I'm trying to figure out why I initially lost weight on a paleo diet, but am now gaining weight!
I adopted a mostly paleo diet earlier in the winter and began to have fantastic results! I saw an immediate improvement in my skin/hair, had more energy, and lost several pounds. Then for about a week around Christmas I loosened my restrictions and ate dairy/grains, including several slices of cake. :/
Eager to undo the effects of the holidays, I decided to participate the the 30 Day Paleo Challenge starting Jan. 3rd. I've been strictly paleo during this time: no grains, no dairy, no sweetener of any kind, etc. But to my dismay I've been gaining weight and my appetite is uncontrollable! I'm hungry and bloated all the time. My diet consists of grass-fed/wild-caught meat, veggies, eggs, nuts, coconut butter, and fruit - basically in that order. Even though my meals are very filling, I always feel ravenous. While I'm not fat, my BMI is around 22.5 and weight loss is one of my main goals.
Is this normal? If I stick it out, will things likely improve? Or should I take this as a sign that strict paleo is not for me? Help!
The usual answers:
1) Eat nothing that tastes sweet. Avoid fructose, grains and PUFAs.
2) Protein recommendations vary, even among experts. Dr. Kurt Harris', site, PaleoNu, might be of interest. Each time I read his site, I see something in a more useful way.
3) Eat fat for satiety.
If you find yourself hungry, eat animal fats and animal protein.
If you are following Dr. Harris' 12 Steps and do not have good results, this post on "How To Lose Weight" might be of use. His comments after the post, responding to visitors, are useful, too.
Enough sleep is vital. Enough water is vital.
Some tend to eat when they are actually thirsty or need rest.
N. B.: It is important to have a food plan. Without a clear, sound plan, many flounder.
I wish you all the best in choosing what suits you.
You could try going back to the mostly paleo diet that you ate earlier in the winter and began to have fantastic results with. It seems from your question that you did not have the same hunger then?
How was what you were doing and eating then different to now?
Also why do you want to lose weight if you BMI is 22? Body mass index is an imperfect measure for individuals but even so I'm not sure why you would need to lose anything.
After much debate, I've decided to listen to my body and return to the moderate carb paleo diet that was working so well for me earlier in the winter. I'm quite wary about continuing with a diet that's supposed to make me feel great even when my body is telling me otherwise. (As I did the whole time I was vegan!) I'm letting my body have the final say!
For the last two days, I've been eating a couple servings of fruit a day and even had sweet potatoes with dinner last night. I'm already less bloated and I feel much better!
Thanks for all the input everyone - you guys are great.
Anything with fructose can be a problem, especially if you have not adapted to burning fat. Fructose blocks the satiety signals of the body from reaching the brain. I would say cut out the fruit (and nuts) and be sure that your protein sources have plenty of non-vegetable-based fat. Saturated fat is extremely satiating.
How long after a meal are you hungry again?
I agree, cut out the fruit and nuts and when you are hungry, eat protein...and be sure you're drinking enough water. Often thirst is read as hunger...if you think you're starving, drink a couple glasses of water first and see if you still feel hungry.
I love nuts, but to my dismay, I feel better (less bloated, for sure) when I don't eat too many. Worth a try. I'm also doing better on less fruit (just a little in my green smoothie and maybe an apple later in the day).
Don't watch the scale initially. The first 21 days of the Paleo Challenge, I was insatiable and gaining weight too. Your body will need to adjust to using fat for energy. It wants more of that sugar you were giving it! Substitute green vegetables for the fruit and limit nuts to a handful.
When you first go low carb, you lose roughly 4 pounds of water weight in the first few days. You can gain that back pretty quick by overeating on that cake one or two times. So expect those 4 pound fluctuations and don't get discouraged by them.
I agree with the others. Nuts are a disaster for some people. And the first couple of weeks of transitioning from higher carb to low carb are really tough, paleo or not. One day you'll find you're in the groove. Please report back in another week or so and let us know what's up. Don't forget your potassium to limit carb flu.
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