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Gaining Weight......

I am sure that like myself everyone here has seen 1 or more dietitians since being diagnosed. And like myself I am sure that nothing has truly helped you gain weight! Theres websites everywhere on how to lose weight but can someone please tell me why there really isnt a site that can help us (crohns sufferers) actually gain weight and not just gain it but actually keep the weight on. I do understand that everyone is different but no matter what i try.... Right now I am down to a very unhealthy 120lbs, now mind you I am 6ft 2 and 28 yrs old, so i guess you could say that Im 60-70lbs under weight. Ive been on eating binges before and I only made it to about 155 maybe 160 on the scale and I dont even think that the weight stayed on for more than a few weeks. If someone actually has come across something that would actually help me for once and for all please let me know!! Thanks alot ~ Joshua
I hope you get a ton of replies!! I've hit up the site with several questions like this and gotten limited response.....Please help us...I am in the same boat...5'7 135lbs--need to get to at least 155lbs before GI will take this TPN out of my arm....
I have not ever had a problem keeping weight on...for whatever reason, my body keeps it on pretty well...however, since my resection...I cannot keep weight on no matter what I do...I lost 18lbs in the hospital, and gained about 10 of those back afterwards...now I'm back down again. can't figure it out...I guess it just goes with the territory.

My best advice to you would be a high-calorie diet...but healthy calories I guess...like avocados, cheeses (if you can), potatoes, rice, etc. I guess there are ALOT of resources out there for losing weight...not so many for gaining!!! If only there were self-help books for people who need to gain...

good luck to you!! Hopefully you will be able to put a few pounds on!
hey guys, BWS and jeff have both involved in some huge threads about weight gain and sustaining our bodys. i'm trying to find some of them now for you, will link it here when i find them.
The only thing that helped me gain weight was drinking Ensure Plus or Boost three times a day on top of eating three full meals a day. This can add like 1,000 calories to your diet.
First things first, are you in remmision? It's hard to gain weight when you are in a flare because the body is already fighting the inflammation so it takes much more food to gain weight. For a usual person you need to eat 500 kcal more a day to start seeing gains in weight. But for a Crohn's sufferer in a flare you may need 1000 or more kcal a day. If you can tolerate things like boost or ensure then you may want to try two of those a day to gain weight. If you can post how many calories you eat and what you eat it may help me give you a better plan to add things to your diet so you can gain weight.

Jeff...First from what I've been reading...I hope you made it to Vandy or will be making it...That's awesome! I finally get to go see an IBD specialist on Monday at Oshner's in New Orleans.

Right now...Oh yeah I am in a flare! "D" is limited at the moment and formed stools are sparatic b/c of the roids (come off them on monday! I've been on some form of roids since Oct 08)

Currently weigh 135, and need to get to 155 solidly before the Dr will take the TPN out of my arm.

I do have absorption issues (obviously the TPN). I cannot tolerate ANYTHING with Sugar/high fructose corn syrup or dairy. I drink rice milk right now and seem to be o.k. I can do yogurt my wife and I make here at the house w/ goats milk (an SCD diet remnant).
Im on my PS3 but will try to find more links. Should have come here earlier. As you can see in my signature I work at the abnormal goal of gaining weight, though it's when I'm allowed to work out and capable of getting anabolic (thyroid surgery and severe flare means I can't)......Basically you have to out-eat your TCB or total calorie burn (basically your metabolism's daily total), provided it doesn't jeopardize your condition as Jeff mentions. Healthy fats are the most calorie-dense per gram that are also good for IBD (anti-inflammatory), so things like peanut butter and olive oil and avacados....but also this concept depends on the location of the disease as different nutrients are absorbed at different locations...I wish I could search for links but the PS3 browser acts up....I can get back to you again later.
I myself have been looking to gain some weight... When i first got diagnosed i went from 200lb to 140. I am back to about 160lbs, i'm 6'3" so i know about how you feel. I wish there was a gaining weight diet that was good for crohn's paitents.

Hey Chris glad to see someone else from around the same area as me... (Baton Rouge La here). I have been to oschners in New Orleans before for my first surgery, Really good doctors there, another place that is really good and not that much further from new orleans is in Baton Rouge. Digestive Health Center of Louisiana. www.dhcla.com I lived in Waynesboro MS for the last 2 years, and kepth my docs at DHCLA. I highly reccomend them, some of the best Gastro docs i have ever seen. Everyone has excellent bedside manners and are really good with the paitents.
im currently trying to gain weight after a bad flare, i was usually around 145 lbs but now down to around 120, ive put a bit back on since coming out of hospital.

I went to see a personal trainer at the gym yesterday and ive been given a basic fitness plan to build some muscle and basically get my body used to excercising again (boy do my muscles hurt today...,) and he advised me to eat 2000 calories more than i normally would in a day. and to eat something every few hours , so maybe a sandwich or a snack inbetween main meals etc etc

so far it seems to be working pretty well and it seems like a good plan. I was told to avoid doing anything like running on the treadmill or cardio as this will just burn off those calories and not put them to any use where as just doing a bit of light weights and stuff will help me bulk up a bit.
I've been trying to gain my weight back for about a year now. I used to be steady at 134lbs now I hover around 110lbs. My clothes don't fit and I absolutely hate it. I know for me it's because I've had to cut back tremendously on how much I eat. The more I try to eat, the more I hurt. So it's a toss up.
Only thing that has worked for me was going on TPN through a picc line.
Wouldn't recommend it because of the huge risk of infection, but it did save
my life. Those Ensure type drinks never helped me. Now I live on mac n cheese. lol
When you get into remission the best thing to do is eat a well balanced diet. You need your nutrients and the best way to get them is through foods and not supplements. Supplements can help you but you have to know what you are doing when you take a supplement. You can't just start taking this and that and think you are getting proper nutrition. These things can be helped with a nutritionist.

After you start eating healthy the next thing is to figure out a workout routine to start gaining weight. Lifting weights will get you results quicker then body weight exercises but personally I love bosyweight exercises if you have read some of BWS and I's ideas you will know we don't always agree but weights will help you more quickly although it still takes time. You have to know what you are doing here as well and you have to have an idea of what you want to work on. If anyone wants any help you can post or pm me what parts of your body you would like to work on and I can help you come up with a plan.
Robbo87, all good advice given to you, except I disagree with the last sentence, the "light weights", as you won't activate as many muscle fibers. The primary focus is to make sure you don't aggravate the IBD though, so if light weights was recommended due to your disease, you best take it slow. But in the end, ultimately, you will see the best results by activating and calling into play the largest portion of fibers you can, and going to or close to failure (meaning you can't lift another rep, but be careful, only do this when form is understood very well...).... You call into play and activate the most fibers by lifting heavy. For example, a 100% maximum effort will in theory, call into play every possible muscle fiber, whereas a 30% effort (of your potential maximum) will call in a much smaller number of fibers. What happens is that your fibers in the 30% or so lifts will "tag team" so to say, and after a few reps, they will tire out and slowly the other fibers will be called into play for a while, when they get tired, it continues on....thus, your fibers are always being "benched" to some extent, and your movement in question never fully utilizes all the fibers at once, so the exercise in the end used much less of the muscle than it could have. On top of that, your CNS (Central Nervous System), which is responsible for the above mentioned "calling into play" or activating of the muscles, is important as well. You must remember to "train your CNS" as well as your muscles, because it's an integral part of the process and your progress as you gain muscle. You basically accustom your CNS to activate your fibers more efficiently over time, and slowly you can condition it to help your muscles in the lifting more and more.

Not to get to much more technical, but the last thing to note is that their are several types of muscle fibers, type 1 and type 2a and type 2b, and they all have different roles and growth potential....You lift a pop can to drink it, you are activating your type 1 fibers in your bicep (arm bicep, as to mention a random factoid, you have a "bicep" in your leg, because all it translates to is "two-headed" muscle, and you have one at your hamstring behind your leg, anyways...)

You lift a heavy weight, one you can only lift 8 times until you can't lift it a 9th time, you're using your type 2 (a and b are still divided even more as far as 1RM, or your 1 rep max)...it all comes down to how much resistance is being demanded of your skeletal muscles. Your type 2 have the most growth potential, so lifting heavy has the biggest impact on size gains, though type 1 can grow too. For proof, just look to runners: You have your marathoners, who are very lean and "scrawny" if you will, when compared to your sprinters, if you watched the Olympics, you saw the sprinters with massive tree trunks for legs, because sprinting asks your type 2 fibers for maximal loads to exert bursts of stress to propel you at great speeds. Your type 1, like the marathon or long distance runners use more, are asked to repeat low resistance reps many, many times over in endurance-based loads....

I will try to grab some links, but if you want try searching "weight gain" in the search for the forum and you might find them before me.

Remember, just out-eat your TCB so your body has no choice but to store the extra calories. **The most important thing is how your body 'stores' these excess calories, because if you are lifting weights and exercising hard, your body will see great benefit and almost a necessary adaptation, in making more muscle and "healthy weight". If you are very sedentary, your body sees no reason to store these calories as anything other than fat, and especially visceral fat (another word for abdominal fat)...

Eat tons of protein if you can tolerate it....About 0.8 grams or more per pound.
Cheers for the advice. and yeah by lightweights i didnt really mean im not pushing myself to where i cant lift anymore...more that ive gone so weak and thin that ligher weights is all i can manage at the moment lol. at the moment im just doing upper body stuff , chest, biceps back, back of the arms etc doing 3 sets of 12 reps, and in most cases by the 12th rep im really fighting to to lift! so thats right yeh?

as i slowly get my strength back and get used to excercising im hoping this will increase, i also have a very physical job so i need to be able to lift a bit for when i return, which is in about 4 weeks! would taking any sort of protein shakes or anything before going into the gym help any? or will making sure i eat enough do the job?
Okay, I see, yeh, as long as you're pushing yourself that's what matters. We all have to start somewhere, and I know all about starting there several times over due to this damn disease. I had my deadlift go from 405 best to a 185 from my first flare. It's embarrassing and even more frustrating because you were once lifting more, you're doing things all over, and you keep losing ground. It's spirit-killing to keep going back further than square one.

Protein shakes will be a good additive to an already solid diet, meaning they're a great addition but just make sure the rest of the pieces are in place. The best time for one is right after a workout, and the second best is before. Before has shown to help prevent too much muscle breakdown, while right after kickstarts the repair so you don't go catabolic so badly, as your body will start breaking down its own protein for sustinence to repair if you don't give it the protein another way. "The body's own protein" is your muscle, sad to say...