I can easily join the weight-gain Olympics, if there ever was
such a thing. It is not hard for me to lose weight, and therefore, I consider
myself to be quite an expert. My husband, on the other hand, wants to gain
weight and struggles to do so, as he is lean and muscular, and probably has one
of the best metabolisms in the world.
During a recent five-day fast, Jonathan realised that his body
did not have enough fat to support him throughout a five-day fast (which I
suspected), and he will only try to do one again once he has gained a bit of
We have started to incorporate various strategies in order to
help him gain weight, and especially to gain muscle.
If you are trying to consume a certain amount of calories per
day, and you are mostly trying to do it with foods that are high in
carbohydrates and lower in fat, you will need to eat a lot more in a day in
order to make a difference, and if you cannot eat that much, you will struggle.
One of the biggest things that people struggle with when trying
to gain weight is to eat enough. If your stomach has shrunk because you may not
have been eating a lot over the last few years, then it will take some time to
stretch your stomach, so that you can eat more, but if your stomach is still
small, then rather opt to eat meals that are calorie-dense, as well as nutrient
dense, and that will allow you to consume a smaller volume of food, but to get
a lot more value out of it.
Fat is wonderful when you are trying to gain weight, as it is
quite calorie dense. Fat has about nine calories per gramme of fat compared to
only four calories per gramme of protein and four calories per gramme of
You can find various fat bomb recipes online, and especially on
Pinterest. Jonathan makes a smoothie made with coconut cream, butter, and some
sort of dark chocolate, and usually ends up consuming 1000 calories in one
smoothie in that way. With a fat bomb, you can easily get small snacks that
provide 200 calories or even 300 calories per portion if you use high-calorie
and high-fat ingredients like coconut oil, coconut cream, butter, and even nuts
and seeds, or you could go big like Jonathan and go up to 1000 calories or
If you are trying to gain weight and do so at a faster rate,
then it might not be the best idea to follow a strict ketogenic diet. A strict
ketogenic diet is quite satiating, and people usually start eating less if they
have been at it for a while and if their bodies have become fat adapted. They
have more stable blood-sugar levels, so when they do run out of available fuel,
their bodies can break down stored fat for energy. People who do follow a
ketogenic diet often reduce the amount of times that they eat in a day, as well
as the amount of food per serving.
After being on a ketogenic diet for months and then doing a
five-day fast, Jonathan decided to add carbohydrates back into his diet to help
him gain weight, but did not expect that his hunger levels would increase as
After the first day of eating carbohydrates in the form of sweet
potato, the next morning he was very hungry, and struggled to stick to his
normal fasting times. Therefore, adding carbohydrates to his diet alone was a
great way to increase his appetite and get him to eat more, so that he can gain
weight over the next few months.
Pairing fat with carbohydrates is an even better strategy to
follow if you do want to gain weight, and do not forget to add enough protein
if you also want to make sure that you build enough muscle or maintain your
There is this thing called the bliss point, where scientists
have discovered the perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat to make people
want to eat certain foods more, and to make people want to eat more of certain
foods at one time. Some of the most addictive foods are high in both
carbohydrates and fat, such as doughnuts, cakes, pizza, etc.
We do recommend that you stick to foods in their natural form,
even when trying to gain weight. A primal or a paleo diet is a lot better than
trying to gain weight while eating junk food. You will gain weight by eating
junk food if you eat enough of it, but you will look a lot better if you did so
by eating foods that are healthy for you and that give you the nutrients needed
to build muscle and to gain a healthy amount of weight.
Jonathan’s theory is that struggling to gain weight could be
because you are not absorbing the nutrients in your food properly and cannot
break down the nutrients as well. Therefore, he is experimenting with taking
digestive enzymes before meals to see if it will help him absorb his food
better, and ultimately gain weight.
It might be easy for you to gain weight, or you might need to
put in more effort and experiment to see which weight-gain strategies work for
your body and help you get closer to your goals. We will keep you updated on
what works and what does not help Jonathan to gain weight. I, on the other
hand, only need to moderately overeat for three days to gain weight.