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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I really need some options on gaining weight. At the beginning of October I weighed about 108 lbs, which is what I've been since I was in high school. I got really sick at the end of October and lost almost 10 lbs...then I got sick every month after that until January...it was the same fluy-thing every time (people need to learn NOT to come into work when their sick!!).

Well, I weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 92.6 lbs! :shock:

I eat whatever I can get my hands on, and I've been trying to eat lots of fatty stuff like chips and candy, to pack on some pounds. But it's obviously not working as I continue to lose and not gain. Next time I'm going to be at the grocery store, I'm going to pick up some ingredients for some homemade protein shakes, so I hope that helps a bit.

I don't feel sick or unhealthy, and I continue to take my daily walk, so I'm getting enough exercise. But I'm kinda getting a bit worried. I am on birth control pills, and a few months ago I switched brands. I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it...

Anyone have any options on how to gain weight quickly (and safely)?
 

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Here is a good guide on how to gain weight safely.

THE AIM IS TO GAIN: A Guide to Weight Gain, Whatever Your Reason - UPDATED

I would also recommend this site where that thread is posted to do your calorie counting. Just like if you were trying to lose weight, you want to make sure that you are not only eating the correct number of calories, but also that you are eating a good balance in your meals and you are getting all the macro-nutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc) that you need.

I use this site for my weight loss journey. It really helps me make better choices but helps me re-adjust if I decide to be bad (like drinking the mountain dew for the past 3 days).
 

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Protein shakes as snacks. Nuts are good. Take a look at what you are eating. Make sure there is ample protein so you aren't losing muscle.

If haven't done this, have your doctor run a blood test for your thyroid function.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I am definitely going to check out that website Rae...looks like there's a lot of great info! Calorie counting is something I've never done, but if I can create a balanced raw menu for my cats, I'm sure I can do it for myself too!

Nuts are awesome. I always have at least cashews in the house, because they are my favorite nut!

As for seeing a doctor I probably should... Thing is I don't trust them. I go in for my yearly physical, but thats it. For years when I was younger, I was misdiagnosed and tested on for stuff and they couldn't figure out what was (and still is) wrong with me...so I just don't take them very seriously. NO offense to any doctors on the forum! I haven't had health insurance in almost a decade, so that should tell ya how much I see doctors. :p
 

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I second the balanced diet & extra protein that the others mentioned. You can eat more candy bars than I should, but I wouldn't recommend using that method to gain weight because you will be adding a lot of bad stuff like cholesterol in the process. If your one of those super skinny high metabolism types, then it would probably be a good idea for you to do some light resistance training and weight lifting to add muscle in addition to diet changes. The muscle would give you a sort of "reserve" in case you get sick again (also just make you healthier in general).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I second the balanced diet & extra protein that the others mentioned. You can eat more candy bars than I should, but I wouldn't recommend using that method to gain weight because you will be adding a lot of bad stuff like cholesterol in the process. If your one of those super skinny high metabolism types, then it would probably be a good idea for you to do some light resistance training and weight lifting to add muscle in addition to diet changes. The muscle would give you a sort of "reserve" in case you get sick again (also just make you healthier in general).
Yeah, super skinny and high metabolism definitely describes me. I also have a breathing problem (something to do with either my lungs or my heart...like I said, doctors couldn't diagnose me properly). I used to do some weight lifting when I was in WI, and I really enjoyed it. I just haven't found a gym around here I really like. They did however just complete a remodel of our apartment complex's exercise room, so I should probably check that out one of these days. In addition to my daily walk, a few hours of weight training a week would help with muscle gain and more than likely my breathing problem. Thanks for the tip!

I can totally admit that I get lazy when it comes to feeding myself. Both my boyfriend and I just eat whatever some nights, and I know I'm not getting everything I need for the day. I really have to start planning meals!!
 

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If you buy a set of hand weights (like the 2lb, 3lb, 5lb set) and you have digital cable, then you can pull up some basic classes from the on demand section. They also have some neat dance classes on there :D I've started doing Zumba on the wii console lately, and it is loads of fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oooh, we just picked up a Wii...I'll look into that Zumba! I know I have a set of hand weights around here somewhere...I'll probably have to go into dreaded storage for that (it's soooo unorganized!). XD
 

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The following advice comes from my son, who's a personal trainer. He says if one is looking to put on muscle, eat lots of complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, pasta, wholegrain bread, potatoes, etc. Also eats lots of healthy fats, such as nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts), and wild fish (salmon, herring). Red meats are also good. If you also need to add fat, you can include some refined carbohydrates (white bread, rice, pasta). Try to eat throughout the day, at least 4 or 5 times (meals and snacks) and don't skip meals. Feel free to enjoy healthy sweet things in the evening, such as fruit or yoghurt with berries (apparently eating sweet things in the evening will result in greater weight gain than eating them in the morning...don't ask me why!!). Stay away from too much cardiovascular exercise (treadmills, bikes) and increase the weight training...doesn't need to be anything fancy, just some simple weights, as swimkris suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Susan! Excellent advice (thank your son for me! :D ). Part of my problem is that some days I only eat once, and others I eat all throughout the day. I really do need to get on a better schedule. I picked up the Zumba game for my Wii, now all I have to do is find those pesky hiding weights!
 

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As for seeing a doctor I probably should... Thing is I don't trust them. I go in for my yearly physical, but thats it. For years when I was younger, I was misdiagnosed and tested on for stuff and they couldn't figure out what was (and still is) wrong with me...so I just don't take them very seriously. NO offense to any doctors on the forum! I haven't had health insurance in almost a decade, so that should tell ya how much I see doctors. :p
I sympathize. I've had a lot of bad experiences with doctors as well. I spent several years and multiple MRIs having doctors tell me chronic leg pain was all in my head, only to finally get a 4875456th opinion and discover I'd been walking on a massive hip joint tear for a few years that needed surgery to repair. So there are definitely some out there that are way too dismissive and unhelpful.

But that said, there are some great ones too, and rapid, continuous weight loss without any apparent lifestyle-related cause is probably something you should get checked out, just in case!

Thanks Susan! Excellent advice (thank your son for me! :grin: ). Part of my problem is that some days I only eat once, and others I eat all throughout the day. I really do need to get on a better schedule. I picked up the Zumba game for my Wii, now all I have to do is find those pesky hiding weights!
Eating smaller meals more often actually speeds up your metabolism, so I dunno if eating more often would help or not. I generally recommend people do eat several small meals a day (3-5) as opposed to one or two big ones, as this is simply healthier in general since it provides a continuous source of fresh energy, but I don't know if it would impact your weight or not.

Most of my nutrition knowledge revolves around losing weight (I got really into nutrition research starting two years ago, when I needed to lose 30 lbs and was trying to resolve some other health issues) but I imagine most of the same principles apply to gaining weight as well, since any healthy diet is all about simply putting the right nutrients in your body.

I agree with what others said about candy and other junk food not being the best option to gain weight. While it can increase your body's fat stores, it also spikes your blood sugar and can lead to other health issues down the road.

As others have said, complex carbs, proteins, and good fats are the way to go! Obviously make sure you include veggies as well, as those are always important. If you feel like you're lacking in enough body fat, I'd up your intake of things like olives, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds...basically any mono- or poly-unsaturated fats. These fats are the best kind for you. Avocados are my go-to food when I need more fat in my diet! Some saturated fat (e.x. the kind found in animal products like meat or dairy) is fine in moderation too (although too much can cause issues with cholesterol down the road).

I sympathize on the being small thing. I've been small most of my life. I weighed 98 lbs up until college, then had a brief period of a few years where I was actually chubby (I shot up to 127 in college due to a horrible diet), and now that I've lost the weight again, I tend to fluctuate around 97-98 (which is a healthy weight for my small height/build). But every once in a while I feel like my body weight dips a bit low too, so that's when I up my fat and protein intake.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks saitenyo! It sounds like you and are about the same size body-wise. The most I ever weighed was 115 lbs, and that was when I was weight lifting and I was buff! XD When I lost most of that muscle I went back down to 105-108 where I felt pretty comfortable. Thanks for the great post!

I am already working on getting a better more balanced menu in order. Calorie counting is difficult when all you have is junk food in the house. =/ I'm still iffy on the doctor thing...but I'll think about it. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I didn't want to make a whole new thread, so I'm bumping the old one. :p

I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU! to everyone who responded and gave me advice on gaining weight! When I started this thread I was down to 92.8 lbs from 108...I weighed myself this morning and I'm up to 97.8! So a +5 lb difference in less than a month, and this is the first month since last October that I haven't lost any weight (yay!).

I've started doing some minor weight lifting exercises at home a few times a week, in addition to continuing my daily walk. I've been actually planning meals, and learning to cook more at home, to keep things better balanced, and so I know exactly what I'm eating. I drink a protein shake for breakfast every day, and I have a protein bar (those Snickers Marathon things are pretty tasty) about mid-day. I still grab for candy bars (I just love my sugar!), but I've cut back significantly.

I feel so much better already, it's crazy what 5 lbs can do. I'm still not where I want to be weight-wise, but I'm feeling much more comfortable with myself. I think if I keep this up, I'll be at a healthy weight again in no time. :thumb
 

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Good for you! You made a plan and saw it through. I think that's the hardest part.

On a side note, whether it's weight gain or weight loss, it seems to be something that has a huge impact on one's well being. Me for one, I wish I weighed 115, but sadly I do not. Although it's the total opposite of your goal, your thread has given me a bit of motivation. Let's all strive to live a healthy life!
 

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You must have found the 5 Ibs that I lost! I'm happy to share anytime :D

But, seriously, that is GREAT progress for a few weeks!!
 

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Well, and now that you've started doing the healthy things, Easter's coming & there's chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! It doesn't hurt to indulge a little as long as you are getting regular meals in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the support all! :D

Alpaca - Yer right, the hardest part is keeping to a plan. I'll be the first to admit that I can be extremely lazy, and I procrastinate with the best of them. I'm glad I have my boyfriend, who helps kick my butt when I need it. :)

Kristen - Congrats on losing 5 lbs! I'll take it anytime. :p Have you been continuing with the light weight lifting as well? I really think thats been a huge factor in my gain (putting on some nice muscle).

Nan - Oh Easter! Cadbury Creme Eggs (original flavor only!) are my absolute weakness, and whenever Easter comes around I stock up pretty heavily, heh. I've been trying to be good and limit myself...yeah...hehehe...:crazy
 

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Kristen - Congrats on losing 5 lbs! I'll take it anytime. :p Have you been continuing with the light weight lifting as well? I really think thats been a huge factor in my gain (putting on some nice muscle).
Sort of. I'm already pretty muscle-y, so I'm trying to make myself do cardio mostly. I eat pretty healthy, but I eat a lot. Since I quit swimming, I've gained about 30 lbs- eek! :( The problem is that pool access is pretty expensive since I'm not getting free gym memberships anymore (I did various swimming related jobs for about 10 years while I was in school), and I get really sharp pains in my ankles from previous injuries depending on what land activities I am doing. So, what I've currently worked up to is about 30 min- 1 hr moderate cardio 4-5 days a week & about 30 min weight training 2 days a week. For cardio I mostly do Zumba (more fun), but some days I will go jogging in my neighborhood, get on the treadmill, go to the park, or do a couple of the "exercise on demand" workouts from the tv. Besides my ankle issues, my biggest problem is that I am a very social person and hate to work out by myself. Thankfully, I have finally convinced my flatmate to exercise with me :D
 
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