3

votes

weight gain/insatiable appetite during paleo challenge

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 14, 2011 at 3:07 AM

I'm trying to figure out why I initially lost weight on a paleo diet, but am now gaining weight!

I adopted a mostly paleo diet earlier in the winter and began to have fantastic results! I saw an immediate improvement in my skin/hair, had more energy, and lost several pounds. Then for about a week around Christmas I loosened my restrictions and ate dairy/grains, including several slices of cake. :/

Eager to undo the effects of the holidays, I decided to participate the the 30 Day Paleo Challenge starting Jan. 3rd. I've been strictly paleo during this time: no grains, no dairy, no sweetener of any kind, etc. But to my dismay I've been gaining weight and my appetite is uncontrollable! I'm hungry and bloated all the time. My diet consists of grass-fed/wild-caught meat, veggies, eggs, nuts, coconut butter, and fruit - basically in that order. Even though my meals are very filling, I always feel ravenous. While I'm not fat, my BMI is around 22.5 and weight loss is one of my main goals.

Is this normal? If I stick it out, will things likely improve? Or should I take this as a sign that strict paleo is not for me? Help!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on September 03, 2011
at 06:46 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but I've "gained" 4 lbs of water weight overnight after getting carbs in. Well, technically, I still had it the next day, not really gained it overnight. :) I don't think I've done that with 1/4 cup of rice though. It was a pizza. A very large pizza. But it was good. :) It's the carbs that get you (and rice is high GI carbs) for water gain, not cream. Females also have the hormonal stuff going on (and will get even larger swings). Other than that, working out gets more muscle weight (good), don't stress as much on the weight if the waist is shrinking.

C8253d9610402729148604bd9235fc24

(373)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:52 PM

I've been VLC to LC (25-45) the past few wks/mths (never higher than 60) and I've gained 6 lbs. 2 lbs just overnight after eating 1/4 white rice - had carb flu on <25/d for the past 3 days. Can you hold onto 2 lbs water overnight?! I've gained muscle mass in 8 mths but also 6 lbs! Could whole cream really be setting me back? I'm starving if I don't have 3/4-1 cup cream a day. Increasing protein doesn't satiate me for long.

9f191a9fffd7c300d548135e269e7521

(65)

on June 12, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Maybe you just need the carbs. I've been listening to Robb Wolf's podcast and he said doing CrossFit on a low-carb diet is dangerous. He what he said exactly was more colorful! That is some really high-intensity exercise and very glucose-dependent. I do CrossFit too, and I need my sweet potatoes (although it is easy to just vacuum them in.) Stay off the gluten, though, that stuff is evil and can cause inflammation all over the body, including the brain.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 16, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Good luck and keep us posted. It gets easier-- keep experimenting and you will find your ideal weight is easy to maintain.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 16, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I know what you mean earthintruder, but I think I've finally given in to the idea that I will ALWAYS be counting. When I don't I gain weight. I have been able to inch my calorie intake up from 1200 to 1500 while doing Paleo. My internal "satiety meter" is broken, so I need the limits. It would be awesome if that gets fixed some day.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:21 AM

The lamb I had was 3-4 ounces, but I'm a 5' 2'' female, so I don't think I need a pound of lamb! Also, I've been exercising less already on the strict paleo because I've been pretty lethargic... I definitely don't drink protein shakes!

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:19 AM

When I was having success earlier in the winter, I was eating 2-3 servings of fruit a day and included some starchy vegetables. Lately I eliminated all starchy stuff and limited fruit to 0-1 servings. I want to lose weight because I've had a stressful year and gained 10 pounds over the last 12 months!

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:15 AM

I know that I'm more likely to lose weight when I track my intake, but as someone that's been counting calories since I was 15 years old I really want to learn to eat more intuitively! In fact, I find it hard not to count calories because after so many years I know the caloric content of every food under the sun, lol.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:40 PM

And avoid liquid cals including protein shakes.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Also keep exercise somewhat less "intense." You will not outtrain a bad diet. Some long walks and some heavy weights are good.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:38 PM

I agree with Paleogran's response. Dr. Kurt Harris's diet advice is spot on. You should not be hungry for at least 5 hours after a normal fat and protein (and preferably low-carb) meal. It will seem like you are eating a lot of calories, but you will make up for it lack of appetite. You might actually need to add (animal) fat to the meal.

8632c87a833f1d30f5fa8d4768d10c45

(575)

on January 14, 2011
at 04:51 PM

I can relate here... I found the only way I can make progress in fat loss is by tracking my food intake. When I eat paleo "freely" I have no problems maintaining, but in order to drop the last few lbs of stubborn fat I need to tighten things up.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I'd like to see what your portions of food are and when you are eating.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on January 14, 2011
at 11:57 AM

You say you had some lamb....how much. I eat a pound of meat in a setting because I'm an ectomorph (which is a fancy word for a hardgainer). You could possibly not be eating enough.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 14, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Sometimes after just an hour. For example, right now. An hour ago I had some lamb and a salad with just olive oil and cracked pepper. Hungry already! Most of the fat I'm getting is animal based with the exception of olive oil, coconut oil/butter, avocado, and the nuts. Cut out the nuts, you say? (I was already planning on cutting out the fruit after doing some reading.)

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10 Answers

3
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on January 14, 2011
at 02:55 PM

The usual answers:

1) Eat nothing that tastes sweet. Avoid fructose, grains and PUFAs.

2) Protein recommendations vary, even among experts. Dr. Kurt Harris', site, PaleoNu, might be of interest. Each time I read his site, I see something in a more useful way.

http://www.paleonu.com/get-started/

3) Eat fat for satiety.


If you find yourself hungry, eat animal fats and animal protein.

If you are following Dr. Harris' 12 Steps and do not have good results, this post on "How To Lose Weight" might be of use. His comments after the post, responding to visitors, are useful, too.

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/1089609#post1091002


Additionally:

Enough sleep is vital. Enough water is vital.

Some tend to eat when they are actually thirsty or need rest.


N. B.: It is important to have a food plan. Without a clear, sound plan, many flounder.

I wish you all the best in choosing what suits you.

1
4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:25 AM

After much debate, I've decided to listen to my body and return to the moderate carb paleo diet that was working so well for me earlier in the winter. I'm quite wary about continuing with a diet that's supposed to make me feel great even when my body is telling me otherwise. (As I did the whole time I was vegan!) I'm letting my body have the final say!

For the last two days, I've been eating a couple servings of fruit a day and even had sweet potatoes with dinner last night. I'm already less bloated and I feel much better!

Thanks for all the input everyone - you guys are great.

9f191a9fffd7c300d548135e269e7521

(65)

on June 12, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Maybe you just need the carbs. I've been listening to Robb Wolf's podcast and he said doing CrossFit on a low-carb diet is dangerous. He what he said exactly was more colorful! That is some really high-intensity exercise and very glucose-dependent. I do CrossFit too, and I need my sweet potatoes (although it is easy to just vacuum them in.) Stay off the gluten, though, that stuff is evil and can cause inflammation all over the body, including the brain.

1
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:46 PM

You could try going back to the mostly paleo diet that you ate earlier in the winter and began to have fantastic results with. It seems from your question that you did not have the same hunger then?

How was what you were doing and eating then different to now?

Also why do you want to lose weight if you BMI is 22? Body mass index is an imperfect measure for individuals but even so I'm not sure why you would need to lose anything.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:19 AM

When I was having success earlier in the winter, I was eating 2-3 servings of fruit a day and included some starchy vegetables. Lately I eliminated all starchy stuff and limited fruit to 0-1 servings. I want to lose weight because I've had a stressful year and gained 10 pounds over the last 12 months!

0
9f191a9fffd7c300d548135e269e7521

on June 12, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Well, how are you doing now? Are you sticking with moderate or high carb Paleo? Paleo is really carb-neutral so you can eat as much as you need and stay 100% strict Paleo.

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on January 16, 2011
at 01:03 PM

I agree with the others. Nuts are a disaster for some people. And the first couple of weeks of transitioning from higher carb to low carb are really tough, paleo or not. One day you'll find you're in the groove. Please report back in another week or so and let us know what's up. Don't forget your potassium to limit carb flu.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 14, 2011
at 07:45 PM

When you first go low carb, you lose roughly 4 pounds of water weight in the first few days. You can gain that back pretty quick by overeating on that cake one or two times. So expect those 4 pound fluctuations and don't get discouraged by them.

C8253d9610402729148604bd9235fc24

(373)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:52 PM

I've been VLC to LC (25-45) the past few wks/mths (never higher than 60) and I've gained 6 lbs. 2 lbs just overnight after eating 1/4 white rice - had carb flu on <25/d for the past 3 days. Can you hold onto 2 lbs water overnight?! I've gained muscle mass in 8 mths but also 6 lbs! Could whole cream really be setting me back? I'm starving if I don't have 3/4-1 cup cream a day. Increasing protein doesn't satiate me for long.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on September 03, 2011
at 06:46 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but I've "gained" 4 lbs of water weight overnight after getting carbs in. Well, technically, I still had it the next day, not really gained it overnight. :) I don't think I've done that with 1/4 cup of rice though. It was a pizza. A very large pizza. But it was good. :) It's the carbs that get you (and rice is high GI carbs) for water gain, not cream. Females also have the hormonal stuff going on (and will get even larger swings). Other than that, working out gets more muscle weight (good), don't stress as much on the weight if the waist is shrinking.

0
Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:45 PM

Don't watch the scale initially. The first 21 days of the Paleo Challenge, I was insatiable and gaining weight too. Your body will need to adjust to using fat for energy. It wants more of that sugar you were giving it! Substitute green vegetables for the fruit and limit nuts to a handful.

0
9f53ce3d9ea958a855af68c89a19eb1a

on January 14, 2011
at 12:33 PM

I love nuts, but to my dismay, I feel better (less bloated, for sure) when I don't eat too many. Worth a try. I'm also doing better on less fruit (just a little in my green smoothie and maybe an apple later in the day).

0
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on January 14, 2011
at 04:41 AM

I agree, cut out the fruit and nuts and when you are hungry, eat protein...and be sure you're drinking enough water. Often thirst is read as hunger...if you think you're starving, drink a couple glasses of water first and see if you still feel hungry.

0
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Anything with fructose can be a problem, especially if you have not adapted to burning fat. Fructose blocks the satiety signals of the body from reaching the brain. I would say cut out the fruit (and nuts) and be sure that your protein sources have plenty of non-vegetable-based fat. Saturated fat is extremely satiating.

How long after a meal are you hungry again?

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:38 PM

I agree with Paleogran's response. Dr. Kurt Harris's diet advice is spot on. You should not be hungry for at least 5 hours after a normal fat and protein (and preferably low-carb) meal. It will seem like you are eating a lot of calories, but you will make up for it lack of appetite. You might actually need to add (animal) fat to the meal.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on January 14, 2011
at 11:57 AM

You say you had some lamb....how much. I eat a pound of meat in a setting because I'm an ectomorph (which is a fancy word for a hardgainer). You could possibly not be eating enough.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 16, 2011
at 03:21 AM

The lamb I had was 3-4 ounces, but I'm a 5' 2'' female, so I don't think I need a pound of lamb! Also, I've been exercising less already on the strict paleo because I've been pretty lethargic... I definitely don't drink protein shakes!

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Also keep exercise somewhat less "intense." You will not outtrain a bad diet. Some long walks and some heavy weights are good.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 16, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Good luck and keep us posted. It gets easier-- keep experimenting and you will find your ideal weight is easy to maintain.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on January 14, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Sometimes after just an hour. For example, right now. An hour ago I had some lamb and a salad with just olive oil and cracked pepper. Hungry already! Most of the fat I'm getting is animal based with the exception of olive oil, coconut oil/butter, avocado, and the nuts. Cut out the nuts, you say? (I was already planning on cutting out the fruit after doing some reading.)

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 14, 2011
at 10:40 PM

And avoid liquid cals including protein shakes.

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