Weight gain tips... i need some - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-01-2008, 08:31 AM
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i'm 24, 4'11" and I just found out yesterday that I weigh 94 1/2 pounds. I am usually around 98 and the most I have ever weighed was 105. That was in college where I basically had to each fries or pasta with every meal to avoid starvation. (the campus cafeteria was not vegetarian/vegan friendly) I am not sedentary, My campus is about 15 minutes from my apartment and i usually end up walking. My ideal weight is 110. How do I gain weight and still eat healthfully. Also, I don't want the weight to turn into fat because i don't want to look sloppy.

I brought soy protein powder the other day, can't wait to try it.
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#2 Old 07-01-2008, 10:48 AM
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how many calories a day do you currently consume?
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#3 Old 07-01-2008, 11:24 AM
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If you need more calories, try things like quinoa and avocado. They are healthy, but also higher in calories.

And if you do weight training/lifting weights, you'll add muscle, which weighs more than fat.
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#4 Old 07-01-2008, 01:15 PM
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You could increase the healthy fats in your diet. An extra handful of nuts, a little more healthy oil (olive, flax) on your food, or a half an avocado extra a day would be calorie dense and still nutritious. As long as you stay active, I don't think you should have a problem with gaining fat.

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#5 Old 07-01-2008, 01:39 PM
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I have absolutely no idea how many colaries I consume a day. I've never payed any attention to calories, as most people are only concerned with it if they are trying to loose weight. but it all makes perfect sense. I will start keeping track. I have to research this now!

Question though, how do you calculate the calorie count for something that you make at home that doesn't have a listing on it? The thing that's coming to my mind is something like grilled cheese or fallafels.
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#6 Old 07-01-2008, 02:21 PM
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In that regard - I will usually enter the ingredients seperately or use something else that is relatively close. On most of the websites that let you add your foods to count calories (like sparkpeople.com or fitday.com) they have a large selection of items to choose from, so finding something relatively close usually isn't an issue for me!
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#7 Old 07-01-2008, 03:09 PM
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When my weight threatens to drop too low, nuts and nut butters are my best defense; and I switch some of my veggies to starchier things -- corn instead of cucumber in the salad, whole wheat crackers instead of red peppers to go with hummus, less cabbage and more potatoes in the soup, stuff like that. That brings up the calories without having me eat a bunch of junk.

When counting calories for home-made stuff, it's probably better to put in the ingredients than use a superficially similar prepared item. It seems the prepared foods come with way more fat and sugar than my versions, even when I'm not trying.

Weight won't 'turn to' fat. It seems to when someone who had been exercising stops; because muscles shrink but appetites don't and most people end up eating too much for the newer, more sedentary lifestyle. If you're working up towards healthy weight I wouldn't be too worried about that.
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#8 Old 07-01-2008, 03:25 PM
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I don't think it matters how many calories you're eating now as long as you increase the amount of calorie dense food you're eating. Just start slow, an extra tbsp of oil a day, and see if that makes any difference, and go from there.

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#9 Old 07-01-2008, 05:43 PM
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May I ask on what basis do you feel you're too thin? You might actually be too thin and feeling weak or you might just be reacting to set of beliefs you (and others) have about what you should weigh and look like. Remember that our perceptions are modified by what we see around us, and what we see around us is mostly overweight and obese people - so that starts to look normal. I think a recent study found that 40% of parents of overweight & obese children thought their kids were thin or normal/healthy weight.

Just something to think about. It might not relate to you but it's worth asking the question as if you really aren't too thin, deliberately overeating high fat and caloric dense foods to gain pounds that you shouldn't be carrying will not be healthy for you. It's generally better to go by how fit and healthy you feel rather than the number on the scale.

Article about being "too thin" - includes Kempner (Duke University) healthy weight chart

The Kempner chart (as the article says) should not be used as a goal weight selector, but merely to reassure people who think they're too thin that actually they may just be in very good health and in a good weight range. Another chart I found says that a 4' 11" woman should weight between 86 - 105 lbs.

Remember also that many of the modern weight charts simply reflect what is, not what should be. Just because they've revised them many pounds upwards doesn't make that healthy. Being 'normal' or 'average' in a sick and fat population is not something you want to aspire to! :-)

Anyway, obviously I don't know you and you haven't said anything about how you're feeling generally and I may be way off base. Just thought I'd provide a different point of view aside from how to gain weight.
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#10 Old 07-02-2008, 03:24 PM
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Unfortunately I can't offer much advice to the OP, actually, I'm posting to say I have a similar problem. I'm 6', 31 years old, and have been right at about 125lbs since high school. I've kind of accepted that I'm just meant to be skinny, but I went from veg to vegan a few months ago, and I started working out (both lifting and cardio) and my weight has been dropping a bit.

I definitely don't want to get any skinnier, so I'm trying really hear to consume a lot of whole grain pasta and bread, avocados, olive oil, and such, but jeez, sometimes I feel like I'm just having to stuff myself, and with few results. Argh.
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#11 Old 07-03-2008, 06:17 PM
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well while i was at college the school (very small and private) swore i had an eating disorder because i didnt have one of their meal plans for their non-vegan friendly cafeterias and i was quite thin to say the least. i have sense gained about 20 lbs, some in muscle, and i have to tell you that you have to be careful. i gained like 15 in one month and i got acne really bad and i started to bloat until the weight distributed evenly. people kept assuming i was pregnant!

how i got there was fairly simple i must say. i did double soymilks by taking soy powder and adding it to my regular soymilk. i also did extra nuts/nut butters as has been mentioned. try a pb&j on wheat bread about 2 hours before bed. these should work!

but like someone mentioned, don't feel pressured to weigh a certain way. if you are at a weight you have been for a while, then don't try to change unless you think you could use a few healthier pounds, such as muscle.

hope this helps!
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#12 Old 07-03-2008, 07:12 PM
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Knowing how many calories you are consuming is a nice place to start but, I may suspect that being certain you are consuming regular meals is even more important at this point. Generally, think folk believe that they are eating far more often and far more calories than they really are consuming. Are you really consuming three good meals each day and do you feel good throughout the day in terms of energy and alertness? If so, I wouldn't really worry about what the scale says.

That being said, if you want to gain some weight and are already fairly consistent in terms of diet, adding a bit more oil when cooking and having a handful of nuts here and there throughout the day likely will get you gaining a bit.

If that doesn't work, start drinking sodas throughout the day and get a car and stop walking that darn 15 minutes to and from school each day!
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#13 Old 07-04-2008, 07:43 AM
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General rules of thumb:

-Eat when you're hungry

-Snack a lot, especially on things like nuts, which contain healthy fats

-Eat at least three meals a day, which basic food groups included in each

-Once you know you're getting enough calories, (Don't be afraid to count) exercise every day at least a little to help muscle gain

-Never EVER skip breakfast. Your body will not like it

-Don't simply load up on sugar and empty calories to gain weight, as it will not be healthy and your health will deteriorate faster that it would if you were slightly underweight

And everything everyone else said too
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#14 Old 07-04-2008, 12:46 PM
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I'd find more caloric sources of protein than the powder. The only reason I used protein powder when I was weight gaining was because I was doing intensive strength training and needed it for pre/post-workout shakes. Otherwise, I'd stick to beans, nuts, seeds, etc, for protein. They come with all sorts of nice bonuses that you won't get from protein powder.

You are working out, right? Hit the weights if you aren't. I managed to gain about 4 pounds a month doing that, and it was mostly muscle.
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#15 Old 07-04-2008, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ksfc View Post

May I ask on what basis do you feel you're too thin? You might actually be too thin and feeling weak or you might just be reacting to set of beliefs you (and others) have about what you should weigh and look like.

Thanks for asking this, i generally feel fine. I have lots of energy and after talking to a nutritionist fiend of mine, we found that I burn more calories than I take in on most days, this was based on my keeping a food journal for a month and then we discussed it. I don't want to gain a lot of weight, just enough that when the wind blows, I don't end up running. I have a small frame and am not trying to put on a lot of weight. It's not based on others, I have always been small, for the most part I enjoy it..... Maybe I should have clarified, I just want to be thicker. Maybe gain some weight in muscle.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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