4

votes

Gained 13% bodyfat, freaking out! Help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 18, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Hi all,

I hope I can get some answers here. I'm sorry if this is on the long-ish side.

I'm 36, female, 5'5". In September 2010 I was at a healthy weight, 135 lbs with 23-24% bodyfat. I felt I could stand to lose some more BF, but I knew the low-fat, high-carb, always-hungry, always-tired nonsense wasn't working. So I turned to Paleo. To make a long story short, over the course of this year I noticed my clothing getting tighter. My weight is currently fluctuating between 140-143 lbs, which may not seem like much. It's not the weight that's freaking me out, it's my BF. I measured it for the first time in a while last month, and it was 36% - that's 12% higher, and well above the healthy level. I'm shocked, confused, and don't know what to do.

Over the last 4 weeks I've tried cutting out ALL sugar, dairy, rice, and potatoes, limiting fruits and nuts to once or twice a week and cutting them out completely, exercising less, intermittent fasting, eating more, eating more carbs, eating less carbs, eating more protein... No effect.

Right now I eat about 1200-1500 cal a day, 60-30-10% fat-protein-carb. Most days my carbs are under 50g. My protein is 60-70g. Staples are eggs, avocados, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, salmon, cod, tuna, shrimp, crab, bacon and other cured meats now and then, cabbage, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, spinach, greens, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, butter, ghee, heavy cream. Some honey in my homemade salad dressing. I try to go for organic/grass-fed/pastured whenever I can. I typically eat between 12 pm and 8 pm, usually two large meals or three small ones. I do interval training twice a week and high-impact cardio once a week. I walk a lot. To supplement I take B12 complex and just started to take cod liver oil.

I have at least 2 cups of coffee a day, and I put a 1/2 tsp of sugar in it, and I also love wine with my dinner (I figure if Mark Sisson does those things, I can too). I admit that I do have stress in my life, and occasionally don't get enough sleep. I'm a workaholic, and a mom of two very active young boys, so most days stress just happens. Could these things have caused my fat gain? If so, why didn't they affect me before now? Or do I possibly have a condition? I had my thyroid tested in March 2010 and it was fine, could paleo have caused it to act up?

I LOVE paleo, feel great on it and would want to continue, but this BF gain is freaking me out. Any answers/theories are appreciated. Thanks!

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 22, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Well, you're right, paleopete... I'm a recovering cardio junkie, so it's hard for me to let go of that mindset, and to stop feeling that I have to work myself into a stupor to stay fit. But I'm getting there. Thanks for the suggestions.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:31 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, Uncle! I'm one of those people who neither gain nor lose much. Even with an abysmal pre-paleo diet and without exercise my weight never went higher than 160 lbs. About rice and potatoes: I cut them out completely back in the spring. It had no effect on me, so now I eat them in moderation. Since this post I've cut out all sugar and dairy (if you don't count butter and heavy cream) and significantly limited my fruit and nut intake. No result so far, but I guess it's too early to tell. Will keep at it!

Ee7c5b7b9d4cd48d61dc259e6966a725

(90)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:59 AM

I wonder about the accuracy of those pics. About 10 years ago, I participated in a trial in which I was dexa scanned. My BF percentage was well, well above 30 (scary!), but I also looked smaller than that woman. Perhaps bone/muscle is accounting for the difference, idk...

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on July 02, 2011
at 07:38 PM

It just sounds to me like your are still not quite embracing the paleo philosophy, overdoing the intensity (which I still think you are doing) and things like "targeting muscle groups" (pure CW BS imho) are exactly the things Mark S and others warn against! It's fine to not embrace everything, but you are missing out on the big picture,and not getting the benefits you desire, which would be fine if it was working for you but based on your question looks like it's not....for me the 3 compound excercises 3x/week is all the strength and tone I need, so I def reccommend giving it a try.

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on July 02, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Then you are just wasting your time and sabotaging yourself even more....Doing big compound movements is what triggers your central nervous system to adapt and get stronger, if you want to "tone" then the diet will do that.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Pete, I didn't mean I'm doing intense lifting every day. On my non-gym days I do 15-20 minutes with my 8-lb dumbbells, just to target all muscle groups. Thanks for the link, it helps.

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:39 AM

no not every day! Less not more! Unless you are a professional athlete and getting 8-10+ hours of sleep every night I don't think you should be training nearly that much! From what I understand of paleo philosophy, your fitness regime is not very paleo. Your workouts should be tailored to prompting hormone response and CNS stimulation. Of course the others answers could be right, but it seems to me that your fitness is pretty far off. Hope this helps! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/guest-post-building-muscle-101-master-the-basics/

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Don't feel stupid, the marketing is good for those things and plenty of doctors, trainer believe in them and promote their use. Good luck!

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Thanks, Senya. My scale does the same thing, I believe. I'm following the strategies you (and many others) have suggested: stopped the sugar, the nuts, and the dairy, and taking fish oil. We'll see if it works.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:52 AM

The cardio I do is zumba. Honestly, I enjoy it. I used to do it 4-5 times a week, but could feel it taking its toll on me, so I stopped. My gym varies intervals, some days we have Tabata, other days HIITs with kickboxing and weights. Plus I do weights at home on the days I don't go to them gym. I was told it's good to give your muscles a rest for a day after lifting, so I lift every other day. Is it BS? Should I do it every day?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Well... Intervals include lifting weights. Plus I do it at home on the days I don't go to them gym. I was told it's good to give your muscles a rest for a day after lifting, so I lift every other day. Is it BS? Should I do it every day?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:46 AM

I believe you're right! I feel like a dummy for believing that infernal device. I think you're right about carbs too, I did lose weight in the past (years before paleo) on a high-carb diet. Thanks for the comments!

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Well, I certainly feel better looking at pictures of other ladies with supposedly 30+% BF. I look nowhere near that big. I wear a size 6-10 (pear-shaped... ugh), and they all look to be at least 14-16.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Not for me, Eric... I used to exercise 5-6 days a week, cardio all the time. That kept me stressed. I cut it down to 4 times a week, was still stressed. I can only handle high-impact cardio once a week, and intervals twice a week without getting stressed. And I do walk. We don't own a car so walking my preferred method of transportation most days.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Sounds great so far!

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:34 AM

meatboy: I only ate rice in sushi about once a month. Same with potatoes. Dairy only included a piece of cheese once or twice a month and full-fat yogurt with the same frequency (there are quite a few people who eat yogurt on paleo, "Nom Nom Paleo" comes to mind). Sugar was bad, but like I said... I read Mark Sisson's comments and assumed a spoonful a day was OK. So yes, I was about 80-90% paleo.

00e1e1336057b674a84468a386d3b46b

(0)

on June 19, 2011
at 10:27 PM

How can you have been "doing Paleo" if you subsequently cut out "sugar, dairy, rice, and potatoes" ?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 19, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Most reliable way is with a DEXA scan. Cost - out of pocket $100 aprox. Do a google search for one in your area.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 19, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Ambimorph, cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis, so it is used when you're low carb. I'm not sure how much is secreted, or if its significant. Its definitely plausible though.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:32 AM

I have a hunch that everything is fine, and a little more time will work out. If you're feeling "awesome" it's likely you are building vitality, and when you reach some threshhold the weight/fat will drop off on it's own. For me, it was several months before I felt like doing any exercise at all - one day I suddenly *felt* like it. I don't know much about fat testers, but if your adipose is changing composition - assuming that's how it works) it'll change electrically impacting results.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:19 AM

What makes you think 50g a day greatly increases cortisol? I don't think that's right at all.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:33 AM

It's a regular topic of discussion here on PaleoHacks, where the ideal carb intake is. It seems to (very roughly) fall into a divide in how 'in shape' we are already, and our goals. For those who are frustrated with weight loss and food 'issues', very low carb has been a god-send. For others who are in better shape to start and trying to optimize, a slightly higher carb rate works better (forgive me, Travis, for oversimplifying this!)

Medium avatar

(39821)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:15 AM

50g a day greatly increases cortisol, while a high intake of LCFAs causes most of them to be stored in adipocytes. A carb intake that matches glycogen usage is ideal. Without anaerobic exercise, that's about 130g a day.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:02 AM

Exercise will help with stress... Even a 30 min walk...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:00 AM

Honey you and I are the same creature. A bunch of us women are doing a self tracking experiment starting tomorrow. Jump in. We have women of all shapes sizes and mental state. It may help you. Plus I'm happy to chat wth you as I hit the stress bottom 5 months ago. I can give u my email if you need another stressed out mama to help you.v

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:45 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, CaveRat! Cabbage is usually green and stir-fried or braised. Sometimes sauerkraut. Once in a while red raw (in salads). I don't think I had a full thyroid panel, but I want to get it done. My mom was diagnosed last year, which is telling. Interesting about the alcohol... Do all of them metabolize the same? I also use a scale for the BF measurements, I know it's probably wrong somewhat, I just have trouble believing it's THAT off.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:30 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF, to say the least. More like the 25% one, except I carry most of my "junk" on my hips.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:30 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF, to say the least. More like the 25% one, except I carry most of my "junk" on my hips and arms.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:29 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF. More like the 25%, except I carry most of it below the waist.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Thanks, Sara, I'll look it up.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:24 AM

There's a book called "controlling stress and tension". It was the textbook for my class on stress management. It's pretty easy to read and understand, and gives a lot of useful info about stress as well as reduction techniques.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Laura, I wouldn't say I was ever skinny fat. I've always been thick: big hips, big boobs, small waist. I was about 15 lbs overweight post-baby but lost it easily (that was years before paleo). I did it by doing chronic cardio and eating low-fat, high-carb $#&*%^. I felt like crap back then, and I feel AWESOME eating paleo, so I know paleo is right for me. I'm really beginning to believe there's something wrong with me physically. There's a dissonance between what I feel and what I see in the mirror, you know? I know I've gained at least 2" around hips and waist. Tape measure don't lie.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Laura, I wouldn't say I was ever skinny fat. I've always been thick. Never fat but thick. Big hips, big boobs, small waist. I was about 15 lbs overweight post-baby but that didn't last long, I lost it easily. I know I've gained at least 2" around hips and waist. I really beginning to believe there's something wrong with me because I feel AWESOME eating paleo. There's a dissonance between what I feel and what I see in the mirror, you know?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:12 AM

LOL, I think I agree... Here's where the confusion sets in: I know stress is bad. Alcohol is my de-stressor. It's why I drink it. It's not for the taste, that's for sure! Nothing else works this well to relax me after a long day. I never get piss drunk wasted, one glass of wine and I'm right as rain. So the question is, which is the lesser of the two evils? Alcohol or stress?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks, baconbitch (love your name)! I cut out the sugar for about two weeks, saw no improvement, and went back to it. I'm now determined to give it up for good. I'm not really sure how I can control stress. I'm a very high-stress person. When something doesn't work out the way I expect I stress and obsess like there's no tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of meditation either. Yoga is very boring for me. I do work out, intervals twice a week and high-impact cardio once a week. I used to do cardio five days a week, but cut down about 3 months ago. I also walk a lot.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Eazine - no, no handheld monitors. I used the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor. A friend of mine who's a fitness trainer swears by it. Scart - I understand that those things can be off a couple of %. But a dozen?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:00 AM

Never thought of it this way... However, I used the same scale to measure the BF. It's the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor, which is supposed to be accurate. It's why I got it, for the BF. I believe weight is irrelevant. I know I gained BF because of my measurements - +2" waist and +2" hips in the last year. I may not have gained quite as much BF as the scale claims, but I did gain. I agree with whoever said it could be off 2-3%, but 12-13%? Doubt it...

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:59 AM

Never thought of it this way... However, I used the same scale to measure the BF. It's the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor. It's why I got it, for the BF. I believe weight is irrelevant. I know I gained BF because of my measurements - +2" waist and +2" hips in the last year.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Travis - increase starch? Everyone is telling me the starchy veg may be causing this. SnowDog - I went through a couple of weeks eating 1200 and under. Didn't work.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Travis - increase starch? Everyone is telling the starchy veg may be causing this. SnowDog - I went through a couple of weeks eating 1200 and under. Didn't work.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:28 AM

True. I've never came across a reliable way of knowing their percentage. Here is a decent post: http://www.leighpeele.com/body-fat-pictures-and-percentages

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I'm still figuring out where alcohol (dry - no sugar) fits in, since I drink a fair amount of it. So far my understanding is that it's a *ketogenic* process - it's not analogous to burning carbs (with insulin response) but to burning *fat*. It's preferentially processed ahead of fatty acids, so during that time you're not burning fat, but you're not actively storing it either like you would with sugar (unless you also were consuming sugars).

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Agreed, mari - I find that increasing my non-carb calories (i.e., fat) if anything tends to result in just a little more weight loss.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 18, 2011
at 11:27 PM

From what I understand our livers gives preferential treatment to alcohol and during the time it is processing it (up to 4 hours) the food gets stored directly as fat. So even if you eat a meal and have alcohol afterwards it cuts to the front of the line...

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 18, 2011
at 11:00 PM

She says she's eating 1500-1600 calories a day. I'm not sure it'd be wise to go much lower.

B2157bdf4a217ac943c41125d1a67845

(258)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:58 PM

Cut portion sizes to cut calories.

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:07 PM

I'm going to +1 this answer. If your BF was measured in Sept at 23-24%, how was it measured? Was the SAME device/technique used to measure it last month to come up with the 36% figure? If not, then know that the techniques can very significantly. I had a hydrostatic test done last weekend, came home and stood on my Tanita scale and the numbers were off by almost 3%. Consistency is key, both in how your measured, and what you do. Relax... it's hard for me too. :)

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Whoops, the handheld fat measurement devices which can be off depending on when you worked out, when you drank water last, ect.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:33 PM

Especially with the handheld fat measurement.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on June 18, 2011
at 08:47 PM

Try to increase starch and decrease fat for a while and see how it goes.

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10 Answers

best answer

12
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:24 PM

PaleoLiz,

Your BF measurements are off, of that I am sure. Some rough, back of the envelope math:

At 135 lbs, 23% BF - you had 31.05 lbs of fat mass.

Now at 142 lbs, 36% BF - you have (ostensibly) have 51.12 lbs of fat mass

51.12 - 31.05 = 20.07 lb gain

This implies that you have actually not only gained absolute weight (7 lbs = 142 - 135) -- but actually existing displaced lean body mass and bone mass with fat -- to the tune of 13 lbs or so.

I doubt that this actually happened - so don't stress about it.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:29 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF. More like the 25%, except I carry most of it below the waist.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:30 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF, to say the least. More like the 25% one, except I carry most of my "junk" on my hips and arms.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:59 AM

Never thought of it this way... However, I used the same scale to measure the BF. It's the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor. It's why I got it, for the BF. I believe weight is irrelevant. I know I gained BF because of my measurements - +2" waist and +2" hips in the last year.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:28 AM

True. I've never came across a reliable way of knowing their percentage. Here is a decent post: http://www.leighpeele.com/body-fat-pictures-and-percentages

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:00 AM

Never thought of it this way... However, I used the same scale to measure the BF. It's the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor, which is supposed to be accurate. It's why I got it, for the BF. I believe weight is irrelevant. I know I gained BF because of my measurements - +2" waist and +2" hips in the last year. I may not have gained quite as much BF as the scale claims, but I did gain. I agree with whoever said it could be off 2-3%, but 12-13%? Doubt it...

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:30 AM

ben61820 - thanks for the link! Really interesting. Now I'm sure the scale is wrong. I look half the size of the woman with 30% BF, to say the least. More like the 25% one, except I carry most of my "junk" on my hips.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 19, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Most reliable way is with a DEXA scan. Cost - out of pocket $100 aprox. Do a google search for one in your area.

Ee7c5b7b9d4cd48d61dc259e6966a725

(90)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:59 AM

I wonder about the accuracy of those pics. About 10 years ago, I participated in a trial in which I was dexa scanned. My BF percentage was well, well above 30 (scary!), but I also looked smaller than that woman. Perhaps bone/muscle is accounting for the difference, idk...

6
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I think you answered your questions: workaholic, stress, refined sugar. I'm your age and noticed in the last two years stress has a profound impact on my weight. Just stressing about stress puts a pound on me :)

First off, take a deeeeep breath and stop beating yourself up. Start experimenting. I did a 30 day experiment where I took out almost everything then re-entered one thing each week to see what happened to my mind/body. I found a lot about what I can/can't tolerate this way. I lost weight and gained muscle and went from a size 4 to a size 1 in record time. It was all about being mindful of what I was putting into my body and WHEN I put it into my body. I found out I do much better eating in the evening. I never would have known that if I didn't take the time to slow down and think.

I'm NOT a big into meditation and suck at it but taking 5 minutes to breath deeply and turn off my mind has big a huge help for me. I'm a single mom with 2 kids so believe me, I totally relate.

You didn't mention exercise. Personally, 15 minutes/day is essential for me. Even if I'm simply doing body weight exercises or walking with the kids. Shoot - go across the monkey bars when the kids are at the park. Chase their little butts through the jungle gym and up and down the slides! Little bits here and there make a difference.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:24 AM

There's a book called "controlling stress and tension". It was the textbook for my class on stress management. It's pretty easy to read and understand, and gives a lot of useful info about stress as well as reduction techniques.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks, baconbitch (love your name)! I cut out the sugar for about two weeks, saw no improvement, and went back to it. I'm now determined to give it up for good. I'm not really sure how I can control stress. I'm a very high-stress person. When something doesn't work out the way I expect I stress and obsess like there's no tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of meditation either. Yoga is very boring for me. I do work out, intervals twice a week and high-impact cardio once a week. I used to do cardio five days a week, but cut down about 3 months ago. I also walk a lot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:00 AM

Honey you and I are the same creature. A bunch of us women are doing a self tracking experiment starting tomorrow. Jump in. We have women of all shapes sizes and mental state. It may help you. Plus I'm happy to chat wth you as I hit the stress bottom 5 months ago. I can give u my email if you need another stressed out mama to help you.v

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Thanks, Sara, I'll look it up.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Sounds great so far!

5
D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

on June 18, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Leaving aside all the biological factors it might be, how was the bodyfat measured? Either the former or latter measurements might have been off. Most ways of evaluating are very inexact, is my understanding.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Whoops, the handheld fat measurement devices which can be off depending on when you worked out, when you drank water last, ect.

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:07 PM

I'm going to +1 this answer. If your BF was measured in Sept at 23-24%, how was it measured? Was the SAME device/technique used to measure it last month to come up with the 36% figure? If not, then know that the techniques can very significantly. I had a hydrostatic test done last weekend, came home and stood on my Tanita scale and the numbers were off by almost 3%. Consistency is key, both in how your measured, and what you do. Relax... it's hard for me too. :)

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Eazine - no, no handheld monitors. I used the Omron HBF-400 BF Monitor. A friend of mine who's a fitness trainer swears by it. Scart - I understand that those things can be off a couple of %. But a dozen?

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:33 PM

Especially with the handheld fat measurement.

3
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:37 AM

It's mysterious! I don't have a definitive Answer like the many excellent ones here already (it sounds like you've nailed the diet really well), but just a couple thoughts:

  • How much cabbage are you eating, and is it uncooked? Most other Brassicas are rarely eaten raw, but cabbage is often made into sauerkraut. Uncooked Brassicas are goitergenic - in large quantities can cause hypothyroidism.

  • Speaking of thyroid, have you had the full panel done? Not just TSH but T3, T4, TPO - you can go further but those are considered minimal - and most doctors don't order them all! I developed a minor goiter (I don't know if paleo had a role - probably it just became noticeable when I lost weight) and while my TSH was normal, further tests (gotten at my own expense) indicated hypothyroidism after all.

  • I found that my own wine consumption went way up after I went 'low carb'. I drink it dry, but my understanding is that it's metabolized like a fatty acid not like a sugar, and that it is 'preferentially' consumed ahead of fats. This implies that, while it doesn't do the sugar/insulin bad thing, it will stall weight loss by getting in the way of fat metabolism. Can anyone confirm this? I've found remarkably little good info on this subject...

  • My scale measures body fat (though not with the handheld part) but I don't trust it at all. I've lost over 30 lbs, yet it says my fat and water are exactly where they were six months ago. I don't think I lost much or any muscle, but if I did it's not 30 lbs! My theory is that my body composition (skinny legs - the Family Curse) is just not well measured by that device. Your body shape might be shifting the percentages way off.

Good luck - let us know how it goes!

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:45 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, CaveRat! Cabbage is usually green and stir-fried or braised. Sometimes sauerkraut. Once in a while red raw (in salads). I don't think I had a full thyroid panel, but I want to get it done. My mom was diagnosed last year, which is telling. Interesting about the alcohol... Do all of them metabolize the same? I also use a scale for the BF measurements, I know it's probably wrong somewhat, I just have trouble believing it's THAT off.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 19, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Those scales are 100% bullshit. Zero evidence that they are accurate. If you would like to know your actual body fat percentage, please get tested with calipers, BodPod, DEXA scan, or hydrostatic weighing. I would bet you $100 it's nowhere near 36% body fat!

I have heard of a lot of people having worsening or developing hypothyroid due to a low-carb, unprocessed 'paleo' diet with no sources of iodine, so I would get that checked out as well. Also, you say you have two young boys - if one was recently born/weaned, that's often a trigger for hypo stuff as well.

You might also be one of those women who has more success with maintaining a good weight/leanness with a higher proportion of carbs on a paleo-style diet. They are out there! My body comp personally does not change much no matter what I eat, but I feel physically and emotionally SO much better eating moderate carbs. Since you were fit, lean and thin before on a high-carb low-fat diet (although with other issues), maybe the middle ground would work better for you. Say 50/20/30 F/P/C.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Don't feel stupid, the marketing is good for those things and plenty of doctors, trainer believe in them and promote their use. Good luck!

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:46 AM

I believe you're right! I feel like a dummy for believing that infernal device. I think you're right about carbs too, I did lose weight in the past (years before paleo) on a high-carb diet. Thanks for the comments!

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:43 PM

a minimum of 7 hours of sleep is needed. too much alcohol will foil weight loss. I love Mark but he can get away with stuff that others can't...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 19, 2011
at 03:02 AM

Exercise will help with stress... Even a 30 min walk...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 18, 2011
at 11:27 PM

From what I understand our livers gives preferential treatment to alcohol and during the time it is processing it (up to 4 hours) the food gets stored directly as fat. So even if you eat a meal and have alcohol afterwards it cuts to the front of the line...

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I'm still figuring out where alcohol (dry - no sugar) fits in, since I drink a fair amount of it. So far my understanding is that it's a *ketogenic* process - it's not analogous to burning carbs (with insulin response) but to burning *fat*. It's preferentially processed ahead of fatty acids, so during that time you're not burning fat, but you're not actively storing it either like you would with sugar (unless you also were consuming sugars).

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:12 AM

LOL, I think I agree... Here's where the confusion sets in: I know stress is bad. Alcohol is my de-stressor. It's why I drink it. It's not for the taste, that's for sure! Nothing else works this well to relax me after a long day. I never get piss drunk wasted, one glass of wine and I'm right as rain. So the question is, which is the lesser of the two evils? Alcohol or stress?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Not for me, Eric... I used to exercise 5-6 days a week, cardio all the time. That kept me stressed. I cut it down to 4 times a week, was still stressed. I can only handle high-impact cardio once a week, and intervals twice a week without getting stressed. And I do walk. We don't own a car so walking my preferred method of transportation most days.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 05, 2011
at 03:17 PM

I agree with the comments about the accuracy of the body fat % measurements. I have one of those Tanita scales, and years ago I lost about 30 pounds (from about 220 to 190) while working out every day, went down 3 inches on my waist size, and it said my body fat percentage never changed from 26% (I am 41 y.o. male, 6' tall). I really don't think that was physically possible.

I would, however, use the "how do my pants fit" metric, in fact that is the primary way that I measure my progress. If you are putting on weight around your waist, that is probably not a good thing, there is pretty much no way to put on muscle weight around your waist... I wouldn't freak out, but look at making some changes in your diet.

It sounds like your Paleo diet from Sept 2010 up until a month ago was different than your diet of the past 4 weeks. I have been strict Paleo for a couple of months, and your diet of the past 4 weeks sounds very close to mine (including a penchant for wine!). For me, the starchy carbs (rice, potatoes, grains) are like an on/off switch for weight. When I have even a little of them (small portion 3x per week), the weight stays on or goes up. When I give them up, I drop 5+ pounds pretty quickly. I have learned that I just can't have them, and am strict about it.

When I first started Paleo, I lost about 7-8 pounds quickly and then nothing more. It was kind of frustrating because I knew I wasn't eating a lot, including some fasting, I was exercising more than previously, and thought I'd lose weight, but I didn't. But I felt so much better I didn't care much.

Then one day at around week 7, I stepped on the scale and was 3 pounds lighter. So I dug through the closet and pulled out some old jeans that I hadn't worn in almost 10 years, and they fit, in fact some of them were loose. I have heard this from other people too. I think it can take a while to adapt to a new diet, stick to it strictly for 2-3 months before you decide it isn't working.

Also, ironically, I have found that cheating about once every week or two actually takes the weight off. A few times I got stuck eating non-Paleo food (i.e. staying with friends or family and just going with the flow), and to my surprise a few days later I was lighter and the pants were looser. Haven't figured that out completely, but it sure helps the diet to feel that you can eat anything you want once every couple of weeks.

Finally, when I first started, my main form of exercise was running about 3 miles 3-4x per week, i.e. almost all cardio. I don't like lifting weights so have always had a bias towards cardio. Even though I had more energy with Paleo, I was not increasing my running distance and was not losing any more weight.

After some discussion here, I decided to switch to high-intensity strength training. I like kettlebells, so I do a combination of kettlebells, push-ups, and Burpees for about 30 minutes every other day, a very intense workout with no breaks. This too was like flipping a switch -- after just a few weeks, I put on noticeable muscle in my arms and lost another inch from my waist.

So after working on it for a while I found two things that make a huge difference for me -- dropping grains and starchy carbs completely, and changing the exercise regimen. Keep at it and you'll find the right combination for you. Good luck, and post back here after a while and let us know how you're doing.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:31 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, Uncle! I'm one of those people who neither gain nor lose much. Even with an abysmal pre-paleo diet and without exercise my weight never went higher than 160 lbs. About rice and potatoes: I cut them out completely back in the spring. It had no effect on me, so now I eat them in moderation. Since this post I've cut out all sugar and dairy (if you don't count butter and heavy cream) and significantly limited my fruit and nut intake. No result so far, but I guess it's too early to tell. Will keep at it!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:21 AM

First thing comes to mind that that kind of BF gain is impossible given you've only gained 7 pounds. Unless you were completely skinny fat your BF shouldn't be that high at your weight. One of your measurements (likely the second one) is wrong. Get another measurement. Pronto, cos you are way stressed out.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Laura, I wouldn't say I was ever skinny fat. I've always been thick. Never fat but thick. Big hips, big boobs, small waist. I was about 15 lbs overweight post-baby but that didn't last long, I lost it easily. I know I've gained at least 2" around hips and waist. I really beginning to believe there's something wrong with me because I feel AWESOME eating paleo. There's a dissonance between what I feel and what I see in the mirror, you know?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Laura, I wouldn't say I was ever skinny fat. I've always been thick: big hips, big boobs, small waist. I was about 15 lbs overweight post-baby but lost it easily (that was years before paleo). I did it by doing chronic cardio and eating low-fat, high-carb $#&*%^. I felt like crap back then, and I feel AWESOME eating paleo, so I know paleo is right for me. I'm really beginning to believe there's something wrong with me physically. There's a dissonance between what I feel and what I see in the mirror, you know? I know I've gained at least 2" around hips and waist. Tape measure don't lie.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:32 AM

I have a hunch that everything is fine, and a little more time will work out. If you're feeling "awesome" it's likely you are building vitality, and when you reach some threshhold the weight/fat will drop off on it's own. For me, it was several months before I felt like doing any exercise at all - one day I suddenly *felt* like it. I don't know much about fat testers, but if your adipose is changing composition - assuming that's how it works) it'll change electrically impacting results.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Well, I certainly feel better looking at pictures of other ladies with supposedly 30+% BF. I look nowhere near that big. I wear a size 6-10 (pear-shaped... ugh), and they all look to be at least 14-16.

0
9594ada7f59a3f539fc95cd98c15b0d9

(10)

on June 19, 2011
at 11:37 AM

one more thing - take a look and read how your scale actually does the bodyfat calculation. I didn't look up Omcron, I have a Tanita and it turns out it really "measures" bodyfat by a calculation through water % since water/ muscle and bodyfat have much different electrical conductance.

I didn't read all the comments above - big list! : ) - however agree with the "don't stress about it" and also anyone who said to really take a hard look for all that hidden sugar - you 'fess up to the coffee but if anything is insidious in this society it's sugar, HFCS, etc. It's everywhere and so negative for the system.

I've had the same thing happen to me, hence the research on my scale, and still haven't cracked it. For me, it was dairy (half and half in coffee), which I've now severly limited and am trying to cut out altogether. I also was eating more cashews and other high omega-6 nuts and am trying fish oil capsules for a bit to get the ratio back.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Thanks, Senya. My scale does the same thing, I believe. I'm following the strategies you (and many others) have suggested: stopped the sugar, the nuts, and the dairy, and taking fish oil. We'll see if it works.

0
1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

on June 19, 2011
at 04:22 AM

"I do interval training twice a week and high-impact cardio once a week."

You NEED to lift weights.

If you are doing HIIT intervals right, you probably should not be doing them twice a week. And the "high impact cardio" is likely worsening your body's cortisol response (not sure what you mean by that but it doesn't sound good...).

As Mark S says "lift heavy things", it's a fundamental principle of his philosophy. You can't replace it with intervals, they are not the same.

I recommend "stronglifts 5x5" (Google it) or something like that which has you do full-body weights like squats (an ESSENTIAL ingredient in any good lifting plan) which will get your body to start changing composition by increasing hgh and testosterone (or something, Sission and others have the details on why)

After a workout like this, I find it relaxes my mind and leads to better sleep as well, which could reduce your need for wine and help in that regard as well.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:52 AM

The cardio I do is zumba. Honestly, I enjoy it. I used to do it 4-5 times a week, but could feel it taking its toll on me, so I stopped. My gym varies intervals, some days we have Tabata, other days HIITs with kickboxing and weights. Plus I do weights at home on the days I don't go to them gym. I was told it's good to give your muscles a rest for a day after lifting, so I lift every other day. Is it BS? Should I do it every day?

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Well... Intervals include lifting weights. Plus I do it at home on the days I don't go to them gym. I was told it's good to give your muscles a rest for a day after lifting, so I lift every other day. Is it BS? Should I do it every day?

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:39 AM

no not every day! Less not more! Unless you are a professional athlete and getting 8-10+ hours of sleep every night I don't think you should be training nearly that much! From what I understand of paleo philosophy, your fitness regime is not very paleo. Your workouts should be tailored to prompting hormone response and CNS stimulation. Of course the others answers could be right, but it seems to me that your fitness is pretty far off. Hope this helps! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/guest-post-building-muscle-101-master-the-basics/

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Pete, I didn't mean I'm doing intense lifting every day. On my non-gym days I do 15-20 minutes with my 8-lb dumbbells, just to target all muscle groups. Thanks for the link, it helps.

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on July 02, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Then you are just wasting your time and sabotaging yourself even more....Doing big compound movements is what triggers your central nervous system to adapt and get stronger, if you want to "tone" then the diet will do that.

1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

(229)

on July 02, 2011
at 07:38 PM

It just sounds to me like your are still not quite embracing the paleo philosophy, overdoing the intensity (which I still think you are doing) and things like "targeting muscle groups" (pure CW BS imho) are exactly the things Mark S and others warn against! It's fine to not embrace everything, but you are missing out on the big picture,and not getting the benefits you desire, which would be fine if it was working for you but based on your question looks like it's not....for me the 3 compound excercises 3x/week is all the strength and tone I need, so I def reccommend giving it a try.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 22, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Well, you're right, paleopete... I'm a recovering cardio junkie, so it's hard for me to let go of that mindset, and to stop feeling that I have to work myself into a stupor to stay fit. But I'm getting there. Thanks for the suggestions.

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