1

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7 weeks into Paleo, gained 6 lbs when trying to lose body fat.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Hey i'm a 20 year old female 176lbs 5'5 my body fat % is about 31. I started eating paleo 7 weeks ago, i felt great, performance was great, but every week i hopped on the scale it'd be a 1lb gain. I was looking leaner and tighter, not smaller but more defined so i thought maybe its muscle. I exercise 5x a week. 3 days of cross fit 2 days of weight lifting (upper body & lower body) the first 30 days of paleo my calories ranged from 1400-1800 and i was not keeping track of my macros. I recently started keeping track of my macros and calories on my fitness pal, so for the past week i've been eating 1,100-1250 calories at 40% protein 30% carbs 30% fats... and i gained another pound. Is this common? I find it so hard to lose weight on this.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 15, 2013
at 02:37 PM

? I thought the idea behind that was building muscle with pure intense body weight exercises? Of course, I have no idea, having never done this myself, so diregard that if it's laughably stupid.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 15, 2013
at 02:36 PM

If I had a routine going for more intense workouts like cross fit (and money, which I don't have, lol) I would totally do that once or twice a week, but that's it. Have you ever seen Mark Sisson's ideas on exercise? Looks like this: Monday – Sprint Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Thursday – HIIT Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Saturday – Lift Heavy Things Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Move slowly/play/rest is in there three out of seven days a week. Also, do you think crossfit could *be* one of your lift heavy things instead of weight lifting

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 05:22 PM

Thanks Bodyfoodkitchen :)

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 05:49 AM

The whey is a waste of time. The food not only provides actual complete proteins versus synthetic lab made powder, it is slowly absorbed and thus totally utilized instead of being flushed out. The satiation of having whole food fill your stomach also changes the hormonal chemistry in your body from catabolic to anabolic. The powders are good for right before bed to limit muscle breakdown. Remember, the emphasis after cross fit or heavy lifting is carbs, then protein. Try a banana right after your session and see if it opens your appetite

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:39 AM

That's very interesting to hear, i'm open to trying new things. I'm just very hooked on intense workouts, i love it. i know i may be going a bit too hard 5 days straight, but i'm going to try taking more rest days and maybe replace them with walks..

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:38 AM

Thankyou, appreciate the advice!

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:35 AM

I really appreciate all your advice & help. I do tend to go off a schedule, i make plan my meals & workouts for the week. I do feel a little physically tired through out the week with my intense 5 day straight training. I will give the 2 day on 1 day off a shot. May i ask your opinion on a post workout meal, do you think its best to have whey protein after (since I'm not too hungry) or an actual meal? thanks

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 01:03 AM

the gym completely and call it a rest day. you have to listen to your body. FOOD- you must eat a high protein high carb meal an hour before these sessions and an identicle meal 20 minutes after. keep the fats minimal for these two meals only because it slows down the absorbtion of much needed nutrients. when you're done lifting you don't have an appetite because your CNS is stimulated and your cortisol is rising, this is normal. sit down for 10 minutes and DO NOTHING. allow your CNS to settle and begin slowly ingesting your carbs and protein to HALT cortisol production and muscle breakdown

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:58 AM

to cut the weight training after a cross fit work out. cross fit is designed for one thing only and that is to loose weight. yes it firms up flabby muscles but it sounds like you are past that point with your training. any day you do crossfit, that's it. no weights. going with a 2 on 1 off cycle you will have to decide what you feel like working that day based on your muscle-mind connection. a schedule and numbers is your enemy. there are days when i can bench press 400 pounds so i go for it. but there are days when my body isn't that strong, so i go for volume, or i just walk out of

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:55 AM

Going 5 days in a row at high intensity doesn't work unless you are consuming far more food than what you listed. I suggest a two days on, one day off cycle for starters. On your off days, you EAT. A good indication that you car Anabolic (abundant, and burning calories) versus Catabolic (in scarcity, conserving calories) is a full time pump. You weight train so you know that feeling. On your off days, with enough food and rest, if you are feeling that pump, you are no longer catabolic and your resting metabolic rate is rising. Because your training is so intense and low volume, you need

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:50 AM

likely retaining a lot of water as well. If you are coachable, I can offer some minor changes to your workout regimen and your diet and I believe you will see a change within a week or so.

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:47 AM

So Alex what I am seeing is a classic overtraining mindset. It's a sign of commitment and rigor and that is to be commended. But you are creating an environment of scarcity within your body. (I am sticking with Paleolithic Cave Man jargon given the blog we are on). You are taxing your body with a brutal workout regimen, but you aren't giving it the nutrition and proper rest to support an anabolic or "abundant" environment. Hence, you are crashing your testosterone levels and raising cortisol, putting your body in Scarcity - this means fat is an asset and muscle is a liability. You are

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:40 AM

and i forgot to mention i eat fruit too!

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:38 AM

Thankyou for your advice. I've been doing a cheat meal once every 2 weeks. but maybe i should try the refeeding. The reason i lowered my calories is because, the first month i would normally eat up to 1800 and with the weight gain and very little if any progress i thought i may be eating too many calories

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:35 AM

low carb, mod fat meal

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:34 AM

vegetables, applegate brand sausage and deli meat, fish, chicken, turkey, avocados, nuts, and nut butters, unsweetened almond milk, and protein powder. I've been adding some low fat dairy, only greek yogurt and fat free feta cheese in like one meal out of the day. I usually eat about 4 meals a day and like 2 hours before a workout. I'm not too religious on getting a meal in right after a workout, even though i know i should. I go about 2 hours after a workout until my next meal. I eat basic meals chicken veggie sweet potato and some fats before a workout. After ill have another high protein

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:32 AM

Ok, Monday i do cross fit which is usually about an intense 20-30 mins. I also train legs. I do 5x5 squats 70% of my max. 5x5 deadliest. drop sets on the leg press. 10x10 leg ext and 10x10 hamstring curls.Tuesday, i just do cross fit. wednesday i do cross fit + heavy weight training, usually 3 power lifting exercises 5sets of 5. thursday i only do this olympic weight lifting class, we're usually doing like 3 sets of 2reps for snatches, clean and jerks and front squats. very heavy. and friday just cross fit. Saturday and sunday i do absolutely no exercise, i rest. I've been eating, egg whites,

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on April 13, 2013
at 10:07 PM

@Alex...Nance is correct, forget the scale, use the tape.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on April 13, 2013
at 08:51 PM

Why are you trying to lose scale weight if you're looking leaner & tighter? Are you prepping for a competition?

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:36 PM

Hi nancy! i've seen results deffinatley, but if you read my comment above to brian ^^ with everything i'm doing I seem to be basically maintaining. and you're right i should definatley just stick to the measuring tape then.

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:34 PM

night as well, and like i said calories have been a lot lower. WHat bothers me is that i havn't been losing fat as quickly as i thought would or would like to with the low amount of carbs. I know it's not a quick fix but with my activity levels and clean eating i just don't know why my body wants to hold on to the weight. i've also considered adding moderate cardio, which i;m not big on.

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:32 PM

Thanks for you feedback Brian! The first 30 days i was strict paleo, not dairy or protein powders. BUT a lot of fats from nuts and nut butters, my ratios then were actually about 70% fat 15% carbs and the rest protein. Since i thought i was eating too many fats from nuts and all i decided to maybe pay more attention to my carbs and macros. i'M 2 weeks into my 2nd month and i'm eating small amount of low fat greek yoguer and fat free cheese. I'm actually avoiding nuts and nut butters cause i tend to over eat them. so i'm getting my fats from oils, avocados and salmon. I eat casein protein at

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6 Answers

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 13, 2013
at 04:21 PM

I weigh 10-15 lbs. more when very fit and I look more slender than when I'm not fit.

It sounds like you are very active, so if I were you I'd give up the scale-check habit and get hooked on my measuring tape. In my case, I even ration the measuring to once per month.

If your clothes fit differently, in ways you like, and your limbs and body look better to you, and you feel good, what's the problem?

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:36 PM

Hi nancy! i've seen results deffinatley, but if you read my comment above to brian ^^ with everything i'm doing I seem to be basically maintaining. and you're right i should definatley just stick to the measuring tape then.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on April 13, 2013
at 10:07 PM

@Alex...Nance is correct, forget the scale, use the tape.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 13, 2013
at 10:50 PM

ETA: I absolutely agree with Nance, re: weighing, but I rather doubt you are gaining a pound of muscle a week.

Your calories sound too low for your activity level. You are likely retaining water.

If you are feeling stressed by all your workouts, you may also have raised cortisol, which will inhibit fat loss. Try more gentle walking and drop a day of Crossfit, if you think this may be the case. Cardio is more likely to make things worse, not better.

Up your calories a bit and do a refeed day once a week (like 2500 calories) to let your body know you aren't starving and you will drop some fat/water weight.

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:38 AM

Thankyou for your advice. I've been doing a cheat meal once every 2 weeks. but maybe i should try the refeeding. The reason i lowered my calories is because, the first month i would normally eat up to 1800 and with the weight gain and very little if any progress i thought i may be eating too many calories

1
5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 13, 2013
at 09:22 PM

Alex would you mind posting in greater detail what your workouts look like? I would like to know what and when you are eating before and after your workouts. How long your workouts are per session. The intensity level (versus volume)? And your quantity and quality of rest.

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:47 AM

So Alex what I am seeing is a classic overtraining mindset. It's a sign of commitment and rigor and that is to be commended. But you are creating an environment of scarcity within your body. (I am sticking with Paleolithic Cave Man jargon given the blog we are on). You are taxing your body with a brutal workout regimen, but you aren't giving it the nutrition and proper rest to support an anabolic or "abundant" environment. Hence, you are crashing your testosterone levels and raising cortisol, putting your body in Scarcity - this means fat is an asset and muscle is a liability. You are

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 01:03 AM

the gym completely and call it a rest day. you have to listen to your body. FOOD- you must eat a high protein high carb meal an hour before these sessions and an identicle meal 20 minutes after. keep the fats minimal for these two meals only because it slows down the absorbtion of much needed nutrients. when you're done lifting you don't have an appetite because your CNS is stimulated and your cortisol is rising, this is normal. sit down for 10 minutes and DO NOTHING. allow your CNS to settle and begin slowly ingesting your carbs and protein to HALT cortisol production and muscle breakdown

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 05:22 PM

Thanks Bodyfoodkitchen :)

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:35 AM

I really appreciate all your advice & help. I do tend to go off a schedule, i make plan my meals & workouts for the week. I do feel a little physically tired through out the week with my intense 5 day straight training. I will give the 2 day on 1 day off a shot. May i ask your opinion on a post workout meal, do you think its best to have whey protein after (since I'm not too hungry) or an actual meal? thanks

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:40 AM

and i forgot to mention i eat fruit too!

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:35 AM

low carb, mod fat meal

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:50 AM

likely retaining a lot of water as well. If you are coachable, I can offer some minor changes to your workout regimen and your diet and I believe you will see a change within a week or so.

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:55 AM

Going 5 days in a row at high intensity doesn't work unless you are consuming far more food than what you listed. I suggest a two days on, one day off cycle for starters. On your off days, you EAT. A good indication that you car Anabolic (abundant, and burning calories) versus Catabolic (in scarcity, conserving calories) is a full time pump. You weight train so you know that feeling. On your off days, with enough food and rest, if you are feeling that pump, you are no longer catabolic and your resting metabolic rate is rising. Because your training is so intense and low volume, you need

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 05:49 AM

The whey is a waste of time. The food not only provides actual complete proteins versus synthetic lab made powder, it is slowly absorbed and thus totally utilized instead of being flushed out. The satiation of having whole food fill your stomach also changes the hormonal chemistry in your body from catabolic to anabolic. The powders are good for right before bed to limit muscle breakdown. Remember, the emphasis after cross fit or heavy lifting is carbs, then protein. Try a banana right after your session and see if it opens your appetite

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:32 AM

Ok, Monday i do cross fit which is usually about an intense 20-30 mins. I also train legs. I do 5x5 squats 70% of my max. 5x5 deadliest. drop sets on the leg press. 10x10 leg ext and 10x10 hamstring curls.Tuesday, i just do cross fit. wednesday i do cross fit + heavy weight training, usually 3 power lifting exercises 5sets of 5. thursday i only do this olympic weight lifting class, we're usually doing like 3 sets of 2reps for snatches, clean and jerks and front squats. very heavy. and friday just cross fit. Saturday and sunday i do absolutely no exercise, i rest. I've been eating, egg whites,

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:34 AM

vegetables, applegate brand sausage and deli meat, fish, chicken, turkey, avocados, nuts, and nut butters, unsweetened almond milk, and protein powder. I've been adding some low fat dairy, only greek yogurt and fat free feta cheese in like one meal out of the day. I usually eat about 4 meals a day and like 2 hours before a workout. I'm not too religious on getting a meal in right after a workout, even though i know i should. I go about 2 hours after a workout until my next meal. I eat basic meals chicken veggie sweet potato and some fats before a workout. After ill have another high protein

5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 12:58 AM

to cut the weight training after a cross fit work out. cross fit is designed for one thing only and that is to loose weight. yes it firms up flabby muscles but it sounds like you are past that point with your training. any day you do crossfit, that's it. no weights. going with a 2 on 1 off cycle you will have to decide what you feel like working that day based on your muscle-mind connection. a schedule and numbers is your enemy. there are days when i can bench press 400 pounds so i go for it. but there are days when my body isn't that strong, so i go for volume, or i just walk out of

0
0334d143dae3bb0f30169e6ef31e3a4d

(104)

on April 14, 2013
at 12:45 AM

For me, I think you should increase your protein and fat, then decrease your calorie/carb a bit more for you to lose that stubborn weight off. Also it really looks like you're very active with your workouts and everything.

Good luck!

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:38 AM

Thankyou, appreciate the advice!

0
Medium avatar

on April 14, 2013
at 12:30 AM

I know this doesn't work for everyone, but I agree with trading one or two extreme workout days with an easy (but long) walk. We're the opposite in exercise: I do probably 1 day of pathetically basic body weight exercises, 4 days of 1 two hour long walks a day, and 2 days a week at a job where I'm on my feet all day. 5'7", started last month at 177 lbs, 6 weeks later I'm at 167. I don't make promises on my muscle gain, but I think it's steady. I eat roughly 70-80 grams fat, 60-100 grams carbs, and 70-100 grams protein a day. That's 1150 cals on low days and 1520 cals high days. No hunger, no brain fog, no weakness. I think the long wandering helps with fat because it's relaxing and gets a slow calorie burn going.

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 14, 2013
at 04:39 AM

That's very interesting to hear, i'm open to trying new things. I'm just very hooked on intense workouts, i love it. i know i may be going a bit too hard 5 days straight, but i'm going to try taking more rest days and maybe replace them with walks..

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 15, 2013
at 02:37 PM

? I thought the idea behind that was building muscle with pure intense body weight exercises? Of course, I have no idea, having never done this myself, so diregard that if it's laughably stupid.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 15, 2013
at 02:36 PM

If I had a routine going for more intense workouts like cross fit (and money, which I don't have, lol) I would totally do that once or twice a week, but that's it. Have you ever seen Mark Sisson's ideas on exercise? Looks like this: Monday – Sprint Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Thursday – HIIT Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Saturday – Lift Heavy Things Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Move slowly/play/rest is in there three out of seven days a week. Also, do you think crossfit could *be* one of your lift heavy things instead of weight lifting

0
1a6ad0d62f779ca50babe92d70ea6a0c

(137)

on April 13, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Hey Alex! What are some examples of what your eating?

I use a program called Cronometer to help keep track of the ratios, and their Paleo suggestion is 65% Fat, 20% Protein, 15% carb (which I find difficult to do myself).

Do you happen to be including dairy and nuts into your diet?

You may also want to check out another site as well.. Marks Daily Apple, it has some good info on workout plans. That site is dedicated to "Primal" ways of eating and workout out, and it seems the only difference with a "primal" diet compared to paleo, is it seems to allow dairy in some cases (at least that's the only difference I could find).

From the sounds of it though, it seems like it is working for you. Both feeling and performance is great + leaner and tighter. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if your shedding fat, it can be common for weight to stay either stagnant or increase initially.

I'm a newbie to this myself, but from what I read, this isn't a diet per say but a lifestyle way of eating, so over a course of time people drop weight. The success stories I usually see span a minimum 3 months to usually a year.

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:32 PM

Thanks for you feedback Brian! The first 30 days i was strict paleo, not dairy or protein powders. BUT a lot of fats from nuts and nut butters, my ratios then were actually about 70% fat 15% carbs and the rest protein. Since i thought i was eating too many fats from nuts and all i decided to maybe pay more attention to my carbs and macros. i'M 2 weeks into my 2nd month and i'm eating small amount of low fat greek yoguer and fat free cheese. I'm actually avoiding nuts and nut butters cause i tend to over eat them. so i'm getting my fats from oils, avocados and salmon. I eat casein protein at

Fb2da7937d7040a99c34fc62b448aa49

(35)

on April 13, 2013
at 06:34 PM

night as well, and like i said calories have been a lot lower. WHat bothers me is that i havn't been losing fat as quickly as i thought would or would like to with the low amount of carbs. I know it's not a quick fix but with my activity levels and clean eating i just don't know why my body wants to hold on to the weight. i've also considered adding moderate cardio, which i;m not big on.

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