easiest thing to do would to add an additional 500 calories to your daily intake.
This could simply involve eating larger portions of meat/animal products (protein and fat) or adding an additional small meal/snack (leftover meat & veg from dinner, shake with egg white or whey protein)
You mentioned that you also lift weights and "do cardio", so you might benefit from the addition of some starchy carbs such as sweet potato, squash, turnip, etc. (basically any root vegetable).
Track your weight and make sure that you put it on "slow and steady". When you reach your goal, dial your calories back down until your weight stabilizes.
are you experiencing any gut issues with your current food intake? is gluten completely removed? if everything is A-ok then i would just mount up your calories in your meals...lard/beef tallow are great coconut oil and milk are gods when it comes to performance and mass and if you handle dairy well id use goats milk(im not a fan of cows milk because the casein is too similar to gluten) or at least raw milk and only use it post workout...start with a liter then inc. slowly if you see positive results...oh and of course theres the DEAD..dozen eggs a day routine..awesome stuff! all these implemented post work out are great boosters:) good luck!