Inexpensive way to gain weight

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Caduceus
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Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Caduceus » Wed May 22, 2019 10:03 am

I'd like to bulk up but am having trouble gaining meaningful amounts of weight. Are there any foods that would be an inexpensive and healthy way to gain weight?

I've tried eating lots of chocolate and ice-cream. But I ate one chocolate bar every day for two weeks and didn't gain much. Everything just seems to burn right off even though I don't exercise much - some swimming, lots of walking, but that's about it. Over last Christmas I think I ate half a big box of See's chocolates every day for two weeks and did not gain anything ...

I pretty much eat anything I want but can't gain weight. My doctor says I should try to put on some mass. Any tips from people who have successfully gained weight? No, I do not want to drink protein shakes and those are expensive anyway 8-)

H-Town
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by H-Town » Wed May 22, 2019 10:07 am

Stay away from protein shake. You want real food and weight training.

Chicken and vegetables (squash, broccoli, etc.) :sharebeer Make sure you take in at least 3,000 cal a day. I would also recommend weight training over cardio. If you do extensive training, make sure you increase your calories intake by adding one additional meal to your day.
Last edited by H-Town on Wed May 22, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed May 22, 2019 10:07 am

I wouldn't know because I'm 128 pounds, but I've heard that eating a big spoonful of peanut butter right before going to bed is a fast-track to putting on weight.

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bottlecap
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by bottlecap » Wed May 22, 2019 10:08 am

I'd look into pro or college athletes' diets. I'm sure you can find articles about it. It would surely be healthier than chocolate ice cream!

Gaining non-muscle weight is mostly about calories.

Was your doctor joking? Does the doctor have any advice as to how to gain ”healthy" weight?

JT

milo minderbinder
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by milo minderbinder » Wed May 22, 2019 10:10 am

Don't try too "bulk up" without a weight lifting and exercise regime. Otherwise the bulk will just be fat.

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dm200
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by dm200 » Wed May 22, 2019 10:10 am

Without getting into the forbidden health advice too deeply, I would not adopt unhealthful eating practices just to gain weight.

Try searching nutritionfacts.org for healthful ways you might do to gain weight.

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simplesimon
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by simplesimon » Wed May 22, 2019 10:14 am

Check out Starting Strength for weightlifting and eat a ton of good food. Protein shakes are actually much less expensive than actual food per gram of protein.

Can you tolerate milk? Try a gallon of milk a day in addition to the above mentioned weight training program if you are severely underweight as a way to get extra calories in.

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Triple digit golfer » Wed May 22, 2019 10:15 am

Eat high calorie foods that are not filling. Peanut butter, butter, sour cream, etc. are easy to add to foods that you probably already eat.

For me, it's a piece of cake (pun intended). Eat pizza and ice cream. Full fat ground beef. Drink whole milk. In fact, if you change nothing else except adding whole milk, you're likely to gain weight. Just have to drink enough of it. Google "GOMAD" (gallon of milk a day). It's probably excessive for you, but the concept is that for people who struggle to gain weight, whole milk is a good go-to.

Obviously, still eat fruits and vegetables, but it's okay to eat "unhealthy" foods too. In fact, there are very few foods that I would call unhealthy. Trans fats, sure, but outside of that, I don't think a food can be labeled unhealthy outside of the context of an overall diet.

If you eat pizza and ice cream every day and get up to a healthy weight, those foods are healthy for you.

Mr.BB
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Mr.BB » Wed May 22, 2019 10:19 am

When your doctor said put on some Mass he didn't mean fat. There is nothing healthy about getting fat he's talking muscle. Just so you know, protein does not build muscle, exercise (weight lifting) builds muscle.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Ping Pong
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Ping Pong » Wed May 22, 2019 10:21 am

Go to a Nordic country and see a doctor there. They’ll tell you to lose weight.

If you drink caffeine with every meal and never have caffeine without a meal, within a few weeks you will crave food a lot more. That should do the trick.

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dm200
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by dm200 » Wed May 22, 2019 10:22 am

I might also seek a medical second opinion about whether you just need to gain weight.

Because, today in the US, people are, on average, heavier than a generation ago, thinner folks of the same weight as those before, often look "too thin". About eight years ago, I lost 55-60 pounds in eleven months. My BMI went from about 30 to about 24. Objectively and medically, I was (and am not) "too thin". However, I received a lot of criticism that I must be sick, I was far too thin, etc.

Also, check drmirkin.com

AnonJohn
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by AnonJohn » Wed May 22, 2019 10:29 am

You need weightlifting. On the food side, eat real food. Include protein in multiple meals (you can't metabolize it all at once).

More specifics: nuts are good; high reps can add mass (lower reps build strength); you may want to experiment with time restricted feeding, but probably not if you're just burning all your calories as is ...

Or, if you want the real answer to your question: McDonald's hamburgers. The author of freakonomics called the double cheeseburger the "cheapest and most nutritious food in human history"

Katietsu
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Katietsu » Wed May 22, 2019 10:31 am

When my Dad was in a similar situation, he did well with one or two shakes a day. These were actual shakes made with real fruit, whole milk ice cream and whole milk. Loaded up on the ice cream when it was half off.

I think it is important to find things you like so that you will keep it up.

As another post referenced, add calories to what you are already eating. Dip your chicken into barbecue sauce or ranch dressing and you have probably doubled the calories.

However, these suggestions are for people who just need to increase their calorie intake. If you are trying to build mass, I would suggest a more directed approach.
Last edited by Katietsu on Wed May 22, 2019 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mr.BB
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Mr.BB » Wed May 22, 2019 10:32 am

Also skinny does not mean you're healthy, it means your skinny. Technically you can be skinny and have a high percentage of body fat.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed May 22, 2019 10:36 am

Here are some suggestions. The source is unknown to me but has the word "medical" it its name. :D

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321518.php
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Wed May 22, 2019 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Wed May 22, 2019 10:40 am

Eat 500-750 cals of protein dense real food (nuts, chicken, whatever).
Weight lift. If you've never lifted, consider a personal trainer to get you started to avoid injury, especially if you are older.
Eat another 500-750 cals after you lift.
Repeat for 3 weeks.
Check back and let us know how it goes.

Mr400meterdash
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Mr400meterdash » Wed May 22, 2019 10:50 am

Here is what I would suggest:

Breakfast Options:
1: Eat a bowl of healthy cereal with 1% mil and an egg.
2: Make eggs and Toast and add sausage if you want
3: Yogurt with granola and berries
Either way, I would try and have some carbs and proteins for the morning as that will give you some energy. Don't overdo it on eggs as 1 yolk a day is plenty.

Lunch:
This is whatever you may have but I always have 2 sandwiches, a banana, greek yogurt, and some carrots.
This should not be a super heavy meal as that may slow you down during the day. I would try and have a little bit of every food group here to keep you balanced. You can choose whatever you want to eat but keep it fairly healthy.

Dinner:
Chicken should be your best friend here since it is cheaper and leaner.
Again, eat whatever you choose because there are plenty of options out there but chicken, rice, and a veggie with a glass of milk is always good.

Snacks:
Nuts, yogurt, legumes, veggies, fruit/dried fruit.

Obviously you can add in desserts wherever you see fit but I would limit those since those are not the calories you want to intake.
As a side note: with trying to eat a lot of calories, you will be intaking a lot of sodium as well. So try and choose options that have less if possible.

The main thing to bulking is eating enough calories for what your body needs as well as exercising.
If you just do the eating without exercising, you will sooner or later gain weight but it will be fat and not muscle.
If you just do the exercising without the eating, there is a good chance you slim down even more since you are expending calories without taking enough in.
I would suggest eat 3000+ calories a day as well as lift every other day for 30+ minutes and do cardio twice a week for 30+ minutes.

Those would be my suggestions. You can tweak that however you would like and track what you eat to see where you are lacking and where you may be in excess of what you need.

tea_pirate
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by tea_pirate » Wed May 22, 2019 10:51 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:22 am
I might also seek a medical second opinion about whether you just need to gain weight.

Because, today in the US, people are, on average, heavier than a generation ago, thinner folks of the same weight as those before, often look "too thin". About eight years ago, I lost 55-60 pounds in eleven months. My BMI went from about 30 to about 24. Objectively and medically, I was (and am not) "too thin". However, I received a lot of criticism that I must be sick, I was far too thin, etc.

Also, check drmirkin.com
I think this is the most sensible response. I spent high school and college constantly told that I was "too skinny and needed to gain weight" despite a normal BMI and an active lifestyle. What benefit would adding fat to my frame provide to me? Unfortunately with this type of one-way body shaming it's not socially acceptable to retort "maybe you're just too fat," but that was usually going through my head.

I've put on about 40 pounds of muscle mass in the past 5 years of working out so people mostly leave me alone now. I have a very small waist for a guy of my height though so I still get the occasional comment about being too skinny. I just attribute it to jealousy at this point.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed May 22, 2019 10:52 am

Sumo wrestlers eat chankonabe (ちゃんこ鍋), a stew consisting of fish, vegetables, meat, and tofu.

I recommend you look at photos of sumo wrestlers first.

Slacker
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Slacker » Wed May 22, 2019 10:57 am

Probably one of the key things that you need to do (and for anyone that is trying to gain weight or lose weight) is to LOG EVERYTHING you eat!

Most heavier people eat more than they think and most skinny people eat a lot less than they think. Write it all down for at least a week while monitoring your weight daily (preferably first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything). Find out how your calories input relate to your current weight movements. The human body tries to state in a state of homeostasis and fight against changes in weight unless you override that (for example, skinny people may start "fidgeting" more without consciously trying to fidget which will burn off some of your excess calories).

Once you get a handle on how much you are REALLY eating:
1. Get a good weight/resistance training program.
2. Making sure you are getting a good balanced diet, start to increase your protein intake (to support the resistance training you've added).
3. Get good sleep every night.
4. Track your weight and look for long term trends and not day to day fluctuations.

If you are already engaged in a good weight training program (and you progressively overload power, strength and/or metabolic inputs) then recheck your diet and sleep. If you find in your logging of your diet that after you increased your intake of calories (lets say 500 calories per day over your baseline) and you still aren't putting on weight, check your sleep and perhaps it is time to speak to a professional. In most cases, a 500 calorie bump will do it.

Background: my own anecdotes of going from "skinny guy" 5'11" 155lbs to "amateur powerlifter" @ 220lbs. I didn't track my inputs (calories) as closely as I should have and just went at it with reckless abandon, but I guarantee that you can gain weight if you go at it with reckless abandon (though I don't suggest that). A candy bar a day? Please! Try this instead if you want to get "fat" as this is how I did it in an unhealthy way:
Breakfast: 4 whole eggs and 3 egg whites, 1 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup of raisins or blueberries, 8oz milk
mid-morning snack: 3oz nuts, banana or an apple
Lunch: Entire costco chicken -> 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 breasts, 2 wings, leave only the bones behind. 2 cups of broccoli, 1 cup of rice or a small potato or a slice of bread/toast
mid-afternoon snack: can of tuna (6oz costco tuna can), 1 piece of fruit
Dinner: 1lb of meat (your choice between pork, beef, chicken, fish), 2-3 cups of vegetables, 2-3 cups of rice or 1 large potato (russet or sweet)
Post - workout: protein shake with 1 scoop of whey and 12oz milk and 1 cup of frozen fruit.

I think that was somewhere around 4000 calories. I put on too much fat doing that, but trust me -> you eat anything like that and I guarantee you'll gain weight. But when you say you really eat a lot, I don't think it is even close to comparable to how I put on weight (taking me from 155 to 220).

barnaclebob
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 22, 2019 11:02 am

High protein high fat foods like peanut butter, nuts, whole milk, etc. Eat until your full three meals a day with a snack. Start lifitng weights 3 times a week.

Track your calories. You probably naturally just dont want to eat more than you need to sustain that weight vs having a magical super high metabolism which is mostly a myth perpetuated by people who cant control their diet.

rj342
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by rj342 » Wed May 22, 2019 11:04 am

I second the whole milk recommendation, plus preferring some weight training over excessive cardio.
You want more protein AND good fats (dairy, butter, olive oil - avoid soybean oil etc), NOT candy and sugary, empty carbs which only spike insulin and makes any weight you gain more likely to preferentially be stored as fat.

barnaclebob
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 22, 2019 11:04 am

Mr.BB wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:32 am
Also skinny does not mean you're healthy, it means your skinny. Technically you can be skinny and have a high percentage of body fat.
Technically but not practically.

alfaspider
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by alfaspider » Wed May 22, 2019 11:16 am

Bottom line: you need cheap calories. A common recommendation among the bodybuilding community for someone who just wants to bulk quickly/cheaply is the "GOMAD" diet (Gallon of milk a day"). That's an extra 1,500 calories or so, and not 100% empty calories (i.e. not all sugar). Few people have metabolisms that will prevent bulking with such a huge calorie surplus.

HOWEVER: If you do that and do not lift intensely (heavy weights such that you are very sore at least somewhere in your body essentially 100% of the time), you are going to gain most of the weight as fat. Unless you have very low body fat to begin with, you probably don't want that.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 22, 2019 11:17 am

Your body weight is right for you according to the following: age, fitness, athletic need, and metabolism, and definitely fundmental body type.. Regardless of what others say.

1 The goal is fitness and health = a "balance of vitality, flexibility, strength, speed, and general well being.

2 Eat very healthy, have a stable lifestyle conducive to #2

3 You need to be fit and strong enough to enjoy and pusue an active lifestyle and prevent injury.

4 Do you want weightlifting as a hobby? or running or bicycling? Things that bring long term joy? Not something to do then quit later.

Suggestions:

Consider joining a dojo for regular 2-3x/week classes/training in Aikido, juijitsu, shotokan karate, or wudang/shaolin kung fu (avoid Rex Kwan Do) :shock: Supplement with gym training and running/jogging as needed. Then proper diet and rest and play.

The lifetime goal is not weight gain in and of itself, (or bigger muscle mass in and of itself) but "balanced" fitness in body/mind/spirit to pursue a healthy active lifestyle, for life, without eventual damage or undue wear and tear to your body, spine, joints, knees, etc.

Good luck.
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Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Caduceus » Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am

I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.

It frightened me a little because it is true that I am quite skinny now so I can't imagine what it will be as I grow older, or do older people tend to get fat?

Here's what I ate yesterday for example

Breakfast - Oatmeal and soy milk (I can't drink milk) (I think 300 calories)
Lunch - McDonald's burger meal (I think 800 calories, with drink) - I could barely finish it.
Dinner - Chinese takeout - rice and some type of meat (500 calories)
Banana before bed - 100 calories

that's like 1700 calories i think, give or take. There is no way I can get up to 3000 calories. I felt so full the whole day. I could have skipped lunch and would have felt better I think. If you have suggestions - not protein shakes - of real food that's cheap and inexpensive i would appreciate it. Concrete suggestions and maybe even brands.
Last edited by Caduceus on Wed May 22, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed May 22, 2019 11:23 am

Red-meat all the way. Burgers for lunch; Steak for dinner. High in Protein and great for you!

barnaclebob
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 22, 2019 11:26 am

Well if you are looking to just add several pounds of fat then drink soda and juice instead of water. Id want my blood tested again after a few months of that to make sure it wasnt making things worse.

But yeah like I suspected you are eating whatever you want but what you want isnt much. 1700 calories a day would have me weighing 150lbs at 6ft 1, which is really skinny.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed May 22, 2019 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by ResearchMed » Wed May 22, 2019 11:28 am

Before this gets locked:

See another physician for a second opinion.

Ask for recommendations about a dietitian/nutritionist.

And ask about appropriate exercise while/if consuming more, so that it is healthy weight gain, and not just "getting more fat".

Good luck.

For both of us, when we were younger (until approx middle age), both of us were too thin.
Now? Both of us now have serious difficulty losing weight. :(

I had been painfully "skinny" for my entire life before that, definitely way *too* skinny. by any measure.
Within a year after giving birth, I was back to that same super-skinny weight, much to my chagrin.
At dinners back then, I would eat the baked potatoeS of otherS who were dieting, and everything else in sight, too! Huge meals, almost all the time, and usually healthy meals. Not a pound increase, ever.
I was "healthy" by all measures other than weight.

We are both still relatively healthy and doing very well into our 70's.
But I would give almost ANYTHING to have that "too skinny" problem again now.

Double check all of your other health markers in addition to weight.

RM
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staythecourse
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by staythecourse » Wed May 22, 2019 11:44 am

First thing is count up EVERY calorie you are eating through the day so you have a frame of reference.

Then go online and put in your ht/ wt. into an online BMR calculator and multiply that by 1.5-2 (for high activity folks) to get your caloric needs to MAiNTAIN.

Subtract the two and you will get how many more calories you need just to mantain. Add 300-500 ON TOP of that to gain weight.

Then calculate every calorie you eat through the day to see if you are meeting those numbers.

Rinse, repeat EVERY DAY.

The mistake most folks make is THINKING they are consuming A LOT of calories and they usually are not even hitting the numbers they need to mantain let alone gain weight.

Gaining or losing weight is easy it is just a matter of numbers (in and out of calories). Being successful at either is hard though due to discipline.

Good luck.
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mhalley
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by mhalley » Wed May 22, 2019 11:53 am

How can you eat ice cream but not drink milk? If you do have lactose intolerance and not a true milk allergy, then you can use lactated milk or tablets.
Anyway, assuming your doctor has ruled out medical problems, sounds like you are what is known as a hard gainer. If you gradually increase the amount of food you eat, you will be able to eat more. Concur that you don’t want to put on fat, the increased food needs to be accompanied by a strength training program such as strong lifts, starting strength, or something like this
https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/be ... ase-1.html
I recommend myfitnesspal to track your calories, nutrients and weight
You can google hardgainer diets. Here is a grocery list of foods.

https://www.askmen.com/sports/foodcourt ... _well.html

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rmelvey
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by rmelvey » Wed May 22, 2019 11:55 am

I really like homemade yogurt, eaten in massive quantities. You can pack in a lot of calories for a low cost and you still feel great after eating it due to the probiotics and high amounts of protein. It tastes way better than store bought yogurt so its not even about saving money for me but its a nice benefit. Unfortunately it worked a little too well for me and now I need to lose some weight!

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 22, 2019 11:56 am

Lift weights. Seriously, pound for pound muscle is the better way to go. Do some squats, hit the major muscle groups.
Add two scoops of ice cream to your banana. Problem is you aren’t eating enough calories, working out will increase your hunger. Add a few slices of bread to your meals (whole grain).
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Wed May 22, 2019 12:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Halicar
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Halicar » Wed May 22, 2019 12:09 pm

Short answer: drink a gallon of whole milk a day. I went from about 130 lbs. to about 160 lbs. by doing that, along with lifting weights.

khh
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by khh » Wed May 22, 2019 12:09 pm

A broad index of high calorie foods rather than sector eating.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 22, 2019 12:14 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.

It frightened me a little because it is true that I am quite skinny now so I can't imagine what it will be as I grow older, or do older people tend to get fat?

Here's what I ate yesterday for example

Breakfast - Oatmeal and soy milk (I can't drink milk) (I think 300 calories)
Lunch - McDonald's burger meal (I think 800 calories, with drink) - I could barely finish it.
Dinner - Chinese takeout - rice and some type of meat (500 calories)
Banana before bed - 100 calories

that's like 1700 calories i think, give or take. There is no way I can get up to 3000 calories. I felt so full the whole day. I could have skipped lunch and would have felt better I think. If you have suggestions - not protein shakes - of real food that's cheap and inexpensive i would appreciate it. Concrete suggestions and maybe even brands.
Some thoughts for your consideration:

These are fairly empty calories. (carbohydrates/sugars , fast food, processed food, etc) Zero fiber.
Focus on balanced nutrition. (this diet has none)
Eat regularly at the right times when your body needs it.
Result: your energy levels will be consistent thru the day instead of spiking then lagging. Though with the metabolism of youth you might not notice it as much.

Meals are larger at the beginning of the day because you need the energy for the day.
Then, tapers off as the day proceeds and finally dinner is the smallest. Otherwise the food sits all night and so forth. (diet and timing errors results in the pregnant gut that many men take for granted as normal.)

Eat whole foods that have higher nutrition quality.
Eat foods that are easy for your body to process and get the most out of.
Think of food as "medicine" in that you can regulate your health, metabolism, fitness, etc, with food.
Thus: eat smart and intelligently: most do not, preferring convenience, quick satiation, or today's normal.

Just one example: (perhaps not for the "steak and potatoes and gravy + pizza and beer 3x/day crowd . . . kidding)

Breakfast: Brown rice 1-2 servings. saute veggies, grilled chicken or tofu or other clean protein.
Lunch: Salad, grilled fish
Mid lunch / dinner : healthy snacks, some type of non gluten roll up, etc.
Dinner: Clean protein, saute veggies, or non oily stir fry (no msg), no carbs.

Thus: food quality over quantity and calories (what kind of calories).

As an example: look at the strict diet and timing that professional body builders eat. While not in the same quality or their purpose, and without the supplements and powders, their diets are much better than many that live on fast food and take out, or microwave or oven ready meals.

Suggest research "eating for nutrition".

Good luck in your efforts.
Over and out.
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Jack FFR1846
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:18 pm

You want to gain bulk? I have one question. Do you even lift?

If you're not seriously lifting weight, then you are honestly not serious about putting on weight. You should be spending numbers of hours a day lifting. Rotate between upper body, all around, leg. Don't skip leg day!

My son went from 160 to 220 doing this over a number of years. A basement set of weights and a cage is not all that expensive. If you have access at work for lunchtime and/or after/before work, you could take advantage of that. My son's in college and we also have a setup in the basement.

You can't do this with just food. You certainly want plenty of protein in your diet. DS has chicken breast a lot. Also likes beef but has vegetables and carbs along with it. Balanced diet. If you want to do fads, get into beanie babies and don't try to fool yourself into thinking you can eat certain things to do anything besides get sick.

Balance the lifting with cardio. Simply walking is fine. Son skateboards. He has far less hassle now than when he was 160. People don't tend to give 220 pounders skateboarding down the sidewalk the same crap they would to some 90 pound weakling.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Wed May 22, 2019 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Presintense
Posts: 191
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Location: "Somewhere in the middle of America"

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Presintense » Wed May 22, 2019 12:20 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:03 am
I'd like to bulk up but am having trouble gaining meaningful amounts of weight. Are there any foods that would be an inexpensive and healthy way to gain weight?

I've tried eating lots of chocolate and ice-cream. But I ate one chocolate bar every day for two weeks and didn't gain much. Everything just seems to burn right off even though I don't exercise much - some swimming, lots of walking, but that's about it. Over last Christmas I think I ate half a big box of See's chocolates every day for two weeks and did not gain anything ...

I pretty much eat anything I want but can't gain weight. My doctor says I should try to put on some mass. Any tips from people who have successfully gained weight? No, I do not want to drink protein shakes and those are expensive anyway 8-)
Surprised this topic was posted on bogleheads with all of the bodybuilding/sports training/fitness related sites on the internet... but then I considered the criteria: “inexpensive”. Bingo. Bogleheads must know the inexpensive version of everything. I would say that if your doctor wants you to gain weight and nutrition with lifting are not working, maybe he would consider prescribing testosterone or growth hormone or something. I mean think about all those nu male testosterone clinic commercials. It solves every problem one could possibly have including weight gain. If prescribed by your physician your insurance may cover it making it inexpensive for you.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

core4portfolio
Posts: 329
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by core4portfolio » Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm

Without doing any exercise, you can gain weight but not in regular shape.

I know someone who loss weight badly after surgery and gained better later
1. Buy mozzarella cheese from costco and eat with pasta . Its a 2 pack and so try finish one pack in 4 servings
2. Drink whole milk
3. Once in a while eat pizza with double cheese
4. Small meals at regualar intervals
5. Glucerna from costco - used to drink this between meals
6. Almond or peanut butter from costco

4, 5, 6 are advise from doctor. Glucerna is recommended to avoid much sugar.

This is for vegetarians friendly
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

victw
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by victw » Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.
I'd push back at the doctor a bit. You might want to take a look at CRON and Valter Longo's work on Fasting.

The idea is that healthy skinny is the best for long term health.

If anything I would focus on skipping the McD's and getting more veggies/nutrient dense foods in the rotation.

Vic

rj342
Posts: 304
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by rj342 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 pm

victw wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm
Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.
I'd push back at the doctor a bit. You might want to take a look at CRON and Valter Longo's work on Fasting.

The idea is that healthy skinny is the best for long term health.

If anything I would focus on skipping the McD's and getting more veggies/nutrient dense foods in the rotation.

Vic
Yes BUT studies keep showing old people (70+?) somewhat heavier not Walmart electric scooter) have better morbidity and mortality

rj342
Posts: 304
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by rj342 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 pm

rj342 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 pm
victw wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm
Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.
I'd push back at the doctor a bit. You might want to take a look at CRON and Valter Longo's work on Fasting.

The idea is that healthy skinny is the best for long term health.

If anything I would focus on skipping the McD's and getting more veggies/nutrient dense foods in the rotation.

Vic
Yes BUT studies keep showing old people (70+?) somewhat heavier (not Walmart electric scooter :oops: ) have better morbidity and mortality

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simplesimon
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by simplesimon » Wed May 22, 2019 12:35 pm

You should ask your doctor what he means by weight. I find it funny that it's non-specific, but I would assume he means muscle and not fat and the only way to make more muscle is physical activity.

You say you cannot eat more than 1,700 calories but eating more is really the only way to get there.

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dm200
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by dm200 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:37 pm

Yes BUT studies keep showing old people (70+?) somewhat heavier not Walmart electric scooter) have better morbidity and mortality
I don't want to get into a debate here, but I do not believe in such conclusion(s)

alfaspider
Posts: 1990
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by alfaspider » Wed May 22, 2019 12:37 pm

rj342 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 pm
victw wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm
Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.
I'd push back at the doctor a bit. You might want to take a look at CRON and Valter Longo's work on Fasting.

The idea is that healthy skinny is the best for long term health.

If anything I would focus on skipping the McD's and getting more veggies/nutrient dense foods in the rotation.

Vic
Yes BUT studies keep showing old people (70+?) somewhat heavier not Walmart electric scooter) have better morbidity and mortality
I think there's a causation/correlation problem with most of those studies. It's pretty common for folks with terminal illnesses to lose a lot of weight before they die. They aren't dying because they are skinny. They are skinny because they are dying.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by dm200 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:38 pm

I think there's a causation/correlation problem with most of those studies. It's pretty common for folks with terminal illnesses to lose a lot of weight before they die. They aren't dying because they are skinny. They are skinny because they are dying.
yes -

also, smokers tend to be thinner as well.

Calli114
Posts: 129
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Calli114 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:46 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:21 am
I don't want to reveal my weight here, but it is much less than some of you are assuming. I'm not looking to go from 155 to 215. I'm not even anywhere near 155! My parents and three grandparents are all skinny, so this is mostly genetic. My doctor mentioned offhandedly that I should probably gain some weight because I will lose it as I grow older and now is the time to put it on. I went for one of my once every two years blood tests and am in perfect health. He said it was the cleanest blood work he had ever seen. But he did talk about the weight.

I'm not putting it on because I want to become a power-lifter. Not at all. I have zero interest in bodybuilding.

It frightened me a little because it is true that I am quite skinny now so I can't imagine what it will be as I grow older, or do older people tend to get fat?

Here's what I ate yesterday for example

Breakfast - Oatmeal and soy milk (I can't drink milk) (I think 300 calories)
Lunch - McDonald's burger meal (I think 800 calories, with drink) - I could barely finish it.
Dinner - Chinese takeout - rice and some type of meat (500 calories)
Banana before bed - 100 calories

that's like 1700 calories i think, give or take. There is no way I can get up to 3000 calories. I felt so full the whole day. I could have skipped lunch and would have felt better I think. If you have suggestions - not protein shakes - of real food that's cheap and inexpensive i would appreciate it. Concrete suggestions and maybe even brands.

Just glancing at this, it looks way too high in empty carbs vs quality protein, and totally lacking in healthy fats.
Cheap & inexpensive protein would be buying bulk eggs, chicken breasts and frozen white fish fillets, such as at Sam's or Costco. Of course this is completely a different tack than eating all organic, non-factory farm produced foods. For healthy fats, most people do not consider avocados cheap, but you could try adding some olive oil to your diet and 1/2 an avocado per day. Add some almond butter if a local supermarket lets you grind your own - always add a pinch of salt at home or the taste is not right, IMO.
I read an article that the local minor league baseball players swear by eating large quantities of eggs, and they definitely live on a shoestring budget, but none of this will do any good without strength training, which is NOT body building - it means strategically adding some muscle to function better now and when you're older.
I trust my trainer at the gym for nutrition info more than any dietician who has to stick to their industry's mandates, food pyramid, and crap like that. Your money would be well spent with a personal trainer consult to address nutrition and strength training, as well as the timing of your protein intake. Then you could pursue things on your own.

The Stone Wall
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by The Stone Wall » Wed May 22, 2019 1:13 pm

I am 5'10". Graduated high school at 115 lbs and college at 125 lbs. I tried/wanted to gain weight with little success. I did two things a few years after college. I made a protein shake morning and night and also ate half a quart of vanilla whole milk yogurt after dinner for a snack. I fairly quickly went to 140 lbs. A few years later, I decided I wanted to be a little bigger. Restarted my routine and went to 160 lbs.

You have mentioned a number of times against protein shakes, but that changed my life. You can make them with almond milk. Your diet does not have enough calories or protein. I think you need your body weight in grams of protein each day. If you can get those grams from chicken, etc the calories will likely come with it. There is also a thread about body weight exercises (pull ups, push ups, and squats) that you should do if at all possible.

onourway
Posts: 1952
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by onourway » Wed May 22, 2019 1:15 pm

You don't have to tell us your weight, but how about your BMI? Where do you fall on the chart? One has to be very skinny by modern standards to hit the 'underweight' range on the BMI chart. Like 100-120lbs for a 5'10" male. (And even then one is just outside the 'optimal' range, so I would not really be worried).

Much cheaper and easier to digest than the milk and meat options suggested here are nut based trail mixes. Bought in bulk these can provide 500-1000 calories per $1 without any of the digestion issues of excessive animal products.

Isabelle77
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Re: Inexpensive way to gain weight

Post by Isabelle77 » Wed May 22, 2019 1:19 pm

They're going to lock this :)


I had an underweight child (not on the BMI chart) and here is what we did to get her back on track. You're eating too much junk and that perfect blood work is going to not be perfect anymore if you don't stop.

Avocados and nuts (1 whole avocado every day)
Clif Bars (lots of these energy bars are high in calories and lower in sugar) 1-2 a day
Milkshake with whole milk and vanilla ice cream after dinner every night

Healthier than a bunch of fast food. On another note, Americans tend to think of thin people as unhealthy and that isn't always the case, often they're just thin.

Locked