Hello! I have been told by my doctor that I need to be gaining at least 1 lb per week until I am not underweight. I am currently 5'0" and 88 lbs due to eating issues while on paleo. I am in college and my doctor could force me to withdraw if I don't comply. Is there a healthy way to gain weight at this rate on paleo?
I was also 88 lbs at my lowest due to an eating disorder (eating 800 calories a day) and I'm 5'3" and I'm also in college. I gained weight easily eating a ton of carbs (whole wheat bread, oatmeal, apples, milk and cereal, etc.) and doing some weight lifting a few times a week. I know high carb may not be very "paleo" but you need to get to a healthy weight first. I wasn't on Paleo when I was gaining weight. But now that I've gained a reasonable amount of weight, I did switch to Paleo, still eating a lot of calories (1800-2500 a day) but now eating more fat and doing very minimal exercise. My doctor also wants me to gain more weight but I know with Paleo, my body will get to its ideal weight. I'm glad I don't look like a stick anymore.
What's wrong with eating more fat? Sure you could try gaining a load of unhealthy and utterly unnecessary weight from eating junk if that's what you need to do to stay in college, but you asked the question because you didn't want to do that.
So eat more fat with your meals, a bit more protein too if you can. Get a couple of recipes that are naturally fattier, rather than relying on trying to 'supplement' it. See how much bacon you can get in at breakfast, and if you're not exercising, do some of that to stimulate your body. You'll get hungrier, it'll get easier to eat more later in the day, and just remember to make it fat and protein to sate the hunger. Then if you still want to go faster, sure, eat more rice and potatoes.
I'm underweight, and always have been, according to the BMI - which is why I feel like the BMI is a load of bull$h*t - but that aside, when I started doing 100% paleo I accidentally lost weight, which put me in a precarious place where I could see bones I had never seen before. No matter how much I increased my intake of calorie-dense foods, nothing worked. Then several people on Paleohacks mentioned rice. It's the ONLY thing that keeps me from slipping below my usual weight. I eat rice and/or potatoes with every meal. The only thing to be cautious of is that you don't use rice/potatoes to replace vitamin-rich veggies.
Hi. I was anorexic and hospitalized 3 times. I am not going to tell you my lowest weight because i don't think it matters, but I'm more or less fully recovered now (over 7 years later) and have gained close to 100lbs. You just need to eat 3 squares and 3 big snack/meals a day, while making a conscious effort to eat until you are uncomfortable, and then some, by the end of every meal. Your psychological discomfort will go down over time as your thinking changes (mostly as a consequence of simply gaining weight, but a small part as a consequence of therapy). Your physical discomfort will increase initially in the first month or two, but will subside as both your stomach gets larger and your need for so many extra calories declines. You will obviously need supervision as well, because when you're anorexic what looks like a big meal to you and what makes you feel uncomfortable simply will not be enough to get you better. Trust me.
I ate a lot of potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, and yogurt. A LOT. All the time. Till I wanted to (and often did) cry.
Food is nourishment for every cell of your body. Keep your head up and stay consistent.
Also, be thankful that you still have the option of doing it on your own terms. Having the choice to eat TONS of healthy food is hundreds of times better than having a tube down your nose with a 24 hour bolus of BOOST PLUS. Please take advantage of that.
Your doctor is right. For best health reasons, you should aim to gain at the rate of 2 pounds per week. To gain one pound, you will need to eat 3500 calories above the amount of calories your body is burning. See my references for calculators to determine how many calories your body is burning and how many calories you should eat in a day. you must be dedicated. to a coordinated effort with your diet, exercise and rest schedules that complement each other. Here it is in a nut shell.
1) Eat 3 good meals a day. In between each meal have a high protein, high calorie drink or snack.
2) Exercise, Do 3 sets of 20 reps squats along with bench presses & deadlifts. 2-3 times a week
3) Rest, don't do extra activities, you need the rest time to repair and build muscle.
This works whether your male or female. Yes you will gain weight & mostly muscle. However, the muscle will be in the right places and after you reach a desired weight, you can start a maintenance program to tone and define muscles. There are some good online calculators that will tell you how many calories your body is burning and how many calories you should eat per day to gain or lose weight. For anyone interested.
RMR Calculator at: rmr calculator
Weight Gain Calculator at: Weight Gain Calculator
Since this is sort of a medical condition, maybe you could use whey protein or raw dairy. This is a deviation from strict paleo, but it appears to work pretty well in terms of adding bodyweight. The whole purpose of milk is to get that young calf growing. If you do go the whey protein route, make sure you read the label and get the cleanest powder possible. They like putting soy and other stuff in there. The raw dairy may be even more effective in terms of gaining weight, but I seem to have a problem with casein, so I haven't tried it for any length of time.
In addition, it became very obvious to those of us who had to lose weight that liquid calories were bad for our objectives. This suggests to me that liquid calories may be very good for your objective. Lots of smoothies!
Paleo to help skinny guy get big. 9 Answers
How can I force myself to eat more? 10 Answers
Tips to help husband put on weight? 4 Answers