2

votes

Can you get fat on a Paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 07, 2011 at 4:07 AM

Simple question.

Have there been any stories of a lean person gaining body fat on a typical Paleo diet? I am very curious. The reasoning behind the diet sounds fantastic but there is still some part of my stubborn brain that's very hesitant about eating loads of butter and red meat.

EDIT: Just a disclaimer, I know fat doesn't make you fat :-). Paleo seems so appealing, but I am someone who is so used to counting the calories of everything (but I know this is likely unnatural and not healthy). If I am correct, calorie counting is not supported by the Paleo community, hm? Can I really just eat within reason and remain lean? I have already established decent eating habits, as my diet's comprised of 95% natural foods and I'm really happy with my weight... but counting calories is both stressful and time consuming. The Paleo diet sounds like just what I need to free my mind from constant thoughts about food... but first I need to convince myself that I won't get fat eating unmeasured amounts of high fat foods LOL And yes, I know that this is the wrong mindset but it's incredibly difficult to shake! Looks like I'm just rambling now. Thanks for reading :-)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 09, 2011
at 01:01 PM

Which is why I mentioned N=1. :)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 09, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Now that's food reward mth! A coke and an ice cream cone. Even if your snack was paleo, 2-3 miles of walking justifies a smaller reward than most people expect.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Matt-notice that I said if "I" eat too many carbs, "I" can easily gain weight on Paleo. I did not say that the ONLY way ANYONE can gain weight on Paleo is to eat too many carbs.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 08, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Not your anonymous down vote, but it's not just carbs that can cause weight gain. But from a personal N=1 perspective that is possible that excess carbohydrate calories can be a problem.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 08, 2011
at 12:55 PM

I was wondering what cory and quilt disagreed with. All good I just don't see the problem. If your hormones are giving you a stimulus to grow your lean mass and you eat a surplus you will gain some lean mass (perhaps while putting on bits of body fat). If you don't have that kind of hormonal signaling going on while eating a surplus it will manifest as body fat.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:48 AM

When I was a teenager, I worked at McDonald's. I saw 2 women exercise their way to obesity. At the beginning of summer, they walked everyday to McDonalds (2 or 3 mile round trip). They'd get a coke or an ice cream cone and walk home. I'd bet they gained 50 pounds that summer by thinking the exercise was doing them anything.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:47 AM

4oz of steak is 212 calories. 1 egg is 90 calories. 4 oz of salmon 233 calories. I used to run marathons, I now run short distance, I lift weights. I am 6 ft at 155 pounds and am about 9% body fat. I didn't say exercise does nothing for you, it takes more than exercise to lose weight because anything in a satiating amount will negate exercise.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Apparently, I deserve an anonymous down vote for this anwser?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:32 AM

maybe you shouldn't eat such calorie dense foods

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:30 AM

if you sprint a mile you can burn a substantial amount of calories and the more lean mass you have the higher your RMR will be. The only way to gain lean mass is through some sort of physical activity.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:27 AM

did you guys read the same answer i did? makes sense to me.

7fe08b47d7d073a906802a4170ae24bf

(350)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:15 AM

that's total BS, I lost weight eating more and cutting exercise. Weight regulation has nothing to do with calories in/calories out.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Thanks for the interesting input. I guess it's still a good idea to be aware of the calories I eat if I want to stay lean... not neurotically though.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:06 AM

Plus one cory.....

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 07, 2011
at 03:28 PM

thats the only nut i keep around. those things are tasty

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Sure you can. Fat and protein are pretty satiating, so people tend to eat less, due to reduced hunger. A few paleos still count calories... You will have to see how you do and adjust accordingly. I reccommend that you don't keep buckets of macademia nuts around for snacking - man I can eat the heck out of those!

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:12 PM

drizzle the fruit/nuts with coconut butter and its a recipe for fat gain :) trust me, done it haha

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:12 PM

its more than just whats spent at the time of exercise...much more goes into the body from a workout than just then and there

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:10 PM

...is this question real life?...haha

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:03 PM

I believe its possible as well but I completely disagree with your reasoning that it is based on muscle growth stimuli.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 07, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Basically 5 seconds of eating negates 8.5 minutes (for me at my pace) of exercise.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 07, 2011
at 01:12 PM

because running a mile only burns 100 - 125 calories and you can overcome that with a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of coconut oil - neither are satisfying enough to prevent further eating if you are hungry. Same principle with other exercises.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 07, 2011
at 12:12 PM

how does burning calories not cause weight loss?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 07, 2011
at 04:29 AM

yea it would seem bad if you couldn't gain fat since body fat can be good

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15 Answers

8
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 07, 2011
at 04:55 AM

If I include a lot of fruit and nuts, make an attempt to eat until I'm completely full, and sit on my ass all day I can get a bit of a pudge going. Other than that, no.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:12 PM

drizzle the fruit/nuts with coconut butter and its a recipe for fat gain :) trust me, done it haha

7
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 07, 2011
at 04:40 AM

The Paleo Diet is a way of eating for life not a weight loss mechanism per se.

Avoid vegetable oils and sugar and you will be healthier. Eat only whole foods and avoid grains and you will be healthier yet.

There are 1000s of ways to eat Paleo and some can cause weight gain. However if you are looking to lose weight the Paleo way of eating can be very effective.

5
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:14 AM

If I eat too many carbs, I can easily gain weight on Paleo.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 09, 2011
at 01:01 PM

Which is why I mentioned N=1. :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Apparently, I deserve an anonymous down vote for this anwser?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 08, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Not your anonymous down vote, but it's not just carbs that can cause weight gain. But from a personal N=1 perspective that is possible that excess carbohydrate calories can be a problem.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Matt-notice that I said if "I" eat too many carbs, "I" can easily gain weight on Paleo. I did not say that the ONLY way ANYONE can gain weight on Paleo is to eat too many carbs.

5
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on October 07, 2011
at 04:18 AM

Yes one can........

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 07, 2011
at 04:29 AM

yea it would seem bad if you couldn't gain fat since body fat can be good

4
8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:18 PM

Paleo is a "diet" in that it's a 'way of eating', not necessarily "diet" as 'a way to lose weight'. The weight loss aspect is magnified beyond what I think it should be. Can you pig out on fatty meat, nuts, fruit, and gain weight? Of course you can! The Paleo camp is made up of people who want to be more healthy, get lean and cut, heal health issues (digestion and the like), perform better athletically, and lose weight/attack their obesity issues. The Lose Weight crowd often seems to see Paleo as the next miracle diet to "make them skinny". It's not. Eat too much, eat the wrong things, don't move your body, and hell yeah you can gain weight.

3
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on October 07, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Yes, you can. I've been skinny and lean my whole life, but I gained 10 lbs eating high calorie paleo. Granted I was intentionally eating as much as I could. Not all of it is muscle (I am a girl), but a good deal of it is, and I got a lot stronger.

I have two cats that have been 'paleo' (they eat 100% raw animals - zero carb) since I got them as little kittens 6 and 4 years ago. They are much more muscular and solid (with very tight skin) than most cats I touch, however they do have a little 'extra' body fat in the usual belly area, and they can easily put on more fat if they eat to excess and will lose it if I diet them down. A fatty (high-cal) diet noticeably packs weight on them. The younger cat I have to watch like a hawk (and feed lean cuts) in order to keep him from getting chubby (he is a thief and a compulsive overeater). If he was an outdoor cat and could hunt and eat all he wanted, I bet he'd be a fatass. Of course, they are spayed and neutered, and it might be that they would stay lean more easily if they were intact.

Calories count for something.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Thanks for the interesting input. I guess it's still a good idea to be aware of the calories I eat if I want to stay lean... not neurotically though.

3
3ec82663c71ecbd1db95f17a1eb4f982

on October 07, 2011
at 01:55 PM

As a hypothyroid (an instant fat maker issue), I find I have to be careful of not only what I eat but the proportions of macro nutrients. Too much simple carb intake piles the weight on like crazy. I fall into the low fat trap easily because that message is everywhere so it's hard to get it out of mind. When it gets in my brain, I unconsciously veer from fats and toward carbs because I'm hungry all the time. I must be very conscious of keeping these two things balanced. To feel my best and lose (like presently) or maintain a good weight, eating the paleo way is best; it keeps me focused on the true good stuff and staying balanced with no counting.

2
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 07, 2011
at 03:01 PM

No diet can prevent you from gaining weight. If you go over your caloric needs, your body will store the excess as fat. Now determining what the threshold is, is another story.

As always, it comes down to listening to your body and measuring yourself (not just the weight scale, but body fat %, waist, chest, arm, etc circumference, paint size) if you are having problems losing extra weight.

If you think your diet is good, look at your sleep patterns, stress levels, etc.

If you still have problems after that I would recommend recording what you in eat in a food log like FitDay, to have a more unbiased approach. Some people eat a lot more than they think. So you could be overdoing the nuts, or cream. I would try to find the bottleneck to my weight loss and narrow in from there.

Of course, exercise can help too.

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 07, 2011
at 01:32 PM

Yes you can gain body fat eating paleo.

To gain body fat all one has to do is eat more calories than your body requires to maintain its current weight, while having no stimulus for your muscles to grow. If you are providing your muscles a stimulus to grow (usually achieved by lifting weights) and eat a surplus of calories than some of those calories will probably go to building and repairing those muscles.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:27 AM

did you guys read the same answer i did? makes sense to me.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 08, 2011
at 12:55 PM

I was wondering what cory and quilt disagreed with. All good I just don't see the problem. If your hormones are giving you a stimulus to grow your lean mass and you eat a surplus you will gain some lean mass (perhaps while putting on bits of body fat). If you don't have that kind of hormonal signaling going on while eating a surplus it will manifest as body fat.

7fe08b47d7d073a906802a4170ae24bf

(350)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:15 AM

that's total BS, I lost weight eating more and cutting exercise. Weight regulation has nothing to do with calories in/calories out.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:03 PM

I believe its possible as well but I completely disagree with your reasoning that it is based on muscle growth stimuli.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:06 AM

Plus one cory.....

1
07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on October 09, 2011
at 10:54 AM

It's definitely possible to gain weight if you eat too much calorie-dense foods, even from paleo sources (as I've demonstrated to myself when I've let myself backslide, portion-wise).

Paying attention to cues from my body, such as noticing when I initially started to feel sated and stopping eating at that point, helps me to counter this but for me a lot of my results come from actively working against my pre-paleo habits (especially that "clean your plate" thing).

I've not done any calorie-counting though (either before or after going paleo), feeling more comfortable sticking to a general low-carb diet for my on-going weightloss (although I've found that even fruit can make for a weight-increasing binge). Personally, I've had days where my single meal of the day consisted of a pound of steak with half a stick of butter and couple of heaping tablespoons of cream cheese, feeling full afterwards (ok, no surprise there), and still lost weight.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:18 PM

I'm a guy trying to grain size and actually, just look more fat (I'm too thin). I haven't really gained any fat on this diet, but have seen some development, and have remained the same weight throughout the entire process.

0
624ceae764aeb6a1320281652d188070

on June 01, 2013
at 03:24 AM

I think I may be gaining fat on Paleo, but I am hungry all the time. Real hunger. Am I just supposed to ignore the hunger pangs?

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on October 08, 2011
at 02:36 AM

don't worry, just don't act like a food addict.

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I am heavy and have stayed heavy and even gained weight (when not sleeping/stressing too) on paleo at times, but unless I add sugar it has never been much.

0
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 07, 2011
at 12:07 PM

For the last 2 weeks I've been zero carb and have gained about 5 pounds. I haven't been exercising much and although I don't believe exercise will cause you to lose weight in and of itself, it does prevent me from eating during that time.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 07, 2011
at 12:12 PM

how does burning calories not cause weight loss?

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 07, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Basically 5 seconds of eating negates 8.5 minutes (for me at my pace) of exercise.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:32 AM

maybe you shouldn't eat such calorie dense foods

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 07, 2011
at 01:12 PM

because running a mile only burns 100 - 125 calories and you can overcome that with a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of coconut oil - neither are satisfying enough to prevent further eating if you are hungry. Same principle with other exercises.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:12 PM

its more than just whats spent at the time of exercise...much more goes into the body from a workout than just then and there

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:30 AM

if you sprint a mile you can burn a substantial amount of calories and the more lean mass you have the higher your RMR will be. The only way to gain lean mass is through some sort of physical activity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 09, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Now that's food reward mth! A coke and an ice cream cone. Even if your snack was paleo, 2-3 miles of walking justifies a smaller reward than most people expect.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:47 AM

4oz of steak is 212 calories. 1 egg is 90 calories. 4 oz of salmon 233 calories. I used to run marathons, I now run short distance, I lift weights. I am 6 ft at 155 pounds and am about 9% body fat. I didn't say exercise does nothing for you, it takes more than exercise to lose weight because anything in a satiating amount will negate exercise.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 08, 2011
at 11:48 AM

When I was a teenager, I worked at McDonald's. I saw 2 women exercise their way to obesity. At the beginning of summer, they walked everyday to McDonalds (2 or 3 mile round trip). They'd get a coke or an ice cream cone and walk home. I'd bet they gained 50 pounds that summer by thinking the exercise was doing them anything.

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