1

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Started Paleo, gained weight !!??!!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I think i have read every post on this sight that has to do with people experiencing this same problem. Trouble is, i haven't really seen any conclusive answers. I started Paleo 2 1/2 months ago. i am 5'7 and started at 133 lbs with this diet looking to drop a little BF but gain some muscle. I really do enjoy eating this way, but i gained 5 lbs since i started and its all seemed to gather in my belly! I have tried everything, i have done low carb...but just end up waking up in the middle of the night starving! I"m not going to say ive been perfect. I think maybe i over indulge in nuts and nut butters...a few drinks on the weekends but 5lbs?? really? I work out aboue 4x per week with weight lifting and some sprinting. I never gained weight like this doing the "conventional" low fat high carb diet i was on before Paleo!
please help! what has worked for you? i keep reading conflicting reports... LC vs VLC... maybe lowering the fat? maybe moderate carbs? (150g?) I imput all of my foods into fitday to try to get my ratios right but nothing seems to be working. As i said i tried lowering my carbs to <50g and even IFing but for example this morning i woke up at 4 30 am really hungry and unable to get back to sleep.
thoughts anyone?

edit: I definitely did gain some muscle but also fat too since my clothes are tighter than before. I was never blessed with "flat" abs. But when i initially went off of grains, especially wheat, i noticed a big difference in the way my stomach looked and felt. unfortunately that feeling was only temporary, and now i believe all of that water weight has been replaced by fat!

Here's an example of an average day's meals for me

Breakfast: usually eggs and veggetables sauted in some cocnut oil. i typically enjoy this with a small amount of full fat yogurt with flax or hemp seeds and shredded coconut (no more than 1/2 cup of this). (i recently cut out the yogurt to see if dairy was the culprit)

Lunch: A salad with sunflower seeds, feta cheese (my fav... also cut this out recently although i never used a lot of cheese just a little for flavor!) and some sort of protein (hard boiled eggs, tuna salad with home-made mayo, etc.

Snack: dehydrated eggplant chips brushed with olive oil, almonds. sometimes 1/2 banana and almond butter or 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper.

Dinner: usually meat, always grass-fed organic. Sometimes a hamburger patty, sometimes meatballs, chicken or venison and a veggie on the side. My dinners also used to include a bit of cheese and nuts (i.e. nut crusted chicken) that i have also now cut out.

As far as weight lifting, ive always done it maybe just now a little more (and a little less cardio). i'm mostly using kettle-bells (25lb) doing swings, cleans, lunges, deadlifts, snatches, etc. I occasionally go to a kickboxing or zumba class and get outdoors to do some sprinting 1x per week

Has anyone else who is LC or VLC ever experienced waking up in the middle of the night really really hungry?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:08 PM

No downvote here, I agree with ya!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:01 PM

Thanks for the upvotes. Was worried I'd get blasted at the mere suggestion.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 14, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Marissa, why not try one change at a time? Perhaps leaving out nuts and seeds. Eating constant amount of carbs and protein from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, supper to supper, from day to day, so that the blood sugar and insulin are constant. Have you tried supplements: L-carnitine and ALA with Evening Primrose and Biotin, d-chiro-inositol, magnesium, L-Glutamine, and other blood sugar regulators, or insulin mimetics? I eat VLC and have to limit how much I eat.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

From what you've seen, do calorie counting people eating "lots of crap" maintain the weight they lost? If so does that require persistent calorie counting to prevent weight gain?

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:10 PM

@Mystery Man: Agreed, it's unfortunate. Honestly, even small amounts of fruit seem to set off my metabolism in weird ways. I do eat it, but rarely and only in season. I am easing back into nuts but only because I am studiously counting calories, still hacking my own diet after three years on Paleo. And, I very much enjoy all the foods I do eat, with the possible exception of beef liver. Still wrapping my palate around that one.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:00 PM

5lbs of fat on the middle is significant and requires a lot of super over eatings. I went completely off the reservation in December and ate huge amounts of chocolate, cheese and sausage and gained 3lbs of water weight that disappeared in a few days without the salt. I was getting at least an extra 1000 kcal a day. I guess I'm just sayin' you have to be over eating to a pretty significant degree to gain that much fat.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:31 PM

If it was that easy, we'd all be skinny.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 14, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Go easy on the nuts and seeds. I would drop the flax/hemp seeds entirely. Watch your PUFA intake, n6 especially, but too much PUFA is also a problem. I think Jules is on to something, you might do better with some carbs. Add some fruit/rice/potato and see how you do.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 14, 2012
at 12:57 PM

Hi Canis - It seems unfortunate to me that you would have to drop fruits and nuts from your life for the most part. But I know that you know there is nothing "miraculously fattening" about these foods unless eaten to the point of calorie excess. Why not simply count calories and liberate yourself from the tyranny of removing even natural whole foods from your diet. Simply eat the healthy foods you like, but stay within your daily calorie limits. Just a thought.

30082ec1256954012471d4372b78335f

(45)

on March 14, 2012
at 12:37 PM

i edited my question to include my typical eating and working out habits. Also i forgot to write that i just finished my period so my weight should have normalized again. I'm also not so obsessed with the number as the way i look and feel in my clothing. i will have no problem if the weight i gained was muscle, but being that my clothes are getting tighter confirms that i am indeed gaining fat!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 14, 2012
at 11:42 AM

Oops, Jules beat me to it.

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9 Answers

best answer

3
9a86fa04b1a69b788e379093c7b83ef5

(402)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Cut out all the nuts, seeds, and nutbutters. Substitute them with avocados, coconut, and healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, lard, grassfed butter, and ghee. All great sources of fat. Eat your protein source with veggies/fruit and plenty of healthy fat. This will help you lean out for sure.

7
F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on March 14, 2012
at 02:55 PM

The only way I was able to start losing weight on Paleo was to count calories. But I'm also quite sedentary due to chronic illness, so that may be the reason I couldn't lose weight without resorting to the counter.

I resisted doing it because I loved the freedom of not keeping track of calories, but when I did, I discovered that I was WAY over the calorie level for losing weight, given my age and activity level, partly because I didn't realize how many calories were in coconut products, especially coconut oil and coconut butter.

I know people say that because it's a medium chain triglyceride, eating coconut oil or butter by the spoonful can help you to lose weight, but that was not true for me.

5
0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 14, 2012
at 12:53 PM

I work as a personal trainer, and can tell you with certainty, from many years of experience, that overt calorie counting works wonders for weight loss. In fact, it works so darn well that I see people lose weight BETTER eating lots of crap, as long as they count calories, than do paleo, LC or "clean eating" advocates who refuse to count calories.

Of course counting calories within the context of a whole foods diet would work even better!

Just seems far too many paleo-LC folks are waaay too hung-up on a misguided refusal to acknowledge the all-importance of calorie intake, and to then act accordingly.

I like cron-o-meter best for tracking calorie and nutritional intake, as well as weight. Though most of my clients seem to like MyFitnessPal.com better.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

From what you've seen, do calorie counting people eating "lots of crap" maintain the weight they lost? If so does that require persistent calorie counting to prevent weight gain?

3
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 14, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Lots of very good advice here, but...

Apparently I'm the only one here who thinks 5'7" and 133 is kind of on the light side.

Maybe a little weight gain is a good thing?

--Running and hiding from the inevitable downvotes.--

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:01 PM

Thanks for the upvotes. Was worried I'd get blasted at the mere suggestion.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:08 PM

No downvote here, I agree with ya!

1
Ef69ca2d5434e470d44f7fa6b4cc1965

(86)

on March 14, 2012
at 05:34 PM

You need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. It's that simple. Eat a little less, or exercise more until you reach the tipping point.

0
Aa23b433ca0dd005f6625ff3527be0e1

on June 14, 2012
at 03:47 AM

If you are following the diet then your weight gain is likely due to constipation. Add more greens to induce daily bowel movements and your problem will likely resolve.

0
0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 14, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Marissa asked "Has anyone else who is LC or VLC ever experienced waking up in the middle of the night really really hungry?"

Not so much in the middle of the night, but I have found that VLC is NOT the magical appetite suppressant for me that it is for many others. In fact, I routinely GAIN WEIGHT on VLC when I eat to satiety. I have to count calories and put up with at least a bit of occasional hunger to lose weight on VLC. VLC always suppresses my appetite very well for the first week or two, but then my appetite comes roaring back with a vengeance, and much to my wife's horror, I can literally devour an entire roast and still be hungry.

I currently follow a low carb diet that is somewhat between Weston Price and Paleo, but closer to paleo because it controls my hypoglycemia and GERD better than a high carb diet. Plus I wish to keep my teeth for life, and know that LC will do a better job of protecting the ole chompers than a high carb diet.

0
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on March 14, 2012
at 11:42 AM

Unfortunately, I had to drop fruit, nuts and dairy (except butter) to "rarely-if-ever" status before I saw any weight loss, but everyone's mileage on this varies.

That five pounds could be muscle -- how do your clothes fit now? Can you share some of your average day's meals so we can hack your diet?

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:31 PM

If it was that easy, we'd all be skinny.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 14, 2012
at 11:42 AM

Oops, Jules beat me to it.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 14, 2012
at 12:57 PM

Hi Canis - It seems unfortunate to me that you would have to drop fruits and nuts from your life for the most part. But I know that you know there is nothing "miraculously fattening" about these foods unless eaten to the point of calorie excess. Why not simply count calories and liberate yourself from the tyranny of removing even natural whole foods from your diet. Simply eat the healthy foods you like, but stay within your daily calorie limits. Just a thought.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:10 PM

@Mystery Man: Agreed, it's unfortunate. Honestly, even small amounts of fruit seem to set off my metabolism in weird ways. I do eat it, but rarely and only in season. I am easing back into nuts but only because I am studiously counting calories, still hacking my own diet after three years on Paleo. And, I very much enjoy all the foods I do eat, with the possible exception of beef liver. Still wrapping my palate around that one.

0
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 14, 2012
at 11:39 AM

If you've done better with less fat and more carbs, give it a shot; you can eat paleo with any macronutrient ratio.

Were you weightlifting before? Maybe you have gained muscle. You're telling us it's gone to your belly- are your clothes fitting tighter? Could you give a sample of a typical day's meals? I myself have been known to put on up to 5 lbs (I am 5'5", usually 142lbs)before my period- is this a possibility for you?

Maybe 138 is where your body wants to be at- that seems feasible for a 5'7" lady.

30082ec1256954012471d4372b78335f

(45)

on March 14, 2012
at 12:37 PM

i edited my question to include my typical eating and working out habits. Also i forgot to write that i just finished my period so my weight should have normalized again. I'm also not so obsessed with the number as the way i look and feel in my clothing. i will have no problem if the weight i gained was muscle, but being that my clothes are getting tighter confirms that i am indeed gaining fat!

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