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Old 11-01-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
frieden07
 
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Default Healthy weight gain

I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the health forum...

I've slowly been gaining about 30-40 lbs over the last 3 years, I never really pushed it but always enjoyed the progress. Right now I'm at around 190 lbs at about 5'7" and it was my target to get up to about 230 lbs, hoping to develop a nice and protruding ball of a belly.

My latest physical came back with a slightly elevated glucose level and high cholesterol. I know at some point I'll have to do something about that, but I'm really tempted to keep going for a little while longer and get up to 230 before worrying too much about these numbers.
Or I slow down, take it easy and find a healthier but slower way to gain more weight?

How do you guys do that? How do you stay as healthy as possible while getting bigger?
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:10 PM   #2
Tad
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For starters, let’s just say that there is no guarantee that you can. Many people are pretty fat without having health issues (at least not noticeable ones yet, we never know for sure what we are saving up for later), but that certainly isn’t everyone.

That said, pretty much everything you read about leading a healthy lifestyle applies. Get regular physical activity, limit sugar and really simple carbs, get more fibre in your diet, eat your vegetables, avoid trans-fats (which are in a huge amount of processed foods), drink in very moderate amounts and don’t smoke at all, etc. Except eat more than they suggest

Some specifics to think about are: adding more natural fats to your diet (liquid vegetable oils, butter, avocado, nuts, etc); learn about the glycemic index (basically tells you how fast and hard the food will cause your blood sugar to spike) and learn to limit your foods from the bad end of that (a large part of this amounts to: less sugar, more natural foods, more fibre); prepare more foods from scratch to control the amount of salt and sugar and types of fat used; try to avoid long sedentary stretches as they can be trouble even if you are getting reasonable activity levels overall (i.e. don’t sit in front of a computer for eight hours, go work out for 45 minutes, then sit in front of the TV for four hours. Get up and move around regularly).

The rest of this post is just one guy on the internet who has heard a few medical studies and jumped to some conclusions. I wouldn’t trust any of the rest of this to be true, but still you might want to read it and think about it, as if nothing else it might give you a model for thinking about how fat is too fat on your particular body.

One recent study really caught my attention. The common combination of high cholesterol, insulin resistance, vascular fat accumulation (hard ball belly), and I think some items, are often referred to as metabolic syndrome, for how they are often seen together are difficult to get rid of. This study found that metabolic syndrome seemed to show up in mice when their fat cells were full. They even took a strain that was bred to have very few fat cells, and found how with a very normal (for mice) lifestyle they would get metabolic syndrome. Their hypothesis is that normally fat cells work as a buffer to soak up extra glucose from our blood stream, keeping it from causing damage. When our fat cells are near their limit they don’t do this as well, so we have glucose (blood sugar) spikes that are higher and longer, causing various problems.

I thought that this was interesting in light of other studies that had found that children of mothers who were malnourished during pregnancy had much higher levels of metabolic syndrome later in life, so I wonder if those kids were programmed to have less fat cells, as their developing body was told not to expect as much food? Wild speculation on my part.

Anyway, this would argue that by the time you are finding it harder to gain, odds are good that you may be putting your health at risk as you may be seeing maxed out fat cells. So for your individual body, depending on how many fat cells it has, and how willing it is to grow new ones, the amount of food you have to eat to gain could be hitting you with those high blood sugar spikes that are apt to cause problems.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:42 PM   #3
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Thank you Tad, that is some very good advice.
I've heard about that study with the mice, this is a very interesting topic, I'll have to read some more about that.
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