So, I am 5'3'' female, athletic build about 145 lbs when I started. I've been on Paleo for about 6 weeks now, I am down to 140. I had a rough weekend last weekend in terms of going far off track paleo-wise (friends in town so I drank way more than normal, ate 2-3 non paleo meals...quiche with crust and some rice with my meat, more restaurant food than normal). I hopped on the scale and was at 142 (I know, I should avoid the scale but I was curious...) I crossfit 3x a week and usually run 1x a week no more than 3-5 miles.
The weight gain isnt really my point, but I have noticed after this weekend "binge" I've been moodier and MUCH more tired (not near my period) and I don't feel physically like I'm making progress (ie I feel bloated and back to where I started). I also feel like I have no real sense of my progress. My pants do feel like they fit better, but my body fat (according to calipers) has not gone down much. I've been keeping the fruit and nut intake minimal and working mostly on eating high protein low carb. Im back on track since the weekend, and I do tend to have a few drinks on weekends but nothing as bad as last weekend. Is all of this just a response to my falling off track? Help!
There's a few questions about already on this, and lots of tedious details in the science we could go into, but I'll settle for this. Yes, it's a response to falling of track. It's physiological as well as psychological and it's very common. The best advice really is to recognise when your judgement is compromised and not over-react. If you're aware that you've eaten things you shouldn't then just try to give yourself a few days of clean eating and don't listen to those depressive whispers in your head. It's something that gets easier the more often you come out of it.
For some it helps to rationalise the changes. The weight gain will likely just be water retention from eating more carbs. After 6 weeks your body should be more than capable of adjusting to handle a day or two of abuse - gaining fat can really be as much of an effort as losing it. It's natural to question progress, and after eating certain foods the glass always seems more empty than full. You'll feel differently about things tomorrow and the next day, so don't dwell on them.
Again.... You need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. If weight is an issue, then you do need to reduce your caloric intake, or exercise more to reach the fine tuned tipping point for your body. If you take in more calories than you are burning, you will gain weight. I think that the Paleo diet offers more hunger satisfaction and energy than anything else out there, but the caloric intake to energy burned ratio still applies.