How Can I Gain Weight On A Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet?
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How Can I Gain Weight On A Low Fat Raw Vegan Diet?

by Angelika
(Greece)





Angelika's Qustion: Andrew, I am 80/10/10 (ED: Low Fat Raw Vegan) since April 2010 after high fat raw. I had been, like always in my life, slim, on high fat: 50-51 kg. Now for a few months

I am on 46-47 kg. People see my arms, they are shouting. I got more power, can swim long distances and not getting tired (I live in Greece near the sea), eat about 1800 to 2000 calories, with less nuts and seeds, mostly Crete Avocado. I also do some hula hoop.

I am 52 years. I did some workout, over exercise and now only swimming is okay. One arm was in pain from over ex. My food, summer right now, is melons, bananas,figs, cucumber, tomatoes avocados, nectarines, grapes, valencia oranges... THANKS for your advice!!

I am 1.68 m.
- Angelika

Andrew's Answer:

Hi Angelika. Thanks for your question. First off, I"m delighted to be the proponent of a diet where people come to me complaining that they've become too skinny! It's the opposite of the problem the vast majority of people in the western world have to deal with.

Let me make two points before we get to gaining weight.

1) Most people in the western world (64% in the US) are overweight. Even if they don't have much extra fat on them, they are often bloated by water weight. This has lead to the perception that people who are not fat and who do not have extra water weight puffing them up are not healthy. People who would have been regarded as normal-sized in the 1920s are seen as abnormal less than 100 years later. I've been called too skinny by people who look grossly overweight to me, which is always an interesting experience.

When all you look at all day are overweight people, normal, trim, healthy people become "skinny people" in your eyes. My point is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so if your friends are "shouting" that you're too skinny, keep in mind what their standards are.

2) In my experience, most people who are over-fat think of themselves as having a good amount of muscle on them. When their fat and water weight rapidly drops with an improved diet, though, they can no longer hold onto this illusion. They see their skinny body and see that they didn't have all that much muscle at all.

Some go so far as to say that they've lost muscle because of the diet, but muscle wastes away very very slowly, and no diet will make it disappear quickly.

How To Gain Weight: At the end of the day, there are only two (reasonably healthy) ways to gain weight. The first is to gain fat. The second is to gain muscle.

Two things you didn't give to me that would have allowed me to interpret your situation with more clarity is the fat and muscle percentage of your body. You can get these readings off a bioelectrical impedance scale, which can be had in the US for $30-$40, or from a number of other measuring tools.

Women are at the peak of health from 13-19 percent body fat. Going lower than that can begin to degrade health in several ways. I'm going with the assumption that you're definitely under 19 percent, but how far under is the question.

The healthiest way for you to gain weight is to gain muscle. It sounds like you've got cardio down very well, but this will not build much muscle. If you dislike weights, consider body weight exercises. A good routine should be able to put a pound of muscle on you per month. If you feel your arms are too skinny, routines focused on the arms will be helpful.

If you wish to gain fat, then you must eat more calories than you're burning off, day after day. You can figure out what this number is precisely by putting your body info and exercise amounts into nutridiary and then setting it for weight gain.

I wish you the best of luck in achieving whatever weight you find desirable through whatever means you choose.

-Andrew


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