How long would it take to gain 20 pounds? Should I approach dieting differently...
My goal is to gain 20 lb, which will almost make me at 170 lb, I have an account on a bodybuilding website, and they say I need to bulk, then once I reach my desired weight, I should cut, which will make me lose about 10 lb. Should I approach dieting differently because I have CF? Because when I cut, I would be eating less than 300-400 calories than I burn (If i burn 2400 a day, then i would eat 2100 or 2000). One last question, how come people with CF should be eating 3000-4000 calories when they might only burn 2000 or so? Do they lungs burn more calories than a non CFer?
It took me 6 months to gain 20 pounds. I went from 135 (almost underweight for my height of 5' 11") to 155. Everyone is different though. My brother also has CF. He's 6' 3" and about 200 lbs, which is borderline overweight. He looks a bit beefy. I have always struggled with weight. I had 4 inches of my intestine taken out at 6 years old, which definitely doesn't help. More recently, being pre-diabetic has not helped as I've had to limit what I can eat and especially what I can drink. Sports drinks such as Gatorade can be a huge source of calories, I switched to drinking mainly water and lost 5 pounds within a month.
Originally Posted by enzo
My biggest caution to you when trying to gain weight is to watch it on the carbs and sugars. CFers are prone to becoming diabetic. Carbo-loading will put on the pounds, but put you on insulin sooner than later.
There are a lot that factors into how much a CFer has to eat to maintain and gain weight. The biggest component is that the body cannot digest fats and proteins as well as a normal person, even with enzymes. So you can eat a lot more calories than the average person and not gain because those calories are not absorbed. Infections make your body work harder and thus burns more calories. In addition, CFers typically take antibiotics like Cipro and Bactrim to fight infection. Antibiotics kill good bacteria in your gut that help with digestive, further promoting weight loss. Pro-biotics like acidophilus can help replenish those bacteria though.
Your approach to gaining weight should definitely be different than a normal person. Normally people gain weight easily, so gain and cut is a great strategy. I've had bodybuilders give me the gain and cut advice. I could never gain the weight need to make that strategy work. When I'm really trying to gain I eat as much as possible, and supplement with drinks like Ensure when necessary. The more meals and snacks you can fit in the better. To avoid becoming diabetic I recommend always having equal amounts of fats and protein with the carbs you eat. Carbs go into your bloodstream quickly, fats and protein take more time to process so combining them evens out your glucose levels, avoiding big peaks in glucose levels. I try to work out immediately after meals. For me the advantage is that exercise prompts muscles to pull in glucose from the blood, lowering my glucose levels. I believe there are advantages to gaining muscle in doing this too, I don't know the details on that though. To build muscle it's good to do whole body workouts to prompt a hormonal response. I also run, which burns calories but is great for lung function, cardiovascular health, preventing infections, and improved mood among other benefits.
A recent strategy I got from the book 4 Hour Body is to drink a LOT of milk. I drink 4-5 gallons of milk per week. My goal is to ultimately drink one gallon per day (Gallon of Milk a Day, GOMAD, diet). There are some drawbacks to GOMAD, mostly around lactose intolerance and milk allergies, so do your research before trying that diet. I have heard some body builders gain 20-30 lbs on GOMAD. When my schedule allows me to drink that much milk a day and work out I have seen gains of 3-5 lbs in a week. Cool thing about milk is the balance of fats, proteins, and carbs. Also there's 2400 calories in a gallon of milk, which makes it very cheap per calorie.