5 Easy Ways to Add Calories to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

by Steven Wright

A common fear of many people who follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is that they won’t be able to get enough calories to gain/maintain weight on the diet.  I never thought it would be a problem for me however I was surprised after starting the diet to learn how much I needed to eat.

My goal was never to gain but rather just make sure I was getting proper amount of calories to maintain my current body weight.  While I think it is very important that you understand what your specific daily/weekly calorie total should be that subject is beyond the scope of this post.

Instead I want to offer some simple to implement strategies to help the person who is looking for an extra bump in calories to maintain their current weight or gain some back.

Number 1:  Stop buying the leanest cuts of meats and neurotically trimming off all the fat.  In my past I used to be Fat-a-phoebe tricked into avoiding the most flavorful cuts of meat by main stream marketing.  That’s until I realized that saturated fat is my friend and that anything mother nature produces is going to be better for my body than manmade fats.  I’m looking at you corn and canola oil!  Now I eat bacon, beef and pork almost exclusively.  Fat is needed for proper digestion more than fiber and is calorically denser than protein or carbohydrates (9cals per gram vs 4cals per gram).

Number 2:  Up your butter or Ghee.  With approximately 100 calories per tablespoon liberally adding these products to every meal is a great choice to overcome a calorie deficit.  They are a great source of good quality fats and the best part is they make every type of dish better!  So slather on that butter!

Number 3: Drink your Oils.  Specifically I recommend supplementing with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil if you’re short on your calorie intake for the day.  Or if you’re like me I don’t need the calories but love the health benefits and add it to every dish I can.  At around 120 calories per tablespoon coconut oil packs a mean calorie addition.  Olive oil is another good source.

Number 4: Add Coconut milk to everything!  Coconut milk is almost entirely made of good saturated fats that help digestion.  With

Avocados are a great snack!

every cup adding at least 300 calories (a whole can is usually 700+) to each dish this is an easy one to work into your daily smoothie, stir-fry, omelet, frittata or soup.

Number 5: An Avocado a day keeps the weight loss at bay!  Avocados have a delightful nutty smooth texture and can be added to just about any dish.  With an average sized avocado containing approximately 300 calories they make a great snack or are a breeze to add to your eggs, burgers or salads.

These are just some sample ideas of simple ways to add more calories to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  The specific carbohydrate is easily more nutritious and balanced than the average standard SAD diet.  The best part of the diet is it can be tailored to anyone’s individual allergies, calorie requirements or tastes.

 

About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

new_to_scd August 1, 2010 at 9:38 pm

i hear you on the calories! but, is it safe to add cocount milk to the scd? i thought the whole deal with coconut milk was to avoid it for at least the first 6 months of the diet (raman prasad’s book) or have i missed something?

Reply

Carol Frilegh August 3, 2010 at 3:25 am

Opposites Subtract
I lost eighty six pounds before needing SCD and was obsessed about not regaining. Ten years later I weigh a bit less, eat without guilt or remorse and find once a healthy weight is obtained SCD seems to magically maintain it.

Reply

Steven Wright August 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

Hello and thanks for stopping by, from all the research I’ve done, the only mention I can find of Elaine talking about coconut milk is the legal/illegal list which does state to try and wait until you’ve been on the diet for 6 months before trying coconut milk.

I would suggest you wait at least 3 months as I’m sure Elaine had some kind of data to make her recommendation on however, as far as I’m concerned coconut milk is one of the healthiest and best sources of calories available. Start with coconut oil and coconut water and work up to the milk.

Reply

Emily Warner August 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I was told that coconut water was illegal due to it being from ‘young coconuts’, so it would not be ‘fall off the tree ripe’. Also, what brand of coconut milk can we use find that is legal? … all the ones I have located have guar gum added … I was told native forrest did not use bisphenol-a in the linings, but it, to has guar gum …

Reply

Steven Wright August 9, 2010 at 10:18 am

I’ve never found or read anything by Elaine or any of the other long time users of the SCD diet that says Coconut water is illegal. From all my research as long as your drinking coconut water with the only ingredient being coconut water it will be legal. It’s such a natural replacement for bodily fluids that during WWII it was used as a blood replacement using a straight IV into the vein.

It is always best to to “make” coconut milk using shredded coconut and water in a food processor. I have found a few brands that use a different preservative called sodium metabisulfite instead of guar gum. I only use it when I don’t have time to make my milk from scratch and from what I can tell it was never deemed legal or illegal by Elaine. However it is an added ingredient in making wine which is legal in small quantities. So therefore I’ve taken the approach that is legal in small quantities.

Chaokoh, Goya, and Aroy-D make coconut milks that I use, the only places I usually find them are small Asian markets or specialty stores. But they can be purchased off Amazon.

Reply

Lillea August 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

I’m with you on the fat! It truly is healthful, which sadly is counter to what most people have been told. Slowly the truth is coming out in the mainstream, but it will take time.

I love coconut oil. The brands I like most are Nutiva and Tropical Traditions.

I like your canned tuna as a snack tip in the book. I add coconut oil to my tuna (I warm the oil first to liquify it before stirring it in) and it tastes fantastic and it’s so filling.

Reply

Jordan Reasoner August 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

Lillea, coconut oil is incredible and those are two really high quality brands… the most important part that it is organic and virgin.

My one caution with the Canned Tuna is be aware of mercury intake and also make sure that the brand you are eating does not add a broth to the Tuna and is just water plus low salt or no salt.

Adding coconut oil to it does sound amazing! Thanks for the tip… I will try it soon.

In good health,
Jordan

Reply

Sal October 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm

In which phase can i add coconut oil in my diet?

Reply

Jordan Reasoner October 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

Hey Sal,

I would try and give it a shot in phase 1 or 2. It adds so much valuable calories and anti-microbial properties it’s unreal. Try a tablespoon a day for 2 days and see if there is any change in how you feel.

It’s pure fats, so the main thing is how you digest fats. If you are struggling to digest fats you probably need to get a digestive enzyme like the ones from giprohealth.com that have lipase, which is what breaks down fats. It’s common for people with inflammation and digestive disease to have insufficient pancreatic function at first, which = a lack of digestive enzyme’s to help you out.

Let us know how it goes!

In good health,
Jordan

Reply

Karen January 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Trader Joe’s makes coconut milk with no additives.

I have a question about Sauerkraut. I understand that it is loaded with good bacteria. At what stage of the diet would you recommend trying it?

Reply

Jordan Reasoner January 15, 2011 at 6:36 am

Hi Karen ~ Sauerkraut can be really tough on people and cause gas and bloating, so respect it. I would say that if you are feeling good give it a shot around Phase 2 or so. But the key is to start with a very small amount (like a tsp) and work your way up. Just try to keep everything else the same so you know how it’s affecting your body. It’s especially good to try it if you can’t do dairy and haven’t been able to start the yogurt. But have respect for the probiotic effect and the impact it can have in increasing stomach acid (which most of us need anyway).

Jordan

Reply

anon February 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Hi, the trouble with me is that I’m 30 lbs underweight. 30 year old female.
I’m only 65 lbs at 5 foot 1. THAT is not healthy in itself. Eating copious amounts of fat starts to make me nauseous…I don’t really have time and ability to make these things from scratch…I’m quite serious.
A naturopath suggested foods okay would be:
- oils
- butter
– eggs
- goat cheese or raw cheese
- yogurt (liberte) or goat or sheep yogurt or “greek goddess”
- all kinds of meats, fish
- brown rice, sweet potatoes, veggies, squash, fruits
- handful of nuts
- avocados
- whey protein from excellent source (isolate)

etc…
becoming obsessive drives me NUTS…i can’t do that…and at 60 lbs…if i don’t gain, my doctor will put me in hospital…
so i’m hoping to just eat normal as i can…i have to make myself eat…but for me to fully ban those yogurts, cheeses, fruits, etc etc…that would make me neurotic…
i live on my own and just don’t have the energy…
if they put me in the hospital, they’ll only stuff me with ensure and crap…so surely i can try to get up to a far safer weight first right??

Reply

Jordan Reasoner March 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hi Anon – it seems like most of what your Naturopath recommended is fats and proteins also with a few starches.

If you’re struggling to digest fats I would highly recommend you try SCD legal digestive enzymes from GI Pro Health here: http://www.giprohealth.com/prozymes.aspx

It doesn’t take too much time to grab a couple tablespoons of Coconut Oil or an avocado. Or dip all your meat in Olive Oil. That will help the calories dramatically.

In good health,

Jordan

Reply

Raj @ Velvet Aroma April 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Both my husband and I had the weight loss problem when I was on SCD. Avocados were definitely one of my go-tos. Also I increased our intake of nuts and nut butters — peanuts, almonds, cashews – they’re all pretty high in calories. Hard cheese was a pretty good source of calories as well.

Reply

Roxanne Levchik May 5, 2012 at 8:54 am

I have been on this diet since January. I adhered to BTVC and the outcome was excellent. Since then things have gone south. symptoms are back and now i have cut out high sugar fruits and nuts. nutbutters which i was living on. so i’m down to protein, sauteed vegies and melon and berries. and her sandwich rolls. i also can’t go near dairy. so i am evooil girl. so hard i feel like i should go back to the into diet and start with the bone broth. i like your 5 points i never did that sticking with 1 food at a time for 4 days. i will also try the coconut milk and bought the oil will start with that first. also i bought the yogurt machine from lucys kitchen 3 months ago never even opened the box. i’m afraid because of the dairy. i feel like i am sinking. Roxanne

Reply

Steven Wright May 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

@ Roxanne – sounds like you probably should restart from the intro diet and use something like our book to help you navigate back to feeling amazing. That’s why we created it and I know it works! Figure out a plan that makes sense and work it. Don’t just jump from food to food as the ship is sinking.

Reply

Roxanne Levchik May 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thanks. I have BTVC. The book that you are referring to in your comments is it a different one? If so i will buy it. I think your suggestions are right on. i also have to watch high natural sugar items and need to avoid dairy. i will stick with the same food for 4 days and then start adding cautiously and not over do it.
thank you.

Reply

Steven Wright May 10, 2012 at 11:41 am

@ Roxanne – I was referring to the book we wrote it’s a how-to book for SCD. Breaking it down to the fastest and simplest way to feel better. We tried to fill in all the blanks left out of BTVC. Here’s a link: http://www.scdlifestylebook.com

Reply

Heather July 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I add coconut oil to my pureed carrots. It tastes great and gave me the idea to add vanilla and eggs and make a carrot custard. I’ll let you know if I try it.

Reply

Paul November 15, 2012 at 3:29 am

Hi guys, your site is excellent and has been a big help. I’ve been on SCD for Crohn’s for a bit over a year, no cheating, and it’s been extremely helpful. Recently I wanted to start experimenting with new recipes and wanted to try out Red Wine Vinegar for marinading and dressings. I could not find anything that was all natural, but I found something that was almost all natural with the addition of sodium metabisulfite. I see you’ve addressed this issue above, but I’m still a bit concerned as I could not find any info about from BTVC and do not want to consume anything that could aggravate me since I’m on a winning streak. Has this been known to cause problems for some SCDers? I read on an Autism related site that it is a very strong preservative and should be avoided, this is my main concern. Thanks for any advice.

Paul

Reply

Martin December 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Any safe calorie dense carbohydrate recommendations? I have gone through a period of indulging in butter and coconut oil and did successfully gain weight so your advice in that respect is valid. However for 14% of population with the ApoE4 gene high amounts of saturated fat can result in huge cholesterol numbers. While the significance of cholesterol number is heavily debated by the paleo community, they may still represent significant shift from currently accepted healthy reference.

Reply

faiza September 11, 2013 at 11:00 pm

What about royal jelly? is it legal in SCD diet?

Reply

BG January 16, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Natural Valley Coconut Milk is preservative free, only uses coconut and water…also comes in BPA free can!

Cost $33 for pack of 12 cans.

I am about to order a batch from amazon…

Coconuts are amazing..I wish I had time to crack them open every day…but I dont…so this brand will have to do…

Raw is always best…you cant beat nature…when you pasteurize…you are going against nature…and you pay for the compromise

Reply

Leave a Comment