1

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Its been a month and I have not lost anything beyond water weight. My skin looks horrible and as if I have fat where I did not before. What gives?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 01, 2011 at 9:52 AM

I know I am not following the diet "perfectly" - I am not eating nothing but meat and offal with occasional green stuff etc. But I have stuck to the low carb aspect pretty well. No cheats with grains etc. I would understand if this would stall my weight loss or slow it down.. but I should be losing SOMETHING. My skin feels less elastic and the fat underneath is way more noticeable. Kinda lumpy and well fatty! My upper arms/armpit area and inner thighs are the worst. Im really getting kind of worried! I seem to be looking worse even though my clothes are slightly looser due to the initial water loss.

I eat eggs,bacon on and off, beef jerky, coconut oil/meat, whatever meat is cooking with occasional veggies,seaweed and vegtables, some cheese (yeah I know Im slowly cutting back- its a condiment now not something I hungrily devour like the first week). No fruit, grains,legumes, etc.

So like I said its not perfect, Im working on it and slowly getting my nutritional stuff worked out. But at the very least I should not be gaining!! Why do I feel like I am storing all the fat I am eating??

As for exercise I do not drive. I walk TONS. I would say I spend at LEAST 3 hours a day walking and usually with a heavy backpack. Some days up to 7 hours of walking possibly carrying groceries etc home.

I guess I am just frustrated and afraid I am hurting myself. Is it possible? Am I actually gaining fat? What gives?

update

(because all of the responses were so awesome I figured I would just do it up here)

Yeah I have been falling off the drink lots of water wagon. I had this awesome waterbottle that I made a habit of just always having on hand- but idiot me managed to damage the plastic on the bottom so I havent been drinking as much water. I am currently looking for a bpa free one to replace it.

I did count calories for awhile - just long enough to get a feel for my ratios and how much I was consuming. Fat 60-70%, protien 20-30% and carbs 10%-15%. My calories were pretty high in the beginning (2000-2500) but now range from 1400 to 2200. Still not perfect but I thought that a variety is great for your body not knowing what to expect? According to my weight, age, activity level I should burn 2500 as a baseline and not including any real walking.

As for the walking I dont consider that "exercise" - as in I do not make a point to do it its just my lifestyle. Very full of incidental moving. I am a student who has to use public transit to travel to another city for classes. It is an urban campus so much of it is spread out over city blocks and I tend to just well.. get a lot of walking in. I have a few hours in between classes so I have been using that time to run errands. The 7 hour days are when I have a ton of errands all over 3 different cities. Really not driving in this day in age when things are spaced for people with cars.. well that is part of the sacrifice. Never thought it would be bad though- I figured our ancestors spent a long time moving daily and I watch so many people drive to the store down the street! I have always had to use my chevrolegs to get around- its not something I just recently took up out of the blue. So hopefully its not as hard on my body because I am used to it by now.

I have been waiting on the real exercise until I switched comfortably into fat burning mode instead of glucose burning. Cortisol is a huge issue for me as all my weight is in the "bad' place (belly). I felt that I needed to ease into getting more exercise with the activity level I have already. Plus - and this is silly- but I wanted to make sure this diet was good for me. As in, I would lose some weight just from following it so I know I am not needlessly doing low carb when its the exercise that is actually making me lose. So kind of a like a control. "lets change one thing at a time to see which has an effect" type of thing.

I take a really high quality liquid multi. No preservatives and it is whole food based. I take a dose every few days just to make sure I do not get any deficiencies. I also eat sea vegetables (minerals) and seaweed. I also just recently added a small portion of winter squash on some days. It tastes so sweet now that I am lc lol.

I have always only had weight around the middle, generally my legs have been in good shape and my arms have never had puffy fat. I feel like I am gaining fat where I never had it before. And that is what is worrying me a bit! I am female, 5'4 and probably around 210 or so. I dont look it (all around the middle and my face/arms are slender). I would like to get down to 115 or so (number doesnt matter but I think thats what I am supposed to be for me height).

I really really really hope it is like what was mentioned in the comments- that it just means I am about to drop a little bit of weight and the fat is just being broken up etc.

Thank you all so much!

K lemme see if I missed anything -

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 25, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Your update sounds great! Don't worry too much about getting down to that number, I'm the same height as you and I am very happy weighing 145! Below 135 I lose my menses, can't imagine what I'd look like at 115, so pay attention to what works for YOU and where you feel best!

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on March 25, 2012
at 01:30 AM

What kind of strategy? Like heavy lifting?

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:09 PM

I agree with end of suggestion 1. Keep an open mind about safe starches. Your symptoms sound similar to mine when I went VLC. It works for some people but not for me and maybe LC isn't for you either. Try cycling in sweet potatoes to start.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 01, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Me too, that's why I couldn't let it slide :)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 06:20 PM

In the LC world this is referred to as "jiggly puff" and yes many seem to experience this right before weigh loss. I never had the experience but it seems to be happening to enough people for it to actually get a name. Definitely a possibility.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 06:05 PM

LOL @ Olivia (Yeah Im a science nerd so that one made me laugh)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 04:34 PM

I really really hope that is the case! I am not used to seeing this on my body!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Thank you! The response is too long for a comment so Im putting it the update- but I really appreciate you taking the time to write out such a great and thoughtful response=)

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I agree with Melissa. Your skin is probably not doing so well because you are dehydrated. Drink LOTS of water. plain pure water, not flavored or anything. I heard somewhere (don't know how true it is) that your body has a hard time burning body fat when you're dehydrated. It has something to do with your liver and kidneys. Here is a link so someone online who explaned it: http://weight-loss.fitness.com/t/18784/how-does-drinking-more-water-help-us-to-burn-body-fat

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:31 PM

This answer is perfect! The only other thing I would mention, because you say your skin looks terrible is WATER. Drink more. A lot of times skin looks terrible because of dehydration.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on October 01, 2011
at 11:46 AM

+1 for part #4.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:55 AM

Agreed. Experiment with macronutrient ratios.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:41 AM

I don't think anyone here is measuring their specific gravity!

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12 Answers

9
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:59 AM

1) Track your food for a while to get an idea of how many calories you're eating. Yeah no one likes doing it, but it is so so so easy to wildly underestimate how much you're eating or to go a bit too heavy on the fats. Women often can't do the "eat as much as you want and ignore calories" thing to lose weight. And not everyone does best eating low carb. You might find that you lose weight more readily eating less fat and more paleo starches like sweet potatoes.

2) Truly a month isn't a very long time at all. Weight loss is a result of more sustained changes over a longer period of time than that.

3) Walking is GREAT and keep doing it, but know that it doesn't burn tons of calories (not that that's the point of exercise). You can absolutely eat back all the calories you burn in three hours of walking with like 4 spoonfuls of coconut oil. Also, are you lifting weights or otherwise doing any more intense exercise?

4) I hope this isn't out of line but based on your posts you seem really anxious about this whole thing. Try and relax, and don't make a production out of it. Experiment if you want, make changes, find out what works best with your body- but don't stress out over things. To reiterate, one month is a very short period of time.

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:09 PM

I agree with end of suggestion 1. Keep an open mind about safe starches. Your symptoms sound similar to mine when I went VLC. It works for some people but not for me and maybe LC isn't for you either. Try cycling in sweet potatoes to start.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on October 01, 2011
at 11:46 AM

+1 for part #4.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Thank you! The response is too long for a comment so Im putting it the update- but I really appreciate you taking the time to write out such a great and thoughtful response=)

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I agree with Melissa. Your skin is probably not doing so well because you are dehydrated. Drink LOTS of water. plain pure water, not flavored or anything. I heard somewhere (don't know how true it is) that your body has a hard time burning body fat when you're dehydrated. It has something to do with your liver and kidneys. Here is a link so someone online who explaned it: http://weight-loss.fitness.com/t/18784/how-does-drinking-more-water-help-us-to-burn-body-fat

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:31 PM

This answer is perfect! The only other thing I would mention, because you say your skin looks terrible is WATER. Drink more. A lot of times skin looks terrible because of dehydration.

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:01 PM

Relax! :-)

Stressing out is only going to raise your cortisol & slow your fat loss.

Your remaining body fat will look more "lumpy" as you lose the water weight. It's normal & will change appearance (and look better over time) as you start dropping body fat. It took 4-6 months for me to see significant changes in my appearance--this is a big metabolic shift.

Take your measurements & track them once a month.

Your body has likely been nutritionally depleted and will need some time to balance itself. Add some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes. Make sure your Vitamin D is sufficient. Take some Magnesium & Zinc--many of us are deficient.

Also, to help your digestion & nutrient absorption, add in some fermented foods like sauerkraut.

Get good sleep.

Reading Mark Sisson's book The Primal Blueprint will help.

5
Ab3eb69f5989b88067b4aaafa00ddebc

(85)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:46 AM

Ok, how are you feeling eating this way? Any chance you may need more vegetables & less protein.....Because paleo doesn't tell you how much protein is the right amount or how much vegetables is the right amount it's up to you to work out the quantities that make you feel good. I'm a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 & know a lot about Metabolic Typing & biochemical individuality. If you're a carbohydrate type & eating lots of heavy protein you'll never feel well & lose body fat.....Remember, just because we're all humans doesn't mean we all should eat the same quantities of protein, fat & carbohydrates.....I suggest you look into metabolic typing, find a free MT questionnaire online & discover your type, once you know your type you can still follow paleo principles but eating right for your genetic needs.....Good luck & hope you feel better soon. M :0)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:55 AM

Agreed. Experiment with macronutrient ratios.

5
E3fed67c3d0f4e1f4c4cf8f0748c7228

(96)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:13 AM

There are a lot of smart folks on here that can probably give good specific advice. My n=1 is don't sweat the scale. Measure the fit of your clothes, the feel of your muscles the freedom to breathe without being choked up with phlegm from gluten reactions. Walking that much is awesome! You are and will be fitter than most! Your skin appearance is likely due to being less bloated now that you've gotten excess sodium out of your diet. I agree it make look less smooth, but you're not fatter.

I don't see paleo/primal as a diet to lose weight, but as a lifestyle change to be more fit. I measure my health, not my specific gravity.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 06:05 PM

LOL @ Olivia (Yeah Im a science nerd so that one made me laugh)

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 01, 2011
at 10:41 AM

I don't think anyone here is measuring their specific gravity!

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 01, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Me too, that's why I couldn't let it slide :)

3
D8795130729e173cfe9f3e2f6353becd

(446)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:56 PM

"the fat underneath is way more noticeable. Kinda lumpy and well fatty."

My n=1 is that this is what happens just before I lose another "layer" of body fat. A part of my body will suddenly look revolting -- covered with jiggly, soft, flobby fat -- but then, after a while, the fat layer disappears and my muscles seem more defined. When I then measure myself, yep, I will have lost another quarter of an inch or so.

I've read up on it, and apparently a lot of people report that their fat turns soft and jiggly before they lose it. What was once "hard fat" softens up as part of the process of burning it, and that could be why you suddenly notice "jiggly fat" on your body.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 06:20 PM

In the LC world this is referred to as "jiggly puff" and yes many seem to experience this right before weigh loss. I never had the experience but it seems to be happening to enough people for it to actually get a name. Definitely a possibility.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 01, 2011
at 04:34 PM

I really really hope that is the case! I am not used to seeing this on my body!

3
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:38 PM

Agree you should give it a bit more time. I see some days as much as 7 hours of walking, although that sounds great, it may sound like you are overdoing some things.

You may be putting too much stress on your body with your diet, exercise, and possibly the way you are looking at your body.

Play around with some variations, try adding some more healthy starchy carbs. It's okay to have fruit, but just don't go crazy with them.

Are you sleeping at least 8 hours a day? How is your work environment? Home environment?

You can also try out intermittent fasting. I know for me it was a great tool in eating nice big full meals, but also as I way to stop me from snacking.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:28 PM

You need to supplement your diet.

C, D, Mg, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, Multivitamin, B Complex, Carnitine, Choline

2
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on October 01, 2011
at 05:18 PM

I didn't lose weight for months and months and months, even doing VLC for a while. My waist eventually got smaller though (possibly from making a point to sleep enough and properly, in the dark). I've finally lost a few pounds in the past month. I can't say I've changed very much diet-wise, though I'm probably eating more carbs and fewer calories - I don't really count. I do plug stuff into cron-o-meter a couple times a week to get a rough idea, esp if it's a new food. I always eat when I'm hungry, and sometimes when I'm not.

I doubt you're gaining weight, even though you might not be losing, and I don't think you're harming yourself..

Are you VLC? As much as I wanted the magic to happen so I could sit back and "watch the weight melt off" like everybody else, instead VLC made me sluggish and dehydrated, and eventually depressed. Shrug.

Dehydration could be the thing that is making your skin look weird. Dehydration isn't solely about drinking more water though. Carbs help your body keep water in your tissues... Double-edged sword, that.

1
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:06 PM

Unless you have some very specific, resistant issues, "perfect" probably does not need to be nothing but meat and offal with occasional greens. If you're trying to lose fat, LC is your best bet, but most people can eat a wide variety of low carb foods and still get lean.

7 hours a day of walking might be too much! With exercise, more is not necessarily better. It can actually be stressful to the body.

I'm also wondering how much overweight you are. If you are already quite lean, it's going to be a much slower process, and may require a different strategy than just clean low carb eating.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on March 25, 2012
at 01:30 AM

What kind of strategy? Like heavy lifting?

1
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Perhaps too much protein? Thyroid T3 low? Vitamin C deficiency? Some essential mineral too low? Like selenium, zinc, iodine.... Not enough starchy carbs? Not enough calories?

0
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on March 25, 2012
at 12:51 AM

sounds like your constant walking is burning your adrenals out. i would suggest rest and riding the bus or using a bicycle for transportation

0
6a26f2ca2cd1c5c5afcda9276b309a9c

(579)

on October 01, 2011
at 09:44 PM

You possibly are having the same problem I had. I thought it was reasonable enough to 'cheat' some of the time. However after starting a food diary I realised I was cheating all the time. I downloaded an app called 'pic healthy' which is like a photo food diary and it has made such a difference. In the last three weeks I've lost more than half a stone and I've stopped getting spots. I strongly suggest you start photographing EVERYTHING you eat.

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