Hack my weight gain

Answered on March 14, 2016
Created March 12, 2016 at 4:51 AM

Alright PaleoHackers. I've been Paleo/primal since 2011. Originally lost 60lbs like it was the easiest thing in the world, but despite eating the same as I ever have, I'm now about 15lbs heavier than my lowest weight. granted, I did have a baby, but she'll be 3 this summer and I'm STILL not back to prepregnancy weight.

A few more noteworthy things: I was only 23 when I lost the weight. Does being in my late twenties now really change things that much?

My stress levels are iffy due to finances and an impending divorce, and my sleep might be even iffier, but I'm doing the best I can. 

I've also had several rounds of antibiotics over the years since then. Perhaps some gut bacteria whackiness is contributing to my weight gain?

Anyway, I'm exercising more than I did in 2011, I commute to work via bike and work in a restaurant so I'm naturally active.

I'm mostly just stumped and not happy with my body. Any suggestions? 

A general day in food looks like this:

Breakfast often just coffee with homemade almond milk, sometimes if I have time I have 3 scrambled eggs + 1 tbsp of butter for cooking

Lunch varies, often it's leftovers, sometimes it's natural uncured deli meat/cheese with bell peppers, avocado, tomato and celery, sometimes it's a big salad with chicken

Dinner: some sort of meat, at least 2 veggie sides


suggestions, please!

Frontpage book

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

2 Answers



on March 14, 2016
at 05:17 PM

Antibiotics can do quite a lot of damage to your gut flora, and infact, the reason they give antibiotics to CAFO cattle is to fatten them up, sadly CAFO meats will contain some of these antibiotics as well.  This, along with the stress is certainly the most likely cause.

It's also possible that you're healthy, and just gained muscle.  You can't tell that from just the scale.  Weight means nothing.  Could be water, bone, muscle, or fat.  When people say they want to lose weight, they never want to lose anything but fat (though a higher carb diet will naturally hold on to extra water, and most diets will cause the water to go away, masquarading as a fast 5-10lbs weight loss after a week, which is of course not really fat loss.)

15lbs is not all that much, and if even half of that was muscle, there's nothing to worry about.

So, you'll need to figure out your actual fat levels before and after.  There's a few ways to do this.  You can measure your waist, you can use an impedence measuring scale (aka fat loss scale), DEXA scan, water volume, calipers, etc.

If your stress is very high, there are ways to deal with it.  Most important question to ask is how is your sleep?  Do you get up ready for action, or feel tired and worn?  Do you have trouble falling asleep?

You could use phosphatidyl serine and/or melatonin at night to help things along, but you'll ulimtately need to deal with the root cause of the stress.

Excercise is not necessarily a good thing, especially when it's too much and you're already under stress, if it's mostly riding a bike for a long durations (i.e. more than 30m/day if you're stressed out) it could easily be considered chronic cardio and will only add to your problems.  Do  you feel tired or energized after your bike ride?  You could limit coffee to 2 cups/day, and certainly the cigs need to go.




on March 14, 2016
at 09:45 AM

Maybe you´re not getting enough calories, so the body run on stress hormones, leading to a lower metabolism and sometimes water weight gain, over time. This can also cause digestive problems (as well as skin disorders), as food isn´t properly digested during a stressed state and the immune system also may be weakened.

Any possible water weight may be dealt with through a higher potassium intake; by eating more fruits, vegetables and potatoes, and cutting fats. A small study from Hawaii showed a whopping 8 kg weight loss (15-20 pounds) in just 3 weeks when participants ingested traditional diet with 78E% carbs from sweet potatoes, taro and some fruits, 7E% fats, and 15E% proteins (chicken, fish), approx 300 gram carbs/day. Obviously almost all the weight loss was water.

But beyond this it may be best just to eat more, go through the painful process for a week or two with much more calories, this can feel like quitting coffee or sigarettes I suppose due to the temporary hormonal change. Then metabolism will hopefully be higher ("eat for heat"), and although you may have gained some weight in the process, the higher metabolism may also mean the body expels water so you actually look slimmer (if water gain was an issue).

Answer Question

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