2

votes

Sudden weight gain

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I've been gaining weight since September and don't know why! I'm a 38 year old woman who is 5 feet tall. I began Paleo in February and lost 15 pounds. I held at 100 lbs. steadily up until then. I have also gone up a pants size. I'm also noticing an increase on my hips and thighs (which is where it all fell off first). I began a stressful job in August, but I try to get enough sleep and I am always moving. I really don't do any exercise since my job is running after kids and I'm always on my feet. I take probiotics, 1000 mg of calcium, 800 mg of magnesium, digestive enzymes, 5000 iu of vitamin D, iodine and B12.

My menu looks like this:

Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil with veggies and fennel tea Snack: (4hours later) homemade beef jerky with only Celtic sea salt, maybe some raw veggies like cucumbers, and maybe a hard boiled egg Lunch: some kind of meat from last nights dinner, broccoli with butter and a slice of homemade pumpkin bread made with coconut flour Dinner: meat and veggies in butter

I do not eat dairy, nuts, grains or fruit....and I drink only water or fennel/chamomile tea

Also my period got very weird in September (and it never does). My period was late for 2 weeks and that's when I started noticing more weight gain....I also had a cyst rupture this past month and I've been very bloated for 2 weeks and I just got my period yesterday (which was on time). I also tried on pants that I bought last month and I can't even button them! Oh, I've also been taking 2.5 mg of Lexapro (anti-anxiety medication) since June. I've read that it can cause weight gain...

So, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! I used to weigh 100 lbs in the morning and by the evening would weigh 103 lbs. Now I wake up and I weigh 105 and in the evening I'm at 107! I just want my pants to fit!

937025faf9308f14438817d5cc09ee3d

(90)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Agreed ^ especially if she is not doing any strength training exercise and doesn't have a great amount of muscle mass.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:12 PM

also, as i reread your question, it seems you might eat more than you think you do. it sounds like a good amount of calories for someone 100lbs. have you tallied your intake before? and i am a bit alarmed that you weigh yourself at night and in the morning... is there a reason for this?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:32 PM

First off I would second Kewpie's recommendation for more Paleo carb sources. Although foods like squash and sweet potatoes aren't part of a traditional GAPS diet, Chris Kresser has mentioned that many of his patients respond better to a GAPS + starch approach. As far as tracking your carb intake, you could plug a few days worth of food into something like fitday.com or CRON-O-METER to see where you're at. I personally feel much better when I average >100g carbs/day. Good luck!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 11, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I agree with Kewpie...in order of culprits I see FIRST- The meds SECOND - Possible Pre-menopausal THIRD - Everything else mentioned.

190093cc42a330b41e1b5cdef19f9955

on November 10, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Wouldn't the pumpkin bread help with increasing my carbs? I use coconut flour, eggs, butter, pumpkin and spices....I also make homemade flaxseed crackers that contain only flax, water and Celtic sea salt....would those help with carbs?

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 10, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Go get a salivary hormone test done. The medication can definitely cause weight gain.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Stress can be the cause of all the symptoms you mentioned. Are you getting sufficent Magnesium & Zinc?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on November 10, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Stress may be exacerbating your body's desire/need for carbs. I'm not sure about your specific needs regarding your Gaps diet and health situation but I've found personally that restricting carbs makes me pretty anxious/stressed. N=1, YMMV

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:44 PM

The Lexapro is the likely cause.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:40 PM

She said she is 5'. 100 lbs for a 5' medium boned woman is about right. As I am also 5' and medium boned I know this. I have weighed 100 pounds a couple of times as an adult and it is perfect.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 10, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Yeah, but when you're a 100lb, 38-yr-old woman who isn't exercising, I suspect it's not as much as you might think!

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I've found the more fat I eat, the more weight I lose. There is a tipping point, I'm sure, but you'd have to eat an awful lot of fat to get there.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

That seems like a huge amount of calcium to me. Why would you be taking so much?

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 10, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I agree with most of this answer ... save for the pumpkin bread being the only problem with the diet. Seems to me there's a potential for too much fat there.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

4
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 10, 2011
at 01:45 PM

A couple of things jump out at me. First, it's great that you are getting enough sleep, but it still sounds like you are under a lot of stress. Cortisol can interfere with weight loss/cause weight gain even if you are getting enough sleep. The medication you are taking can cause weight gain, as well. Have you considered seeing a therapist/counselor about your stress/anxiety? S/he will likely be able to give you non-pharmaceutical tools to help you deal with it better.

Second, the changes in your menstrual cycle, coupled with your age, suggest you could be entering perimenopause. Hormonal changes can definitely lead to weight gain--particularly in the area you are describing. Exercising and reducing your stress level can help here, too.

The only thing that I see in your diet that seems problematic is the pumpkin bread. Paleo "breads" are usually considered treats, not daily fare. It could also be that you are not eating enough, but overall I think your diet looks good.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 10, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Yeah, but when you're a 100lb, 38-yr-old woman who isn't exercising, I suspect it's not as much as you might think!

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I've found the more fat I eat, the more weight I lose. There is a tipping point, I'm sure, but you'd have to eat an awful lot of fat to get there.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 11, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I agree with Kewpie...in order of culprits I see FIRST- The meds SECOND - Possible Pre-menopausal THIRD - Everything else mentioned.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 10, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I agree with most of this answer ... save for the pumpkin bread being the only problem with the diet. Seems to me there's a potential for too much fat there.

3
954257965380ca2f0cf22ff1b5922563

on November 10, 2011
at 03:23 PM

I agree with Cliff. After being VLC for a long period of time, I was having regular anxiety attacks, my periods started going crazy, and I started gaining weight on all the same foods I had been eating. Once I increased my carbs... no more anxiety, period back to normal, and the couple extra pounds dropped.

2
190093cc42a330b41e1b5cdef19f9955

on November 10, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Oh, I also have been avoiding starches and fruit because I'm doing a semi-GAPS diet....

190093cc42a330b41e1b5cdef19f9955

on November 10, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Wouldn't the pumpkin bread help with increasing my carbs? I use coconut flour, eggs, butter, pumpkin and spices....I also make homemade flaxseed crackers that contain only flax, water and Celtic sea salt....would those help with carbs?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on November 10, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Stress may be exacerbating your body's desire/need for carbs. I'm not sure about your specific needs regarding your Gaps diet and health situation but I've found personally that restricting carbs makes me pretty anxious/stressed. N=1, YMMV

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:32 PM

First off I would second Kewpie's recommendation for more Paleo carb sources. Although foods like squash and sweet potatoes aren't part of a traditional GAPS diet, Chris Kresser has mentioned that many of his patients respond better to a GAPS + starch approach. As far as tracking your carb intake, you could plug a few days worth of food into something like fitday.com or CRON-O-METER to see where you're at. I personally feel much better when I average >100g carbs/day. Good luck!

1
46626407781919530c151c87215ceb21

(30)

on November 11, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Perimenopause, estrogen dominance, lack of progesterone. Exercise.

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:04 PM

you need more carbohydrates i.e. fruits or tubers.

0
937025faf9308f14438817d5cc09ee3d

on September 10, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Start an exercise routine! And cut out the pumpkin bread.Also, make sure you aren't smothering your veggies in butter. Remember butter is 100% fat, and even though we know fat does not make you fat; butter is very calorie dense and does end up getting stored as fat if you are not burning it off throughout the day.

0
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:10 PM

i bloat without starches. i wonder if you might as well? my body just doesn't run without starchy carbs. also, when i was on lexapro a few years ago, it's what started my food issues... it changed my body chemistry somehow and i couldn't maintain weight or digest things as easily. not a scientific proof thing, just a realization of change. maybe that's your issue?

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:12 PM

also, as i reread your question, it seems you might eat more than you think you do. it sounds like a good amount of calories for someone 100lbs. have you tallied your intake before? and i am a bit alarmed that you weigh yourself at night and in the morning... is there a reason for this?

0
F42e0775218d2c88fcb1869f3b7ea58e

on November 11, 2011
at 10:12 AM

Possibly slightly off topic, but can you give me the recipe for your pumpkin bread please?

0
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on November 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

I'm wondering if your body's set point weight is simply closer to 105 than 100, in which case it will fight tooth-and-nail to defend it. 100 is pretty low for 5'1 - borderline underweight.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:40 PM

She said she is 5'. 100 lbs for a 5' medium boned woman is about right. As I am also 5' and medium boned I know this. I have weighed 100 pounds a couple of times as an adult and it is perfect.

937025faf9308f14438817d5cc09ee3d

(90)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Agreed ^ especially if she is not doing any strength training exercise and doesn't have a great amount of muscle mass.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!