Whole30 portion sizes for a teenager to gain weight


Allia

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We don't want you to be concerned about matching up a thumb's worth of bacon or creamy sauce. Use enough to make the meal taste good. I would probably never cook less than two slices of bacon regardless of how it related to a thumb's worth of fat. :)

Thanks. I never eat creamy sauces, so I'm not sure about that haha. Am I right in thinking the minimum meal template (if you have smaller hands) is on the smaller side for a meal? As in like, if you were to eat the minimum three times a day it would probably cause you to lose weight (for smaller hands).

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The minimum meal template is not going to necessarily cause weight loss. A sedentary person who eats to the minimum meal template may not lose weight. Depending on hormones, existing medical conditions and a whole host of other things that are individual for each person's context, they may or may not lose weight. This is not a weight loss plan altho if people do have excess weight to lose (which you do not), they may see weight loss as a welcomed benefit of the program.

You don't need to worry about the minimum meal template because YOU are going to eat to the high end. If you are trying to get healthy and maintain or gain weight and you're already very slim, you're not going to measure things... you're going to fill your plate with lots of good meat and vegetables and then cover it in avocado and dressings, nuts, olives...

You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but do you work with a therapist or counsellor for your disordered eating? I'm concerned that you're so concerned with losing weight that you may want to take this plan to whomever you work with and discuss it with them. There are lots of folks that come here from patterns of disordered eating and this is really the healthiest way to get healthy and start to listen to your body but sometimes a little more personalized help is necessary.

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The minimum meal template is not going to necessarily cause weight loss. A sedentary person who eats to the minimum meal template may not lose weight. Depending on hormones, existing medical conditions and a whole host of other things that are individual for each person's context, they may or may not lose weight. This is not a weight loss plan altho if people do have excess weight to lose (which you do not), they may see weight loss as a welcomed benefit of the program.

You don't need to worry about the minimum meal template because YOU are going to eat to the high end. If you are trying to get healthy and maintain or gain weight and you're already very slim, you're not going to measure things... you're going to fill your plate with lots of good meat and vegetables and then cover it in avocado and dressings, nuts, olives...

You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but do you work with a therapist or counsellor for your disordered eating? I'm concerned that you're so concerned with losing weight that you may want to take this plan to whomever you work with and discuss it with them. There are lots of folks that come here from patterns of disordered eating and this is really the healthiest way to get healthy and start to listen to your body but sometimes a little more personalized help is necessary.

I think that... I know you are not supposed to count calories but the way it sounds to me, the minimum should be enough to induce weight loss, just as a matter of energy balance. Unless they are not really eating the same amount for minimum as I think is minimum...

And no, I don't have a counselor/therapist for this, but I think I will be fine without ^^

I do not know how much food my body requires so this is why I hesitate in posting a log (I fear I'll be too concerned with meeting other people's standards)...

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May I suggest keeping a paper log in your room then instead of doing it online. Then, if you need help you don't need to try and think back. If you need help and you don't want to post out in the open, private messages are good and the moderators are always happy to help.. as am I.

Yes, eating a minimum meal template meal may induce weightloss but a calorie isn't a calorie and weightloss is a bit more complicated than that. The good thing is, you don't need to worry about what people eating to the lower end of the template are doing because you only need to worry about what Allia is doing. :)

I think it's encouraging that you are aware you don't know at this time, how much food you require. To me that means that you have an open mind and you're willing to listen to your body when it asks you for food, which i assure you, it will.

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May I suggest keeping a paper log in your room then instead of doing it online. Then, if you need help you don't need to try and think back. If you need help and you don't want to post out in the open, private messages are good and the moderators are always happy to help.. as am I.

Yes, eating a minimum meal template meal may induce weightloss but a calorie isn't a calorie and weightloss is a bit more complicated than that. The good thing is, you don't need to worry about what people eating to the lower end of the template are doing because you only need to worry about what Allia is doing. :)

I think it's encouraging that you are aware you don't know at this time, how much food you require. To me that means that you have an open mind and you're willing to listen to your body when it asks you for food, which i assure you, it will.

Thanks for the quick reply. That sounds like it could be a good idea. I find portion sizes to be worrying (as in, I'm self conscious about amounts) so I might just post a public log with descriptions of ingredients instead to make sure I'm not making a grave error.

What do you mean by, "a calorie isn't a calorie"? I've always been confused about this. I think that, there's always a such thing as too little food and if you eat a small amount of food you will definitely lose weight, especially if you just eat a *small* palm of meat (like 3 eggs), a tbsp of oil, and a few cups of leafy greens three times a day...

Yeah I'm willing to listen to my body! I actually don't know how much I will eat because I think the amount I need to recover is different from the amount for others.

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If you were 'counting calories' you could eat 2000 calories of fried chicken and gravy and a slurpee for dessert. Or you could eat 2000 calories of fresh vegetables, meat, seafood and good fats. Same amount of calories, WILDLY different in terms of nutrients. The former would cause your hormones to freak out, contribute to insulin resistance and a whole bunch of other nasty things. The latter will provide your body with nutrients it can use to create strong muscles, heal what needs to be healed, give you strong hair and glowing skin etc...

2 2000 calorie diets, two very different results. Keep reading ISWF... it goes into this in more detail.

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If you were 'counting calories' you could eat 2000 calories of fried chicken and gravy and a slurpee for dessert. Or you could eat 2000 calories of fresh vegetables, meat, seafood and good fats. Same amount of calories, WILDLY different in terms of nutrients. The former would cause your hormones to freak out, contribute to insulin resistance and a whole bunch of other nasty things. The latter will provide your body with nutrients it can use to create strong muscles, heal what needs to be healed, give you strong hair and glowing skin etc...

2 2000 calorie diets, two very different results. Keep reading ISWF... it goes into this in more detail.

I understand what you mean, but I think the diets should be approximately equal in terms of weight management... Also I don't believe that three meals with minimum requirements (if you have *small* hands) provides enough calories to *maintain* weight(?)

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One of the best things I ever did for my health was forget calories even existed. Give your body the food it needs, it is a complex instrument and it is so far from simply calories in/calories out that the idea is laudable. There are so many other factors involved.

And start with 4 meals if you can't eat enough at 3 to tide you over for the day ;)

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Hey Britishgal! I understand what you mean about forgetting counting calories. I am just trying to talk about the concept of calories as in, well, the amount of food. (Not sure how to phrase that: I just feel like minimum might not be a lot of food, nutritonwise, for someone who has small palms.) Talking about the *idea* of calories still exists and it's even done on the official website.

i still believe there's a thing as eating too much or not eating enough calories to support your lifestyle (?) And that's what I'm talking about... Rather than forget that calories existed I think you just mean that "you stopped trying to measure them in a detailed and obsessive fashion."

What the not counting calories part of Whole30 means to me is that the simplicity and structure of the template will ensure that your body gets what it needs and that counting calories may cause an unhealthy false belief that other nutrients *don't matter* which is absolutely untrue. That's what is appealing about Whole30 to me, built in "calorie counting," only it's like your body is subconsciously doing it and you don't have to stress about it and be confused!

However the amount of calories you get *is important*; it's just that it's such a hard thing to count.

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I have small palms too (5'8" with child sized feet (uk4) and teeny hands) but I eat to the template, the upper end...so i usually have 2 palms of protein and quite a bit of fat (a tablespoon of Mayo or so or an avocado or similar...plus I feel better on red fatty meats at least once a day.

And no, I actually haven't even thought of the concept of calories for a long, long time. Wouldn't cross my mind. I wouldn't have measured them because in my mind they are irrelevant. I eat the food my body needs and that's all I think about. If I'm hungry, often at certain times of the month but sometimes I'm just hungrier, I eat more (sometimes 4 meals) but that's about it.

When I was 28-32ish (I'm 40) I ate basically whole30 and like you I was tiny, UK size 6, but I was stable, healthy and happy for years. Never counted calories, even then I'd kind of forgotten that was even a concept.

Then I had my son and it all went haywire but that's another story...

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I just mean "the concept of calories" as "how much food you're getting" :P It's definitely important. So on the times when you're hungrier you don't think about it as "OMG, I wonder how many calories I'm eating!" You think of it more as "OMG, I am sooo going to eat more food!" Usually your body is such that... More calories makes you feel fuller .___. Because of the way in which our hunger signals are supposed to work.

I think that some pleple lose lots of weight on Whole30 because of the balance of hormones and how excess body fat promotes secretion of leptin, and eventually everything will balance out when they are at a healthy state.

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i still believe there's a thing as eating too much or not eating enough calories to support your lifestyle (?) And that's what I'm talking about... Rather than forget that calories existed I think you just mean that "you stopped trying to measure them in a detailed and obsessive fashion."

 

Allia, I feel like you are spiraling here. Please take a step back. Breathe a deep breath. Eating the foods that are included on the whole30 means you don't have to think about or count calories. True, calories still exist, but they don't mean what you think they mean anyway (they are NOT, for example, an absolute measure of how your body uses them).

 

Do not concern yourself about the lower end of the template, thinking it is too little because you will eat the upper end. Eat the upper end of the template. It's ok if you don't understand how the lower end might be enough food for some other person. You are not them. It does not matter at all at this time. Do you. Eat your food in amounts that satiate and sustain you and let you thrive. thrive.

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Oh I see...I think if calories as something very specific (too many years of eating issues in my youth) so I'm using and thinking of the word in a really narrow way very differently from you ;)

I think that's true...I'm losing weight at the moment as I had put on weight over the last few years (too much rubbish food), but at a certain point, as happened years ago, I'll stop losing without changing what I'm eating at all. It's as though my body reaches a happy state and just stays there.

So for you reaching that happy state may mean staying where you are or putting on weight...it's all a process

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Allia, I feel like you are spiraling here. Please take a step back. Breathe a deep breath. Eating the foods that are included on the whole30 means you don't have to think about or count calories. True, calories still exist, but they don't mean what you think they mean anyway (they are NOT, for example, an absolute measure of how your body uses them).

Do not concern yourself about the lower end of the template, thinking it is too little because you will eat the upper end. Eat the upper end of the template. It's ok if you don't understand how the lower end might be enough food for some other person. You are not them. It does not matter at all at this time. Do you. Eat your food in amounts that satiate and sustain you and let you thrive. thrive.

I am not sure if I'm spiraling, just really am terrible at getting my thoughts out and keep rambling when I try to express myself haha. I think that the lower end is nutritionally fine for some people, it's just not an amount I think I personally would maintain on if I exercised a lot... So while it might be enough to be healthy it is surprising to me that some people would not lose weight on it. So I was just wondering if anyone maintained a weight while exercising a lot eating the minimum with no adorning sauces and condiments. Also, umm, the way you say this makes it sound as if I'm used to eating a lot of food, which doesn't really make sense... I also don't know if I will eat the upper end, sorry.

I am really sorry for my behavior. Explaining anything to people stresses me out and makes me go in a downward spiral ... It's the reason I am bad at group work at school.

Oh I see...I think if calories as something very specific (too many years of eating issues in my youth) so I'm using and thinking of the word in a really narrow way very differently from you ;)

I think that's true...I'm losing weight at the moment as I had put on weight over the last few years (too much rubbish food), but at a certain point, as happened years ago, I'll stop losing without changing what I'm eating at all. It's as though my body reaches a happy state and just stays there.

So for you reaching that happy state may mean staying where you are or putting on weight...it's all a process

Ohh yeah I totally get that :) I think that if your hormones are in balance you will feel hungry in the right amount to eat the foods that make you healthy. It should all balance out in the end. I believe that you MAY have felt less hungry unknowingly and just didn't realize the change because it felt right and was very gradual.
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.. I also don't know if I will eat the upper end, sorry.

I am really sorry for my behavior. Explaining anything to people stresses me out and makes me go in a downward spiral ... It's the reason I am bad at group work at school.

 

Allia- Based on everything you have told us so far I want you to commit, right now, to eating the upper end of the meal template AT LEAST three times per day.

 

Can you do that?

 

No need to apologize, but I will not allow you to use the whole30 as an excuse to undernourish yourself.

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I'm also a little concerned as to why you would tell yourself you won't be eating the upper end before you've tried it...I didn't notice it before but that sentence worries me. You obviously need food in a whole different way to which you've eaten before and you need to drop the preconceptions and give your body what it needs to heal

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Allia- Based on everything you have told us so far I want you to commit, right now, to eating the upper end of the meal template AT LEAST three times per day.

Can you do that?

No need to apologize, but I will not allow you to use the whole30 as an excuse to undernourish yourself.

Like, I don't know if such is right for my body because now you just said that "other people aren't you so they have different needs," so I am not sure;;

Did you mean maybe those different needs for them at that moment are weight loss (like, it's how their hormones will at that moment direct them to eat)?

Also when you said "I don't understand how the lower end could be enough food," is that to mean I am used to a large amount of food because I don't see where you got that conclusion from...

Sorry just asking for clarification...

Ohh and @Britishgal: I haven't started yet, so I just... don't know what I will do.

I am just so confused because there are people saying "Wow, I am eating so little but I'm not hungry at all" here and they are told it's okay (?) but then I am told something else?

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I'm not sure where you are seeing that people are saying 'wow, I'm eating so little'. Most of the time, people who ARE 'eating so little' come to the boards and complain of headaches, fatigue and insane cravings and we tell them to eat more.

You're being told to eat to the higher end of the template because of the information that you've given about yourself. You are extremely thin, (enough so that you don't get periods anymore) and saying you want to be healthy and under no circumstances, lose even a single pound. The only advice we can give you is to eat a LOT of food and don't worry about what other people are doing. Comparison is the killer of joy. Don't compare yourself to other people. Don't worry about whether other people are eating lower end or losing weight or working out a lot or not using sauces and condiments. You came here asking for specific advice about your specific situation.

Please just start eating. Talking endlessly about the program is not the same as doing the program. Start today. Eat a meal with protein, vegetables and fat until you are full. Do that again in 4 hours when you feel hungry again. Repeat.

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Thank you for your reply. I think I must have misinterpreted thosebstatements from the forum, then.

I hope this does not annoy you for me to say so, but I am very self-conscious about how I eat, so may I ask if you were trying to imply that a large amount of food is what I'm accustomed to and that's why the minimum seems small to me?

I think it is not very important to me what other people do on their Whole30 plans, but I was just curious.

I am planning to start on Monday, and I hope you will respect my decision. I don't want to feel like a failure for not starting as soon as possible. I still really hope that you will support me throughout my journey. I will make a private log (not on forum) and ask moderators for help.

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Hi Allia;

I was not implying anything about how much food you have eaten in the past. Certainly not. I don't know what you've eaten in the past to compare to the minimum meal template size. We are meeting you where you are at at this moment, with no comparison to where you've been before. Today is a new day and Monday will be a great new day for you to start on a new, healthy road! We definitely respect your decision to start on Monday! You're definitely not a failure for not starting right away. People start new things when they're ready and we'll support you along the way!

Do you have friends and family that might do this with you or at least support you in your efforts?

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  • 1 month later...

I am new to Whole 30 and am currently finishing our first week.  My husband and I are feeling great eating this way.  However, I'm a bit concerned about my 16-yr old son.  He has allergies, asthma, and acne, so I really believe that learning to eat clean will benefit him greatly.  However, he is also in the middle of a growth spurt and has always been very slim.  He currently weighs about 120 lbs. and is almost 6 ft. tall.  He has not been feeling well eating this way.  At first it was just sugar cravings, but now those have calmed down, but he has very low energy and is dizzy every time he tries to stand up and move at all.  Is this normal for the first week for a teenager, or do we need to add more carbs?  Thanks for any advice you can give!

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I am new to Whole 30 and am currently finishing our first week.  My husband and I are feeling great eating this way.  However, I'm a bit concerned about my 16-yr old son.  He has allergies, asthma, and acne, so I really believe that learning to eat clean will benefit him greatly.  However, he is also in the middle of a growth spurt and has always been very slim.  He currently weighs about 120 lbs. and is almost 6 ft. tall.  He has not been feeling well eating this way.  At first it was just sugar cravings, but now those have calmed down, but he has very low energy and is dizzy every time he tries to stand up and move at all.  Is this normal for the first week for a teenager, or do we need to add more carbs?  Thanks for any advice you can give!

No it is not normal to be dizzy when getting up. Sounds like he's not eating enough, and/or not drinking enough water and/or not salting his food. Can you post 2-3 days worth of his food and fluid log in the Troubleshooting section? http://forum.whole9life.com/forum/19-troubleshooting-your-whole30/ Include any exercise and nightly hours of sleep.

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