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BTD Forums    Diet and Nutrition    The GenoType Diet  ›  But what if I'd like to GAIN some weight?
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But what if I'd like to GAIN some weight?  This thread currently has 671 views. Print Print Thread
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Carol the Dabbler
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 10:34pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Despite Dr. D's assurances that the GTD is not "a diet," the book seems to contain a whole lot of info on how to LOSE excess weight, but not much on how to GAIN healthy weight.

As Dr. D says, Teachers don't gain weight from eating too many calories (and heaven knows I've tried!).  We gain it from eating toxins.  (Been there.  Done that.)  But eating toxins would not add *healthy* weight.

So what *would* work?  Should I actually avoid the Diamond Superfoods?  But those are supposed to help "maintain ideal weight" and "increase muscle mass" in addition to helping "decrease body fat" -- and two outta three ain't bad.  Clearly, I don't want to emphasize Black Dot Toxins either, because those can make it harder to "regain [my] balance" and "battle illness" in addition to encouraging weight gain (and what kind of weight gain do they encourage?).

I could simply assume that as long as I eat lots of Superfoods and get enough calories, then whatever I weigh is the correct weight for me.  Or I could wait and see whether I gradually gain weight while I continue on the GTD.

Or am I overlooking something that's likely to help "put some meat on my bones"?



Carol

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Kristin
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 10:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I feel your pain...


Sounds like it could be an assimilation issue and conitnuing to heal your gut should bring your desired results.

What I have found to gain weight is to raise the number that my weight drops back down to. I can gain a couple of pounds... but then it falls off again. So rather than trying to gain weight, I have been trying to reset my body's natural desire for homeostasis at a higher level. I've been able to gain about 4 pounds in the last year this way.


The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

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Carol the Dabbler
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 11:00pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Kristin
Sounds like it could be an assimilation issue and continuing to heal your gut should bring your desired results.


In addition to starting the GTD in January, I also went gluten-free at the beginning of December.  I am still hoping to see some healthy weight gain as both changes help my gut to heal.

I'm not sure I follow you regarding resetting at a higher level.  Could you elaborate?



Carol

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Kristin
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 12:56am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well... I wish I could...  

I just noticed that whenever I would gain some weight and then lose... my weight would always drop back down to the same number. So I decided that what I really needed to do for a more lasting weight gain was to reset my thermostat... so to speak... at a higher level. In other words... I would try my best to maintain the weight gain so my body wouldn't drop it off... and the longer I could do that, the more likely my weight gain would stay on. It's like my body finally "accepts" that this is what I should weigh and maintains that level. I know I'm probably not making any sense but I think for thin people, our bodies crave homeostasis and that's why weight gain is so difficult. Just my opinion.


The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

- Nelson Henderson
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Novelia
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 1:35am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kristin, that sounds like a great approach to change what the body falls back to! A friend of mine is a hard gainer. I think due to his habitual undereating due to stress he has managed to reduce his setpoint to something lower than ideal. Overeating makes him feel really ill and he has digestive troubles that make it all the more challenging as well.

So, Kristin, have you been slowly gaining a pound with a gradual caloric increase that you monitor? Is a pound the increment that you use for each step? So, gain and maintain for a certain period of time, and so on?

Losing no more than 1-2 lbs a week is what is usually advised for weight loss that lasts. For anyone who needs to gain and struggles, perhaps it must be done even more slowly, perhaps by increasing daily caloric intake every week or every two weeks by only 100-200 calories. That way the body won't get confused and rebellious which results in appetite/weight loss again. 100 calories isn't much. It could be done with an extra portion of a superfood fruit, for example, or an additional 1 tbs of olive oil added to your meals throughout the day, or 1/2 oz of your superfood nut of choice.

After determining how many calories you need to maintain your current weight (there are calculators online for that to give you a basic idea), one could increase their daily calories by 100 or 200 for the first week or two, then add 100 to that number for the week after that and so on. Example: if you can maintain your current weight at 2000 calories, you would eat 2100-2200 calories every day for week 1/2, then go up to 2200-2300 every day for the next 1-2 weeks and so on. There would be daily variations - we should enjoy our food and not be counting all the time -  but the aim would be an average of an additional 700-1400 calories total each week or two.

At each gain of a full pound (there are approx 3600 calories in a pound of fat, so by a month's time you'd be there or close) you could take a break from upping, maintain your new 'set point' level for at least a week, then continue. Slow but steady.

I used to count calories very carefully to maintain my weight. I've had different personal 'ideals' for my weight in my life. I learned to use a digital kitchen scale and weighed EVERYTHING. Lol. So, I'm always interested in what works for gain and loss.

I've noticed that people rarely know how many calories they are eating for *certain* - despite what they think - unless they track it by using a digital kitchen scale. Few people can accurately judge portion size/weight by eye-balling their food or looking things up in calorie books. I've learned to eye-ball fairly accurately due to all of my scale training and cooking for myself (no mystery about what is in my food), but that took time.

Just ideas, but maybe worth a try?


Quoted from Kristin

I decided that what I really needed to do for a more lasting weight gain was to reset my thermostat... so to speak... at a higher level. In other words... I would try my best to maintain the weight gain so my body wouldn't drop it off... and the longer I could do that, the more likely my weight gain would stay on. It's like my body finally "accepts" that this is what I should weigh and maintains that level. I know I'm probably not making any sense but I think for thin people, our bodies crave homeostasis and that's why weight gain is so difficult. Just my opinion.



Revision History (9 edits; 4 reasons shown)
Novelia  -  Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:02am
Novelia  -  Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:00am
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Mercedes
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 2:57am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Carol, why is it you want to gain weight? Are you actually underweight, or would just like more shape/curve to your body? One may be easier to obtain as the other... genetics seems to be a double edged sword...

My *guess* would be (as ignorant as I am of the teacher diet) that starting a exercise regime aimed at building muscle, and increasing your protien intake (via permitted poultry, fish, and legumes) may help. You're not too likely to "bulk up" but you should put some weight on, and defined muscles may give you more shape if you want it. (Can I suggest the oft promoted T-tapp?)

And Kristin, I think everyone's body likes homeostasis- that's part of why some of us have a hard time losing weight My body likes the size it is, but my wants it to slim down a bit  
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Kristin
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:06am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Mercedes
And Kristin, I think everyone's body likes homeostasis- that's part of why some of us have a hard time losing weight My body likes the size it is, but my wants it to slim down a bit  


Yes... I was going to mention that I think why some people have difficulty losing weight is the same thing only from the other end, but I took it out of my post.

Others do seem to have a weight that bounces all over the place though.


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karen
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:48am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Carol, I share your low weight struggle so I will post some thoughts for you.

Your gluten sensitivity means that you may have more damage to your digestive system than you realize.  If so, you may not be assimilating your food enough to nourish properly.  You could add supplements that target digestive healing and use them consistently for a long enough period.

In your blog you mentioned having mercury fillings removed.  If you have any leftover mercury hiding in your body, that can end up in your digestive system and cause malabsorption -- and cause your gluten sensitivities -- and keep you from gaining weight.  Have you tried any mercury chelators in the past?

Do you consistantly use probiotics?  They helped me a lot as well as digestive enzymes.

In my case, over the years I tried to eat all the right things but kept losing more weight and felt more ill.  It hasn't been until just recently that I've started to feel better.  For me, it seems as though it was a combination of things that had to be addressed at the same time.  The things I mentioned above plus dealing with some emotional stuff has helped greatly.

I am slowly gaining weight and have a more calm feeling in my stomach than I can ever remember having.  It used to be I would never feel full, even after eating an incredible amount of food, but now I actually feel satisfied with less food.

I think the superfoods on you GTD will help a great deal in combination with targeting gut healing and detoxification.

Just some thoughts to ponder.  
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Ribbit
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 2:13pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Maybe y'all are supposed to be skinny.  Some people are naturally.  I mean, if you feel good and you're full of energy, why try to change where your body wants you?  

My husband would like to gain some weight too.  When I put him on the B diet he lost 20 lbs and he didn't have any extra to lose!  Now he's really skinny.  But he's started thinking that maybe that's just where his body wants to be, and he feels good, so he's stopped trying to bulk up.  He's happier with where he is now.


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

"Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial..."  I Corinthians 6:12

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SquarePeg
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:36pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Carol the Dabbler
-snip-
I could simply assume that as long as I eat lots of Superfoods and get enough calories, then whatever I weigh is the correct weight for me.
That's what I'd do.  I've heard it said that there's nothing unhealthy about being underweight.  (I used to be, too.)



My SWAMI diet is a blend of BTD and GTD Explorer, but I'm not totally compliant.  Also I try to choose foods that have a Low Glycemic index.  DW and DD are A+, probably also Explorer.
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Carol the Dabbler
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 7:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Mercedes
Carol, why is it you want to gain weight? Are you actually underweight, or would just like more shape/curve to your body? ....  My *guess* would be ... that starting a exercise regime aimed at building muscle, and increasing your protein intake ... may help. You're not too likely to "bulk up" but you should put some weight on....
Mostly I'd like to get back some muscle mass.  I'm not much of an "iron pumper" though.  I just keep thinking that if I can just get it all together, healthwise, I should put some muscle back on, just from regular daily activities like gardening.  One thing I like about the Teacher diet vs. the A-nonnie diet is the increased options and frequencies for eggs and dairy products.  Along with my usual nuts and beans, I'm eating more protein already.


Quoted from karen
In your blog you mentioned having mercury fillings removed.  If you have any leftover mercury hiding in your body, that can end up in your digestive system and cause malabsorption -- and cause your gluten sensitivities -- and keep you from gaining weight.  Have you tried any mercury chelators in the past?
Odd you should mention it!  Somebody on a gluten-free forum mentioned that onions/garlic can stir up any heavy metals that have been hiding in one's tissues, and I suddenly realized why eating them makes me feel so darn edgy.  I've already had a chelation-challenge urine test, and am seeing that doctor again next week for the results.

Quoted from Ribbit
When I put [my husband] on the B diet he lost 20 lbs and he didn't have any extra to lose!  Now he's really skinny.  But he's started thinking that maybe that's just where his body wants to be, and he feels good, so he's stopped trying to bulk up.


I lost weight when I started the BTD too!  And a little more after I went gluten-free.  That stuff was clearly "bad" weight -- squishy stuff around my hips.  So now I'm down to the real me, I guess.

I'm not desperate to gain weight.  I just keep thinking maybe the Teacher diet will help me become a little stronger -- and would like some pointers.  Maybe in Dr. D's next book ....


Carol

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mikeo
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 7:46pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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you can down regulate your thyroid and metabolism by eating food with goitrogens in them but i would not recommend that. Sounds like you're an ectomorph and they generally have trouble gaining weight


RHN MIfHI
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kate4975
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 8:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Ribbit
Maybe y'all are supposed to be skinny.  Some people are naturally.  I mean, if you feel good and you're full of energy, why try to change where your body wants you?  

My husband would like to gain some weight too.  When I put him on the B diet he lost 20 lbs and he didn't have any extra to lose!  Now he's really skinny.  But he's started thinking that maybe that's just where his body wants to be, and he feels good, so he's stopped trying to bulk up.  He's happier with where he is now.


My husband needs to put on weight also. He has muscle mass, mostly in his upper body, but he is extremely thin. Our kinesiologist told him he needs to put on the weight. Basically I think she's worried that if he ever became ill, he wouldn't have any reserves. He eats rather poorly--too many eggs w/cheddar cheese, red meat, ice cream, fast food--but he just can't keep any weight on. I'm almost afraid that if I can ever get him to come around to GTD (he's either an Explorer or Teacher, depending on secretor results) that it won't improve his weight situation. He does have a lot of mercury fillings that he was planning to get replaced this year so I'll have to start nudging him to get that done.


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Mercedes
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 11:58pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Carol, *if* I remember correctly, you're not a spring chicken... (please don't get mad at me for saying that, or if I'm wrong, I'm soooooooo sorry)

But as we age, we naturally lose muscle mass. It may very well be that simply gardening may not be enough for you to build muscle mass.

If you're not an iron pumper (and I wouldn't suggest going body builder, but simply some free weights or body resistance exercises- push ups, squats, etc.), and you haven't already tried it, I really would suggest T-tapp. I've never had better tone in my stomach than when I was t-tapping. It really does build muscle, but it's much more like yoga than traditional iron pumping. It's so methodical and precise, it can be very soothing to A's Just try her "diva derriere" move (free online) and see if you don't feel like that works your butt
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Carol the Dabbler
Thursday, January 24, 2008, 11:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Hey, Mercedes, if I didn't want anybody to know how old I am, I wouldn't have my age displayed right under my Avatar!

Yes, I've heard about people naturally losing muscle mass with age, but I'm always a bit skeptical about *any* deterioration being considered "normal."  Typical, more like.  People are generally too ready to chalk up their health problems to "age" instead of taking steps to improve their health.

But even if decreased muscle mass really is a normal part of aging, I'm hoping that it's only part of what's going on with me.  I've read that gluten reactions can also cause muscle loss, so am hoping that being gluten-free (now that I know the stuff really is a problem for me) will help over time.

My main point in starting this thread is the hope that Dr. D will eventually offer some pointers to those of us who are trying to GAIN (rather than lose) weight!


Carol

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Thimbleberry
Monday, January 28, 2008, 11:02am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Hi Carol,

I lost weight before going gluten free last March and I was skinny to begin with. I was taking a sewing class and I noticed that my bum was 3 cm thinner than the year before (this revelation was about 6 months and lots of symptoms earlier).
People used to always say "eat at McDonald's" or "eat lots of peanut butter" when I complained that it was hard for me to put on weight.
You have to eat the foods that are good for you to gain it back. Don't let anyone say they're "putting meat on your bones" when they just want somebody to join them in eating cake.
I am still having skin problems but I think that your body prioritizes from most to least important in the process of recovery. Maybe your lungs need the nourishment more than the boobs do right now.
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TJ
Monday, January 28, 2008, 5:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from 2459
Maybe your lungs need the nourishment more than the boobs do right now.


Lol!

I'm sort of in the same position as you Carol (except I'm not interested in developing larger breasts--I'd look strange ).  I weighed 165 lbs in August 2007, now 145 lbs.  As a guy at 5'10", I "should" be around 160-170 lbs, according to conventional wisdom, but I'm not alarmed.  Most of what I lost seems to be fat and a little water retention (my neck and jawline are a little better defined, and my newer pants are all loose now).

I think "priorities" is the perfect way to think about this.  My body wanted to get rid of my extra fat (and its accompanying toxins), and hasn't seen a need to replace that lost weight with muscle mass, because I haven't been particularly active (since I've needed time to rest and recover, and the exercise I've been doing isn't intense).  As I continue to feel more well, I will increase my level of activity, and I may then see increases in muscle mass.  But maybe I won't, also.  I look very slender now, but not in an unhealthy, anorexic way -- I could still stand to lose some belly fat! -- so if my weight stabilizes where I am now, I am ok with that.  The most important thing for me is that I feel well, and if you do, your weight is a secondary concern!
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Thimbleberry
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 1:34am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Hi again,

I think the main thing to keep in mind is that you have to eat foods that you know you can absorb. Some people would gain weight if they ate a crate of doughnuts, but if I did it would go straight through me and take all of the good foods as hostages.

In fact I think my body calmed down even more when I gave up cane sugar, but I think I might be a non-secretor O and some of you are B and A. I usually don't crave more than half a cup of cooked grains at one sitting but I wasn't minding portion sizes so much as finding that meat and veggies have more flavour.

I agree with drive55 about exercise putting on muscle- I didn't have the energy to work out for a while but now I have gotten back into going out dancing (no drinks) which is my absolute favorite exercise.

Carol you should seriously get into yoga. I love yoga and it's known to build muscle, plus it's amazing for type A's. My yoga teacher (a woman) is totally ripped. She used to be a dancer but stopped after an injury and ALL SHE SAYS SHE DID IS YOGA since then and I tell you the woman is ripped. Not in a gross way though, plus yoga will make you strong without getting stiff.
As an O I have very little patience for meditation, plus I felt wierd about all those gurus who say I shouldn't eat meat, but nothing compares to yoga for stress relief. Find a non-pickup-jointy style class or get a good video.
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Ron-A-Non
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 9:43am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Well, from what I know, protein consumption will actually cause an insulin rise, and insulin basically drives the overall anabolic process.

So, since you're an A, you might try insulin-raising foods such as protein or anything which mimics insulin, such as wheat or corn.  But I would say protein consumption would be your best best for raising body weight as muscle, rather than fat.

However, surplus protein consumption above what you use to repair muscles and the like, does not get stored as protein.  Rather, it gets de-aminated and stored as glycogen and fat, and also urinated out.  

So, if you really want to gain muscle, then I'd say the best thing to do is to get into a mass-building weightlifting program, whereby you do fewer repetitions of around 80% of your maximum lifting capacity.  And then, immediately after working out and tearing down your muscles, you should make sure you have some kind of soy-based protein (because you're an A) shake nearby, so that those muscles get built up bigger than before, and very quickly, as liquid drinks take less time to digest.
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