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 Post subject: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:17 pm 
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I don't know whether this subject is acceptable here?

I keep losing weight this year, and if I lose any more, I won't even be on the body mass index chart in the book Becoming Vegan. I also am generally tired and regularly have bad colds and infections that take weeks or months to get better, which are other signs of being underweight. And I am very often hungry.

I eat at least three times a day, and I eat a ton, believe me. It's even socially embarrassing.

I really am not concerned about my silhouette and never worried about calories or diets or weighing myself in my life. Social pressure or eating disorders aren't the problem.

The only exercise I do is walk at a normal pace about 20 to 60 minutes a day. The only medication I take is painkillers for occasional migraines.

I eat a majority of whole foods, not at all in a strict way, but mostly without oil. I'm happy with it and would rather not change that if I can avoid it.

I'm worried I might have some illness, but my doctor would probably simply advise me to eat meat, dairy and eggs. I do have a lot of stress and discouragement this year (never-healing tendinitis cause me to stop being a writer and drop some fun activities, and make it very hard to find or keep a job). So that could be a reason, but it is not easily settled.

What I aim to try is to eat more nuts, seeds, avocados, dried fruit, carbs and smoothies (even though some of those are expensive foods, sigh). Also eat snacks more regularly. And keep relax about this and things in general. Does anyone have other advice?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:46 pm 
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Go to the doctor. Weight loss could be an indicator of a lot of things. Keep a food diary for 3 days if you're worried they will say you aren't eating enough.

If you're avoiding oil it's possible you aren't getting enough fat. You can add up your calories online. You should aim for 25 to 30 calories per kg. Possibly more of you want to gain.

But mostly, go to the doctor.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:43 pm 
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Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:42 am 
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If you are genuinely eating "a ton" and still losing weight then it's very possible you have something wrong with your body - you need to see a doctor and describe your symptoms and show them what you eat each day. If you're actually eating lots of calories, and losing weight, then something is not working - it tends to take a lot for the calories in-calories out part of your body to not work.

However...if you're eating a "whole foods" diet it's entirely possible you're not eating as much as you think you are. My brother is very tall, very skinny, and thinks he eats "a ton"...but he mostly eats fruit and vegetables, neither of which have many calories. So he fills up on low calorie foods, thinks "I'm stuffed" because his stomach actually is full, but none of it will make him gain weight.

I used to be underweight and now have a BMI of 19 or so, because of stomach issues. I ate higher calorie things - lots of white rice (easy to digest), peanut butter (goes great in a lot - try putting it in curry, Vegan Richa has some great recipes), and yes oil because fat is a good way to get in some calories.

However I second IJDI's comment to keep a food diary - a strict one, write down everything you eat and how much you eat of it - not just "pasta for dinner" but what pasta, how much, etc, write down any "symptoms" you might have (such as digestive trouble) and take that to your doctor and talk about your dropping weight. They may suggest dairy, meat, etc, but you don't have to do that, what you do need is blood tests and other checks at the doctors to make sure your health is ok, before focusing on gaining weight.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:39 am 
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Thanks for the advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:49 am 
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Yes, go to the doctor and make sure he/she orders blood work!

I've been there and it's freaky, and it can be anything/nothing. I lost a bunch of weight when I turned 30 and I eat more now than I ever have in my life but I've not gained it back (at 34). My doctor is very thorough but I also have some medical history that requires quite a bit of vigilance.

Be well! <3

ETA it's not necessarily anything to do with caloric intake. It wasn't/isn't for me. Also, if your doctor just tells you to eat eggs and meat then see another doctor. They're not all like that!


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:06 am 
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Thank you. I'm not allowed to change doctors unfortunately with the system in place here, and I can only see other doctors for emergencies, otherwise they just tell me to consult my own doctor. (I WOULD like a doctor who would allow me to see a specialist in rhumatology for my hands and would have let me receive employment insurance and would not have sent me back to work only two weeks after my injury - my life is in a mess partly because of her decisions.)

I've had blood tests a few months ago for general nutrients (vitamin D, B12, iron and the like), and they were OK. I also have the thyroid gland checked once in a while. I did mention once to my doctor I was worried about losing weight, but she weighed me and said it was OK. It was a few months ago though.

I have a small frame and a tendency to be thin, I gobble my food rather than chew carefully, and maybe it's just my body adjusting to more whole foods this year. So maybe it's nothing if it stops after this, but I'll ask my doctor again for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:11 am 
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Any reason you mostly cut out oil?

I'm sorry you can't see another doctor. I've weaseled my way into finding family doctors by begging a good doctor I see at a walk-in clinic/emerg. into taking me if they can take new patients. I realize that has been very fortuitous though.

Also, "friends" who feel the need to have an opinion on your weight can fork off.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:47 am 
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That's unfortunate that you already have a history of your doctor not really listening. If you really don't want to go to the doctor I would definitely recommend adding more fats back into your diet other than nuts and avocado. You don't have to eat junk food, but if you're eating mostly whole foods that are high in fiber and low in calories, like vixki said, you run the risk of filling up before you're meeting your nutrient needs.

Also, how much weight have you lost? Clinically speaking, the numbers medical professionals should tend to take seriously if you've lost weight unintentionally are 5% in a month, 7.5% in 3 months and 10% in 6 months.

Is this switch to mostly whole foods a dramatic diet change for you? What were you eating before?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:55 pm 
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I lost 9 % in 9 months, so maybe I'm getting worried too easily simply because I'm not used to it and because I feel I don't have any weight to lose. My weight used to be very stable for the preceding few years (I didn't own a balance then but the doctor weighed me each year).

It came progressively. Eating healthily is something I work on slowly, changing one habit at a time when I feel like it. I've loved cooking and DIY for years, and was never much into junk food and premade foods.

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Last edited by Minatomachi on Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:00 pm 
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vijita wrote:
Any reason you mostly cut out oil?

I'm sorry you can't see another doctor. I've weaseled my way into finding family doctors by begging a good doctor I see at a walk-in clinic/emerg. into taking me if they can take new patients. I realize that has been very fortuitous though.

Also, "friends" who feel the need to have an opinion on your weight can fork off.


I don't like the taste and texture of oil, and I believe whole foods are better for general health, apart from weight considerations.

I once managed to change doctors too, but I'm not sure I'd have that chance again. I hadn't seen my previous doctor for a few years, and I think the archived info got lost so it appeared as if I didn't already have one.

I'm lucky to have received no comments.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:45 pm 
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It sounds like maybe it's just the change in your diet causing you to gradually lose weight. I'd still definitely see the doctor just so they can run blood work and be sure everything is ok and then try adding in more fat to your diet. and still definitely track your intake for at least 3 days so you can really see how much you're eating.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:46 pm 
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Thanks to all of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:28 am 
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Actually, a 9% unintentional weight loss over 9 months is certainly cause for concern for an underlying medical condition. Here is some information on unintentional weight loss from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/unex ... m-20050700

It's unfortunate that you don't have a good relationship with your doctor, but I do think it's important to get professional help in troubleshooting this issue to make sure there isn't something serious going on before you attribute the weight loss to diet.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for underweight troubles?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:54 am 
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Thank you, I'll check that site.

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