Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Fitness and Exercise » To any body builders-newly diagnosed - confused

10-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: crown point, Indiana
to any body builders-newly diagnosed - confused

im am 22yrs and newly diagnosed with crohns and i am confused about this new diet. over the past year ive been weight training. started off really skinny. but after lifting heavy and eating like a beast i managed to jump my weight fom 117 to 150. i was on a high cal high protein diet but i had the help from some mass gainer shakes. now i got hit with crohns had two hospital stays and they started me on remicade. i was told to stay away from some foods and limit my dairy intake and my fiber intake. but now i cant find a way to get the calories i need in a day to gain weight. i dont want to stop at 150lbs. so my question is, can i go back to my weight gainer shake after a the flair up? or can i never have them again. they are high in fiber. does anyone know of a shake that doesnt have a lot of fiber? what are some foods i can still eat that is high cals high protein? -thanks
10-12-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grimsby, United Kingdom

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Everyones different, it may be a trial and error to find one that works for you. If youre willing to take the risk of another flare up then go for it. Remember if you do have a bad flare up you will most prob lose all that weight.
Im using protein shake at the moment after workouts and that seems to work pretty well fo me. No massive gains in weight but have been bulking up slowly
11-08-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
crohnicaly stinky
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: annandale, Virginia
I joined a gym recently and here is what I am observing. I am not a body builder but I do like weight lifting.

I was lifting at first and gaining muscle mass. I was on a low carb diet to lose fat.

I began to do some pretty intense cardio. Lift weights then ride the stair master or treadmill for 45 minutes to an hour. Adding cardio I began to lose muscle mass.

I dropped the cardio and the low carb diet. I lift twice a week and am making gains, modest for sure but it's fine for me, Iím not body building.

I try to eat healthy but I don't avoid fat or protein rich foods. Just try to avoid anything that is total junk, like Halloween candy. Which is not easy.

I have a protein and vitamin shake mix, it gives me D if I drink the full dose. So I drink half doses of it.

I think you will have some trouble with really extreme body building efforts, it is just hard to get the protein and nutrients in there. But at a modest pace you can do ok. I think you just need to find the right balance for you because as with everything else in this disease, it's somewhat a unique experience one person to the next.

Good luck!
11-08-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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I'm like Stinky above me, not a bodybuilder per se, but I do lift weights 3x per week in an effort to get healthier and stronger.

Figuring out what foods affect you is going to be purely trial and error. As far as shakes go, a lot of us on the forum like things such as Boost or Ensure to get extra calories. I know there's a high protien version of Ensure and there's also a "muscle health" version (I have tried high protien but not muscle health, I only know it exists because I just got a coupon for it!). I prefer Ensure to Boost myself but I think Boost has a high protien version as well. Either one of those will have a few hundred calories so that's a good start.

As far as protien in food goes, try things like baked chicken or baked fish. Those are both really easy on my system. I can't handle red meat but I can do chicken & fish. Try some foods out for yourself and keep a food diary to track what you're eating and what symptoms you're having, that will help you learn which foods you can and cannot handle. Good luck!
11-08-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: crown point, Indiana
thanks for the replys. i guess ill take it easy from eating mass amounts of food and shakes for a while. i dont want another flair. ill keep a food log and try some ensure.
11-09-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2011
I would say meats like chicken and fish are good, and, if you are careful, maybe even a bit of white pork. (Stay away from "dirty" meats, such as dirty pork [bacon, ham] or shrimp. Protein is great for healing your internal "sores" that the inflammation is causing. I find that (and this varies from person to person depending on their level of lactose intolerance) yogurt is a great source of protein, and the good bacteria is great for all the bad stuff happening in your gut! Bananas and avocados are a great source of fat and nutrients. And white rice and rice products (cereal, rice milk, rice flour...) are great for helping maintain weight and also known for preventing diarrhea. I personally think the food choices, which help you feel better overall, will help you be ABLE to do more in the gym and maintain a better weight. Also, from my experience, gym time will be something your body will have to get re-used to after being in a hospital. ;-) You may have to take a few potty breaks or so during the first several sessions, but your body should eventually get more used to the rigorous activities and adjust. Hope this helps!
11-09-2011, 04:52 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2011

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firstly, i'm not into weights, but my brother coaches powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters so i know the basics.......

spend some time finding what diets work for other people.
The most important thing is to work out what you can and can't eat because without digestion and absorption you've got nothing.
Read up the theory behind SCD and other successful (for some people) diets

Don't be in a hurry to get back into hi-carb, a lot of people find their crohn's responds really well to NO-CARB (no complex carbs -SCD and paleo)

my view (based on what works for me).....

no processed food, (nothing out of a packet)
no grain, none, zip, nada (not even pseudo-graind like quinoa or ameranth)
no sugar, (only mono-saccharides like fruit and honey and in moderation)
no seed oils (only olive oil, coconut oil or fat)
no milk (some hard cheeses are ok)

These are all the things that set me off.
On top of that i don't eat legumes or soy.

So i eat paleo 2.0 (paleo 2.0 is paleo + common sense) and have put on 7 kg without exercise

you might wanna look at paleo, but don't listen to the idiots telling you to eat lean meat (the fat is your fuel).

worth a look, you have nothing to loose...
- i love a good theory........;o)

Good luck
11-12-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
John D
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: youngstown, Ohio
I was a bodybuilder at one time and have struggled to keep my weight on! one supplement that is tasteless and is good for intestinal wall repair is glutamine powder! you can buy it at gnc or any health store and its cheap and is something i always throw in a protein shake. Its also shown to build muscle
11-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Naples, Florida
I would STRONGLY suggest staying away from those muscle gainer shakes. They're full of absolute crap that can mess with healthy digestive systems. They have no business being ingested by a Crohnie. There's a thread around here somewhere where I went through the ingredients of one of the shakes someone was on and tore it apart.
Figuring out what foods affect you is going to be purely trial and error. As far as shakes go, a lot of us on the forum like things such as Boost or Ensure to get extra calories.
If you want shakes, head this route. Heck, then you'd be on your way to an elemental diet. If you have good insurance, you may even be able to get that stuff free or low cost if your doctor writes a prescription so you can do the elemental diet.
It's good to be back
11-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Our stories are somewhat similar so I figured I'd give my 2cents. I'm 23, and was diagnosed at 12, and my weight has always been an issue for me. When I was a teen I was about 6'2'', 140lbs; had my first flair, dropped to 125lb; got better and hit the gym for the first time and bulked up to 175lb; combo of not hitting the gym and my most recent flare put me down to about 115lb (really..). Finally back to the gym and startin to gain again as i'm heading for remission .

Anyhoo, in my experience milk and protein shakes and weight gainers etc. do increase symptoms slightly, but do not make things unbearable. Overall the stuff makes me more gassey I think, but makes me feel better in general and puts me in a much more stable remission IMO. I don't intend to start drinking the classic weight gainers again, mostly due to what was said above, but I have started drinking Ensure Plus. Its 355 Cal per 8oz, which is basically what you get from a gainer anyway. Another great alternative is to make your own. The regular whey isolates are just pure protein for the most part and are great blended up with some oatmeal, natural peanut butter or cashew butter, fruits, etc. (pretty much anything you can think of). Also, a Casein powder pre-bedtime worked well for me.

I would really recommend just feeling it out. If one thing is for sure, everyone is different. I once tried the "GOMAD" diet, which would send a lot of people here running to the toilet screaming ; it didn't really bother me. My point is, everyone is different in terms of good/bad foods. Keep track of your Cal and protein intake, try making your own gainers from quality ingredients, and just keep at the weights. You'll see gains for sure!

Best of luck with it!
11-18-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
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Join Date: Nov 2011
I have to preface this response by stating I've never stuck to weight lifting for any consistent basis or long duration. Though I eat primarily protein from a few sources which may or may not bother you.

Hard boiled eggs (6 grams protein each?), pea protein powder (26 grams protein per scoop), plain whey powder with no RBST (18 grams per scoop), and I often scoop in peanut/almond butter or avacodos into the protein smoothies I make too. I sweeten with stevia extract, 15-20 drops per 16 oz; I often add a banana and cinnamon to plain whey. Some forms of stevia (erythritol) may have a slight laxitive effect, though slightly less so than other alcohol based sugars (sorbitol, mannitol, "ol" etc). Xylitol may be worth considering as a sweetener also. And, yea, whey may make me gassy now that you mention it.

Glutamine may be best taken by itself to get the most out of it, according to a osteopath who reccomended building up to 9 grams of powder a day--that seems like a lot to me, though. Mind you, he was reccomending this to anyone with Crohn's, not weight lifting! Glutamine is found in cabbage juice which many swear heals stomach ulcers by drinking a quart a day for two weeks.

As fats are concerned, I often spoon up olive/coconut oil. I often cook chicken on the stovetop and eat the skins from time to time (you probably want to thoroughly wash the skins and maybe get organic). Sorry, I don't have much to offer as Im nowhere near a body builder stature (6ft, 155lbs). Frisbee golf, hiking, yoga--these are more my forte'. Though I have a work membership and a weightlifting app, that's what drew me to this thread...I'll start lifting next week...


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