View Full Version : Advice gaining weight?

04-20-2009, 10:41 PM
I know this is kind of an unusual concern in this day and age, but...

I'm having the worst time gaining weight. As in, I can't. :ashamed: I'm stuck at about 100 pounds(roughly 45.5 kilos), and since I'm 5'4" (about 1.6 meters) tall that's pretty underweight. My target is around 125 pounds.

Now obviously I'd like a good portion of that to be muscle, and thanks to the nature of my job and a very generous present of a WiiFit this past Christmas (thanks, Mom!), I do get a decent amount of exercise each week.

So maybe I'm not eating enough? I try, really I do. A couple months ago I was stuck hovering around 95, so I know there's been some progress, but I can't seem to really get up over 100 and make it stick.

So I guess what I'm asking for is stories of times in y'all's lives where you steadily gained weight, with ideas on what to eat and what to avoid. I have kind of a tender tummy so I can't promise to follow all advice I'm given but even just well-wishes would be awesome.


Spiffy McMoron
04-20-2009, 11:27 PM
Well, I suppose a good place to start would be looking at the types of food you eat--do you eat alot of lighter foods and vegetables, or are you more of a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy(gal?)?

It would be all too easy to tell you to hit the buffet, but that can lead to more health problems than being underweight--although going by the figures you gave us, I'm not entirely sure that you are underweight. Small, to be sure (and a damn sight smaller than me :lol:) but I wouldn't say underweight.

If you can afford it, it would be worthwhile to talk to a GP and/or a nutritionist about putting on healthy weight.

04-21-2009, 12:51 AM
I used to have that same problem until my late 20s. I was only about 130 when I graduated, and I'm 5'9". Pretty low for a male of that height.

Then when I was about 28, I started putting on weight. Problem is, I kept putting on weight. Just over a year ago, I was 212, which I wasn't happy about. I started working out more, and managed to get myself just under 200, but I seem to be stuck there.

04-21-2009, 12:57 AM
Hey I weigh 135 lbs. and am 6'3". How do you think I feel?! I've been underweight for years. I just can't gain anything. So I can't really give you any advice, though I look forward to advice given.

04-21-2009, 01:16 AM
I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

But I did work in a gym for quite a few years and I can tell you that you're probably going to want to tackle this the same way people looking to lose weight do: Exercise and caloric monitoring. Gaining muscle mass instead of fat is a process of keeping the calories you consume just ahead of what your body needs to build that muscle and what it need to run. You'll want to stick to lean proteins and carbs.

If you have some friends or family with a gym membership, you might see if they can get you a guest pass and feel out the operations in your area.

Glad you seem to be approaching this sensibly. Don't forget it will take time. And try not to snap at the inevitable "You're so LUCKY!" doofuses. :)

04-21-2009, 05:46 AM
TTO (my boyfriend) is currently doing body building. Unfortunately, his metabolism is like that of a fighter jet - SUPER FAST. He loses weight just by sitting around.
Currently he's taking in about 10 000 calories per day, by having 6 normal sized meals and 2 protein shakes a day.
You don't need to go that route, since I doubt you could fit in half the food he does (he's 6'10"). But you could consider supplementing your meals with a protein shake (or half a one at least) for a little bit extra....

04-21-2009, 08:09 AM
sms001 has the best advice. You want to gain weight, but not fat. So what you really need is a good taxing strength building programme to help you gain muscle, and a very small caloric surplus.

Too much surplus, and you gain fat. No surplus, and you stabilise or lose weight.

You mention Wii Fit but not what you're actually doing. Wii fit is not (and can not replace) a personalised strength programme that will help you to gain muscle. You should visit a gym and talk to a trainer, or even just do some web research and get yourself a set of weights or resistance bands, and design an all-body routine that will really push your muscles to their limits.

04-21-2009, 02:37 PM
Let's see...how to gain weight. Oh, I know! Get an office job where you sit on your ass 9 hours a day. Then, wait until your metabolism slows down around age 30...

Yes, I have gained weight with that method, and yes, it sucks. Still, I've been trying to hit the gym to turn that into muscle rather than fat ;)

04-21-2009, 05:08 PM
Try getting a job at the student union with me. Today was employee apperation.A huge cookout and lots of cake and pies. And in a few weeks there will be another spring cookout and then a summer cookout. Also it doesn't help that their are tons of soccer moms down the hallway,they are always bring in extra homemade cookies.

Evil Queen
04-21-2009, 05:28 PM
Okay, enough with the joke answers guys. :lol:

If you have a doctor you can go to, talk with him/her about gaining weight. If you don't, stop by a health food store and talk to them. What you may wind up doing is supplementing your diet with protein shakes and extra vitamins.

I have a problem gaining weight too, but I have a good reason to be doing so. I'm 5 foot tall and weight just under 100 lbs. I want to be able to give blood at the next blood drive and the weight limit is 115 lbs. Once I managed to gain "temporary" weight and weighted 118; what I thought was heavy enough to give blood without problems.

Unfortunately, there was problems. I felt funny, blacked out and wound up worrying the nurses. They had to pull the needle and dump the blood since it wasn't enough (not quite the required amount) since it was considered unusable. I felt so bad. :(

04-21-2009, 05:29 PM
The correct question isn't how to gain weight but are you healthy at your weight. People vary quite wildly. I have an ex that's about the same size as you are. I doubt she ever got over 105lbs. She actually dropped down to a 100 after we started going out simply because I eat much healthier than she did when left on her own ( She's a McDonalds junky ) and she didn't know how to cook. So it was all me. ;p

Was she healthy? Yes.

That said, if you're looking to gain weight I concur with the above, look to gain muscle weight rather than just weight weight. Unless you're experience fatiguing, lack of energy or similar signs I wouldn't worry too much.

That said, try this (http://www.nutriprofile.org/default.aspx) if you want a general picture of any problem areas in your diet you may want to look at.

04-21-2009, 06:45 PM
Side Note, I had gastric bypass surgery 2 months ago and have been taking to a Nutritionist (Nut) as well. a few hints I would have for you would be.

Your complex proteins fill you up quicker and cause you to stay fuller longer. These would be things like Chicken, Fish, and other meats. I have to eat these to lose weight, you would be the opposite.

THere are other ways to get your protein in (the average recommended amount of protein is around 50-70 grams a day depending on size, I'm at 90 grams but I'm also 6 foot 6). Things such as beans, peanut butter, nuts, cheese, cottage cheese, etc.

Carbs are great for bulking up. You will burn/process the carbs quicker and will be hungry sooner then if you ate a piece of chicken. THings like pasta, potatoes, breads, etc.

Take care to avoid the high fats/sugars to much (if you are trying to bulk up, you will feel like crap if you just blast a bunch of fat or sugar into your system).

There are tons of protein powders out there. You want one for weight gain not loss so make sure that they know the difference. The best type of protein out there is Whey Protein Isolate, its filtered the most to be very gentle on your tummy and to give you the best absortion.

For example, my protein powder is around 120 calories for a scoop and has 27 grams of protein in that scoop. I have used a chocolate powder in the past that was about the same as well for a shake that I also mixed with peanute butter for flavor. You could take your powder and mix in whole milk and peanute butter and easily turn that 120 calorie shake into more like 300 or 400 if you try hard at it.

But definantly start by seeing your doctor. Any time you fuck with your weight you can risk your health. Your doctor can give you good advice. And check out different body builder websites and forums for advice.

04-21-2009, 08:57 PM
Okay, enough with the joke answers guys. :lol:

no, a joke answer would be something like
"well, you can take some of my extra weight" (which incidently, if it were possible, could you please take some of mine :p )

04-21-2009, 09:54 PM
Okay, enough with the joke answers guys. :lol:

But joke answers are fun!!!! :D

04-22-2009, 02:38 AM
"well, you can take some of my extra weight" (which incidently, if it were possible, could you please take some of mine :p )

:lol: Actually, everyone I've spoken to about this has been remarkably generous in this regard. ;) I did ask my doctor once- it turns out there's no such thing as a fat transplant.

Speaking of which, my doctor's completely on board with this. He saw the weight loss, almost from the beginning. It was... not healthy. I am weaker than I used to be. And I tire more easily than I should. I was not all flab before- a considerable amount of the weight came from muscles, which was... unfortunate.

As to the advice...

I've started drinking either Boost or Ensure (heck, even Pediasure- whatever's on sale) between meals to up my calorie count and add in some extra vitamins, etc. I'm also a big fan of carbs- it won't be hard to convince myself to eat an extra serving of sticky rice. Or pasta. Mmmm, pasta with butter on top, aaahhhh...*homer drool noise* Both of which, fortunately, are not only cheap but very flexible, and so it's easy to eat large quantities almost every night.

digilight- that protein powder sounds like a good idea. I actually have some soy stuff sitting around from the last time my Aunt was on a health kick- she bought it for me- but once I use that up I'll look into that Whey isolate.

Gravekeeper- that site looks interesting. You're right, if there are any major gaps in my nutrition I need to know and it looks like that might help me find out.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and well-wishes. It's actually really comforting to read people urging me to be cautious, consult my doctor, etc.- I appreciate that you're egging me on to health, not some arbitrary number on a scale. This is a journey towards health for me.

Um. And I guess I should say this, because it is, unfortunately, often the cause of drastic and dangerous weight loss; I am very fortunate not to have anorexia or any other eating disorder. For the curious, by all means PM me, but thankfully that is not something I have to deal with.

Thanks again everyone. I'll update as things progress. :):wave:

04-22-2009, 04:32 AM
I was going to suggest Boost (etc) - I can't stand the stuff, personally, but it's designed for people who need to maintain or gain weight and it's balanced for minerals etcetera. Good choice :)

I do sympathise with your situation; at one point I was down to 112 lbs, and I'm 5'8". I couldn't wear v-neck shirts because my chest looked like a fricking xylophone, and I was constantly tired and weak and sick. And I seriously wanted to bite people who made silly comments about "Oh, lucky you!" or even "oooh I hate you, you're so thin" (thanks, Mom :mad:).

Now I am at a MUCH healthier 135lb; I have energy, I have curves, and I have muscles! Yay!

For me, the keys to gaining weight were:

(1) work on my stress levels (I cannot eat when I get stressed out - I don't get hungry, and it's as though my throat closes up if I try to force it :(). Yoga, changing jobs, and a good counsellor helped a great deal. And my kitties were wonderful companions.

(2) moderate, muscle building exercise THAT YOU ENJOY and that you'll keep doing. This also helps with the stress levels, and it should boost your appetite even if it's not very intensive at first. Start small, and be patient and kind with yourself. I got a bike, intending to ride 2-3 miles a couple of times a week. That was 3 years ago. I put on 1200 miles between May and October last year, and I'm at 50 since last week (when it finally stopped snowing!) :D

(I do think walking, hiking, or biking - things that take you outdoors - are better than indoor-only activities. There's a fair amount of evidence that green settings significantly reduce people's psychological and physiological stress levels.)

(3) Eat more of the food you like. Sounds silly, but give yourself verbal permission to eat all of something, or to have seconds, or whatever. Try to have things you like on hand and ready to eat so you are more likely to get additional portions in. Make extra! Try making your protein portions a little bigger, too. Not a lot, necessarily, but a couple of bites extra to start with.

(4) Try new things; you may find a new favourite, or something that you can eat even when everything else looks completely unappealing and bleh and you're too tired and demoralized to bother eating. (For me this turned out to be sushi, of all things! I can eat sushi no matter how icky and dragged out I feel). Don't worry about "healthy" for this one, it's kind of an emergency backup/treat :)

I found that taking a B-complex vitamin supplement ("stress vitamins" :)) and an Omega 3/6/9 essential fatty acids supplement (fish oil, flaxseed, borage, and evening primrose oil) helps me stay on an even keel emotionally and with regard to my stress response. That might be worth talking to your doctor or a nutritionist about.

Good luck! :)