Unwanted weight gain on Paleo+Crossfit! Help!

Answered on June 12, 2015
Created January 09, 2015 at 2:34 PM

I have been Paleo for about a year and saw some great results. I lost about 20lbs (from 145 to 125 for a 5'4 female). In the past few months, however, I have started to put weight on, at about a pound a week. I am feeling very frustrated and have turned back to counting calories and portioning food carefully.

I am cutting carbs to less than 50g a day, with all of the carbs coming from vegetables and small amounts of sweet potato. I am crossfitting 5x a week and adding small amounts of cardio on top of it.


I get 8 hours of sleep, I'm eating resistant starch (a few tablespoons of potato starch a day) and taking probiotics, I only eat grassfed, pastured, wild caugh protein, I take A fermented cod liver oil supplement, as well as a desiccated liver supplement and daily multivitamin. I don't drink alcohol ever, and never eat dairy. I try and limit stress. I drink over 100oz of tea a day.


So so my question is...what could I be doing wrong? I guess I would be fine knowing I'm healthy and strong if I were just maintaining weight but I am putting on about a pound a week


Also worth noting, I have a scale that analyzes body fat, and that is increasing too, so I know it's not just adding muscle from Crossfit.

Thanks in advance for any advice! I don't want to sound like I am whining, because I am so appreciative of the improvements I have seen in my health with Paleo. But it is slightly alarming to see the scale continue to rise week after week.


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on January 09, 2015
at 07:33 PM

Actually, I lost weight after re-introducing carbs to my diet after over a year of very-low-carb paleo. If you're exercising as heavily as you are, you might want to up your safe starch intake. Your body might be rebelling from too much exercise and not enough fuel.


on January 09, 2015
at 09:25 PM

So she needs to eat even more (especially carbs) to lose weight? Lol.

Gotta love that fatlogic


on June 12, 2015
at 06:43 AM

If you're lifting heavy then you need more carbs. I lost alot of weight from paleo, but eventually I noticed I was very fatigued so now I cycle the carbs. On my off days I have low carbs, on my workout days I have higher carbs, mainly after my workout I have steak and potato and it's helped alot.


I've not been fatigued like I was and i've put on muscle and lost fat and am around the same weight. Paleo is good but has to be modified for people who lift heavy.



on January 10, 2015
at 03:18 PM

First thing to check is what kind of weight?  Do you notice a larger waist?  If not, you're just gaining muscle, and that's a good thing, so you can ignore the rest of this.


Otherwise, add in more carbs, go up to 100-150g, or back off the Crossfit.  You're under too much stress, and that's causing you to gain fat.


What kind of tea, and why 100oz/day?  If that's caffinated, it may be a problem.


on January 09, 2015
at 09:39 PM

Where do you think you're gaining the weight?  A pound a week is a fair amount and you should notice it and be able to tell where it's "arriving".

Crossfit isn't necessarily a good way to lose weight and definitely might cause you to gain weight, though you'll also be very fit and have good-to-great body composition.  If you look at your other Crossfitters they probably aren't thin.  I have been doing Crossfit for about 2.5 years and when I first started I lost almost 30 pounds but after that gained about 20-25 back.  My waist got 7 inches smaller while I was losing weight but only got an inch bigger as I gained, suggesting that my body composition changed for the better.

Crossfit 5x per week plus cardio is a lot of working out and aside from building muscle your body is probably keeping energy stores so it is always ready for the next workout.


on January 10, 2015
at 01:33 AM

I agree with your comment overall but she said:

"I have a scale that analyzes body fat, and that is increasing too, so I know it's not just adding muscle from Crossfit"

If her body fat percentage is increasing then it doesn't seem to be her body composition improving for the best, but rather that it's getting worse (i.e. less muscle, more fat)



on January 10, 2015
at 02:16 PM

If the scale is accurate then yes she may be gaining fat.  Though I am skeptical of the accuracy of those scales.  If she were gaining a pound per week of fat she'd surely notice it somewhere?


on January 09, 2015
at 02:58 PM

Potatoes? Sweet potatoes and potato starch?

You either cut calories or you cut out carbs. If you want to eat carbs, you're going to have to count your calories. And if you don't want to count calories, you're going to have to give up carbs.

By the way crossfit 5X a week + cardio seems excessive, no?

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