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Can overdoing Coconut Oil cause Fat storage/Weight Gain?

by (871)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created December 01, 2011 at 1:12 AM

I am trying to isolate what the culprit in my recent body fat % increase/weight gain was. I only changed 2 things.

1) I started incorporating more Coconut oil in my diet...some in cooking, some in a frozen treat. (if this was done in excess, can it cause body fat increase?) Max 3 tablespoons per day

2) I incorporated some Almond Milk in my diet, unsweetened of course, no sugar) If this was done in excess could this be the cause? Max 2 cups per day

Nothing NEolithic was consumed, and my calories were increased...so perhaps all three? Calorie increase..plus coconut oil plus almond milk?

I just want to make sure I don't make the same mistakes again. And want to know if I can incorporate coconut oil without gaining...

MY Tanita Ironman scale registered a 10lb increase and 5% body fat increase after 1 week of adding these things...

Any ideas?

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905
5775 · October 04, 2012 at 2:33 AM

10 lbs of coconut oil would probably be over a million calories. I'd say that might cause weight gain :)

Medium avatar
10653 · May 26, 2012 at 9:36 PM

@Mallory -- carrageenan is a natural ingredient extracted from red seaweeds usually used to thicken food. So it's actually not as horrible as it is.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
8255 · January 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Well, if those people in the soylent green ate soy... Arrrghhh, the last safe food! Gone!

Medium avatar
19479 · January 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Don't you know? Soy is in EVERYTHING, except, ironically, in soylent green (soylent green is people).

Medium avatar
19479 · January 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM

You'd have to have eaten 10lbs of coconut oil (really much more because the body is far from perfectly efficient in converting calories consumed into calories stored) to gain 10lbs from eating coconut oil!

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8255 · January 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Where's the soy coming in? It's not in Almond Milk unless I missed something on the ingredient list.

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5188 · January 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The only time I am confident my weight will go down from one day to the next is if I eat nothing - and even then it's sometimes only a fraction of a pound. You haven't stored 4lbs of fat from an ounce of oil, don't worry too much about what your body's doing so long as you give it real food.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74
2231 · December 11, 2011 at 2:59 AM

carrageenan...???wtf

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 03, 2011 at 4:39 AM

done and done. ha. yes.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 02, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Paleo4Ever....you're using sarcasm, right? Throw the stuff out

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 02, 2011 at 5:35 AM

Filtered Water, Almonds, Tricalcium Phosphate, Tapioca Starch, Canola Lecithin, Salt, Natural Flavour, Sodium Bicarbonate, Carrageenan, Zinc Gluconate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12. Produced in a facility that also produces soy. which ones are the worst?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Will do! Thanks

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · December 01, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Coconut oil burns off "so quickly", that's repeated often. But if it is a prioritized nutrient (preferentially burned first), doesn't that mean that other nutrients aren't getting burned? I've always thought the metabolic advantage of MCTs (i.e. coconut oil) was that they must be processed and elongated for storage, which is an energy intensive process.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · December 01, 2011 at 12:49 PM

What do you expect, it's a highly processed food.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · December 01, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Yes, the approx 55% of CO that is MCT or SCT is not likely to be stored as body fat, but the other 45% can and will be ... as will whatever other long chain fats. I don't see 10 lbs (pretty sure there's a fluid balance issue going on here) in a week, but 3T CO/day ADDED + 2c almond milk ADDED = ~400 cal/day

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 01, 2011 at 8:34 AM

i agree on the almond milk ingredients subject. if you haven't already; check all the ingredients of your almond milk. I have seen all sorts of stuff in some almond milks, for instance; rice syrup, sunflower oil, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, cane juice, agave syrup, corn maltodextrin (& possible canola & safflower, as well) & probably preservatives as well....

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 01, 2011 at 6:21 AM

i agree. if you haven't already; check all the ingredients of your almond milk. I have seen all sorts of stuff in some almond milks, for instance; rice syrup, sunflower oil, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, cane juice, agave syrup, corn maltodextrin (& possible canola & safflower, as well) & probably preservatives as well....

Medium avatar
19479 · December 01, 2011 at 4:31 AM

I agree that the numbers don't add up.

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7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:06 AM

But 10 pounds is 35,000 extra calories. That's 5000 extra calories per day. The amount of coconut oil and almond milk the OP consumed couldn't possibly account for that.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca
7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Did you start taking any kind of new medication?

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca
7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Could it be an allergy/sensitivity to almonds or coconut? I've read that food allergies and sensitivities can cause weight gain, but I don't know much about the mechanism behind that. All I know is that they amount of calories in the quantities of coconut oil and almond milk you are consuming is not sufficient to account for that kind of dramatic weight gain.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 3:46 AM

I was at the gym 4 days out of 7 that week. maybe my training wasn't enough to use it up?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 3:45 AM

This has been my inner monologue for a week now. Ive had full blood work and hormones checked, I just can't figure out what I'm doing. Other than perhaps, I've lowered my metabolism through caloric restriction over the last year ( I was losing 30lbs) and now I am not aware that my body can't handle many calories? I was working out everyday that I was eating the extra oil/milk purposely knowing i was consuming more calories...

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15976 · December 01, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Exactly. If the OP is eating more energy by adding in coconut oil, or almond milk (or snickers or grass fed beef) and not compensating by eating less of something else, and there is no stimulus for muscle growth that might use the extra calories to make muscle mass, then you will put on body fat.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:17 AM

I rub coconut oil on poultry skin before roasting and if I don't have bacon or beef or goose fat I'll use a little in frying. I don't really eat many nuts other than 4-5 pecan halves or a few hazelnuts in a week or so.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:16 AM

I rub coconut oil on poultry skin before roasting and if I don't have bacon or beef or goose fat I'll use a little in frying. I don't really eat many nuts other than 4-5 pecan halves or a few hazelnuts.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Nance, thanks for your input, I'm just as puzzled. Just trying to know what to cut out or add. I truly don't know what to eat anymore. Everything (other than lean proteins) seems like it causes me to be bloated, or storing, truly confused. Hmm...So maybe it is too much. Do you consume coconut oil yourself?

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37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:04 AM

I looked up a conversion table and a couple articles. Your 3 tbsp coconut oil is a common recommendation. Re: my question above, one 2" x 2" square of coconut flesh would produce 1 tbsp of coconut oil and not much else so you're eating the oil found in a 6" x 2" piece. A lot, but not really excessive if you love coconut and it doesn't cause any negative reactions.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:03 AM

I looked up a conversion table and a couple articles. Your 3 tbsp intake would not be considered excessive at all. Re: my question above, 1 2" x 2" square of coconut flesh would produce 1 tbsp so you're eating the oil found in a 6" x 2" piece. A lot, but not really excessive if you like coconut.

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871 · December 01, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Thats what I suspected, but changed battery, weighed at the gym as well...

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37187 · December 01, 2011 at 1:53 AM

The almond milk (which is processed almonds) sounds fine with those contents, but 2-3 tbsp coconut oil--I wonder how much of a coconut it takes to get that much oil? If the almond milk is that low in nutrition, I'm surprised you're seeing this effect even with the coconut oil added.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023
1510 · December 01, 2011 at 1:36 AM

10lbs in one week?! Are you sure your scale isn't broken?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 1:21 AM

No Almonds. Just some unsweetned Almond Milk (low in Sat. fat, 40cal per cup) in my coffee, like maybe 1-2 cups. No raw coocnut flesh, just the coconut oil - maybe 2-3 tablespoons per day Yes, i now see that combining these may have done it. YEs it was about 1 week ago, so I am wondering if it is water...but I don't seem to be dropping the water as days progress.

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15 Answers

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212
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1288 · December 01, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Only really one way to find out - cut all 3 culprits - cal back to what you are use to , no coconut oil or almond milk - do that for a few wks then add one factor back in wk by wk. If your answer is not there - there must be something else going on - not sure what though

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871 · December 01, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Will do! Thanks

134a704944b117a34aafbec598722991
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138 · December 01, 2011 at 5:47 AM

My money is on it being related to the almond milk before anything else. I know that many almond milk ingredient labels I've read list tapioca starch and can be a little carb-y. That could have brought on some water retention.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 01, 2011 at 6:21 AM

i agree. if you haven't already; check all the ingredients of your almond milk. I have seen all sorts of stuff in some almond milks, for instance; rice syrup, sunflower oil, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, cane juice, agave syrup, corn maltodextrin (& possible canola & safflower, as well) & probably preservatives as well....

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 01, 2011 at 8:34 AM

i agree on the almond milk ingredients subject. if you haven't already; check all the ingredients of your almond milk. I have seen all sorts of stuff in some almond milks, for instance; rice syrup, sunflower oil, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, cane juice, agave syrup, corn maltodextrin (& possible canola & safflower, as well) & probably preservatives as well....

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · December 01, 2011 at 12:49 PM

What do you expect, it's a highly processed food.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · December 02, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Paleo4Ever....you're using sarcasm, right? Throw the stuff out

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 03, 2011 at 4:39 AM

done and done. ha. yes.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 02, 2011 at 5:35 AM

Filtered Water, Almonds, Tricalcium Phosphate, Tapioca Starch, Canola Lecithin, Salt, Natural Flavour, Sodium Bicarbonate, Carrageenan, Zinc Gluconate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12. Produced in a facility that also produces soy. which ones are the worst?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74
2231 · December 11, 2011 at 2:59 AM

carrageenan...???wtf

Medium avatar
10653 · May 26, 2012 at 9:36 PM

@Mallory -- carrageenan is a natural ingredient extracted from red seaweeds usually used to thicken food. So it's actually not as horrible as it is.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e
6
1982 · December 01, 2011 at 2:14 AM

If it puts you over your caloric limit, then yes. Calories DO count.

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7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:06 AM

But 10 pounds is 35,000 extra calories. That's 5000 extra calories per day. The amount of coconut oil and almond milk the OP consumed couldn't possibly account for that.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · December 01, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Exactly. If the OP is eating more energy by adding in coconut oil, or almond milk (or snickers or grass fed beef) and not compensating by eating less of something else, and there is no stimulus for muscle growth that might use the extra calories to make muscle mass, then you will put on body fat.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 3:46 AM

I was at the gym 4 days out of 7 that week. maybe my training wasn't enough to use it up?

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610 · December 01, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Are you are female? If so maybe hormonal, menstrual related water weight plus maybe a small fat gain from the extra calories.

67da69b34a0aae9182d1ae561621dfc7
4
90 · December 01, 2011 at 3:11 AM

Regardless of what you eat, if your calorie intake exceeds your calorie expenditure, you will gain weight. Consequently, because fat is the most efficient way for your body to store excess energy (calories), it is stored as fat. Coconut oil can be incorporated into your diet as long as you decrease your calorie intake in other areas of your diet OR you increase your activity level sufficiently enough to burn off the excess calories.

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2565 · December 01, 2011 at 3:16 AM

It depends on if you're exercising regularly or not and how much sugar is in your diet. The majority of the fats in coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids that are absorbed and burned immediately by the body for fuel rather than being circulated throughout the body and being stored in fat cells. In fact most people notice weight loss when they incorporate coconut oil into their diet since it boosts the function of your thyroid and overall metabolism thus burning excess fat stores in the body. I'm wondering what other things you eat on a daily basis, cause I find it hard to believe the weight gain is from the coconut oil. Do you have any other health problems, particularly metabolic problems, recently or in the past? If you gain weight no matter what you eat and exercise a lot there's a good chance you're leptin resistant to some degree which will cause your body to be unable to burn excess fat.

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37187 · December 01, 2011 at 1:17 AM

Coconut oil plus 2 cups of almond milk is actually a pretty high daily intake of nuts if weight is an issue. Unless you can comfortably balance by eating less of other dense nutrients they could be part or all of the problem.

If this is very recent, it could be water fluctuation. But, I happen to think coconut oil and almond milk, while healthy, are processed foods and therefore should not be consume in unlimited quantities.

How many almonds in their whole form would you eat in a day? How much raw coconut flesh?

EDIT: I forgot to ask if you saw increased inches anywhere on your body? This would be a more concrete evidence of fat gain since pounds can involve release/retention of water.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:04 AM

I looked up a conversion table and a couple articles. Your 3 tbsp coconut oil is a common recommendation. Re: my question above, one 2" x 2" square of coconut flesh would produce 1 tbsp of coconut oil and not much else so you're eating the oil found in a 6" x 2" piece. A lot, but not really excessive if you love coconut and it doesn't cause any negative reactions.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Nance, thanks for your input, I'm just as puzzled. Just trying to know what to cut out or add. I truly don't know what to eat anymore. Everything (other than lean proteins) seems like it causes me to be bloated, or storing, truly confused. Hmm...So maybe it is too much. Do you consume coconut oil yourself?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 1:53 AM

The almond milk (which is processed almonds) sounds fine with those contents, but 2-3 tbsp coconut oil--I wonder how much of a coconut it takes to get that much oil? If the almond milk is that low in nutrition, I'm surprised you're seeing this effect even with the coconut oil added.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 1:21 AM

No Almonds. Just some unsweetned Almond Milk (low in Sat. fat, 40cal per cup) in my coffee, like maybe 1-2 cups. No raw coocnut flesh, just the coconut oil - maybe 2-3 tablespoons per day Yes, i now see that combining these may have done it. YEs it was about 1 week ago, so I am wondering if it is water...but I don't seem to be dropping the water as days progress.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:17 AM

I rub coconut oil on poultry skin before roasting and if I don't have bacon or beef or goose fat I'll use a little in frying. I don't really eat many nuts other than 4-5 pecan halves or a few hazelnuts in a week or so.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:16 AM

I rub coconut oil on poultry skin before roasting and if I don't have bacon or beef or goose fat I'll use a little in frying. I don't really eat many nuts other than 4-5 pecan halves or a few hazelnuts.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · December 01, 2011 at 2:03 AM

I looked up a conversion table and a couple articles. Your 3 tbsp intake would not be considered excessive at all. Re: my question above, 1 2" x 2" square of coconut flesh would produce 1 tbsp so you're eating the oil found in a 6" x 2" piece. A lot, but not really excessive if you like coconut.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca
1
7223 · December 01, 2011 at 3:24 AM

I suspect something else may be going on here. Adding coconut milk and almond milk would certainly add calories, but coconut oil burns off quickly so it's unlikely to be stored as fat. Regardless, to gain 10 pounds in a week you'd have to store 35,000 surplus calories. That's 5,000 extra calories per day. There is no way eating 3 T. of coconut oil and 2 c. of almond milk on a daily basis could cause that in just one week.

Medium avatar
19479 · December 01, 2011 at 4:31 AM

I agree that the numbers don't add up.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca
7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Did you start taking any kind of new medication?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · December 01, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Coconut oil burns off "so quickly", that's repeated often. But if it is a prioritized nutrient (preferentially burned first), doesn't that mean that other nutrients aren't getting burned? I've always thought the metabolic advantage of MCTs (i.e. coconut oil) was that they must be processed and elongated for storage, which is an energy intensive process.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f
871 · December 01, 2011 at 3:45 AM

This has been my inner monologue for a week now. Ive had full blood work and hormones checked, I just can't figure out what I'm doing. Other than perhaps, I've lowered my metabolism through caloric restriction over the last year ( I was losing 30lbs) and now I am not aware that my body can't handle many calories? I was working out everyday that I was eating the extra oil/milk purposely knowing i was consuming more calories...

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · December 01, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Yes, the approx 55% of CO that is MCT or SCT is not likely to be stored as body fat, but the other 45% can and will be ... as will whatever other long chain fats. I don't see 10 lbs (pretty sure there's a fluid balance issue going on here) in a week, but 3T CO/day ADDED + 2c almond milk ADDED = ~400 cal/day

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca
7223 · December 01, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Could it be an allergy/sensitivity to almonds or coconut? I've read that food allergies and sensitivities can cause weight gain, but I don't know much about the mechanism behind that. All I know is that they amount of calories in the quantities of coconut oil and almond milk you are consuming is not sufficient to account for that kind of dramatic weight gain.

044a5795166a6ca51cfd66d3cf99b9f0
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0 · October 04, 2012 at 2:23 AM

get off the almond milk and any other polyunsaturated vegetable oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

saturated fat good. poly bad.

oh, and if you follow that, carbs are good too.

87c435e99a1e761a434648688d0cf6f7
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0 · May 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I put on a few pounds, especially in the belly area. I was consuming 3 Tablespoons per day. I'm wondering is you get the same benefit from the Monolaurin Supplements. I'm going to try that.

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0
8239 · January 21, 2012 at 4:07 AM

You ask your question in terms of "overdoing." Given that, what basis is there for doubting the likelihood that eating a hella lot of coconut oil portends excess weight? Keep everything else equal, then eat less coconut oil, and get back with us if you've not lost a few.

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8255 · January 20, 2012 at 11:06 PM

10 lbs in one week tells me water gain, not fat gain. Water gain comes from carbs. There's no carbs in coconut oil. There are few carbs in unsweetened Almond milk. I doubt it was related to either. You say you increased your calories as well. What's an example of your full diet?

edit: Just noticed this is a bit old. Presumably the original poster's figured it out and can let us know what happened? :)

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0 · January 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM

i've been seeing a lot of people recently on other websites posting about how they believe coconut oil may be causing them to gain weight. once they go off it they seem to loose the weight. i know this goes against what most believe is a very healthy oil.

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733 · January 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

its the soy, it is making you retain water. i had the same issue a couple of weeks ago.

Medium avatar
19479 · January 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Don't you know? Soy is in EVERYTHING, except, ironically, in soylent green (soylent green is people).

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
8255 · January 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Well, if those people in the soylent green ate soy... Arrrghhh, the last safe food! Gone!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
8255 · January 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Where's the soy coming in? It's not in Almond Milk unless I missed something on the ingredient list.

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0 · January 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I am on WW have lost 71 lbs, gained 10 from Thanksgiving on. Started on the new WW plan on Jan,5 lost 4.6 lbs. Started taking coconut oil and still doing my same WW and gained back 4.4.? I am assuming it is the extra virgin 3 capsules a day that are adding to my problem! UGH!!!!

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5188 · January 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The only time I am confident my weight will go down from one day to the next is if I eat nothing - and even then it's sometimes only a fraction of a pound. You haven't stored 4lbs of fat from an ounce of oil, don't worry too much about what your body's doing so long as you give it real food.

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