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gaining weight in a "healthy" way?
Quote21.09.2013 01:081 people like thisLike

I've actually never actively gained and am seriously considering doing so in the near future, and I'd like to know where to start! Even though I've had plenty of stuffing sessions involving very caloric foods that were loaded with sugar and cholesterol, I would NOT want to do that each and every day while I gain. I think I'd feel kind of shitty, and I couldn't keep it up. So I want to gain weight with foods that will keep me otherwise healthy, because it would be a real bummer if I ended up with type 2 diabetes or something. Then I'd never be able to get as fat as I'd like to! :(


What are some foods that can help us gain weight without necessarily throwing our blood sugar totally out of whack or causing too crazy of an increase in cholesterol? I know for some of us the hot part might be in not doing it in a healthy way, and I think that's definitely a fantasy for me, but in the real life execution, I'd like to eat lots of healthy foods and maintain my health as much as possible as I get fatter with some sprinkles of junk food stuffing for good measure. My recovering from youth hyperdieting self says things like eggs, whole milk (chocolate milk pls), high calorie juices, lots of granola, meal replacement drinks (I find the idea of drinking Slim Fast all day and then gaining weight on it to be super hot for some reason), potatoes, nuts, olive oil, avocados are all relatively healthy, high-calorie options. What else do you guys eat?


Do any of you who are actively gaining ever work out? What kind of workouts do you do? I hear just lifting won't really keep you from gaining, but can help your cardio and keep your strength up. Thoughts?

Quote21.09.2013 10:511 people like thisLike

Lifting wouldn't really help your cardio much. It is an anaerobic exercise meaning that you're not getting a lot of oxygen to your muscles. This causes lactic acid to build up and break down your muscles. Then as you eat right and heal, you'll build up more muscle than you had before (if you work out really hard). However, you can also lift less intensely which would help tone your muscles and keep what muscle you have strong. It's good to stop atrophy, and if you're not doing it to gain, you won't get all bulky (if muscle bulk is what you're trying to avoid). My girlfriend next to me just informed me that women are much less likely to get bulky than are men who work out (unless you're an athlete that trains constantly). It seems that lifting will keep what muscle you have strong, but it's not a cardio exercise.


So lift, but not too intensely to maintain what muscle you have.


I recommend stretching everyday. It is one of the easiest things people can do to be healthy. It is extremely important. It is very healthy for circulation which is one of the problems fat people experience if they aren't careful. It also prevents strains. As you gain weight, your muscles will get taxed a little more and be more prone to strains. Stretching is practically the cure for that.


As far as cardio exercise that won't make you burn fat...I'm not sure. I'd bet if you just take long walks regularly, lift lightly, and stretch your muscles everyday, you'll be healthy even as you gain.


As for the diet...I wouldn't know, but it sounds like you listed off some great foods. You're probably on the right track. Good luck with your gain. You can be healthy at any weight.

Quote21.09.2013 11:521 people like thisLike

Like Steely said, I stretch every day and I go for a 30 minute walk every day.

Quote21.09.2013 12:500 people like thisLike

Stretching and walking for me are definitely a given... I live in a city and I don't drive, so maybe I have cardio covered. Good info on the lifting aspect. I'd love to hear people's opinions on food though!

Quote21.09.2013 16:201 people like thisLike

Walking and stretching --yes.


My daily menu:

Breakfast: shredded wheat and granola with whole milk, banana, OJ, coffee with whole milk

Second breakfast: bagel with cream cheese or energy bar

Lunch: Triple decker deli sandwich with cheese and mayo and greens, apple, yogurt

Early snack: peanuts, granola bars

Late snack: crackers, nuts, energy bar

Dinner: Mountain of foods

Bedtime snack: Ice cream sundae

Quote28.09.2013 18:151 people like thisLike

In my experience adding a gym routine to your diet helps in the long run for your gain. I swim 30 laps a week, yoga and dance class once a week, and I lift to keep my muscles toned. I also eat a lot on nutrient rich foods in addition to my fatty diet. It /has/ made my gain slower, but Its helping my body stay as functional as possible!

Quote28.09.2013 19:390 people like thisLike

Swimming is a fantastic appetite stimulant. I always eat three times what I burn off every times I swim.

Quote30.09.2013 11:370 people like thisLike

I believe it's possible.  With exercise and smart dietary choices I seem to have done well so far anyway.  But I do seem to be approaching the end of my ability to grow fatter without impacting my health in one way or another, which sucks.  Though I am pretty massive now, around 580lbs, I would have very much liked to gain another 200-ish pounds before having to stop.  (That amount, I believe, would have given me a belly that hangs at least a quarter of the way to my knees, which is something I've been fascinated with for years now).


Anyway, time will tell I may be able to plump up a bit more, possibly to 6 bills without becoming too unhealthy but I'm almost afraid to chance it now.

Quote01.10.2013 23:130 people like thisLike

As someone who's going into medicine I've been thinking about this a lot. I don't know a ton about nutrition but after just a little research I was able to find a few things I think are useful. For fats you want to focus on consuming unsaturated fats which are the good ones. Saturated and trans fats are the fats more strongly associated with disease and high cholesterol where unsatruated fats are actually help maintain good cholesterol. As for carbs, the better ones are the complex carbohydrates. They are broken down more slowly and don't cause the rush of blood sugar that can lead to Diabetes. I focus on the fats and carbs because they're the main sources of energy. It'll always be important to supplement your diet with a wide variety of foods to get good nutrition but, in the end, gaining weight comes down to how many calories you consume and that's going to be in your fats and carbs mostly. So eat the good ones! Look into which ones are healthier and what foods they're in so you can chow down on that stuff. Also, as stated above, physical activity is very important to maintaining health. A just a half hour of walking a day has been shown to do loads for our health. Specifically for women, activity as well as Calcium consumption is important for your body's bone maintenance. Keep that up all the time so you don't have to worry about it when you're older. :)

Quote02.10.2013 15:330 people like thisLike


As someone who's going into medicine I've been thinking about this a lot. I don't know a ton about nutrition but after just a little research I was able to find a few things I think are useful. For fats you want to focus on consuming unsaturated fats which are the good ones. Saturated and trans fats are the fats more strongly associated with disease and high cholesterol where unsatruated fats are actually help maintain good cholesterol. As for carbs, the better ones are the complex carbohydrates. They are broken down more slowly and don't cause the rush of blood sugar that can lead to Diabetes. I focus on the fats and carbs because they're the main sources of energy.

Maybe we could start working on a list of examples of these kinds of "healthy carbs/fats" for people who are interested?


I've been eating a lot more fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. because I am trying to maintain my current weight and generally get healthier, but I've been losing recently! Would love to know what kind of foods I could use to supplement my caloric intake that won't wreck me internally. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Quote02.10.2013 20:351 people like thisLike

Good thinking. It's all about the research! Here's a list I found of some good fats.

Monounsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fat
Olive oil Soybean oil
Canola oil Corn oil
Sunflower oil Safflower oil
Peanut oil Walnuts
Avocados Sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds
Olives Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews) Soymilk
Peanut butter Tofu

And here's some good carbs

Fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, yams, lentils, whole grain breads, whole grain pitas, whole grain cereals, and potatoes.


From what I've been reading it looks like good fats actually help keep cholesterol under control. It also sounds like the some types of fiber associated with these good carbs can do the same thing, as well as slow down the digestion process so there isn't a spike in blood sugar. Considering the benefits of these foods it may be possible to increase consumption of the "bad" fats and carbs if the good ones are keeping them in check. That is of course speculation so further research would be necessary to confirm that.


Looking at the good foods themselves I can definitely see how snacking more on some foods could add the calories. A single avocado has around 300 calories in it (according to google). A cup of peanutbutter has over 1500. A tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories. I think the key is finding creative and tasty ways to incorporate more of these foods into ones diet.

Quote05.10.2013 17:390 people like thisLike

Trans fats are the worst. Trans fats have been removed from most foods, but fast food french fries are the worst offenders in most people's diets. Fortunately, you can substitute chili (at Wendy's) and other things.

Pie crust is next worst. Flaky crusts just can't be made without trans fats. Chicken pot pie is the single worst food. It's Melissa's favorite --she is very sad about this. [I just showed her this post and she made her best pouty face!]

Quote05.10.2013 17:550 people like thisLike
I would try changing just a few things first and see how things go. Instead of regular bacon, try turkey bacon (blasphemy I know), almond or soy milk (I live off chocolate almond milk and Silk's very vanilla soy milk), use vegan butter or cheese when cooking, snack on veggies + hummus. If you're craving something sweet, try dark chocolate vs milk/white chocolate. I personally go for Earth Balance's peanut butter+ bananas or carrots or almonds+dried cranberries. Nuts and avocados are good to eat too! Use avocado instead of mayo on a sandwich. You can also look into making your own salad dressing with herbs, lemon and olive oil, or use vinegar; or also make your own sauces for pastas. Muesli or veggie-filled quiches are favorite breakfast options for me, add fruit and legumes into your diet and I'd think you're set. I'd also take a multivitamin and just continue doing some sort of exercise.
Quote08.11.2013 22:470 people like thisLike

Hmm before we start dividing things into "good fats" and "bad fats" and saying sweeping things like "grains are good for you" just remember that the world of nutrition is massively divided. The standard information that we are fed is often wrong.


I happen to question mainstream advice particularly that peddled by many "health professionals" because they are reading outdated literature. For example that triangular food diagram you see in a lot of doctor's clinics - the one that says you should get most of your food from carbs and have a tiny bit of protein - is laughable. It was never right in the first place and was the product more of food industry lobbying of government health advisors than based remotely on science. Unfortunately a lot of doctors will still give that discredited advice to you (especially if you're overweight haha).


I think a lot of what these guys say may be slightly more up to date with the research:


Some research says that saturated fats are actually good for you, the link between saturated fat and eg. heart disease is a load of nonsense.  And conversely some vegetable oils (previously seen as the "healthy" oils) are bad news.


But no doubt people will have their own views and what works best for them.

Quote11.11.2013 06:030 people like thisLike

Agreed with the above(glove), checking out somewhere like this site might be useful in that regard, has a forum etc.

That said never underestimate the nutritional value of a serious crack habit. 

Made me the thing I am today.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Quote11.11.2013 06:180 people like thisLike

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Quote11.11.2013 14:150 people like thisLike

The training regimen and habits of sumo wrestlers probably hold the key to gaining in the most healthy way possible.


Here's a random CNN article I found:


They exercise in the morning on an empty stomach for obvious physical benefits, but it apparently slows down the metabolism as well as it tricks the body to go into a starvation mode where calories must be saved. Then, they eat one or two massive meals the rest of the day and try to nap afterwards. Their meals consists of food that isn't fattening in small quantities, but they of course eat massive amounts of it.


To over simplify a complicated subject, it comes down to three points:


1. Eat large quantities of healthy foods.

2. Exercise regularly.

3. Slow down your metabolism.

Quote14.11.2013 15:250 people like thisLike

Oh this is perfect!  I've been struggling with the same thing myself.  I find that bananas are a great weight gainer.  Especially if you make a peanut butter and banana sandwich out of it!  Milk of course as well as most cheeses.  Nuts are a great snacking food and also very fattening.  I use to get massive bags of cashews and snacked on them all day.

Quote16.11.2013 20:490 people like thisLike

Extra Virgin Olive oil - it's heart healthy! and tasty! :) use as a dressing with lemon juice on .... all kindsa pasta dishes... Make like the Spanish and always have some on the side at dinner to dip bread into...

Ok now I'm hungry

Quote27.12.2013 09:200 people like thisLike

I was wondering the same thing!What a great thread:)


Smoothies are awesome, you can put 10+ bananas (frozen bananas make it taste like a milkshake), some almond butter, protein powder, etc. to get the calories up. I am thinking I will make a 1k calorie smoothie every morning (I already eat them daily). I use coconut milk for the liquid, but I do love soy milk too. Some people add an avocado - you can't taste it in the smoothie. I always add some other frozen fruit like berries, pineapple, mango, etc. I just started adding flax and/or chia seeds too.


If using this many bananas makes it too sweet, you can put a big handful of baby spinach in it (doesn't taste bad, i swear!). I like to use half frozen and half non-frozen - otherwise you get a brain freeze and the blender jams up. Make sure you add enough liquid.

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