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  1. #1
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    I'm losing my shadow: help gaining weight

    This may be counter-intuitive for many, but I'm trying to put on weight to help me as a cyclist. Well, not just as a cyclist but my general health. Here's the deal:

    I'm 6'0" and weigh 135 pounds. According to the BMI I'm barely underweight. Unfortunately that doesn't really reflect reality. I have a very physically active job as a carpenter. At my heaviest I managed to weigh in at 142 pounds and could still see my heart beating. I'm taking in an average of 4,900 calories a day, with peaks up to 5,800 from time to time if I've had to work really hard. The problem is I'm not even biking yet because I don't feel like I have enough energy left. The scary part is over the last three weeks I've been losing weight! I don't have a tapeworm or anything like that. I've always been like this, but the grocery bills are getting out of control. Eating five or six times a day is starting to feel like a full time job.

    So my question is whether any of you have tips on great ways to pack in calories without adding yet another meal? Any wonderful 2,000 calorie shakes or ultra weight gainer tips? I'm getting a bit desperate. So far every doctor and nutritionist I've talked to has said I'm lucky and should be grateful!

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Has your doctor checked to make sure you don't have a thyroid problem. Over the last year I've lost a lot of weight and after stabilizing my doctor was very interested in checking my thyroid to make sure it had nothing to do with my weight loss given how fast I had dropped. Other than that you may need to look into a body building forum, I cant remember the recipe but my high school weightlifting coach had a pretty good mass gaining shake.

  3. #3
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    My blood work has always come up clear for thyroid issues. I do have an unusual form of hypoglycemia. My body doesn't really know the difference between activity and rest, so I burn through almost as many calories sleeping as most folks do during light exercise. Biking regularly last season lead me to eating a seventh meal at 4:00am. I kept waking up with hunger pain (despite second dinner right before bed) and figured I should do something about it. That helped with the hunger issue, but waking up for an hour in the middle of the night every night really sucks.

  4. #4
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    Post or PM your diet, weight history, age, hours worked per week, and workouts (timeXintensity). The diet, and age are most important.

    Unless you have a (strange) medical condition, you are not metabolizing the same amount of calories at rest and durring activites.

    For athletes who have a generally quality diet and are having trouble maintaining weight and/or gaining weight, I suggest drinking more calories (even just pop, or kool aide) since it typically does not lead to increased satiety.

    A key is to make sure you are not just gaining fat, unless you are really lean (<6% BF).
    "The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed."......http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?reco...10490&page=275

    Feel free to PM me nutrition questions. I will answer them if I have time.....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdeeer
    Post or PM your diet, weight history, age, hours worked per week, and workouts (timeXintensity). . . A key is to make sure you are not just gaining fat, unless you are really lean (<6% BF).
    I'm going out on a limb and guessing that you missed this:
    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanPrimitive
    At my heaviest I managed to weigh in at 142 pounds and could still see my heart beating.
    and this:
    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanPrimitive
    My blood work has always come up clear for thyroid issues. I do have an unusual form of hypoglycemia.

    My calorie intake is split between 35% protein, 30% carbs (from fruit, vegetables, and grain), and 20% fats (mostly from nuts and fish). As for exercise, I don't. Right now I don't engage in any exercise that isn't mandated by work (45 hours a week, always on my feet, lots of walking and lots of carrying things that weigh as much as I do). I'm 28 years old and have always been very thin. I can't remember a time that I couldn't watch my heart beating between my ribs, often while at rest. I'm not willing to accept the "this is the way you are so accept it" speech when I can't get above 4% body fat. Being this underweight for this long is a significant health risk, but I can't find people who can help that take it seriously.

  6. #6
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    Milk. And I suppose those muscle shakes may help as far as getting extra calories. But seriously, I believe milk is one of the best things to drink to aid in regulating body weight (whether trying to lose or gain weight). And start lifting weights. The weights might not help you add body fat, but will help you gain mass. 4% body fat is low, but not necessarily unhealthy. I had a friend who trained a lot in martial arts and other activities, kept his body fat at 2%, and he didn't seem to have any struggles with health.

    I can't really put weight on, either. 6'1" and 155, weigh less than I did in college 12 years ago. Used to lift weights in college to bulk up, and even though my chest and arms got bigger (could no longer see my heart beating, as you put it), I still only gained about 5 pounds. (I was excited once when, fully clothed, the scale read 168 - didn't last long before it read 162 again). Even though I haven't lifted in years, and my chest is a little smaller, it's still bigger than before I lifted weights, even though my weight is back to the pre-lifting days.

  7. #7
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    Nuts & shakes

    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanPrimitive
    My calorie intake is split between 35% protein, 30% carbs (from fruit, vegetables, and grain), and 20% fats (mostly from nuts and fish).
    It's easy to see your problem - this only adds up to 85%

    Seriously, you could up your fat intake to 30% with no worries - steak, lobster, cheese, ice cream, milkshakes, and sweet potato fries are fun ways to do that. Also, you could eat more nuts and seeds, where you're getting lots of good fats. Whole wheat toast dipped in olive oil is nutrient dense and good for you at the same time. Dried fruits are a lot more calorie dense than fresh fruit, so if it's just tired jaws or a full feeling, they make a good alternative. And with your blood chemistry and BMI, I think you could hit the triple meat lovers stuffed crust pizza once in a while.

    Given your daily calorie intake, you could back way down on protein. The most you need at your weight is 100 gm per day, and even if you got up to 150 it would be 110 gm per day. An endurance athlete's diet is more typically 60% carbs, 20% fat, and 20% protein (round numbers).

    You definitely have a very high metabolism, and it might not hurt to ask for a referal to an endocrinologist. Thyroid is the first thing that comes to mind, but you've already been checked for that. I'm sure there are other possibilities. If you are close to a university with a medical school, you might find some of the faculty there more interested in your situation than normal practising physicians.

  8. #8
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    try beer it works for me.

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