So, for 8 months I've been Paleo devoted. I have eaten 100% no cheats for about 6 months, and have recently tried Many different combinations from suggestions is Paleohackers- zero carb, high fat, low fat, low protein, every combination imaginable...
All with the hopes of maintaining a 30 lb weight loss from last year.
My weight and body composition has steadily been changing for the worse ever since I began this Paleo journey.
I realized this yesterday as I went to go try on a dress I would wear all the time last summer, and it barely fit, awkwardly squeaked over my now big thighs and legs and just looked ridiculous.
It made me realize that I am infact living the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing Over and over (Paleo) and expecting a different result (body composition improvements)...
I just don't know what to do next and where to go- if this is the wrong way of eating for me, how does one move away from here.. What does one do when it just truly, isn't working????
I've found that since starting paleo I need around 200 fewer calories a day than before. My weight went up when I stayed at my previous caloric level. I'm not sure why, I think it might have to do with fat and protein digesting more completely than all the high fiber carb food I used to eat a lot of (oat bran etc).
Sounds like something else might be going on. Have you had a medical evaluation? Could be thyroid issues.
There is more to weight loss than diet. Are getting enough sleep? How's your stress levels?
I'm also female, 53yo, and paleo since early last summer, so about the same time. I'm not overweight, never was, and always lose weight in the summer, gain in the winter, all my clothes incl. bras, panties, pants are in 2-3 different sizes. Last summer I lost alot more weight than usual, actually too much, got better after I added back more carbs into my diet. I never weigh myself, haven't in decades, just notice from how my clothes fit. So last fall after being paleo a few months I thought I wouldn't gain again in the winter. Well, here I am again at my usual "spring weight", larger size, but with a slightly different body composition. I didn't gain my wheat belly back, and I'm in my fifties. Depending on where you live, what kind of seasons you have it is normal to gain several pounds in the winter. Even my cats do that, they are also paleo, but eat a ton in fall/winter and hardly anything in the summer.
I read just read that an imbalance of your estrogen metabolism can cause fat store on buttocks and legs. You can reduce this by balancing your estrogen again, for example with DIM (Diindolylmethane). DIM is a component which is found in vegetable including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other types of cabbage.
I read it on a dutch blog: http://jessevandervelde.com/plaatselijk-vet-verbranden-op-benen-en-billen-wel-of-niet-mogelijk/
But have to say, he doesn't use scientific references, so don't know where he gets his info from.
Bigger doesn't mean fatter and it isn't always clear at first that it is muscle. I have noticed that my entire body is larger after going primal, but it is really solid now. At first I thought I was gaining weight in my thighs, but when I squat down and raise my toes and feel my thighs, it is all just muscle (even though it doesn't look like ripped muscles when I am just standing in front of a mirror). I think I have been under-muscled for most of my life and now that I am getting adequate protein, I am actually gaining muscle I should have had all along. This has resulted in my pants being tighter around my thighs and butt but I feel powerful and strong and I LOVE it. I would rather have this solid body and be a size or two larger than go back to being the "thin girl" that popular culture celebrates. I might have been super thin pre-paleo, but I look back on pictures and see a mushy little waif in desperate need of a ribeye.
If you have noticed an increase in body fat and definitely not muscle, then I would ask the community if maybe yo-yoing through all the different iterations of paleo might have a negative effect on your body? Also, what is your exercise routine? And give us some numbers! I also have a sneaking suspicion that you might be being tougher on yourself about weight than you should be...
carbohydrate cylcing is also helpful, and maintaining a WEEKLY caloric deficit is critical. Cutting out fruit and dairy is also helpful, and limiting red meat and egg yolk consumption as well. If you want to improve body composition quickly while still remaining paleo, these tips should be of use.
IF you don't think paleo is it for you then so be it. Maybe you could do a figure competitor like diet for a few months to really get into solid condition, and then return to paleo once you've reached your composition goals? I'm just trying to be practical. I hope this helps. Oh, and mindset is critical for any fitness goal as well. you have to believe you can do it.
Depending on what your diet was like, Pre-Paleo, you are likely seeing your hormones re-balance as you nourish your body with real food.
I am assuming you are avoiding all meat, farmed fish & dairy with growth hormones/antibiotics?
Is your Vitamin D sufficient?
How is your zinc intake?
Patience and perhaps a consult with a paleo-friendly naturopath are in order.
I too gained weight on Paleo, twice! My husband has lost weight and is doing and feeling better than ever on Paleo. I felt fine but my weight never dropped and went up quite a few pounds. My legs and thighs too got much bigger. I know that I was eating the "right Paleo way" because it was and is still working for my husband. He is THRIVING on it! YEARS ago I read a book titled "Eating for your blood type" I have not thought about this book in over 10 years until I saw that Paleo was affecting him and I differently. He is type O and I am type A blood. I know this sounds crazy but according to that book type O's do better on meat and type A's do better on fruits and veggies. I COULD BE COMPLETELY WRONG BUT IT DOES SEEM THAT WAY FOR MY HUBBY AND I! I am now back on Weight Watchers and I focus on lean meats,veggies and fruits. I am now finally losing again.