1

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Initial fat/weight gain... THIS IS TEMPORARY, RIGHT?!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 07, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Hello all! Ive just boarded the paleo band wagon full swing in the last week, having in the preceeding three gradually weaned from grains/sugar/dairy/legumes/soy etc etc etc. (Gradually because it took me that long to realise some of the foods I was eating werent strict paleo!)

I love it and I FEEL different already, which is why Ive persisted... But my scale says otherwise. Ive gained two pounds and almost 1% body fat. Doesnt seem like much but im quite small and athletic so it feels a TON.

Some important background: Im a distance runner, currently injured. And Ive also started paleo off the back of a calorie deficit I was previously maintaining in a bid to lean out. I picked this time (while im not running) to conduct my paleo experiment because I felt like my running pursuits had me leaning quite heavily on carbs/grains and I didn't like the feeling (plus I was always hungry!). Since transitioning I have been unusually sedentary (for me), though am about to start a new weights routine, hitting the gym around three times a week.

I'm a short 5'1, 123lb (up from 115 when running) with a body fat % now sitting at 21-22% (up from 18-19). I have gone from roughly 1200-1400cal a day to 2100cal on paleo (when im super hungry). Have ditched nuts and am eating lean meats (chicken, beef, tuna and salmon), veggies (A LOT of which seem to be mushrooms and spinach!) and fats (avocado, coconut products, oils), with roughly 20-50g carbs, 150-180g fat, 100-130g protein.

Im also taking in 2500 IU of vitamin D and up to 8 clean fish oil capsules.

My question is: Is the weight/fat gain temporary? Does it have to do with not being entirely fat adjusted, and so retaining it all before my body knows enough to switch to fat as a primary fuel source? Does my eating seem on-par (I eat to satiety now rather then constantly feeling restricted) with my height or could it be a calorie surplus causing the gain? Am I likely to lean out in the long run??

Many thanks in advance for any help!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on August 07, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Yay for locking up the scale, adjust according to how you feel not the numbers.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 07, 2012
at 10:52 AM

+1000..........

F39119d61395a34046459a017392f8d3

(15)

on August 07, 2012
at 07:55 AM

PPS. Im a nineteen year old with leaky gut and switching from vegetarian to paleo.......... eek.

F39119d61395a34046459a017392f8d3

(15)

on August 07, 2012
at 07:54 AM

Overtraining for sure, id say. I had all of the typical signs (sleep disturbance, sore everything/general lack of recovery, depressed mood and eventually injury - but was stupid enough to ignore them). AND im short and female and require few calories... Sigh. Haha. Think I need to reign in the intake and otherwise just RELAX while my body does what it needs to adjust. Can I ask: do you think it better to hold off on the cardio while my body transitions (and hopefully heals) and just do short weight sessions for now? Also, better to have higher fat or protein, assuming one is privileged?

Ff4e3f7e43133fdc349a11268d77135a

(70)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:28 AM

Plus, those average calorie expenditure calculators are based off statistics from "average" populations. Distance runners train to get their bodies to move long distances as relatively efficiently (maybe not all...) and their bodies adapt to that. I'm looking for research right now on this, but I'd be willing to wager that the caloric expenditure for a distance runner at rest/walking is less than a normal schmoe.

Ff4e3f7e43133fdc349a11268d77135a

(70)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:26 AM

Alice- Without knowing more, there is a possibility you were over training and hanging out a bit much in a more catabolic state. Once you stopped the training and added in quality food, you could have triggered some muscle building/repair. Still just an assumption since we don't have much info.

F39119d61395a34046459a017392f8d3

(15)

on August 07, 2012
at 02:57 AM

Sorry I should have mentioned - that 2100 cals is having been on my feet most of the day everyday, often walking at least 2hours a day (this is sedentary for me, relative to these activities plus the usual 15-20k run I'd do of an evening). So the net cal is generally still around...1600? In some senses its an absolute no-brainer - too much food, I knew that. But I guess I asked because if I were going on appearance rather then scale data I would have assumed Id already leaned out somewhat. I feel like I LOOK better. Muscles are more visible etc. Was really perplexed by the whole scenario.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on August 07, 2012
at 01:13 AM

If you have increased your caloric intake by 60%+ that would certainly be part of the explanation. I'm your weight, 5'9" and also go to the gym three times a week and am maintaining my current weight on around 1850 cals a day. I am not sure whether you'll lean out on 2100 cals.

420620c436f2546dc8cd8f3c497b4245

(41)

on August 07, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Sounds like you self-identified the most likely culprit: diet switch (more calories) + injury + unusually high amount of sedentary time. tl;dr version: you're eating a lot more and doing a lot less.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on August 07, 2012
at 12:49 AM

If you're getting fat maybe you are eating too many calories. Paleo food isn't magic food. It makes you healthier, that's for sure, but none of it has magic weight-loss properties if you eat too many calories.

0611054a36cc2538c48235c60fd55b7f

on August 07, 2012
at 12:21 AM

I've had the same issue--going from 116-118 pounds to 122-123 within the first few weeks of Paleo. I'll be interested to see the responses.

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3 Answers

best answer

1
420620c436f2546dc8cd8f3c497b4245

on August 07, 2012
at 12:55 AM

It's too early to tell what it is. We don't know your water intake, activity level, or if you've just got a "food baby" you need to drop off at "the pool".

In all honesty, lock the scale up for the first 30 days. It's only going to mess with your head.

Record your data (meals, workouts, sleep, meds/supps) and then after 30 days evaluate your weight and measurements.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 07, 2012
at 10:52 AM

+1000..........

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on August 07, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Yay for locking up the scale, adjust according to how you feel not the numbers.

best answer

3
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 07, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Too early to tell. Being an injured runner your body will accumulate fat and water regardless of your diet.

Also at 18% your body may respond differently to the paleo diet. My brother-in-law, a former elite distance runner in college, was at about 5% BF when he started paleo in Feb. He's now at about 9%. He's far healthier, he's just not running sub 2:30 marathons anymore.

4
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on August 07, 2012
at 12:54 AM

I think most people will only jump on two things:

1.) Wow lady, that was a huge increase in kCal. While calorie isn't a calorie, a lot of calories end up being a lot of calories.

2.) Lean meats? Ew. Why? But you are getting enough fat so that's great! Btw, how are you getting the fat if you are using lean meats?

Stephanie Ruper (www.paleoforwomen.com) would say that 18-19% is starving oneself if a woman and that your body was screaming back for where it needed to be. Yeah, that didn't help? Didn't think so.

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