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Old 10-15-2010, 11:20 AM   #1  
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Dear Maintainers,
I have been a 3FC member for a while and I usually post in the "featherweights" section, but now that I'm below my goal weight I guess I should post here!
Anyway, I have a question I thought you all might have some advice for. When I started to lose weight, I set out to lose the 5 pounds I had gained over my first 2 years of college. When I went 5 below that from healthy eating and consistent exercising, I thought "great! I guess I overestimated my body's 'healthy' weight!"
The problem is I kept losing. I'm now at 119 pounds and I'm 5'7" or 5'8" in height. I feel like I eat very healthy--mostly plants, some low fat dairy and some lean meat, sweets and fatty things as rare treats (rare=less than once a month). I've been loosening up on my "no sugar" ban to include granola bars and I've starting eating meat more often now that I'm home on fall break (I'm a college student and my school cafeteria cooks meat that is HORRIBLY fatty [dripping in grease or covered with a creamy, high-fat sauce], but my mom cooks quite healthily, other than for dessert, which I skip).
What else can I do to encourage a little bit of healthy weight gain without just giving in to eating whatever I want and not exercising? I really want to put on a bit of muscle, but not fat.
Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #2  
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I would suggest adding more "good fats" and protein to your diet. Olive oil, nuts, low fat cottage cheese, things like that. You can't add muscle through diet alone though -- the only way to gain muscle is to do strength training. Your diet needs to support that if you're doing it by having sufficient protein.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperclippy View Post
I would suggest adding more "good fats" and protein to your diet. Olive oil, nuts, low fat cottage cheese, things like that. You can't add muscle through diet alone though -- the only way to gain muscle is to do strength training. Your diet needs to support that if you're doing it by having sufficient protein.
Agreed.

Some other higher calorie healthy foods - avocado, sweet potatoes, peanut butter (if sugar's ok for you), beans, lentils, quinoa.
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:46 PM   #4  
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Great suggestions already in this thread! Fish oil, flax seed oil, almonds, and cheese are also great.

If its hard for you eat to eat volume, Id suggest trying to maximize the calorie density.

And if you arent already - it may be helpful to track your intake of food and micro nutrient to try to re-balance.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:14 PM   #5  
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Gosh, this shouldn't be hard. Increase the portion size of the healthy foods you are already eating. Do you usually eat 3 ounces of chicken? Increase it to 4 ounces. Do you eat half a cup of cooked rice? Increase it to 3/4 cup. Make small changes at first and see what happens--don't increase everything all at once.

Good luck!

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Old 10-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #6  
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How tall are you exactly? Your side bar thingy says 5'6" and in your post you say 5'7" or 5'8". If you are 5'6", you are still in a normal BMI, but if you are 5'8" you are entering the danger zone and would be considered underweight. Your height really does make a difference on how much you should weigh.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:39 AM   #7  
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Welcome to maintenance

Two words - more snacks! There are quite a few healthy things to snack on that have protein.

There are all sorts of organic nut butters (peanut, almond, and cashew to name a few) that don't contain any sugar - just nuts - and are quite calorie dense. How about toast with a bit of one of those for a snack?

I also snack on hard boiled eggs (good source of a bunch of things) and small cans of tuna (if I have a toothbrush handy) or packages of turkey.

Dagmar
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:39 AM   #8  
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Thanks for your replies!
Lori, I thought I was 5'6", as that's what I last remember hearing at a doctor's appointment (but that was YEARS ago). My mom maintains that she's 5'7" and I'm taller than her, and my dad measured my height really quickly with a tape measure from his toolbox the other day and said I'm 5'8".
So basically I don't know. I think 5'8" is a little much, and I'm pretty sure my mom's shorter than 5'7", but I'll be seeing my doctor at some point later this year, so I'll figure it out for sure then.
My concern with adding calorie-dense foods back into my diet is that I'll go crazy on them and gain all my weight back. I LOVE nuts, cheese, etc.--but I could go on eating them forever. For example, I had a dried fruit and nut trail mix for snack the other day (LOVE dried fruit!), but a serving is only 30g, which is like 10 items (nuts or pieces of dried fruit), and I had about 3x that amount. I'm afraid being underweight will make me think "Oh, I can eat whatever I want now!" and then I'll pack all the weight back on.
Does this make any sense?
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:44 PM   #9  
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Even at 5'8" and 120 your BMI is 18.2 which isn't that bad. IMO, the danger zone would be a BMI of 15 or below, which would be medically considered emaciated. If you really wanted to gain weight though you could drink 2-3 Ensures a day, and then just stop drinking them when you’re at your desired weight.

Last edited by Krazy; 10-16-2010 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:02 PM   #10  
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OneOfTwelve, if you are concerned with adding calorie-dense foods, could you just increase your portion size of your other foods as Jay suggested?
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:22 AM   #11  
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Krazy: I'm pretty sure the goal here is "healthy", not "not emaciated". Please do not give out medically dangerous advice on these forums. Being underweight is extremely dangerous and should not be taken lightly or treated as a matter of vanity only.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:09 AM   #12  
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I agree, 18.2 is not healthy. It's not exactly dangerous yet, but it's nothing one should aim to reach or maintain.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #13  
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It does concern me when someone is trying to get help on not losing anymore weight because of how thin they've become, and it feels as if someone is encouraging them that it's okay.

I know it was in your own opinion, but being borderline emaciated doesn't mean your healthy because you haven't gone over that 'line' yet.
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