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  1. #1
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    Weight gaining techniques? Can't afford to lose anymore

    Hi guys, long time reader, love the vast information on here. However, I can't find a good topic on gaining weight, it's mostly losing. So heres the deal, I'm 6'5" and 170 lbs. I was 135 at 18, and yes, 6'5". I got up to 252 lbs at 20-22 by eating a lot and a high demand job.

    So, I became a stay at home father about 8 years ago and lost a lot of the muscle I had. I got down to 205 and stayed there until last year. Then I had the bright idea of dropping caffeine, which means soda and then my junk food didn't taste as good. so I inadvertently stopped eating all the bad stuff and picked up fruits for snacks instead. I drink nothing but water and milk and I consume 3500 calories a day, just inside my home. I threw biking into the mix and now I'm losing weight while consuming 3800-4500 calories a day. I'm down to 170 lbs from 205 a year ago. I actually need to be around 195 but i can't gain it no matter what I'm trying. I'm eating Cliff bars with an already large breakfast for the extra protein. My ldl and HDL are perfect, I'm in the best shape health wise I've ever been. If I got in a time machine, I could kick my 20 year old versions ass. my thyroid is fine, I've had multiple check ups. I also have a giant... giant family history of being skinny. 13 brothers and sisters, my father, all 3 of my kids and 12 nieces and nephews are all plagued by a high metabolism.


    BUT, I'm 20 lbs too light. I look almost sickly skinny from my face sinking in. What can I do to gain that 20 lbs? 4500 calories is a lot of eating, it's almost impossible to eat like that. Frankly, I'm sick of eating. It wasn't this hard at 20 to gain the weight, now it's seeming impossible without all the soda and junk food. so, I need ideas, tips, techniques and so on. any ideas?

  2. #2
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Don't fret over your your weight. At a BMI of 20.2 you are on the low side of normal, but not horribly so. Get into a strength training program and get your body fat checked if it bothers you. You want to make sure you are gaining lean body mass, not just packing on a few extra pounds of fat.

    EDIT: BTW, My BMI is 20.8 at this point after losing 1/3 of my weight and in the best shape of my life.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

    2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0
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  3. #3
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Better call pest control. You might have a tape worm.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  4. #4
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    Thanks Brontide. Being so tall, it makes me look freakishly skinny. My face is sunk in a bit but maybe a lot of it is so many people are over weight in my area I seem out of place I guess. I too am in my best shape I've ever been in, but I do feel a bit more healthy at 195. BMI isn't really accurate for most people, but especially tall people. At 6'5" and 170 I'm at 20.2 but put me next to a guy who is 5'7" and 129 lbs, and he's not looking like he's dying of an incurable disease, lol. I'm tone, no 6 pack, no gut, no flaby arms. I'm "cut" with my arms and legs, but I'm still exceedingly skinny. I feel better at 195ish, but even 185 is a good weight for me.

    I'm still hoping to get some good ideas from people who are trying to gain weight, healthy weight. I'd be ok to even stay at this weight, but I'm afraid if I increase my ride time, and hit the gym in my off time for back strengthening, I'll be in trouble.

  5. #5
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    One of life's ironies. There's folks like me looking to shed some surplus weight and folks like the OP who need to gain weight.

    If only we could meet in the middle, ebay style, and trade it. You'd be welcome to about 40 pounds from around my middle. I wouldn't even want any money for it.

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    lol, I get that a lot. I also hear how lucky I am, but frankly both situations suck. I can eat anything I want, but if I take a break from eating for a day, I lose a lbs. If I get sick, it costs me 10 lbs or so that are very difficult to get back.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with being 170 lbs and 6'5. Ignore what non-cyclists say, they are fat idiots. My BMI's 19. It's how I am built, plus being really fit. When I was carrying 35 lbs more I looked normal and was much less healthy than I am now- my resting HR was 72, not 48, and I was close to hypertensive.

    Too much weight loss would be when it makes you slower on the bike and you're sick all the time.

  8. #8
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    Like peanut butter? Eat it by the scoop out of the jar. Or just nuts in general. Healthy but lots of (good) fat and high calorie. There's also cheese.
    Last edited by dolanp; 07-09-11 at 06:11 PM.

  9. #9
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    Have you thought about the possibility of lactose intolerance? Affects a lot of people (anywhere from 10-90 percent, depending on genetic background), can be only mildly uncomfortable so that many don't think about it, and you wrote that you drink a lot of milk. I dunno, just an idea, worked for me, finally started gaining weight after kicking dairy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainrambo View Post
    Have you thought about the possibility of lactose intolerance? Affects a lot of people (anywhere from 10-90 percent, depending on genetic background), can be only mildly uncomfortable so that many don't think about it, and you wrote that you drink a lot of milk. I dunno, just an idea, worked for me, finally started gaining weight after kicking dairy.
    you know, that's odd come to think of it. I have... had a mother (recently passed away, thus biking) who was lactose intolerant. I didn't know it could cause someone to be skinny though, I'll look into it.

    @Dolanp, I'm already sick of pb today, lol. Screw that.

  11. #11
    Too Fat for This Sport Diegomayra's Avatar
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    ifjeepmadeabike, what type of body do you have? Which of these types do you fall into?



    If you are not an Ectomorph, chances are you have a Mesomorph body which has large muscle mass, requiring lots of upkeep. Why? You said you got up to 252lbs. by eating lots, chances are your natural body make up built some serious muscle. If that is the case I would go on a bulk diet and reap the rewards post-cut.

    If you are in fact an ectomorph, I would stop so much cardio. As little as 2 times a week and go on a bulk diet, 5-600kcal above maintenance and start compound lifts. (Squats-Deadlifts- Bench-Pullups+ Pushups-Mil. press) 1.5g of Protein/ 1.5 g of Carb or more per lb of body weight. Should allow you to gain mass.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
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    lift some weights. put peanut butter on everything and eat steaks and chickens before you go to bed and eat less in the morning. Thats how I maintain my weight even though I ride 150-200 mile s a week.

  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You've been losing fat.

    If you want to stop being skinny you would need
    to add muscle.

    You're going to be a hard gainer.

    Most hard gainers don't follow the rules (it's tough).

    The basics are simple. You need to exercise enough to
    build muscle. Rest enough that your body can. Eat enough that your
    body will.

    Because of your metabolism, your religion will be staying anabolic (naturally, of course).
    Old Man Maine

  14. #14
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    look into hydrowhey builder if youre looking to gain lean mass. its a simple whey protein powder but with branch chain amino acids (the building blocks of muscle) and a pinch of creatine packed ino the most rapid-absorbing formula ever. I train 3-4 days a week and have found this to be an awesome product with zero side effects

  15. #15
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    Don't fret over your your weight. At a BMI of 20.2 you are on the low side of normal, but not horribly so. Get into a strength training program and get your body fat checked if it bothers you. You want to make sure you are gaining lean body mass, not just packing on a few extra pounds of fat.
    +1 to this. I have the same challenge, even at 56 years old. It's very difficult to gain either lean body mass or fat. The only time I've gained a few pounds was when I was on a work assignment out of town that had me working nights and living in a motel, eating at restaurants frequently. Even that weight disappeared after a few weeks. It's still the same.

  16. #16
    Junior Member coastRbrake's Avatar
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    I was around 122 lbs at 5'10" for all of my thirties. I never weighed more than 128 lbs and that was after a year of hard weight training. I finally started running an average of 20 miles a week a few years ago at forty yrs along with a pre- run routine of pushups and pullups. My weight has stayed about 132 lbs. I'm guessing I get one heck of a jolt of growth hormone with each run. When I roll an ankle or have a flare up of metatarsalgia and have to put the running on hold, the weight slowly creeps down.

    On the bright side, showing a little ribcage and sunken cheeks gets you an extra big ice cream cone at McDonald's. It must be some subconscious protective instinct in the kid behind the counter making my cone.

  17. #17
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifjeepmadeabike View Post
    ... So heres the deal, I'm 6'5" and 170 lbs....
    Then I had the bright idea of dropping caffeine, which means soda and then my junk food didn't taste as good. so I inadvertently stopped eating all the bad stuff and picked up fruits for snacks instead. I drink nothing but water and milk and I consume 3500 calories a day, just inside my home. I threw biking into the mix and now I'm losing weight while consuming 3800-4500 calories a day. I'm down to 170 lbs from 205 a year ago. I actually need to be around 195 but i can't gain it no matter what I'm trying. I'm eating Cliff bars with an already large breakfast for the extra protein. My ldl and HDL are perfect,

    >>>>I'm in the best shape health wise I've ever been.<<<<
    If I got in a time machine, I could kick my 20 year old versions ass. my thyroid is fine, I've had multiple check ups. I also have a giant... giant family history of being skinny. 13 brothers and sisters, my father, all 3 of my kids and 12 nieces and nephews are all plagued by a high metabolism.

    BUT, I'm 20 lbs too light. I look almost sickly skinny from my face sinking in. What can I do to gain that 20 lbs? 4500 calories is a lot of eating, it's almost impossible to eat like that. Frankly, I'm sick of eating. It wasn't this hard at 20 to gain the weight, now it's seeming impossible without all the soda and junk food. so, I need ideas, tips, techniques and so on. any ideas?
    You're good dude!
    whatz the problem?

    how old are you?
    take a look around. the world of the 65+ is dominated by 2 groups, overweight unhealthy, can barely move - and the skinny, fit, out doin stuff people who will eventually greatly outlive the other group, and have a better life along the way.
    muscle is important, it provides the shock absorption many older people just don't have
    so a good strength building program is great - especially as we age.
    it's hard to build extremities muscle (without 'juice') beyond a certain point, but torso/core muscle can always use some more work, for most of us.
    start a core/back/shoulder strengthening program, 5 to 10 lbs, a year down the road, is doable; and you'll feel stronger as well.
    your better diet is way important in the mix - keep it up - tune it - good thing for you is that you just can;t get too much of the good stuff. wish I had that problem...
    weight? a number
    kickin 30 something ass - priceless !
    Golden rose, the color of the dream I had
    Not too long ago
    A misty blue and the lillac too
    A never to grow old

  18. #18
    Junior Member ash0's Avatar
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    My son is 6'4" and weighed 125# at this time last year. During his first year of college he became a vegetarian, gave up soda, and got dumped by his girlfriend... he lost about 40 pounds in a semester. He lost a lot of muscle and looked terrible. Cardiologist told him to start drinking boost or ensure with meals and recommended light weight training. Now he drinks a double boost shake right before a ride. This works for him because after the ride he's hungry again and will have an omlette or tuna sandwich. He's been able to gain some muscle mass and is looking much much better. Oh, also he has discovered peanut butter and nutella sandwiches. Good luck. I know its difficult. People are always saying to him, "You're so skinny!" It's no less hurtful than saying, "You're so fat!"

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here. There's nothing wrong with being on the light side - we're just used to most people being overweight. And you answered you own question when you said you had lost a lot of muscle mass. I'm guessing that if you went in for some serious weight training, big weights low reps, you'd gain some back. But the most important thing is this:

    health-wise, I'm in the best shape I've ever been
    That probably tells you everything you need to know.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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