Logging my quest to reach a healthy weight

sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
I could really use gaining some weight. I oscillate between 94 and 96 lbs and I'm 5'5." My brother admitted to me today that my face looks "drawn/gaunt" (Didn't ask him how long it has).

I've posted in the past for ideas about foods that would be good for me to personally stock up on, as I live at home and our food supply is pretty stoic. But it's been difficult for me to keep that up. I will try again but I also need to make myself eat more of what's available. I usually scavenge a handful of times a day (with the exception of dinner), enough to stave off the feeling of hunger each time as opposed to actually feeding my body in a balanced way.

So I'm thinking of updating a thread (maybe this one) on a daily basis with what I ate that day. That way if I'm not fully appreciating how little it may be in comparison to people at healthier weights it will help me to more. And I'm thinking it'll probably drive me to eat more so my updates show improvement.

I would just need some semi-regular feedback despite the fact it's not going to be an interesting thread by any means. But you can possibly help me gain weight! ...If this idea works, and that would be priceless for me. :love2:
“It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Comments

  • NejNej Posts: 2,444Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Calorie Dense healthy foods are helpful for gaining weight. Shakes, dried fruit and nuts, natural nut butters etc.

    It's not an excuse to eat unhealthfully as many people think. Maybe just try eating larger portions of what you are already consuming as a start?


    I there a reason you know of that contributes to your low weight?


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  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    There may be a reason I'm unaware of in addition to this one, but I just have a hard time consuming the food that's available in my household. My mom's been making the same stuff for decades, and she wouldn't be down with a grocery list that diverges from what she's used to. So I'm bored with the food at home, and with the exception of her spaghetti which is delicious, her dishes challenge my taste buds to hang in there. Eating is solely a utilitarian activity 95% of the time.

    Money has gotten tighter for me (my family has been pooling our funds together for bills, groceries and gas) so I've had less ability to go out and stock up on my own stuff, though I'm realizing I need to let myself be okay with putting a dent in my finances for that reason. It's worth it.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Just a little bit of a high protein/healthy fat will go a long way.

    Sure, start a thread. I'll pitch in.
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    Aww, love your avatar Ninja!
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks!

    Seriously, I wrote a story about seniors and others who need to gain weight, and the main issue was protein. A nurse's suggestion was to add cheese or peanut butter to various snacks. Do you think that would help you?
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    Yeah I do. I tend to crave carbs and protein. I just need to train my body to keep eating even after the immediate feeling of hunger is gone. I neglect vegetables, which I'm not looking at to directly help me gain weight, but I need to step up eating them too and maybe there will be an indirect weight gain impact from that.

    I'm about to have some coffee, but after today, I'm going to limit it to mornings only. Most days out of the week I'll have half a cup of coffee about 4 times a day. It's occurring to me that it may be a big enabling factor in eating bits at a time.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If you use milk and cream, it could help.
  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    I'd suggest making one change at a time. Like, for 1 week just try to add 1 thing once a day. Then the next week, either add it twice a day or add something else once a day. After a couple weeks (or a couple months) you can make a larger change, like aiming for 3 real meals and snacks, or a certain amount of calories each morning/afternoon/evening.

    In the meantime, I'd really think about which calorie-rich foods are reasonable for you. Avocados? Nuts? Peanut butter? Protein powder? Energy bars?
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,231Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Sure, I'll pitch in too. Not meaning to question intrusively, but have you been diagnosed as anorexic? I'm just trying to understand the problem better.

    Is it that you don't seem to be hungry, or aren't interested in the foods that are available (you kind of suggested that)? Do you prepare your own meals, and/or do you sit down and eat with others? If you can describe the situation in more detail, it may help us come up with ideas. :happy7:
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  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    Who Me? wrote: »
    I'd suggest making one change at a time. Like, for 1 week just try to add 1 thing once a day. Then the next week, either add it twice a day or add something else once a day. After a couple weeks (or a couple months) you can make a larger change, like aiming for 3 real meals and snacks, or a certain amount of calories each morning/afternoon/evening.

    In the meantime, I'd really think about which calorie-rich foods are reasonable for you. Avocados? Nuts? Peanut butter? Protein powder? Energy bars?

    I'm a little impatient so I'll probably start out a little bolder than this, but I do want to steadily, manageably build it up.

    I'll definitely get some nuts, peanut butter, probably Nutella too and I'm thinking of buying a protein powder. Love avocados but they're a little pricey.

    CP - I don't fear food or putting on weight by any means. If I was living on my own and especially if I was driving, I'd probably eat a lot more. I prepare my own small breakfasts if I don't just have cereal, but I tend to skip lunch, and usually I'm eating in for dinner, which my mom always covers.

    The main thing is that 9 times out of 10 I'm eating to simply stop feeling hungry. I'll quit as soon as that mission is accomplished. Not sure when that habit started but it's a long running one. It started before college but college may have cemented it more because I didn't have money to buy food, and relied on public transportation while taking full loads, so I was stuck somewhere without access to food for most of the day. I would go get a $1 Jr. Whopper if I happened to become so hungry that concentration was out of the question.

    Wow, now that I'm thinking about it, I went through high school bringing lunches with me that really sucked taste wise, that were a chore to eat...that I probably didn't more than nibble off of unless I was starving.

    The biggest motivator for me now is what my brother shared (actually both of my brothers). I have thought it would be nice to put on weight, my face could use a little more fat, etc., but it's different when someone else says it. It made me realize I wasn't just being my own harshest critic. People have made comments about my weight before, but being so thin you could be taken as a drug user...that's a little too much. I think the older I'm getting the more it shows in a distinctly unhealthy looking way.

    Vanity is a good motivator. I've always thought my health may improve if I just get my body used to eating a little more too, but as lame as it is, that hasn't inspired enough action out of me. Only attempts that fizzled out and no new habits. Chronicling it publicly I see as something I won't let myself slide with. My ego won't stand not showing improvement, so I'm taking advantage of it.

    This board can be really great sometimes. This is admittedly an off the wall thing to do, so I'm grateful that as dry of a subject at it is, there are curlies down for being in an audience I'll have to save face with :lol:
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It sounds like you're used to eating food that isn't pleasing to you, and it kills your appetite.

    Think about what flavors you'd like to experience that day. Then pursue a high fat version of whatever appeals to you.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    It's winter, the perfect time to gain weight!

    Now's when you want to have things that might otherwise seem too heavy and rich during other times of the year.
    Things like polenta with mascarpone AND gorgonzola stirred in
    Risotto made with butter (and I won't even tell any Italians if you want to finish it with mascarpone AND a little whipped cream)
    Pasta carbonara (okay, that one is year-round appropriate)
    Cassoulet
    Creamy potato and root vegetable gratins
    Braised short ribs with horseradish mash
    Potato pierogi sautéed in butter
    Rice pudding (make a rich custard one)
    And yes, custards! A little creme brûlée or pot de creme will do you good.
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  • TRBLTRBL Posts: 5,294Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    So how are you doing today? What have you eaten?

    Snack I like - using a Granny Smith (or other tart apple) lightly salted, to scoop up peanut butter. Protien and a fruit! You can't lose!

    Side note on coffee, I find caffeine to be an appetite supressant, so you might watch when/how much you have. I would NEVER suggest cutting it out completely, cause that would kill me personally, but it might be something to look at.
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  • CheetaraCheetara Posts: 2,182Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    You might benefit from doing some calorie counting - just to measure exactly how much you're really eating on a daily basis. Also you can see what the breakdown is of fat, protein and carbs. I use a website to calorie count for the opposite reason (weight loss). sparkpeople.com - It's free and it has a huge database of foods.
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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I applaud your excellent choice of more Nutella, by the way.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    A big bowl of ice cream, every night, works really well for me for gaining weight.
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    TRBL wrote: »
    Side note on coffee, I find caffeine to be an appetite supressant, so you might watch when/how much you have. I would NEVER suggest cutting it out completely, cause that would kill me personally, but it might be something to look at.

    My oldest brother who could stand to gain weight himself just asked me if I could make a small pot. My entire family LOVES coffee. But I let him know I'm trying to limit it to mornings and why, which he thinks is a good idea but I'm not sure his will power will prevail. So far so good for me. He wears skinny better.

    There's a lot of great tips in this thread. Thanks everybody :)

    So I'll try to update this thread on a nightly basis, when I'm done with all the main eating of the day. There will be nights I'll probably snack a little after posting.

    I'll also be roughly guessing the amounts when it comes to solids.

    Here's today...

    Breakfast:
    • 1 scrambled egg.
    • Bacon (in "bits and pieces" form) amounting to 1 piece
    • Coffee, 6 fl. oz.

    Lunch:
    • Tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread
    • 1/2 Grapefruit
    • Herbal tea, 8 fl. oz.

    Dinner:
    • Ground turkey mixed with frozen vegetable medley on jasmine rice, 1 cup.
    • Salad, 1/2 cup
    Post dinner:

    • Protein shake (mixed with milk), 8 oz.
    • 3 Starbursts :lol: (got them for my brother)
    I'm about to have the other half of that grapefruit. I feel like I've eaten 20% more today than on average. Weighed myself in at 96 lbs. I'd love to make it up to 105 at least in two months.

    Today I picked up the aforementioned protein shake, a little over a pound of peanuts, Nutella :hello2:ninja, and 3 lbs. of applesauce.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    So far, most of the plan sounds high in fat and protein, and moderate carbs as a whole.

    While I realize that everyone is different, that's the way for me to *lose* weight.


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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,408Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    That doesn't seem like enough to gain weight, but maybe a good start to work your way up to more food. I would think you need more fat and calories
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »
    That doesn't seem like enough to gain weight, but maybe a good start to work your way up to more food. I would think you need more fat and calories

    Yeah, it does seem like more than she has been eating, so it's a start.


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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Yeah, I was thinking that suggestions for things like peanut butter are usually what people snack on when they want to lose weight, not gain.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I was going to suggest protein shakes but it seems you have that already...so maybe doing two shakes a day will increase your caloric intake. They do make protein shakes that are for people looking to gain weight...they usually have more carbs and fat than regular protein supplements that are mostly protein with as little carbs and fat as possible.

    Also you might want to use something like myfitnesspal to log your food...it can give you calorie counts, fat, and protein totals for your food as well as a running daily and weekly total and you can set it to safely gain 1 pound per week or whatever your "goal" is. It will give you a caloric goal to shoot for daily which takes into account your resting metabolic rate and any exercise.

    Also, you might want to go to the doctor to rule out any metabolic or thyroid issues just to be on the safe side.

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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Here's today...

    Breakfast:
    • 1 scrambled egg.
    • Bacon (in "bits and pieces" form) amounting to 1 piece
    • Coffee, 6 fl. oz.
    Lunch:
    • Tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread
    • 1/2 Grapefruit
    • Herbal tea, 8 fl. oz.
    Dinner:
    • Ground turkey mixed with frozen vegetable medley on jasmine rice, 1 cup.
    • Salad, 1/2 cup
    Post dinner:

    • Protein shake (mixed with milk), 8 oz.
    • 3 Starbursts :lol: (got them for my brother)
    I'm about to have the other half of that grapefruit. I feel like I've eaten 20% more today than on average. Weighed myself in at 96 lbs. I'd love to make it up to 105 at least in two months.

    Today I picked up the aforementioned protein shake, a little over a pound of peanuts, Nutella :hello2:ninja, and 3 lbs. of applesauce.



    1 egg for breakfast? Can't you have 2? (or even 3?) I'd be really hungry with just one egg and a few crumbs of bacon.

    I think you should double everything you listed. I think your problem is simple volume...not enough.
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    I was going to suggest protein shakes but it seems you have that already...so maybe doing two shakes a day will increase your caloric intake. They do make protein shakes that are for people looking to gain weight...they usually have more carbs and fat than regular protein supplements that are mostly protein with as little carbs and fat as possible.

    Also you might want to use something like myfitnesspal to log your food...it can give you calorie counts, fat, and protein totals for your food as well as a running daily and weekly total and you can set it to safely gain 1 pound per week or whatever your "goal" is. It will give you a caloric goal to shoot for daily which takes into account your resting metabolic rate and any exercise.

    Also, you might want to go to the doctor to rule out any metabolic or thyroid issues just to be on the safe side.

    Thanks for the tip! I'll check that site out.

    I would like to see a doctor and get my thyroid checked out and a comprehensive hormonal test because my body reacts to my menstrual cycle in a whacky, oppressive way. Just seeing one is a challenge (it's complicated) but when that's doable, I plan to.

    RCC, out of curiosity what do you lessen intake of when you want to lose weight?
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    For me, I cut grains and fruits when I want to lose. They're higher sugar and lower in fat and protein. I lose best on high fat, high protein, low to moderate carb intake.

    I just eat whatever from Halloween to New Years, and I gain then from the extra carby stuff.

    But, we're not all alike. Different people gain from different things. My mother loses on low fat, higher carb.



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  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    1 egg for breakfast? Can't you have 2? (or even 3?) I'd be really hungry with just one egg and a few crumbs of bacon.

    I think you should double everything you listed. I think your problem is simple volume...not enough.

    Breakfast was the least satisfying meal I had.

    I would have preferred to scramble two eggs, but there were only three left and I wasn't sure anyone would make it to the grocery store today. There's 5 people in my household. With the bacon, the bits and pieces clump (it was like a mound I had to dig into) was gross to extract pieces from. We usually get strips. Next time I'll probably woman up and deal with it longer ;)

    I do think a big key is simply increasing volume though. Making sure I had lunch and the protein shake is what made me feel like I consumed 20% more than average today.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I would add whole grain toast to your breakfast and/yogurt if possible. You don't want to stuff your body with junk food but for a 5'5" woman, this does not seem like it would be enough calories to meet, much less increase your intake requirements.

    Do you exercise?


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  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    Spider wrote: »
    I would add whole grain toast to your breakfast and/yogurt if possible. You don't want to stuff your body with junk food but for a 5'5" woman, this does not seem like it would be enough calories to meet, much less increase your intake requirements.

    Do you exercise?
    A fair amount. Cardio is covered, but I do need to get back into light weight-lifting.

    What I had today isn't enough, but it's a step up for me. I'm hoping to just keep stepping it up until I'm eating reasonable sized meals and having snacks as opposed to briefly nibbling, and then maintain that.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Have you tried logging your food give you daily intake info.? I've used an app to lose weight by tracking daily calories/fat but it can be just as useful to you to gain by see what foods are denser in these areas.

    If you are very active in exercise you might consider cutting beck a bit?


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