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Bodybuilding And Gaining Weight With Gluten Sensitivity

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Hi, I am 17 and have just begun looking into gluten free. One of symptoms that i believe I have is malabsorption because I have been working out, chugging protien, and eating a lot for the past few years without gaining a pound. My arms and legs are very skinny. Have any of you also experienced lack of mass gain despite working out?



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My guess is that this varies from individual to individual.


A couple of years ago, I was eating gluten light for health and weight loss (following the Eat-Clean diet that bodybuilders often use) and felt great... I had no idea I had gluten issues yet. I was doing P90X and the combination resulted in a 30lb weight loss and putting on muscle like crazy - I could do chin-ups, one armed push-ups... the works. Not bad for a middle aged housewife. LOL  BUT I have always been able to put on muscle quickly; in university I used to be able to out lift my husband (who has a tall but smaller frame).


I do think much of it is genetic.


On the other hand, if you are not absorbing nutrients well, it will be hard to gain. Have you had a celiac panel done? I would advise testing before going gluten-free, but try the gluten-free diet even if your results are negative since it could be non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI) causing you some problems.


The paleo diet, or (modified) Eat-Clean diet might help you with your weight gain. Protein is good but your body can't absorb more than 25g at a time, and a very active male probably does not need more than 80g of protein a day (check that number, I'm not sure of it). Eat plenty of fats from good sources - olive oil is good (and trendy) but animal fats are good too and fish is great. Limit starchy veggies and fruit and eat pleanty of greens. About the only time a sweet fruit or starch would be helpful is a quick serving in the morning right before a workout.


If you are working out, focus on lifting to put on mass. Lift heavy.  You should be doing 2 sets with only 5-10 reps (4-7 for more mass) and your last rep should be almost impossible to lift. Do not focus on cardio, it can be included in HIIT workouts or even in moving from weight to weight quickly without a break.


Good luck!


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