I'm gaining fat while starting Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I started Paleo about two weeks ago. The first week I felt super good and very lean. Now this week since Sunday I have been feeling very bloated and can see that my stomach looks bigger. Im 5'4, 125lbs and currently I am trying to lose fat and get lean. I also dont eat starchy carbs or fruit because I have heard not to have them if fat loss is the goal. I strength train about 3x a week and cardio or HIIT about 3x a week, just depends. I have no idea what is going on. I have also noticed that I am constipated but I eat veggies like 5x a day. I just know that this week i have the worse headaches, bloated, constipated, very tired, and just dont feel good like I did the first week.



on October 18, 2012
at 05:50 PM

If you feel bad, have some fruit or starch. You will feel better. Taper off carbs slowly to avoid the hard bounce. At your height/weight, you may need some carbs to support your activity levels. And to lose weight/fat, lowering carbs can be helpful, but you can also lose at a higher level of carbs through calorie restriction. (Don't buy into the idea that you must restrict carbs to lose fat).



on October 18, 2012
at 11:46 AM

"Bloated" and "constipated" don't = "gaining fat". They mean you're holding onto gas and fecal matter that will make you look bigger and weigh more than you actually are. Can you post a list of what a typical day looks like, and specify what kind of veggies you are eating. Sounds like maybe too much fiber - or at least, you increased your fiber intake too quickly and your body has yet to adjust to it.

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6 Answers



on October 18, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Wow, you do too much high impact exercise. That much is stressful on the body.

"headaches, bloated, constipated, very tired, and just dont feel good like I did the first week" probably indicates low carb flu or a lack of electrolyte minerals. Try a little salt, potassium and magnesium and either consume more carbohydrates from fruit or just give yourself more time to adjust.



on October 18, 2012
at 06:05 PM


First, "Bloated" is NOT the same as "gaining fat"

Second, You do not HAVE to limit carbs do not lead to fat loss. I found that increasing my carb intake actually helped my fat loss.



on October 18, 2012
at 02:56 PM

go easier on your digestive system. less veggies perhaps. also don't take a diet transition like Paleo lightly--it WILL affect your body when your body is used to receiving certain foods on a regular basis. if you have recently cut starch and sugar out of your diet, your body will have to get used to that. if you have increased your consumption of other novel foods, like lots of veggies, your body will have to get used to that too. give your body some time and a break during this transition and don't expect instant results or you will be disappointed.



on November 02, 2012
at 02:05 AM

I'll pile on with the "stop doing so much" gang. Changing your body's primary fuel from carbs to fat is stressful enough; don't add the stress (metabolic, physical, and hormonal) of rigorous exercise at the same time. Just do about 30 minutes of walking/day for about 1 month while your body adjusts to its new fuel mixture. Also, reduce your vegetable intake, at least for awhile, and keep your healthy saturated fat intake at 50%–70% of calories. Lastly, don't "wing it" with your new lifestyle; find a documented, reputable plan and follow it.


on October 18, 2012
at 03:04 PM

AFAIK, raw veggies can be difficult, FODMAP foods can be difficult, constipation doesn't equate to not eating enough fibre/fibrous veggies. Adapting to not eating carbohydrates can be difficult. If not etaing carbs is what you want to do then I'd suggest tapering down slowly, not just cutting them out abruptly.

Depending on how you were eating and being before this endeavour things will also take time, be patient and try not to stress ;)


on October 18, 2012
at 01:01 PM

Your overview of your problems is very broad, and to better understand them, certain data should really be collected by a professional; a simple 7-12 site bodyfat test using harp ended callipers would be a great start.

However, it sounds like you may be eating a food which you are intolerant too. Common allergens for paleolites are eggs. To determine if egg consumption is causing you to feel bloated etc, have 3-6 eggs the way you would normally cook them for breakfast, and note down how you feel after the next few ours. If your symptoms are heightened there is a chance you may be intolerant to eggs (or some other common triggers).

If this is the case, the following morning, have some white fish or chicken the following day, and see if you feel any better after the next few hours.

Alternatively you could get a food intolerance test, but beware that many are scams and unreliable.

Hope this helps.

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