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Whey protein to help gain weight?

Discussion in 'Food, Nutrition and Recipes' started by miahara, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm underweight, 70 years old T2 and really could do with gaining at least half a stone, in fact the full 14 pounds wouldn't go amiss. Over the couple of years prior to diagnosis I'd dropped about 10 kilos mainly of body fat. I actually hadn't noticed until someone we see only once a year on holiday asked if I'd lost weight.
    I'm managing my blood glucose pretty well with a LCHF diet but need, I think, to pack in more calories or something. I don't exercise per se but am pretty physically active and have just invested in an e-bike to get me cycling again.

    Someone has suggested that whey protein powder with skimmed milk and a banana is good for increasing muscle and if I could do this it would add to my weight and bulk. Now I know that for me a banana is a bit high in carbs and that full fat milk is a better option. My normal breakfast is eggs in various guises and bacon and/or sauasages.

    Has anyone experience of whey protein or any knowledge about benefits or otherwise for diabetics?
     
  2. psignathus

    psignathus Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the whey protein but also add a good quality peanut butter. Have them as a shake maybe twice a day and eat plenty of nuts as a snack. Ditch the banana unless your blood sugar will allow for it.
     
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  3. Odin004

    Odin004 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @miahara,

    Gaining weight on a lower carb diet can be quite tricky - I'm trying to do it myself; but it can be done - you just need to find the extra calories from protein and good fats. Firstly, is there any reason for your 10kg weight loss? It may be worth having a word about this with your doctor, if you haven't already.

    Whey protein is a good way to increase protein intake (although I avoid it myself for other reasons) - but unless you're doing some form of weight-bearing exercise, a lot of the protein you take in may just be wasted. Are you able to do light resistance exercise, such as body weight exercises? It doesn't have to be much, just enough to keep the muscles active; the protein will be more effective that way. If you're cycling, bear in mind that you'll be burning a fair few calories too!

    There's nothing magical about whey protein - it's just a concentrated form of protein which is fast absorbing, and it does cause some unwanted side effects in some people. As long as you're getting enough protein in your diet, that's the main thing - whey protein is heavily marketed, and much overrated.

    Good sources of food which are low carb and high in protein are eggs, nuts, unsweetened soya milk, tofu and Quorn products (meat too of course, but I'm vegetarian).

    Good sources of food which are low carb and high good fats are nuts, avocados, eggs, olives (including olive oil).

    I would also suggest meal-planning - if you're used to having three meals a day, perhaps incorporate some of the above foods into a snack between meals, three times a day. Good luck!
     
  4. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    How much protein do you eat? I read somewhere the other day that "experts" recommend extra protein for weight gain, and of course most protein foods also contain fat, so the calories are increased that way, too. I would have thought protein from real food is better than processed protein.
     
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  5. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for your replies @psignathus , @Odin004 and @Bluetit1802 . It was my mention of weight loss when being diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease that prompted the GP to test for and confirm diabetes but when I go for my next review I'll mention that I've still not regained much.
    It was my brother who suggested whey protein as he's really into 'keep fit' and visits a gym, has a personal trainer etc. But I'm probably a bit more physically active than he as I have a large garden that takes several hours of work each week. I am fit enough to do some light resistance exercise but my main problem with that is finding time to do it!
    As far as natural proteins go, I don't keep a tally, but I do I think I consume quite a lot. I have eggs for breakfast most days and eat fish three or four times a week at least, and lunch and dinner usually includes a salad dressed with olive oil with avocado and olives.
    I'm not convinced totally convinced about tofu and quorn as I think that the meat I eat possibly provides an equal amount of protein, but I'll check out the numbers in the CoFID data.
    I'll try to fit in snacks, but seldom feel hungry between meals though I guess that a handful of nuts ought not to be too filling.

    Thanks again for all the replies, they've given me some food for thought. No pun intended !!

    Dave
     
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  6. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've just checked the data on tofu versus 'real burger':

    Tofu burger baked - Carbs 13.2, Kcal 115, Protein 7.3
    Tofu, soya bean, steamed, fried - Carbs 2.0, Kcal 261, Protein 23.6
    Beefburger - Carbs 0.1, Kcal 329, Protein 28.8

    So for me as a non veggie the real meat wins by a mile.
     
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  7. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If you have a protein deficiency then protein powered will help. Otherwise you're simply adding additional calories to your diet.

    Just as @Odin004 mentioned, you have to give your body a reason to grow and gain weight. Resistance training is absolutely a reason. Whey protein is unfortunately not.
     
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  8. MuntiJay

    MuntiJay Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    if you double your protein portion there is a possibility that you gain weight
     
  9. Sean01

    Sean01 · Guest

    T2, since Oct 15 and using whey protein daily - but please read on. Age, level of physical activity, digestion, general health etc will all play a part in what and how you should eat. I'm in my 50's. I train at a gym between one and two times a day. once a day for 'exercise' - treadmill or stationary bike, and the evening sessions are for strength training. Once a day, I have Kafir (milk with good bacteria, an actimel, some cinnamon powder (for blood pressure) and a scoop pf whey protein powder.. But i also make sure I drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep the kidneys flush. Protein powder is not necessarily the answer to putting on a bit of bulk. It can take a lot of effort/exercise and it helps if you have the right genetics - so don't expect to turn into Charles Atlas overnight, but as a low carb food source that is designed to be easy to digest, I'm pretty sure it wont hurt to use it.

    I am however inclined to think that a few more rashers of bacon and a few extra eggs may be more useful.

    Sean
     
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  10. miahara

    miahara Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sean, I think you've summed up things pretty well. I could do with building muscle but there's no chance of getting to a gym. I guess resistance training might be a useful alternative and I need to start trying to fit some in. I have very recently bought a new e-bike and have been knocking up the miles (when the rain stops!) and find it far better than the exercise bike I have.
    Dave
     
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  11. Sean01

    Sean01 · Guest

    Hi - I hear you on the exercise bike - I use one but it is so boring. I have to keep my favourite DVDS in my gym (converted garage) just so I have something to stave off the boredom of a steady 80rpm with no mental stimulus.

    Resistance training doesn't require a gym. I see gyms as a great big laboratory - which would make me a gym rate I suppose. I like using gyms because I count and weigh and record everything. A lot of people have training diaries where they can record and monitor their progress - mine just has four words in it ' like yesterday but more'. It's working.

    But you can achieve resistance training just by walking (slight incline angle) pole walking - check it out - it's huge in the USA and Scandinavian countries and all you need is walking poles. You can also get exercise bands to help you with pulling and even pushing exercises - resistance training doesn't have to mean barbells and dumbells. Swimming is also great resistance training - but it does give me a huge appetite.

    And whilst riding a bike in the rain would scare me, there is nothing more exhilerating that a walk in the rain - admittedly warm rain is nicer and it helps that you are completely soaked through - you can only get so wet and then you just have to enjoy the ride.

    But above all, you are out there exercising - don't stop. You are doing so much more than most people out there - especially in the non diabetic world.

    Good luck and carry on!
     
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