3

votes

Packing on body fat with low carb and calorie counting

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2011 at 10:27 PM

So Ive dropped my carbs to below 20, count every single calorie, every single crumb that enters my mouth and make sure that it is within my caloric deficit needs, I eat healthy fats and moderate proteins. and I am still storing tons of body fat. Visibly gaining inches, measured body fat increase, and visible fat and dimpled skin that I never had.

I don't eat fruit, nuts, or ANYTHING processed or outside of completely perfect Paleo. What is happening?

Is it possible that my body just doesn't like Paleo ? What can i do to stop this fat gain?

I have tried every single thing that Paleo Hackers have suggested, ketosis, lean meats and tubers on and on and on...what can i do? I am desperate...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 24, 2011
at 03:32 PM

@Adel, no prob. I went through my "check the scale twice a day" phases. For me, I think I needed something to fill the gap when I tried to give up sweets so I'd transfer my obsession to measurements. That never worked, though. Nowadays the only measuring I ever do is put a tape around my waist every month or two.

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 24, 2011
at 12:47 PM

@Nance: Sorry, my comment sounded maybe a bit cynic... the issue I am having with BMI (and respective) is simply that it does tell you nothing about a) the way you look and b) how healthy you are... yet still people will over and over say: "I have to lose another 5 pounds" - and unfortunately I see way too many women accomplish that by losing 7pounds of muscle and gaining 2 pounds of fat. Now, the scale says, they accomplished their aim - but at what expense? Good to hear that you are not among those misguided chronic dieters

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 23, 2011
at 03:36 PM

@Adel Nope, but I'm not close enough to ideal mass at the moment to worry about it. The mirror will tell me when I'm there and what I eat will align itself since it will have gotten me there, right? (I just used the calculator as a method for making a point.)

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:13 AM

@Nance: So you trust a javascript based calculator more than your own judgement as far as your "ideal" body mass is concerned?

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:10 AM

very interesting side-discussion, here. I have come in touch with a whole bunch of anorexics and can support PaleoGrans observation. IF they eventually stick to a healthy diet, they will get back to their normal selves... that is particularly true for "true" anorexics (not so much for bulemics)... most of them were slim to begin with and all started of with the same sort of questions Paleo4Ever and so many other people are posing these days. I think its important to get the message out there that there is a slippy slope from calorie counting to disordered eating and in the worst case - death

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:06 AM

sorry, for not answering before. I did somehow lose my password ;) Personally, I would suggest you do this, Paleo4Ever: 1. Don't stress yourself so much about either the macros or the total calories 2. Have 3 healthy and SATISTFYING meals a day 3. Make sure you have 25+g of high quality (=animal or dairy) protein in EVERY meal 4. Do not count carbs from (low starch) veggies 5. Aim for ~100-150g of carbs from high starch veggies, fruit, dairy, potatoes, rice, whatever you can tolerate 6. Have at least 20g+ of fat with every meal. If its not in the foods, already add coconut or olive oil.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 21, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Paleo4ever, I think the level of carbs and calories requires experimenting for oneself. I stay below 50, sometimes well below. I fiddle around and experiment. I don't currently count calories.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 21, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Paleo4ever, during the first year or two of recovery, she got pudgy, and then gradually became slim, with regular, healthy eating habits. She has had healthy eating habits and stayed slim for the last 30+ years.

55a8a56cd6db64fd9ed54b5ca1befdd2

(10)

on December 20, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Yea I guess me and Robb Wolf are both wrong for believing that...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 20, 2011
at 01:49 AM

That sounds reasonable. Best of luck whatever you do!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 19, 2011
at 03:16 PM

oh wait, you mean non-conventional meats? thats the word jumble in Paleo world i think....?

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 19, 2011
at 02:33 AM

@AndyM, that's precisely what I meant. I admit I should probably learn more before claiming a certain viewpoint is 'paleo consensus'. But I'm new here. Gimme a break for now :p

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Dr. Andro, I will do just that up my carbs, and I will stick to moderate protein and moderate fat. Perhaps aiming for a 40/30/30 Fat/Carb/Pro ratio?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Paleo Gran, when you say "normalized" did that person return to an average body composition? Or were they able to have a lower body fat percentage after the initial gain?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Definitely appropriate, not harshly taken at all :) I'll try upping. Im religiously reading everything Dr Kruse lately...so ill keep going. thanks

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Wow. Thank you so so much. I am struggling with this exact thing. And you are right, my only choices are to mentally toughen up and deal with the temporary gain, and hope to normalize or keep restricting (which i am not willing to do) thank you so much for helping me flush this out. I think I will keep feeding, and working out hard to try and up my metabolism so maybe I can meet my body somewhere in the middle? So i should up my calories gradually and keep with a moderately low carb? maybe under 50grams?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Travis, Thank you. So lean meats...are we talking trimming any fat? and lean chicken breasts etc? SHould I keep my carbs under 20 while doing that? When I last tried lean meats + low carb - I struggled with satiation. Any advice if that happens again?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Ambimorph, that is exactly what occurred with a friend of mine. She gained a good deal during recovery, then normalized, and has remained normal for the last thirty years. Thanks for the link! :)

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Some recent research I've done indicates that the amount of EFAs we need per day can be had with a single pastured egg yolk.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:50 PM

You're eating more fat than you are able to burn. Switch to lean meats and fat loss will continue (seriously).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Here's some good news: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/5/1132.long says that people who recovered from anorexia had a fat body composition at first, but by the time a year passed it had normalized.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:17 PM

There is a phenomenon of people who have been under semi-starvation to have a hyperphagic response to refeeding. In other words, after prolonged calorie restriction, the body packs on more fat than it otherwise would as soon as it is given enough food. If this is happening to you, you're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to choose between continuing to restrict, which could plausibly just further the effect, or allow yourself to gain fat. I don't know what happens to those people long-term.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Paleo4ever, I don't really know! I wish I did. In almost all the cases that I've seen, the person eventually disappears from the forum or discussion group in frustration, and we never know what happened. I would be curious to know what happened if you stuck it out, but if you did, and you kept gaining, I don't know at what point you should conclude that it isn't working.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Ambimorph, thanks very much for this answer. It puts several puzzle pieces in place that I had been wondering about.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Oh- I really agree with this response from personal experience. People on this site are generally paleo, but some of us are more of the primal camp. Mark Sisson has some great support on his site for these concerns that you are having. Personally- I eat alot of food (I don't even want to know the calories) I also use a weekly IF and a monthly carb refeed. Good Luck!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:34 PM

wow thank you. i really didn't realize that.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Amb, I think you are bang on, thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it. So, I should stick it out and see what happens?

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:51 PM

It's about counting calories. Separating cause from effect. Of course calories matter, but the consensus, such as it is, is that you can't control them directly.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 18, 2011
at 01:04 PM

I don't think that's really a paleo community consensus.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 18, 2011
at 11:46 AM

I was referring to the general consensus throughout most of the paleo community that calories don't matter much!

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:46 AM

It's not anti-paleo to say you need to eat enough.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:08 AM

+1 for being Mick Jagger

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:05 AM

stress over scales ~ cortisol = weight gain

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:41 AM

First statement: untrue, simpy based on personal experiences.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:29 AM

awesome point- add muscle, gain strength which will speed up your metabolism and get rid of whatever it is you think it wrong, even though i think youre shooting yourself in the foot worrying so much

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Thanks, Nance. I hate bringing it up because it is touchy and personal, I don't even know this person, and my interpretation is just a guess. *But* I've seen it repeatedly, and it could be important, so I'm erring on the side of offense.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:56 AM

A very insightful answer, Ambimorph. Thanks.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I don't think you ranted; what you said makes great sense.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Based on an online calculator my "ideal" lean body mass would be about 96 pounds with a total weight of around 120-130. I'm currently a lot higher than that on all numbers so I frequently eat between the two.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yes, I need moderate carbs to thrive but they definitely seem to drive any weight gain. I definitely don't go low-fat now, because I suffered health consequences and that was before I adopted ancestral eating. I try to follow the "1g of protein for each kg of lean mass" advice but it isn't precise; some days I match the mass I probably have now and others I match the lean mass I'd like to have. Are you doing something like that?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:57 PM

I track everything with Mynetdiary - usually ratios are around 60% fat (from coconut oil, or meat fats attached to the meat) 30% protein -10% carbs. I am eating between 1350-1500 cals per day. Anymore an I gain. This is measured via clothing fitting, and VERY visible fat gain, my legs have a substantial amount of fat that was NOT there before. I do focus on protein, and never dump on the fat. Nance, why id you go low fat do you have to eat 1200 cals? cause of the carbs?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:52 PM

I have been under 20 grabs of carbs for over a week and thought I would be in ketosis - but I am gaining not losing

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:51 PM

I have tried upping my calories to 1500 plus, gained weight immediately

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Workouts- are 3 times a week - balance of weight training, cardio and HIIT.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Typical day = break - omelette, tsp coconut oil, garlic,onion, turkey or chicken in omelette, or left over meat from night before. coffee black(sometimes coconut milk) approx 300 -400 cals Lunch - Chicken, Steak or Salmon with spinach or some salad. Dinner - Same as Lunch.If I am having really bad cravings, ill have some cocoa powder mixed with coconut milk or some 100% no sugar chocolate ( a little bit) but rarely.This usually totals between 1350-1500 Cals. I am 5'9" 140lbs, female, I used to be 23% body fat but my scale is now reading 29% and it is definitely visible.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I agree with sage, you need to be more specific about your meal plan, workouts/activity level, any underlying conditions you have, stress levels, etc. And exactly to what extent is your calorie restriction?

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:30 PM

let's see a couple of days worth of you food log with cal count please

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9 Answers

15
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Your BMI is under 21, which is low-normal. I'm taking a presumptuous guess that you have a history of restricting calories and maybe disordered eating? I could be totally off-base, and I apologize if I am, but I've seen several times a (typically) woman change to a low carb diet in the hopes that they could stop the painful restriction, and they immediately start to gain weight. My theory in these cases is that they are starting to rebuild lean mass that had been compromised. Since this happens faster than fat loss, it causes a net expanse of size, too. Very few people who are already very intolerant of weight changes stick it out to see what happens next. If this does not fit your case, then forgive and ignore the above.

As to the fat percent, I would say that it is a reflection of a lower water retention. When on a low carb diet, which is a diuretic, you store less water, and that is known to effect the accuracy of those impedance scales. [Edit: That is, dehydration will increase the reading.]

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:56 AM

A very insightful answer, Ambimorph. Thanks.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Here's some good news: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/5/1132.long says that people who recovered from anorexia had a fat body composition at first, but by the time a year passed it had normalized.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Ambimorph, thanks very much for this answer. It puts several puzzle pieces in place that I had been wondering about.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Paleo4ever, I don't really know! I wish I did. In almost all the cases that I've seen, the person eventually disappears from the forum or discussion group in frustration, and we never know what happened. I would be curious to know what happened if you stuck it out, but if you did, and you kept gaining, I don't know at what point you should conclude that it isn't working.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Thanks, Nance. I hate bringing it up because it is touchy and personal, I don't even know this person, and my interpretation is just a guess. *But* I've seen it repeatedly, and it could be important, so I'm erring on the side of offense.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Amb, I think you are bang on, thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it. So, I should stick it out and see what happens?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Wow. Thank you so so much. I am struggling with this exact thing. And you are right, my only choices are to mentally toughen up and deal with the temporary gain, and hope to normalize or keep restricting (which i am not willing to do) thank you so much for helping me flush this out. I think I will keep feeding, and working out hard to try and up my metabolism so maybe I can meet my body somewhere in the middle? So i should up my calories gradually and keep with a moderately low carb? maybe under 50grams?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:17 PM

There is a phenomenon of people who have been under semi-starvation to have a hyperphagic response to refeeding. In other words, after prolonged calorie restriction, the body packs on more fat than it otherwise would as soon as it is given enough food. If this is happening to you, you're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to choose between continuing to restrict, which could plausibly just further the effect, or allow yourself to gain fat. I don't know what happens to those people long-term.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Ambimorph, that is exactly what occurred with a friend of mine. She gained a good deal during recovery, then normalized, and has remained normal for the last thirty years. Thanks for the link! :)

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Paleo Gran, when you say "normalized" did that person return to an average body composition? Or were they able to have a lower body fat percentage after the initial gain?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 20, 2011
at 01:49 AM

That sounds reasonable. Best of luck whatever you do!

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 21, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Paleo4ever, I think the level of carbs and calories requires experimenting for oneself. I stay below 50, sometimes well below. I fiddle around and experiment. I don't currently count calories.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on December 21, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Paleo4ever, during the first year or two of recovery, she got pudgy, and then gradually became slim, with regular, healthy eating habits. She has had healthy eating habits and stayed slim for the last 30+ years.

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:10 AM

very interesting side-discussion, here. I have come in touch with a whole bunch of anorexics and can support PaleoGrans observation. IF they eventually stick to a healthy diet, they will get back to their normal selves... that is particularly true for "true" anorexics (not so much for bulemics)... most of them were slim to begin with and all started of with the same sort of questions Paleo4Ever and so many other people are posing these days. I think its important to get the message out there that there is a slippy slope from calorie counting to disordered eating and in the worst case - death

6
3a9aef29f44d81785622400b60fc5e14

on December 17, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Hey, add some carbs! Im serious. You seem to be stressing over this a little to much. An apple or some berries wont pack on a pound of fat! Im sorry to be so upset about this but I cant stand when I see people think that carbs are the enemy. Sure you can eat to much carbs but you can also eat to little! EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and the paleo diet is not a exact diet, it is a base for which you build YOUR optimal diet. What you eat depends on your current body type, your background, health issues and what your goals are. Just because some people eat low carb and it works does not mean it will work for you. As long as your diet is CLEAN there are much more important factors then you macro nutrient ratios such as sleep, stress state, when you eat... etc. Check out perfect health diet and jackkruse.com for different variations. Please do not get stuck on low carb because it does not work. Ive experimented with pretty much everything and that is what you need to do to find success. Find what yours for you and stick with it until it doesnt then try something new.

Sorry for the rant but that is my 2 cents.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Definitely appropriate, not harshly taken at all :) I'll try upping. Im religiously reading everything Dr Kruse lately...so ill keep going. thanks

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I don't think you ranted; what you said makes great sense.

5
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 18, 2011
at 12:39 AM

If you are 5'9" and 140, your BMI is around 20 ... which is certainly in the right range. So if you are visibly fat, what that says to me is that you need to stop worrying so much about the number on the scale and start concentrating on increasing lean body mass. That is what will drop your body fat percentage, and over time, will also help you drop excess body fat.

Check out this SuppVersity post, especially the section on Stanley Smith. Oh, and check out the Strong is the New Skinny blog for inspiration!

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on December 18, 2011
at 01:29 AM

awesome point- add muscle, gain strength which will speed up your metabolism and get rid of whatever it is you think it wrong, even though i think youre shooting yourself in the foot worrying so much

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:05 AM

stress over scales ~ cortisol = weight gain

3
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:45 AM

The only thing that any of us can really be sure about is that we are not equipped to consciously judge our calorie needs. Counting calories is great and all, but if you have the wrong target it can only end badly. Relax, have a big satisfying meal sometimes, eat the next one when you're hungry. If you're really storing fat then there's something amiss in your calculations, and as pointed out there's any number of things that could be. So let your body sort it out for you.

2
0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:00 PM

aside from the important statements that

a) chances are that your are eating not enough, and

b) defining "not enough" by counting calories let alone using calculators, will get you no-where but into eating disorders

i have two additional things to add

1) throw away your body fat scale. The figures it is showing you tell you nothing, follow Beth's advice and read my blogpost on how to lose weight healthily and take to the heart what I am writing about using a mearusing tape instead of a scale to measure your progress.

2) reintroduce reasonable amounts of carbs to your diet (for a rational on what is reasonable read this blogpost of mine > http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2011/06/carbohydrate-shortage-in-paleo-land.html - for you, I would start with ~80g NOT from GRAINS, but rather from fruit and higher carb veggies like carrots etc.; if you are working out at least 3x a week go to 100-120g of carbs (and if you /for whatever ideological resaon/ insist on being hardcore paleo, have part of those from tubers)

3) if you insist on going even low(er)-carb (which I have found works mostly only as long as you are pretty chubby, which you are not / don't trust the scale) then PLEASE do me a favor and understand that LOW CARB MEANS HIGH FAT and what you are eating is almost only protein. The result is that your cortisol skyrockets and your liver spills out TONS OF GLYCOGEN it is making from the proteins you ingest so that you do not starve, because you do not give your body enough energy in the forms of FATs or CARBs.

kind regards

Adel aka Dr. Andro

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:34 PM

wow thank you. i really didn't realize that.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Oh- I really agree with this response from personal experience. People on this site are generally paleo, but some of us are more of the primal camp. Mark Sisson has some great support on his site for these concerns that you are having. Personally- I eat alot of food (I don't even want to know the calories) I also use a weekly IF and a monthly carb refeed. Good Luck!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 18, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Dr. Andro, I will do just that up my carbs, and I will stick to moderate protein and moderate fat. Perhaps aiming for a 40/30/30 Fat/Carb/Pro ratio?

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:06 AM

sorry, for not answering before. I did somehow lose my password ;) Personally, I would suggest you do this, Paleo4Ever: 1. Don't stress yourself so much about either the macros or the total calories 2. Have 3 healthy and SATISTFYING meals a day 3. Make sure you have 25+g of high quality (=animal or dairy) protein in EVERY meal 4. Do not count carbs from (low starch) veggies 5. Aim for ~100-150g of carbs from high starch veggies, fruit, dairy, potatoes, rice, whatever you can tolerate 6. Have at least 20g+ of fat with every meal. If its not in the foods, already add coconut or olive oil.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:41 PM

We always start by asking what kind and how much protein/fat you're eating, as well as any stress/fatigue issues you may have.

If I go low-fat, I have to stay at or under 1200 calories per day. On high-fat high-protein moderate-carbs I don't measure anything and my appetite naturally allows a one-pound weight loss every week or two.

Protein has to drive the whole thing--protein shuts down the appetite, the fat just makes the protein taste good and go down easy, and 60-80g of carbs per day slows the weight loss but doesn't stop it. You don't need to eat fat for it's own sake, just to balance the protein (for me, about 2 grams of fat for each gram of protein including the fat I use with some of the carbs.)

That's the kind of info we need from you.

EDIT: I know the fat gain is troubling; is this measuring tape or scale measurement? Many of us distrust scales because weight fluctuates so much for reasons having nothing to do with diet. Have you tried intermittent fasting at all? Or eating different amounts of carbs from day to day? Eating carbs only in the evening? Those are all things that work for some people.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 17, 2011
at 10:57 PM

I track everything with Mynetdiary - usually ratios are around 60% fat (from coconut oil, or meat fats attached to the meat) 30% protein -10% carbs. I am eating between 1350-1500 cals per day. Anymore an I gain. This is measured via clothing fitting, and VERY visible fat gain, my legs have a substantial amount of fat that was NOT there before. I do focus on protein, and never dump on the fat. Nance, why id you go low fat do you have to eat 1200 cals? cause of the carbs?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Based on an online calculator my "ideal" lean body mass would be about 96 pounds with a total weight of around 120-130. I'm currently a lot higher than that on all numbers so I frequently eat between the two.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 17, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yes, I need moderate carbs to thrive but they definitely seem to drive any weight gain. I definitely don't go low-fat now, because I suffered health consequences and that was before I adopted ancestral eating. I try to follow the "1g of protein for each kg of lean mass" advice but it isn't precise; some days I match the mass I probably have now and others I match the lean mass I'd like to have. Are you doing something like that?

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 24, 2011
at 12:47 PM

@Nance: Sorry, my comment sounded maybe a bit cynic... the issue I am having with BMI (and respective) is simply that it does tell you nothing about a) the way you look and b) how healthy you are... yet still people will over and over say: "I have to lose another 5 pounds" - and unfortunately I see way too many women accomplish that by losing 7pounds of muscle and gaining 2 pounds of fat. Now, the scale says, they accomplished their aim - but at what expense? Good to hear that you are not among those misguided chronic dieters

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 23, 2011
at 07:13 AM

@Nance: So you trust a javascript based calculator more than your own judgement as far as your "ideal" body mass is concerned?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 23, 2011
at 03:36 PM

@Adel Nope, but I'm not close enough to ideal mass at the moment to worry about it. The mirror will tell me when I'm there and what I eat will align itself since it will have gotten me there, right? (I just used the calculator as a method for making a point.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 24, 2011
at 03:32 PM

@Adel, no prob. I went through my "check the scale twice a day" phases. For me, I think I needed something to fill the gap when I tried to give up sweets so I'd transfer my obsession to measurements. That never worked, though. Nowadays the only measuring I ever do is put a tape around my waist every month or two.

1
6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

on December 18, 2011
at 09:40 AM

I'm gonna go against the paleo grain here and say you're not eating enough calories. Admittedly, I have a history as a chronic calorie-counter so I'm a little biased, but based on my own experiences and anecdotes I've heard from others, particularly those with a high activity level such as yours, I know that sometimes eating too few calories can stall weight loss. A temporary increase in calories can help to kick-start things again. (Don't ask me about the mechanism behind this because I'm not even sure there is one!)

That said, I think you're at a fantastic weight (:

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 03:51 PM

It's about counting calories. Separating cause from effect. Of course calories matter, but the consensus, such as it is, is that you can't control them directly.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 18, 2011
at 01:04 PM

I don't think that's really a paleo community consensus.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:46 AM

It's not anti-paleo to say you need to eat enough.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 18, 2011
at 11:46 AM

I was referring to the general consensus throughout most of the paleo community that calories don't matter much!

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 19, 2011
at 02:33 AM

@AndyM, that's precisely what I meant. I admit I should probably learn more before claiming a certain viewpoint is 'paleo consensus'. But I'm new here. Gimme a break for now :p

1
55a8a56cd6db64fd9ed54b5ca1befdd2

on December 18, 2011
at 02:09 AM

How's your sleep? -if youre not getting AT LEAST 8 hours a night, you won't see fat loss. Period.

Are you working out? -If not, what do you expect?

If you are, are you overtraining? -This is probably worse than not training at all.

STOP COUNTING -this could cause you to chronically diet and damage your metabolism

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:41 AM

First statement: untrue, simpy based on personal experiences.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:08 AM

+1 for being Mick Jagger

55a8a56cd6db64fd9ed54b5ca1befdd2

(10)

on December 20, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Yea I guess me and Robb Wolf are both wrong for believing that...

0
F7dd1385fab29fb9a8a7275bd106a0ad

on January 30, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Beyond making sure you are eating at LEAST your daily caloric allowance, I would check to make sure your macronutrient ratios are in order.

Log a day or two of your calories (every bite that goes in your mouth) on fitday.com. It's free. Then check to make sure that protein is the HIGHEST % of calories going into your bod. That's the stuff that's going to help you lean out and build muscle. Next, look at carbs and fat. If your fat levels are through the roof, your body isn't going to be able to get rid of it's own fat very easily. Same goes for carbs. I try to keep those two percentages even with each other on the fitday chart, and try to score as high as I can with protein by eating lean cuts of meat, chicken, fish, etc.

Also, are you lifting? Lift! It's the best way to tone up and tell your body to let go of the squishy bits.

Get your beauty sleep.

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