Need to GAIN Weight


Mike

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Hi everyone, 

 

I am following the whole30 diet, I'm on day 8. I am a college athlete and need to gain weight to stay competitive. I've increased the protein and vegetable portion recommendations for each meal and I don't feel hungry in between meals but I have already lost 2 pounds (I am 6'1''. and weigh 155). Any suggestions? 

 

Also, I am much more tired than I thought I would be, since one of the main reasons I chose to do this is the promise of increased energy. I've read many other posts that claim the same effects, that it takes 2-3 weeks to start feeling better. So in the mean time I just suffer? Not sure the benefit is worth the cost....

 

I have always been told (like many other athletes) to load up on carbs (mostly bread, pasta) before competition, and it's always worked. Am I tired because my body isn't used to it? 

 

By the way, I simply cannot eat sweet potatoes, they make me nauseous, no matter how I cook them. 

 

Thanks

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It usually takes 2-3 weeks for your body to adapt to burning fat more efficiently. Until then, eating fewer carbs leaves you feeling tired and your athletic performance sluggish. 

 

You need starchy veggies to fuel serious athletic performance. Besides sweet potatoes, starchy veggies include butternut squash, acorn squash (basically all winter squash), turnips, rutabagas, carrots, beets, parsnips, pumpkin, yucca, plantains, and probably a dozen more that I can't think of just now. Find something you can eat and get it down. Starchy veggies are a critical energy booster. 

 

And oh yeah. Stop weighing. You think you lost 2 pounds after 8 days, our weight fluctuates from day to day. Frequent weigh ins tell you almost nothing, but they screw with your head. There is a reason the Whole30 guidelines tell you not to weigh for 30 days. It gets in the way of doing what you should be doing.

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Tom, I appreciate your answer and will look into those other vegetable options. Thanks. 

 

It seems like my question of "Am I supposed to just suffer?" - is answered by you as "YES". Seems like a pretty big hole in the system. It's also never mentioned in the book. Might want to mention the fact that you could see a huge lack in energy and performance for 3 weeks. Might be helpful for timing purposes. But I know you didn't write the book Tom. 

 

Also, I'm not going to stop weighing myself, because I need to GAIN WEIGHT. I need to gain about 10 pounds actually. I am about to stop this diet immediately if I keep losing weight. 

 

Again, I don't mean to be harsh and I appreciate any and all advice. 

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If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more calories. Adding protein is great, adding vegies isn't going to help you much as they're very low in calories. Adding fat would be a much better way to increase calories without a lot of volume. That will also help with energy.

You do need carbs like Tom mentioned - there are plenty of options other than sweet potato!

Your "suffering" is likely to be because your body isn't used to burning fat as fuel. It takes time to adapt!

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It's been a while since I read the book but I seem to remember them talking very specifically about the "it gets worse before it gets better" aspect. 

 

If they don't there is this great post on the blog about what to generally expect: http://whole9life.com/2012/06/the-whole30-timeline/

 

And like Tom and Amber said eat more fat and starchy carbs for weight gain and performance. 

 

As far as the worth it factor...I suffered through my 2 weeks of crappy runs and low performance in the gym and have been rewarded 10x over in performance and 10x over in other health benefits. 

 

Nobody is forcing you to do a W30, if you really think it is not for you than bow out...but then you will never know if it was worth it or not. Personally I made the decision to put my overall health above the weight on the scale and it has been rewarding for me.

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Thanks for your post Mike.  I have a similar issue.  My wife and I just completed the whole 30 and we feel great.  And the only issue I have is I lost 10 lbs.  I'm 6'2 and went from 167 to 156.   Again I feel great which is most important and I don't like how I physically look at 156.  It's too skinny for me.  It sounds like the solution then to gaining more weight from the posts above is eating more calories which can be done through protein and fats.  ANy suggestions on healthy fats to have on a daily basis besides avocados?

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Thanks for your post Mike. I have a similar issue. My wife and I just completed the whole 30 and we feel great. And the only issue I have is I lost 10 lbs. I'm 6'2 and went from 167 to 156. Again I feel great which is most important and I don't like how I physically look at 156. It's too skinny for me. It sounds like the solution then to gaining more weight from the posts above is eating more calories which can be done through protein and fats. ANy suggestions on healthy fats to have on a daily basis besides avocados?

All the fats on the meal template are healthy fats you can include every day!

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Thanks Amberino.  I am eating the healthy fats, the olive oil, avocados, certain nuts etc but it doesn't seem to be enough.  Do I just need to have a lot of them at every single meal in order to not lose weight and put back on some mass?

 

Thanks

-Doug

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Thank You.  Last question.  I've shopped at Whole Foods & Trader Joes for coconut milk in a can and clarified butter like they suggest but the ingredients has sulfites, carrageenan or something in it that isn't natural. 

 

Can you share your experience and/or where you purchase coconut milk & clarified butter that are whole 30 compliant?

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With coconut milk, it'll almost always have something in it, that's what stops it separating too much. If i remember rightly, the only ones to definitely avoid are carrageenan & corn starch (obviously). Naturally occurring sulfites are fine, just avoid added ones (as in if they're listed as an ingredient).

Can't help much with stockists though, I'm in the UK... Though the mighty Amazon carry a lot of stuff like that ;)

Ack, can't remember now if it's carrageenan or xanthan gum that's the nasty one... Guar gum is ok though. If you're at a loose end you can make your own coconut milk with dessicated coconut & water.

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If you're a college age guy who's really tall and doing athletics, you just really need to eat like a refrigerator's worth of food every day.  There's just no way around that.  :lol:  Also, eight days is nothing (though I know for college age guys it feels like an eternity, especially when you're tired and hungry).  You just started.  You've been eating one way for, what, 18-20 years?  And now you give a whole new way of eating 8 days?  It takes longer than that to sort itself out.  And you just really need to eat like a ton of food.  Seriously.  No matter what food program you're on.  You have the metabolism of a freakin' cricket, dude. :lol:

 

The fact is, you know how much you need to eat of your pre-Whole30 foods.  And now you're trying Whole30.  So try it.  For real.  You're gonna probably have to shovel in like six huge meals a day, eat monster amounts of sweet potatoes (we have one guy on here, FenderBender, who is 55 and works out like a fiend and eats AT LEEEEEEAST three full sweet potatoes per day - you might need six for a while, I'm just sayin'!).

 

Go.  Eat up.  Tons of food.  Lots and lots of sweet potatoes and other starchy carbs.  And for heaven's sakes, don't expect your body to adapt to an entire new way of eating in eight days.  You haven't even figured out how much of what to eat by that time!  Eat up.  Now.  Seriously.  Grab a fork.  Go. :wub:

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If you don't like sweet potatoes, try them a different way. Everyone I know who doesn't like them baked and mashed with sugar (ugh, who needs sugar with sweet potatoes? They're SWEET) likes them roasted in olive oil and various savory spices (I've done garlic salt and pepper, Italian seasoning mix, cumin and paprika, etc.). Try that at least before you give up on them completely.

 

Parsnips are awesome done as described above - they have flavor somewhere between a carrot and celery (I think), possibly celery root-like. Celery root is also delicious - it tastes of celery without the strings. I like doing a roasted veg mix with sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, etc. 

 

Eat fat. I'm addicted to mayo 'dip' (not always just served on raw veg either). I eat it like it's my job. I've been known to eat 1/2 cup of a mayo-based dip in one meal. And I'm not gaining weight - holding steady at 150 lbs and 5'10". Fat is your densest caloric source...and you need calories! 

 

I always scramble my eggs if I have a choice because scrambled eggs will incorporate all of their cooking fat into themselves, vs. fried eggs just floating in it or HB eggs not having any. Easier to ensure you get all of it without having to lick your plate clean. :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love sweet potatoes and have been eating more of them.  Are there any other starchy vegetables that you could suggest that is whole30 compliant?

 

http://balancedbites.com/2011/08/paleo-diet-carbs.html

 

 

Are there any protein shakes that are whole30 compliant?

 

No, drinking your calories/proteins is not in the spirit of W30 so even one with compliant ingredients would not be really ok.

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