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Is paleo making me fat?

Commented on January 28, 2014
Created January 27, 2014 at 5:29 AM

I have been following a paleo diet about 85-90% of the time, for about 2-3 weeks now. The number on the scale has not changed, and I feel the same, except that I am extremely tired. I know I will not get weight loss results "overnight," but is there anyway that it could be making me start to gain weight, instead of losing? Help!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 28, 2014
at 11:50 AM

Also, eating 3500 calories of fat is very different from 3500 calories of protein, and very different from 3500 calories of carbs. If the CICO theory were true, they'd have exactly the same effect, but they don't. Even within each of those categories, eating 3500 calories of sugar, vs 3500 calories of insoluble fiber have completely different results; eating 3500 calories (or even much less) of say, ricin, which is a protein from a bean will kill you, while 3500 calories of whey will not.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 28, 2014
at 11:46 AM

An easy way to disprove the CICO theory is this: when we sleep our BMR is much lower, therefore, if we stay awake 24h we'd burn far more calories, and lose weight. If you try this, you'll become as insulin resistant as a type 2 diabetic, and find that in the long term you'll gain much more fat.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 28, 2014
at 11:45 AM

It is and it isn't. What's flawed is the Calories-In-Calories-Out theory. Eating 3500 "calories" will not add one pound of fat to your body. Nor will doing 3500 calories worth of cardio burn off a pound of fat. We do know (roughly) how many grams of protein we need, and roughly what our base metabolic rate as, and from this, we can estimate needs.

E53eed3eb7d35de48362823bcb5629a8

(0)

on January 28, 2014
at 04:50 AM

Thank you. I have been eating at least a tablespoon per day of coconut oil and one kerrygold package of butter per week. Plus, advocados, bacon... I hope to see some results soon, just not a weight gain.

B16c708a9f63d0552433f7d46080c8bd

on January 28, 2014
at 04:36 AM

Lol, not a very thoughtful response. Counting calories only makes sense in a world where people are relying heavily on grain consumption. The grain consumption contains too much energy, and not enough nutrient for our bodies, and ends up stored as fat in our bodies. So you are taking an already minerally deficient diet, and then restricting intake, which makes people even more mineral deficient. It is awful, unhealthy, and it doesn't work. People end up feeling starving (which they are), and then returning to their normal eating habits and gaining all of the weight back.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 28, 2014
at 01:47 AM

technically, a calorie is a calorie. but i'm just being pedantic. i know you are referring to a food calorie, not a scientific calorie

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 28, 2014
at 12:21 AM

Low-carb dieting is pseudo-science…

B16c708a9f63d0552433f7d46080c8bd

on January 27, 2014
at 10:39 PM

Counting calories is a myth based on the old standard american diet's theory that a calorie is a calorie. It is psuedo-scientific and not true.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on January 27, 2014
at 02:32 PM

Just curious, what are you eating 15% of the time that isn't paleo? It would also be helpful if you told us what your average dietary intake looks like.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 27, 2014
at 08:01 AM

"...but is there anyway that it could be making me start to gain weight, instead of losing?"

(don't mean to be glib, sorry)...of course it can, it (paleo food) is still food. if you have a lot of weight to lose, you will need to watch calories. if you are at a stage where your abs are starting to show thru & you just need to 'cut' those last few pounds, it gets a bit more complex (hormones comes to mind, optimising sleep, & many other bits & pieces mentioned around this site under prev q&a's)

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5 Answers

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B16c708a9f63d0552433f7d46080c8bd

on January 27, 2014
at 10:22 PM

Erinamy, what are your goals for your diet? Are you mainly looking to lose weight? If so, I would limit fruits, nuts, and root vegetables until you reach your desired weight. Then add them back in and you will stabilize. You need to reach the point where your body shifts to burning fat.

0
A40f5960d5b205203aa957970801999c

on January 28, 2014
at 12:09 AM

The 85-90% can mean the difference depending on what you eat! If the 10-15% consists of high carbs and sugar you may be fighting the beneficial effects of paleo in itself.

0
Cce653018976b0b26924c59aa94e5579

(15)

on January 27, 2014
at 10:46 PM

It is likely that you are not consuming enough micronutrients, or deficient in specific ones. It's also quite possible that you're overconsuming others. :) The Perfect Health Diet website (www.perfecthealthdiet.com) - and especially their book - has very useful information regarding sufficient/optimal nutrients. Things such as magnesium, calcium, iodine, and cooper are quite important, but modern soils have not been planted sustainably, so modern foodstuffs often lack many nutrients that our Paleolithic ancestors once had.

The Perfect Health Diet weight loss diet (modified from the typical Perfect Health Diet to restrict fats more) looks very useful.

After much thought, I believe that it is better to eat and be well-nourished and replete in nutrients (and lose weight slowly) than to feel tired/bad losing weight quickly. To this end, be careful of exluding sufficient nutrients, and consider strongly adding safe starches (white rice, tubers, or corms: potatoes, yams, taro, etc.) to your diet if you are not consuming them already.

The body needs glucose on a daily basis and has a very small store of it relative to storage for fatty acids - among other things, the Perfect Health Diet authors assert that all adult human beings require somewhere from 600-800 calories from safe starches per day.

Protein intake should be at 0.5-1 lbs per day, and the majority of an optimal diet is composed of fats (55-70%+ of the diet's calories). On the Perfect Health Diet's weight-loss-modified diet, one restricts the modifiable nutrient (protein and the 600-800 calories from safe starches are crucial to daily metabolic functions) - fat - to about 300 calories per day.

These are merely some thoughts. I personally had quite a few problems with low-carb Paleo (including severe fatigue and headaches) after 6 months and feared gaining weight eating safe starches but have actually lost weight. Stable maintenance of a nice, healthy, vital body (and energy levels, sans headaches) came recently, when I got and optimized all my supplements (including consuming beef liver and egg yolks). The Perfect Health Diet website inspired me, but their book was far more detailed and really helped with my health personally. I honestly wish I'd gotten the book much sooner and unequivocally recommend it to anyone looking to be health or lose weight and gain an understanding beyond "meat, vegetables, no grains or legumes or seed oils".

Good luck! :)

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 27, 2014
at 01:05 PM

Probably not making you fat, but the best way to ensure weight loss is to count calories.

B16c708a9f63d0552433f7d46080c8bd

on January 27, 2014
at 10:39 PM

Counting calories is a myth based on the old standard american diet's theory that a calorie is a calorie. It is psuedo-scientific and not true.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 27, 2014
at 11:12 AM

2-3 weeks isn't long enough for much change - if you're expecting an instant 10lbs loss, those will happen on almost any diet as water weight and aren't a true measure of fat loss - that will take months.

Are you doing a low carb version of paleo? If so, you're probably not yet adapted to burning fat, and are experiencing "the low carb flu" - in which case, stick with it, it will pass. To make it go easier, consume some coconut oil, about half of which is MCTs, which will convert to ketones and will help you adapt.

The other 15% could well be stalling your transition, especially if it contains any source of wheat or other grains. It's really a bad idea to cheat, and it comes from the Tim Ferris mindset. All it will do is stall your transition and make it much harder.

E53eed3eb7d35de48362823bcb5629a8

(0)

on January 28, 2014
at 04:50 AM

Thank you. I have been eating at least a tablespoon per day of coconut oil and one kerrygold package of butter per week. Plus, advocados, bacon... I hope to see some results soon, just not a weight gain.

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