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How to Gain or Maintain Weight Weight On An Elimination Diet

By Mikhaila

I’ve had a number of people reach out to me asking about how to gain or maintain their weight on a diet that cuts carbs like this one.

Here are some things you can do to make sure you get the calories you need. (I’m writing this post because I just counted the number of calories I’m getting a day and its about 3500!!!! – No wonder I haven’t lost any pregnancy weight. This is what happens when you survive off of chicken wings… Yum.).

  1. Add MCT oil (or even a tablespoon of regular coconut oil) to your tea (or coffee if you’ve added that back in.) That’ll give you 130 calories right off the bat. This is also a really good trick if you’re hungry and you haven’t made anything to eat. Super fast and really satisfying.
  2. Make sure you eat enough meat. My chicken wing recipe is amazing, super easy, and apparently, has way more calories than I thought. The skin in the chicken wings has a lot of fat (healthy, omega 3 fats), so a lot of calories. 5 chicken wings have approximately 280 calories. If you eat half a package of the kg package, which I can easily do, that’s at least 800 calories.
  3. If you’re baking sweet potatoes, or parsnips, etc., you can put coconut oil on them when you put them into the oven. I just chop em up and put them in because it’s fast, but if you want more calories, put coconut oil on everything.
  4. If you make a stir fry, again, add some oil.
  5. When you eat salad, don’t go easy on the olive oil. 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil give you about 180 calories.

It’s strange stopping carbs because your main source of calories goes away. You have to switch it for healthy fats. This won’t make you gain weight though. It will help maintain your current weight – assuming you’re not overweight. My husband has been eating like this and he hasn’t gained or lost weight in the last 8 months. I eat like this and I haven’t lost pregnancy weight.

The only way to gain weight on this diet is to exercise – or get pregnant. Lift weights and you’ll gain muscle. Make sure you eat enough meat and calories and you’ll do great!

If you are overweight and trying to lose weight, don’t worry about counting calories when you switch to this diet. It’s such a huge change for your body that you’ll lose weight anyway. And if you’re hungry, eat. These extra tips are for people trying to make sure they get more than enough calories.

(My baby girl Scarlett – we’re calling her Scarlett – her middle name – smiles at me when I come into the room now! It makes me melt).

Join the Conversation


  1. Good post to read, thank you. If someone is gaining weight on this diet, it could be malabsorption of fat, which the tell tale sign would be greasy, tan colored stools that pass either too easily or with uncomfortable exertion, for different people depending on the composition of gut bacteria, it could go either way. Also, the best way to lose weight on this diet would be to observe a 12-hour digest & rest fast overnight by not eating 2-3 hours before bedtime, fasting during 8 hours of rest (no midnight snacks), and waiting 2 hours to eat in the morning, hot tea or hot lemon water would be good during this time. I love the dietary protocol you write about, it’s also helping me self-heal life-long depression so I relate a lot & enjoy reading about your journey. I first learned of this nutritional therapy through studying the GAPS diet while in nutrition school. Cute note about your daughter, that’s a sweet Mommy milestone 🙂

    1. Yeah that all seems about right, the other reason people might gain weight (other than pregnancy), is if they’re underweight and not getting the nutrients they need from a typical western diet. Changing to eating meat and vegetables could potentially help that, and increase weight gain.

  2. Do you track your protein and carb intake? I’ve just started this diet after postponing it for a for months, and I want to make sure that I am eating well. What percentage of carbs, fat, and protein do you try to eat daily? I was reading that protein intake should be limited on a low carb diet, but how can you get enough fat and keep it low carb without eating a lot of meat?

  3. Hi Mikhaila

    I’m hesitant to post this because there’s nothing worse than people picking holes in what you’re eating, but in the interests of your long term health, I felt I should point this out.

    You’ve mentioned above that chicken wings are high in Omega 3’s, which are indeed a healthy fat in the right amounts. However, I have always understood that chicken (and poultry in general) are high in Omega 6’s, which as I’m sure you know, are pro-inflammatory.

    Now I’m sure that omega 6’s found naturally are not as nasty to the body as those found in industrial seed oils, but I try to keep my ratio’s of 3:6 as close to 1:1 as possible. As you’ll see here, chicken has a 3:6 ratio of around 1:13.7

    Admittedly these will be chickens fed entirely on high omega 6 pellets, but even with pastured chickens, the ratio will be fairly high I think, it’s just a natural profile in birds.

    I think the reason that for those of us on a restricted diet that it can be so annoying when people point out stuff like this is it’s not ‘just another fact’, it’s a disruption to our whole way of life, which is intimately tied to our ability to function effectively in the world. The upside is, of course, that it’s another opportunity to make ourselves even more healthy and robust.

    In case it helps, I’m a big fan of lamb which is always grass fed (at least it is here in Scotland) and so has a good 3:6 ratio, and breakfast is always hash made of ground beef or lamb, a little onion, a big handful of greens with sweet potatoes or plantains. All sauteed in a decent chunk of beef tallow or lard. And often drenched in a good dollop of olive oil. I find that provides a good slow burn to lunch!

    The best of luck.

    1. Hey, I definitely don’t mind people pointing things out. It’s true, chicken has a high ratio which should generally be avoided.. but it doesn’t bother me. I eat grass fed beef and wild fish too, so that gives more of the better ratio, but so far, what doesn’t bother me, I eat. From my experience it hasn’t been a problem at all. I seem to tolerate chicken as easily as beef and fish, some things that are high in Omega 6’s (especially soybean oil) just destroy me. It’s hard for me to say what the cause is. As for lamb… I’m one of those people who despises lamb, I don’t even like the smell. Somehow I can manage to still be a bit picky on a restricted diet. My theory (not backed up by anything), is the food that doesn’t seem to harm me now, won’t in the future. I’m going to assume that the Omega 6’s in chicken aren’t like the seed oils people eat. They also have wayyy less of a chance of going rancid, mostly because you would know from the smell.

    2. If you buy ethnic or from Mennonites/Amish, it’s usually as natural as it gets from those sources in Canada too (cheaper too). I get my eggs and lamb that way, but a lot of people hate the smell of lamb, especially when it’s cold.

      Try squid as a chicken substitute, its high in protein and omega 3, but very low in omega 6.

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