5

votes

Anyone else gain bodyfat on this diet and shocked?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I began VLC Paleo on September 2010 for health reasons and not really to lose anymore bodyfat as I was fairly lean to begin with. However, after 5 months I began to gain bodyfat rapidly and winded up gaining 7lbs in 4 weeks all in my abdominal area. I was told that the combination of VLC and high intensity workouts caused a cortisol issue. I got tested and low and behold my cortisol levels were wacko and DHEA levels were low. I've since been able to stabilize the bodyfat gain and have lost a couple pounds, however, it's at the cost of not being able to hit it really hard at the gym, which I enjoy.

Anyway, everything I have heard or read about VLC or Paleo is that it is next to impossible to gain bodyfat, so my question is did anyone else experience this when first starting out or am I the only turd that gained bodyfat on the Paleo Diet??

By the way I am %90-95 compliant, with an occasional glass of wine, piece of dark chocolate, and dinner out. Also, I changed absolutely nothing when I started gaining the bodyfat. The upside is most of my other health issue went away.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 05, 2013
at 04:19 AM

This has definitely worked for me!

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 05, 2013
at 04:18 AM

Agree 100%!!!! I discovered this from personal experience!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:53 PM

The preferred fuel of muscles is medium-chain triglyerides for most effort and glucose for short-duration intense bursts. On a ketogenic diet, the muscles become very adept at using the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate. The brain can do about 60–65%% of its functions by using ketones for fuel. Ketones aren't great at getting to the interior portions of the brain, though, which is why the brain needs 35–40% of its fuel from glucose. Since glucose is a breakdown product of all carbs, you can any source of carbs to get the small amount of glucose you need.

5c7ac0c71a787c6c34d9b639fdebb089

(0)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:35 AM

It's been a little while now - has your body fat reduced anymore since adding in more carbs. Your story sounds like me to the T right now.

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 12, 2011
at 12:52 PM

How did you get your cortisol tested and how much did it cost?

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:22 AM

I think you can get lean on any diet...but healthfully so? I agree with Travis; I think carbs and protein should be kept constant and fat should be the variable. The Jaminets prescribe something similar for weight loss - http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2145

452b4d079e0c39d4ca923e712f64239f

(196)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Dizziness upon standing? That sounds like a blood pressure issue. I'm no doc, but Hubby has genetic cardiac issues (funny valves).

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on March 29, 2011
at 02:01 AM

well, see, I know of at least one very, very lean body builder who'd disagree. I've more or less already been cutting carbs and didn't realize it. I might have at most, a handful of dried berries in a day, only other carbs come from broccoli, cauliflower or the odd sweet potato(but I usually mash it with cauliflower, or make chips which i eat over the course of a few days). And I've gotten very lean.

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on March 28, 2011
at 10:31 PM

fat and protein can be converted to glucose. I know of a body builder on another forum that eats a 70/30 fat/protein diet and he's ripped. It's probably about proportions. I'm trying to use some fat(oil/cream in my tea) to offset fruit, because when i snack on fruit I can't seem to stop myself from eating too much. Though, I was getting pretty lean....we'll see!

E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on March 28, 2011
at 10:30 PM

They are talking about grams of carbohydrates, not total weight of food.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on March 28, 2011
at 08:58 PM

the human body will not go into super low body fat %'s unless all the hormonal conditions are in sync - this is not just a case of eating paleo will cure you. sadly, we live in a world with major stressors and often have had chronic issues start IN UTERO.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 28, 2011
at 07:09 PM

I completely agree. This is also in line from what I feel you, Travis, pointed out in a different post or comment, where you referenced the PHD's recipe for fat loss. I also believe Melissa HGL refereneced something similar recently as well. My experience is in line with both your ideas.

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on March 28, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Your situation sounds like mine. I even asked a similar question here about stalling. I would say I gained any back but losing the last bit around the waist has proven hard.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 28, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I'm getting the dizziness on standing, but I do have significant weight to lose. I thought VLC was good until you hit your goal weight (in my case 40 pounds down the road) - after that I plan on reintroducing squash, sweet potatoes, and the occasional fruit.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on March 28, 2011
at 01:02 PM

Melissa....I am back to eating at least 100 carbs a day for now (mostly from tubers a veges) so that has helped.

9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on March 28, 2011
at 12:57 PM

I am in the same !@$!@%^ boat...would love to hear an answer to this

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 28, 2011
at 12:57 PM

why don't you try regular paleo instead of VLC? VLC= temporary band aid, arguably not even paleo.

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10 Answers

8
Medium avatar

on March 28, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Nobody around these parts seems to agree, but as far as fat loss goes, the best strategy I've found is pretty much first edition Cordain with lean*er* meats, lots of vegetables and a decent number of carbs. There's a reason why bodybuilding cutting diets tend to resemble it. Satiety comes somewhat from fat and the subsequent production of CCK, but a substantial portion comes from meat and fiber, which happen to be far less calorically dense. I think it's really easy to overshoot with fat intake and create a hypercaloric situation. You don't want to go too far in the other direction and start eating egg whites by themselves of course, but an appropriate amount of fat is better than eating as much as possible.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 28, 2011
at 07:09 PM

I completely agree. This is also in line from what I feel you, Travis, pointed out in a different post or comment, where you referenced the PHD's recipe for fat loss. I also believe Melissa HGL refereneced something similar recently as well. My experience is in line with both your ideas.

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on March 29, 2011
at 02:01 AM

well, see, I know of at least one very, very lean body builder who'd disagree. I've more or less already been cutting carbs and didn't realize it. I might have at most, a handful of dried berries in a day, only other carbs come from broccoli, cauliflower or the odd sweet potato(but I usually mash it with cauliflower, or make chips which i eat over the course of a few days). And I've gotten very lean.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:22 AM

I think you can get lean on any diet...but healthfully so? I agree with Travis; I think carbs and protein should be kept constant and fat should be the variable. The Jaminets prescribe something similar for weight loss - http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2145

2
F26fbc92b18f4689769d6f8746ea40f7

(334)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:44 PM

VLC and high intensity cardio or high intensity weight training is the worst combination you can choose, especially when you don't have lots of body fat left. VLC paleo can be a life saver for metabolically deranged, highly obese individuals, but sticking to VLC when you are already lean, and pack HIIT or other glycolytic training regimen such as crossfit on top of that is the quickest way to break your body. You only ever start VLC out of necessity. Not because you think it would be great to do it. You always need to be very clear about the needs of your body, which is a direct correlate of what you take your body through in terms of exercise.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 05, 2013
at 04:18 AM

Agree 100%!!!! I discovered this from personal experience!

1
7d7523d1cf39d807d046b91cf5a4fc64

(20)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:00 AM

Couldn't this gain be seasonal? I know a few people including me, who gain 5-10 lbs by the end of winter. You know, some ancient instincts, hormones, etc. Maybe even some squirrel genes. :)

1
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on March 28, 2011
at 06:57 PM

like most approaches in life, there is no one-size fits all. VLC and drastic dietary changes can influence the body to do all sorts of things. hormonal issues being one of them. we are adaptable, but over longer periods of time, not in 2 weeks. for many people with stealth infections, hidden chronic issues, etc, a healthy ancestral diet will initially cause weight gain. it is proposed that this weight gain is a healing response to an underlying issue. (read some schwarzbein, an endocrinologist for some more info) the body will lose the weight when other, higher-order issues are brought into health. our basic survival "genes" dont care if we are overweight if there are other, more dangerous issues still present.

1
E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on March 28, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Sisson recommends 50-100g of carbohydrates per day for folks who have an activity level similar to his "Primal Fitness" exercise plan and are seeking to lose body fat. Does that seem like an appropriate carb level?

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 05, 2013
at 04:19 AM

This has definitely worked for me!

0
Bc36fe3127e955591b3beeafaae3c995

(0)

on December 14, 2012
at 10:46 PM

I have been eating healthier and went to a Paleo diet. I am stronger, more fit and smaller but I have a substantial increase in body fat everywhere. I've lost my definition especially in my ab area. I have increased my activity, intense workouts 16 hours a week - I'm also a dancer so I am an elite athlete. I have been shocked that my body fat has increased after going Paleo. My theory is that our bodies are getting healthier and going to a more "normal" state so a surface layer of body fat is exactly what our bodies are trying to do as if it was back in the "wild, survival days".

I for sure have experienced an increase in body fat even with an increase in my physical activity. Very weird.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 11:00 AM

the only implementation mode in which i would consider / actually am adopting (sometimes) vlc / zc is a::: short-term, high protein (i get bloated, and yes - literally fat, if dietary fat ratio is too high), relatively low-calories (they do matter), 'one meal a day' strategy interspersed / followed by a carb refill...

long term vlc / zc just brakes me both physically and mentally - been there, done that, thank you very much...

0
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on March 28, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I'm still confused..what does everyone mean with low-carb? For instance when they're talking about <50gr.a day do they mean like 50gr. total in weight or like carb grams (example: 100gr. of spinach is 2gr. of carbs).

How can a high fat diet sustain muscles (growth)? I've heard that muscles need glucose and that also the brain need an amount of glucose?

E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on March 28, 2011
at 10:30 PM

They are talking about grams of carbohydrates, not total weight of food.

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on March 28, 2011
at 10:31 PM

fat and protein can be converted to glucose. I know of a body builder on another forum that eats a 70/30 fat/protein diet and he's ripped. It's probably about proportions. I'm trying to use some fat(oil/cream in my tea) to offset fruit, because when i snack on fruit I can't seem to stop myself from eating too much. Though, I was getting pretty lean....we'll see!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:53 PM

The preferred fuel of muscles is medium-chain triglyerides for most effort and glucose for short-duration intense bursts. On a ketogenic diet, the muscles become very adept at using the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate. The brain can do about 60–65%% of its functions by using ketones for fuel. Ketones aren't great at getting to the interior portions of the brain, though, which is why the brain needs 35–40% of its fuel from glucose. Since glucose is a breakdown product of all carbs, you can any source of carbs to get the small amount of glucose you need.

0
D7e91b5f5420c05ffdb9f9f831c0dc82

on March 28, 2011
at 01:39 PM

VLC definitely gave me insomnia and muscle cramps, dizziness when standing suddenly. Now on 50-100 g carbs. I also try to make sure and get plenty of bone stock, gelatin, etc. which helps with sleep.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 28, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I'm getting the dizziness on standing, but I do have significant weight to lose. I thought VLC was good until you hit your goal weight (in my case 40 pounds down the road) - after that I plan on reintroducing squash, sweet potatoes, and the occasional fruit.

452b4d079e0c39d4ca923e712f64239f

(196)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Dizziness upon standing? That sounds like a blood pressure issue. I'm no doc, but Hubby has genetic cardiac issues (funny valves).

0
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on March 28, 2011
at 01:16 PM

i've gone vlc and had some success but ran into problems of dizziness and insomnia after being vlc for a prolonged period and have since upped my carb intake to about 100g a day. the insomnia i believe is either a cause of or maybe a symptom of cortisol issues. being that you gained weight in your midsection, that usually is a telltale sign of cortisol- related fat gain. just my opinion from my past experience of being vlc.

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