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Gaining bodyfat since starting intermittant fasting

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 15, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Help! I started intermittent fasting (8 hour feeding window a day). I'm a 29 y.o. female, crossfitting 4 times or so a week. I started IF-ing about one month ago. While I feel good in terms of energy levels, I'm started GAINING bodyfat AND weight. I've checked my calorie levels and I'm still eating around 1700/day (about the same as before I started.) What's wrong? What can I do to trigger the magic bodyfat dropping that comes with IF? (Or at least get back to where I was before.)

D342e276aebe1ce6666f22821f5f2f91

(115)

on April 16, 2013
at 03:08 PM

That is a very good question. I thought I'd add another stress to my body without realizing the effects. The idea was to improve overall immune system by introducing regular stress situations. I do icy water dowsing daily (swim in the lake during winter when possible), do speed drills once-twice a week, and thought about fasting as another stress. Tried it for 6 months, saw results - done with it. Will think of something else.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 16, 2013
at 02:39 PM

I'm no expert but I am not sure fasting for so long is a healthy thing to do, certainly not as frequently as you seem to have done in the past. No matter how normal a spin you put on it. I think your body agrees with me. When you fast for so long you increase cortisol - the body's stress hormone - so you're more likely to store the food you next eat, as fat. What is the reason you're fasting like this?!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 16, 2013
at 01:08 AM

sounds like that didn't work for you. Some people it works for, some it does not.

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8 Answers

1
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on April 16, 2013
at 01:55 AM

Are you sure your calories haven't creeped up? You said "around" the same. Usually if you're using IF for weight loss you wanna have a pretty accurate count of your caloric intake, give or take 50-100 calories... I find when I do CrossFit and IF I have to be careful not to overeat. It's pretty easy if I do a serious workout more than three times a week. Just a thought.

0
1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

on April 16, 2013
at 09:55 PM

Yeah, try other things.

Maybe eating morning and evening will work better for you. If not, go back to eating 3 meals a day. You could try varying your calorie count on different days, maybe 1000 - 1200 3 days a week and 2000-2300 on 4 (crossfit) days will work for you.

0
C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

on April 16, 2013
at 02:50 PM

Hi Kendall, women seem to have more difficulty with intermittent fasting and fasting in general. Hormones are what causes weight gain and as females we are most definitely much more sensitive and pretty much slaves to our hormones! There's a good post on this here and a Paleohacks answer here; although the latter is more about bulletproofing but still contains some interesting info.

To be honest, with a lot of things in life, great advice can be given but it's all surmising, YMMV. If it's not working don't do it. It depends on your goals: if you want to lose weight readjust what you're doing because the status quo clearly ain't beneficial. I'd say if you wish to keep IFing stop exercising as much. If however, exercise is important to you and you want keep a certain level of fitness and physical stimulation/energy release, keep up the crossfit/exercise but quit the IFing. You don't need the stress.

Some people have found excellent results with introducing more carbs with as active a schedule as yours. Equally, introducing more fat might help too; you haven't provided any stats....

0
D342e276aebe1ce6666f22821f5f2f91

on April 16, 2013
at 01:57 PM

I've experimented with IFing and here is what happened. I started weekly 24-36 hour water fasting in August and haven't skipped a single week. I also did two 4-day fasting and it felt great. Have to say that I did like fasting although it was difficult sometimes, overall experience was wonderful. But there is always but… In August I had PBF test done with these numbers: Weight: 163 Total body water: 110 Dry lean mass: 39.4 Body fat mass: 13.7 BMI: 22.7 PBF: 8.3 I also had the same test done a month ago, 6 months after beginning IFing. Here is what happened to my body: Weight: 167 Total body water: 108 Dry lean mass: 39.4 Body fat mass: 18.6 BMI: 23.2 PBF: 11.2 As you may see, I did add 5 pounds of fat while slightly losing muscle. It was a surprise and a disappointment. I spoke to a professional trainer who is big proponent of paleo herself. Her explanation was something like: our bodies are designed to store fat just in case of prolonged hunger periods. By IFing I reduced overall calorie intake by 15-20% as I didn't eat more on food days. As a result, my body went into saving mode and turned everything it put it guts on into fat. Numbers do correlate to my food consumption. No other major changes in my life style occurred then. I lift weights 3 days a week and swim or run another 3 days. Upon her recommendation I stopped weekly fasting and slightly increased calorie intake (something like avocado and a few spoons of almond butter). It's been a month since that and I have lost 2-3 pounds. However, based on my abs visual I think these 2-3 pounds amount to fat. Will have another PBF test in a month or so to see what actually happened. Have to add that I still believe in fasting but will switch to once-twice a year 7-day water fasting for cleansing reasons. Hope this helps. All the best

D342e276aebe1ce6666f22821f5f2f91

(115)

on April 16, 2013
at 03:08 PM

That is a very good question. I thought I'd add another stress to my body without realizing the effects. The idea was to improve overall immune system by introducing regular stress situations. I do icy water dowsing daily (swim in the lake during winter when possible), do speed drills once-twice a week, and thought about fasting as another stress. Tried it for 6 months, saw results - done with it. Will think of something else.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 16, 2013
at 02:39 PM

I'm no expert but I am not sure fasting for so long is a healthy thing to do, certainly not as frequently as you seem to have done in the past. No matter how normal a spin you put on it. I think your body agrees with me. When you fast for so long you increase cortisol - the body's stress hormone - so you're more likely to store the food you next eat, as fat. What is the reason you're fasting like this?!

0
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on April 16, 2013
at 08:09 AM

I experienced the same thing, but I suspect that I really did upper a little bit my calories. What are your timings for IF? If you have been skipping breakfast for an easy 16h fast, maybe you would benefit more if you did breakfast + lunch 8h window, then fasting until next morning. If you do your workouts after digesting your last meal, that shall provide plenty of fat burning window for the rest of the day + night-time to compensate. For me, eating less at night seems to work better for fat loss (maybe not for anabolism). This goes a little bit in the opposite direction on the concept of training fasted and eating post-workout that is working pretty well with many people. But maybe you could benefit from this strategy. Just throwing some insight.

0
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 16, 2013
at 01:58 AM

If IF doesn't work for you, you may want to consider trying one 24 hour fast a week. Eat Stop Eat is a good short book on it.

0
142d7e06e608cff536ab78e6ca78ce38

on April 16, 2013
at 12:52 AM

Hi there have been lots of studies about I.F for women, we react differently to fasting then men do. Look up Mark Sisson's website he has a really good article on it. Google fasting and Mark, you should find it.

0
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on April 16, 2013
at 12:50 AM

When are you fasting? Maybe try the 14-16 hr. window at different times. Like from lunch to breakfast? I find that sleeping on an empty belly helps with weight loss. Good luck.

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