1

votes

After 2 Weeks of Paleo I've Gained Unwanted Weight

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 15, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I'm participating in a paleo challenge and lost about 4 lbs the first week but at the end of week 2 I've actually gained 3 lbs back! Very frustrating as I have not cheated at all: no grains, starches, alcohol, sugar (including artificial sweetener), dairy, soy or processed foods. I'm 5'3" and have been stuck at a plateau (145 - 147) for at least 6 months. I started doing Crossfit 3 weeks ago (approx 4 days a week) and the paleo challenge 2 weeks ago; thinking these changes would get me over the plateau hump!

I would really like to figure out what I'm doing wrong quickly. If I wasn't doing Paleo I would try to stick to approximately 1200 calories a day (more if I workout that day) at a ratio of 55% carbs/30% fat/15% protein. I know these ratios should be different on paleo but I don't know what it should look like. Am I eating too much fat now? Not enough protein? Too much carbs? (36% carbs/37% fat/27% protein).

Any and all advice is very much appreciated.

4a1028c37441cd6b3e5c9cd73a53d8a0

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Let me clarify. I'm eating on average 32% carbs, 41% fat and 27% protein. The most frustrating part is that I have not cheated once and the scale is going in the wrong direction. I know everyone says not to pay attention to the scale and I wouldn't if I was seeing a difference in my measurements in the positive direction. I'm doing something active 6 days a week (cross fit 4x) and eating 1200 calories on average a day. Could I be eating too few calories?

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 18, 2012
at 08:25 PM

Intermittent Fasting. Essentially take one day and fast, or several days and cut your caloric intake severely. I take 1 or 2 days a week and skip breakfast and lunch then eat a small dinner. It helps keep the excess weight off, even when I stray and eat a lot of crap, like on holidays.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 17, 2012
at 11:05 PM

...I'm not a physician (yet :) ), so of course take what I say with a grain or two of salt.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 17, 2012
at 11:03 PM

No, you aren't necessarily eating too few calories. it is all about context. SO, if you are trying to get down to 130lbs, aim to eat 130 x 10 in calories per day 5 times a week. That's 5 days of the week eat 1,300 calories (or 1200 if you can). Then, in order to prevent your metabolsim from downregulating and also becoming leptin resistant, eat 130 x 15-16 in calories 2 days a week. That's eat about 2000 calories (or, maintenance) 2 days of the week. That protocal should help.

4a1028c37441cd6b3e5c9cd73a53d8a0

on April 17, 2012
at 10:01 PM

What's IF? I wish it were just muscle replacing fat but I don't think so.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:02 PM

.............bingo..............

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:26 PM

http://www.7layerliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/feastorfamine.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594868123?ie=UTF8&tag=sosime-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594868123 http://groups.anthropology.northwestern.edu/lhbr/kuzawa_web_files/pdfs/Kuzawa%20-%20feast%20famine%20chapter.pdf

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on April 16, 2012
at 11:10 AM

Citations please, otherwise it's just opinion.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Martha Beck actually took this from some scientific study (she does not invent anything, she just takes other people's ideas). Later I found another one, from a credible research in neuroscience. It was worded differently, but it was the same thing. I just gave away Martha's book yesterday so I won't be able to find her references, but I will try to look up the other article.

Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on April 16, 2012
at 02:36 AM

So after 2 weeks on Paleo you lost a pound,didn't gain.I'd not bother with a scale if I were you,it will just stress you out more.Good luck

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 10:09 PM

1200 cals a day and crossfit 4x a week?? Hard to lose weight when your body is freaking out about not getting enough calories...

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 15, 2012
at 09:44 PM

@ZombieApocalypseKitten, I totally read "feminine brain." But anyway, I did some digging, and found that the term originates from the book "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck. Increasing activity and depriving our bodies of food makes our body pack on fat to save for later in order to survive. It definitely makes sense and I've heard it before but never heard of the brain being involved in this. Just the *expectation* of being hungry causes us to overeat and store fat... interesting.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Good grief, I read that as "female brain" not "famine Brain"

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

If you have a citation in particular, I would like it. I'm very curious.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:09 PM

This is a great answer. The only thing I'd add is to track measurements, photos, and athletic performance over scale weight. When I did my first 6-week Paleo challenge, I weighed at the beginning and at the end, just for my own curiosity. I did lose a few pounds in scale weight, but didn't see they daily and weekly fluctuations that occurred. The most important numbers were the -4" in my waist, +50 pounds in my back squat, and sub-4:00 1,000-meter row. I wouldn't have cared if the scale said I'd gained 10 pounds. I felt, performed, and looked better.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Came here to say this. But since it's already written all I can do is give it a big +1 and say its spot on.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:34 PM

That's from neuroscience. There is research out there proving that as soon as you even start thinking of dieting, your brain gives out a signal to your body to ... start eating because the tough times are coming. It has been reported from several independent studies.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:24 PM

"Secondly, as soon as you even think about dieting, your "famine brain" thinking kicks in that slows down your metabolism. It is a biological mechanism that is designed to save us from starvation." Lol whut

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Everyone is different. So some experimentation and error will happen. It's normal - you have to discover what works for you. Many women in your situation who wish to lose weight up their fats to 60%. Because you work out a lot, you'll want to experiment with the % of carbs and protein that work for you. Maybe start with 20% carbs like sweet potatoes on days you work out, 60% fats, and 20% protein. You may feel a little tired at first if you adjust your ratios, so be sure to get in your electrolytes like mag, salt, potassium. But try different ratios for 2-3 weeks and you'll see what works.

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6 Answers

15
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Can you tell us more about what you are eating? Have you considered going lower carb on days you aren't working out? Some people have success with this.

1200 calories and 4 days of cross fit a week is too little food... I'd argue that 1200 calories on days you're not working out is still not enough.

Make sure you also give your body enough rest time between workouts. Extra stress on your body can also cause you to hold onto weight. How much sleep do you get?

I'm 5"2 and eat roughly 2000 cals a day; I only recently started counting to see where I was at. I'm 125 lbs, and happy with my shape. The nutritional breakdown of my meals for a day is roughly 55% fat, 30% protein and 15% carbs. This has worked for me, giving me satiation and the energy I need to do the things I love (2 tough workouts a week, daily yoga for relaxation and my walks to and from work daily.

It took me a while to realize fat doesn't make you fat, and it still blows my mind what I'm 'allowing' myself to eat now vs a couple years ago, but I've never felt or looked better. Experiment a bit and you will find what works for you.

Common issues to watch for:

  • too few carbs and your workouts may suffer.
  • too little fat and you may feel hungry even right after eating
  • too little sleep and you may hold onto stomach fat
  • most people seem to report easier weight loss without consuming dairy
  • as a woman, expect your weight to fluctuate around your menstrual cycle

Experiment and find your sweet spot. Good luck!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Came here to say this. But since it's already written all I can do is give it a big +1 and say its spot on.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:09 PM

This is a great answer. The only thing I'd add is to track measurements, photos, and athletic performance over scale weight. When I did my first 6-week Paleo challenge, I weighed at the beginning and at the end, just for my own curiosity. I did lose a few pounds in scale weight, but didn't see they daily and weekly fluctuations that occurred. The most important numbers were the -4" in my waist, +50 pounds in my back squat, and sub-4:00 1,000-meter row. I wouldn't have cared if the scale said I'd gained 10 pounds. I felt, performed, and looked better.

2
03b67d2b8e9e878147cb3f225c864207

(761)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:01 PM

So you've been doing CrossFit 3 weeks and been eating Paleo for 2 weeks. Sounds like you are gaining muscle. This could be a good thing.

1
A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

on April 16, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Have you tried IF? For some people fasting can help them over the hump. Then again, if your fat was replaced by muscle you are probably fine.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:02 PM

.............bingo..............

4a1028c37441cd6b3e5c9cd73a53d8a0

on April 17, 2012
at 10:01 PM

What's IF? I wish it were just muscle replacing fat but I don't think so.

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 18, 2012
at 08:25 PM

Intermittent Fasting. Essentially take one day and fast, or several days and cut your caloric intake severely. I take 1 or 2 days a week and skip breakfast and lunch then eat a small dinner. It helps keep the excess weight off, even when I stray and eat a lot of crap, like on holidays.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:05 PM

I oppose "weight loss" challenges. First of all, when people become too competitive, they do all kinds of crazy thing to win (I remember two colleagues at work who ended up doing something terrible just to win).

Secondly, as soon as you even think about dieting, your "famine brain" thinking kicks in that slows down your metabolism. It is a biological mechanism that is designed to save us from starvation.

Third, weight loss has a lot to do with salt intake, water retention, and hormones.

My advice: change it to 100% Paleo challenge, so it does not matter who is the biggest loser, as long as both people stick to eating 100% Paleo. It is going to be easier on your body and healthier for your mind. And you will lose some weight as a result.

Good luck!

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Good grief, I read that as "female brain" not "famine Brain"

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:34 PM

That's from neuroscience. There is research out there proving that as soon as you even start thinking of dieting, your brain gives out a signal to your body to ... start eating because the tough times are coming. It has been reported from several independent studies.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

If you have a citation in particular, I would like it. I'm very curious.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:24 PM

"Secondly, as soon as you even think about dieting, your "famine brain" thinking kicks in that slows down your metabolism. It is a biological mechanism that is designed to save us from starvation." Lol whut

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 15, 2012
at 09:44 PM

@ZombieApocalypseKitten, I totally read "feminine brain." But anyway, I did some digging, and found that the term originates from the book "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck. Increasing activity and depriving our bodies of food makes our body pack on fat to save for later in order to survive. It definitely makes sense and I've heard it before but never heard of the brain being involved in this. Just the *expectation* of being hungry causes us to overeat and store fat... interesting.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Martha Beck actually took this from some scientific study (she does not invent anything, she just takes other people's ideas). Later I found another one, from a credible research in neuroscience. It was worded differently, but it was the same thing. I just gave away Martha's book yesterday so I won't be able to find her references, but I will try to look up the other article.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on April 16, 2012
at 11:10 AM

Citations please, otherwise it's just opinion.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:26 PM

http://www.7layerliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/feastorfamine.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594868123?ie=UTF8&tag=sosime-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594868123 http://groups.anthropology.northwestern.edu/lhbr/kuzawa_web_files/pdfs/Kuzawa%20-%20feast%20famine%20chapter.pdf

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 15, 2012
at 09:58 PM

IF you're getting in 55% of you calories from carbs, and you aren't eating starch, that means that you're getting a big dose of sugar from fruit. For some people, lare amounts of fruit are not conducive to leaning out. Also, maybe, 15 percent protein is wicked low. Increase that from foods like chicken, grass fed bison, egg whites (i.e. lean proteins) and you'll be on your way to getting diced up and tight.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 17, 2012
at 11:05 PM

...I'm not a physician (yet :) ), so of course take what I say with a grain or two of salt.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 17, 2012
at 11:03 PM

No, you aren't necessarily eating too few calories. it is all about context. SO, if you are trying to get down to 130lbs, aim to eat 130 x 10 in calories per day 5 times a week. That's 5 days of the week eat 1,300 calories (or 1200 if you can). Then, in order to prevent your metabolsim from downregulating and also becoming leptin resistant, eat 130 x 15-16 in calories 2 days a week. That's eat about 2000 calories (or, maintenance) 2 days of the week. That protocal should help.

4a1028c37441cd6b3e5c9cd73a53d8a0

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Let me clarify. I'm eating on average 32% carbs, 41% fat and 27% protein. The most frustrating part is that I have not cheated once and the scale is going in the wrong direction. I know everyone says not to pay attention to the scale and I wouldn't if I was seeing a difference in my measurements in the positive direction. I'm doing something active 6 days a week (cross fit 4x) and eating 1200 calories on average a day. Could I be eating too few calories?

0
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on April 15, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Also, you don't mention shape/size. Could the gain back be muscle? Did you take all your measurements at the start of the challenge?

Check out this article on shape vs. weight: http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

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