Hello. Last year, after 3 years of paleo, started eating VLC (no dairy) with moderate/low fat intake. This was primarily for digestive reasons, as I wasn't overweight at 5'7" and 123lb. I lost about 10 pounds, though, putting me underweight. After reading some Gary Taubes, I decided to up the fat. I also added some more veggies in, but kept carbs at appx. 50, sometimes 100. I also started IF- generally 16hrs/day. It's also worth mentioning that I had quite a sugar binge over the holidays, but climbed back on the wagon soon afterwards. Since upping the fat, I've gained almost 15 lbs, but it doesn't seem to be muscle. I caught a look at my rear a few days ago and was horrified by cellulite! I feel puffy and would love to get back to 120 or so.
So I guess my question is... Has anyone else experienced fat gain when upping the fat in VLC? Do calories actually matter? Suggestions for losing fat?
(also FYI- my fat sources are primarily fatty meat cuts and coconut oil)
asked bylivebigger (2854)
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on March 12, 2011
at 06:42 PM
Grr, to hell with Taubes. I like how he dismantled the lipid hypothesis in GCBC but he is a menace to good health. MDA forums has an active thread on this where I enumerate the billion things Gary Taubes is ignorant of. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread25609.html
Not that I'm against fat, it is my "favorite" macronutrient, but it is about more than just keeping carbs low.
on March 14, 2011
at 09:16 PM
If you were eating very low carb and moderate/low fat before and have now added more fat and more carbs, then I think it's only to be expected that you might gain weight, whatever theory of fat accumulation you hold to.
Do calories actually matter?
Yes, absolutely. I've not read anything by Taubes that suggests otherwise. Also, from a paleo perspective, it would be incredibly awkward if you couldn't maintain or add to fat stores in the absence of carbohydrate. If, after felling some huge wild animal, everybody could only spill any calories consumed after ~2500 into the ether, it would be highly unfortunate. Let's assume that when eating no carbohydrates your body is a perfectly efficient fat-burning machine, so it happily burns through x calories of fat every day. It is not unreasonable to think that if you consume substantially more than x calories of fat, then the body can (and very possibly, will) accumulate more fat. Two of the prime reasons why people don't gain fat in such a state is because they spontaneously don't eat x+ calories and because if they do eat x+ calories one day, leptin ensures that they eat commensurately less calories the next day. Now there are assorted over-feeding studies that show that some people, when stuffing themselves with as many calories as they can still can't gain substantial amounts of weight and there are various ways that the body can respond to an excess of calories (in addition to reducing future calorie intake), but leaving aside these complexities, it's clearly not impossible to increase fat levels by consuming more fat than you'd usually burn.
Of course, if you also added extra carbs to your diet at the same time then, it's even more plausible that you might gain weight. I gained about a stone just from increasing my carbs up to around 40g a day, without any other conscious change in my diet. Also I would bear in mind that the effects of the holiday sugar binge could be impeding your progress even now, since no matter how low carb you're eating, a large amount of carbs will have restocked your supplies of glycogen (and added water and so on). I didn't know about Dr K's point that it would reduce leptin sensitivity, but it will certainly impact insulin sensitivity (because the muscles/liver are no longer empty to soak up glucose).
Your described daily meals above sound very low in calories, so I can't see any obvious changes to make. I don't see where you'd be getting up to 100g of carbs from since the spinach and avocado together equal about 8g/25g net/total carbs.
There doesn't seem to be anything particularly wrong with what you're eating, so you can only try reducing the fat and/or reducing the carbs. My own bias suggests cutting back on the 50/100g of carbs first and seeing whether this means you can effortlessly lose weight without conscious calorie restriction. If not, then try reducing the fat (i.e. eating as little as you need to feel satiated). Of course, you could also try eating more protein (which is uncontroversially satiating) and see whether this allows you to reduce carbs/fat.
on March 14, 2011
at 03:49 PM
I don't think 50-100 carbs per day is VLC. Taubes says he gains weight if he eats many carbs at all, and I do, too.
I'm repeating what others here have said, but I've found that it is WAY easy to add too many calories when they're liquid. I had to slash way back on the cream and coconut oil (which is liquid as soon as you swallow it). I've read that our bodies just don't sense liquid calories very well.
I try to go no/very little dairy, but I've found that eating a small piece of very high fat cheese (I found a brie that is 60% milkfat) is much more satiating for me than drinking heavy cream.
on March 12, 2011
at 07:25 PM
No idea what's going on, you haven't provided a menu. Been on any new meds? Changed sleep habits? Anything else different in addition to the diet?
How is 50g carb VLC? Atkins Induction is 20g.
on March 12, 2011
at 07:20 PM
OMG yes, I've been VLC for a few months now. Subscribing to the "cream is diesel" theory. I'm steadily gaining weight. Guess since I'm 30 years older than the last time I LC'd I clearly can't do it anymore. I'm able to lose on a "figure competitor's diet", but hoped for something more real-life!!! My carbs are very low, 30 or less, so it's gotta be the extra fat calories ...darn. The pic of me is when I was 60, so that diet was 4 years ago...
on March 14, 2011
at 06:24 PM
Taubes was dead on about how low(er) carb works because it dramatically lowers the insulin levels that are upregulating LPL and downregulating HSL. You end up allowing much more fat to exit the adipocytes and also have the benefit of greater satiety. If you address that problem, you'll likely lose most of your fat. Chylomicrons are transporting digested fat all around the body, but your mucles aren't going to be able to burn all of the fat from a typical paleo meal, and certainly not if you're drinking a pint of cream every day or tons of coconut oil or something.
That fat from every meal gets stored in your fat cells is no problem since it's also constantly leaving them and being consumed for energy. I think in the same way that we ask ourselves if a particular carb intake is evolutionarily appropriate, we should do the same for fat intakes. Taubes, the Jaminets and some others paint this picture where no amount of fat is going to work against you, but it's not quite true.