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Tried Leangains for a week, doubled my body fat percentage -- what gives?

Answered on August 07, 2014
Created August 04, 2014 at 11:17 PM

I have been eating paleo for the past year and a half and have traditionally been a very lean / skinny guy. I have always had a hard time putting on weight, even in the days before paleo when I would carb and protein load to gain muscle mass. Almost any time I start working out seriously, my body just starts cutting weight and body fat immediately. (this is less complaining and more giving of backstory)

I wanted to try out Leangains a few months ago and after reading a lot about it and setting up my macros and calories right, I started. Within two days of doing it, my body fat percent went from 7.2% (a number that has been consistent the past two years) to 13.1%. Additionally, I was constantly gassy in the morning (My eating window was between 2 pm and 10 pm) and felt upset stomach all day. Being that it made me so unhappy and it didn't feel good, I stopped doing it. But in the month since then, I have gained about 8 lbs and put on an additional percentage point of body fat. Even when I keep my calories well below my maintenance level (2300 kcal), my body seems stuck. I have never had this problem in my life, especially when I work out as frequently as I do (3-4 days a week of weight training using the Scrawny to Brawny method; 3 days of brief jump rope intervals on off days) and count my calories. My body does not really feel like my own and I've always felt some kind of control over its condition--what could I be overlooking?

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 07, 2014
at 02:49 AM

Not yet--still not burning calories like I did a few months ago. It feels like some kind of hormone balance I used to have is no longer balanced. Oyf.

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 07, 2014
at 02:48 AM

1. My boyfriend uses the same scale and did not notice a similar error in the scale at the same times that I did. I had swapped the modes months and months ago, but haven't touched it since March. It seems the scale is normal, as far as we can tell.

2. I would say I do look...bigger in the stomach area and can pinch more skin/fat there. It is very likely that the weight gain went there, if I am to believe the scale's numbers (and I generally do).

So what gives?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on August 07, 2014
at 12:11 AM

any update...did you suss it out

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on August 05, 2014
at 01:48 AM

Have you tried drinking 3 cups of water before measuring your body fat? Try it and see what happens....

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 05, 2014
at 01:47 AM

My confusion is not with the actual percentage of 7.2% or 14.1% or whatever exact percent it is--I totally understand that using a scale for body fat is imprecise and likely inaccurate. Instead, my scale consistently (consistently inaccurately or consistently imprecisely) measured my body fat around the same level and then suddenly changed by a significant margin after IF. Instead of thinking about the numbers, my question surrounds what could cause that kind of change when IF is supposed to do the opposite.

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 05, 2014
at 01:47 AM

I use the Fitbit Smart Scale

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 05, 2014
at 01:08 AM

How do you measure body fat?

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4 Answers

0
582e89904fef55ad5c7dac673653ef8c

(281)

on August 07, 2014
at 06:14 AM

Allow me to be your harsh dose of reality.

1.) You are obsessing. Obsession causes stress. Stress causes a myriad of issues that affect everything in your body including weight. Obsession is unhealthy.

2.) Your BF% scale is disgustingly inaccurate. Changes in carb, protein, fat, salt, water consumption can cause vast inaccuracies that can change the reading throughout the day. You just changed your diet, your scale changed with it. Scales that measure BF% don't readily post their inaccuracies or what can cause them.

If you are working out in a healthy manner and eating healthy, let your body do its thing. If you obsess over "controlling" your body (and arbitrary numbers on a scale), it can become (or already is) a full blown body dysmorphic disorder where you incorrectly see what you really look like. You'll see what the scale tells you to see instead.

If you want better acuracy, I suggest finding somewhere for a DEXA scan and/or picking up a set of good calipers and learning how to use them.

I also submit to you the "Less Numbers Challenge." The rules for this challenge are:

1.) You can use a scale once a week but only for actual weight readings. No BF%, water %, or bone mass %.

2.) You can use calipers once a week for BF%.

3.)You can use a tape measurer once a week.

4.) You can take pictures once a week if you are actively losing visible fat. Or, once-twice a month if you are already healthy.

All once a week items should be done together after you wake up. After 2 months, all once a week items become twice a month. After 4 months they become once a month. You can continue once a month or less after that.

This challenge is a tool for those who can't let their body just run free. A healthy mind and view of oneself contributes to overall health. Hopefully at least one thing I said helps.

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on August 05, 2014
at 04:39 AM

my guess is that there are two different things to look at here;

1. your scales (reading jumped from 7.2 to 13.1% within 2 days).

Going from 7.2 to 13.1 % within 2 days sounds like an issue with the scales;

  • check the settings. check whether the scales are set to 'lean' or 'regular' mode. & swap the mode. & see if the reading gets closer to the 7.2% again. changing the mode will definitely have an effect on the bf% reading.
  • check the scales are still set with your details, male/female, age, height etc.
  • the batteries need changing.
  • the scales are f***ed up.

2. you have gained 8 lbs.

How do you look in the mirror...? better or worse. can you pinch more skin/fat.

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 07, 2014
at 02:48 AM

1. My boyfriend uses the same scale and did not notice a similar error in the scale at the same times that I did. I had swapped the modes months and months ago, but haven't touched it since March. It seems the scale is normal, as far as we can tell.

2. I would say I do look...bigger in the stomach area and can pinch more skin/fat there. It is very likely that the weight gain went there, if I am to believe the scale's numbers (and I generally do).

So what gives?

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 05, 2014
at 02:09 AM

likely the increase in carbs caused your measurement tool to measure more impedance. 

0
4e2ff0251942a34856e3e305ccb8ce48

on August 04, 2014
at 11:56 PM

It is impossible to double bodyfat in that time. By the way, you were not 7.2%.

People way way way underestimate how much bodyfat they carry.

I know figure competitors and at 12% you can see their abs, below 10% they are looking shredded. Most people at 7% bodyfat are unable to keep that level for more than a few days because they have to use insane diets to diet down to that level.

Below 7% is largely only realistically possible with the use of diuretics. In other words, unless you are using legit dexa scans or other methods, calculating bodyfat is nonsense.

I remember on the JRE rob wolf said he ahd had a dexa scan a week or so before he tried a bodyfat scale and in the dexa he was like 12% and on the scale he was 30% bodyfat.

If you are at this level of confusion you really are not at the point you are ready for anything other than a good solid diet.

10424675e99ef9f9628029e58f15fac9

on August 05, 2014
at 01:47 AM

My confusion is not with the actual percentage of 7.2% or 14.1% or whatever exact percent it is--I totally understand that using a scale for body fat is imprecise and likely inaccurate. Instead, my scale consistently (consistently inaccurately or consistently imprecisely) measured my body fat around the same level and then suddenly changed by a significant margin after IF. Instead of thinking about the numbers, my question surrounds what could cause that kind of change when IF is supposed to do the opposite.

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