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Old 11-28-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
Leslie Jennings
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Default Gaining Fat?

Hello All!

I started eating paleo about 5 weeks ago and I am really enjoying it. However, my body fat seems to have slowly increased...when I started I was at 16% and I could see a 4-pack in the morning. Now I am up to 18% and the 4-pack is no longer visible...just the top two. Just a little background:

I started on the zone diet two years ago and had great success. I dropped 10lbs and my BF went down 4%. Sweet.

About 4 months ago I started training harder...I competed in several sprint triathlons, began boxing again and upped my weightlifting. The zone was simply not allowing me to eat enough calories (between 1000 and 1200 a day). I did a lot of research and starting slowly going paleo, but I have been full on the past 5 weeks. I really like the diet, but am not enjoying the extra fat. I would appreciate any advice.

Age: 25
Height: 5'4
Weight: 125
Current BF: 18%

Typical Day:

coffee w/ a little coconut milk
4oz chicken breast cooked w/salsa
1 cup sauteed cabbage
1 tbsp flax oil


3 eggs sauteed w/spinach, peppers, onions, mushrooms, salsa, 1/2 avocado

Large spinach salad w/4oz meat (usually chicken or pot roast), 1/2 cup each tomatoes and bell peppers, 1tbsp flax oil and 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 cup artichoke hearts sauteed w/1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes



1oz beef jerkyd
1 small apple
1 oz almonds

Post workout Snack (sometimes):
1/2 scoop unflavored whey protein powder
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup strawberries

Crockpot beef; sauteed brussels sprouts
Meatloaf (made w/ground beef, carrots, onions, flax meal and seasonings) w/roasted eggplant

If I have dessert, it is usually frozen berries reheated in the microwave and topped w/toasted unsweetened dessicated coconut

It usually comes out between 1600 and 2000cals per day, approx 125g P, less than 60g C and around 100g F.

I workout 6x per week...
MWF: boxing/grappling/some polymetrics
T/Th: weightlifting/conditioning, Kali/Escrima
S: sprints at the track

Sorry for such a long post, but I really would appreciate it if anyone sees any reason for the fat gain. If it was just my weight going up, I wouldn't care...it is the fat that bothers me.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Posts: 3,560

How is your sleep? Caffeine intake? Stress?

Weight gain especially around the middle is more an overload of stress (or under recovery lifestyle)....which can come from excess exercise (especially increasing endurance), not eating enough, high stress lifestyle, lack of real sleep....etc. Many factors.

You will need to dial in nutrition around your workouts to make sure you can recover and do not promote excess cortisol output (esp with increased inflammation). Also need to make sure you are getting enough sleep...as that is the most important activity for recovery.

High inflammation will also lead to more cortisol output, so also make sure to take some fish oil.

Might want to take a week at lower intensity to let the body start to heal and recover, and then judge what happens next. Personally I would also cycle the carbs....go low for a few days and then up it for a day or so (and stick to real food carbs such as sweet potatoes, not bread and cereal). Helps to reset Leptin levels which do have metabolic influences (as carb refeeds are what reset them, not prot/fat refeeds).
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #3
Derek Weaver
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Posts: 2,628

I'm with Mike. I'd favor a deload week with 2-4 very easy workouts and a few long walks to boot.

As well, 100 grams of fat per day contributes 900 cals to the diet. That's almost as much as your TOTAL # of calories per day when you were Zoning.

Short story, you're probably moving too much, but also eating too much.

Hold on cause it's about to get detailed and boring:

Humor me and try doing something like this: 1.5 gram of carbs per lb, 1 gram of protein, .5 grams of fat/lb. That should put you close to maintenance if not even a little under with your activity level.

Using 15 cals/lb of BW to calculate approx maintenance we get 1875/day. 1.5 grams of carbs = ~187 grams/day or 748 calories. Protein = 125 grams or 500 calories. Fat = ~62 grams or 558 calories. A total of 1806/day. Just under maintenance, which shouldn't be an issue since maintenance calculations is guesswork anyway.

With a diet set up this way you have the majority of cals coming from macros with the highest thermic effect as fat has the lowest TEF as well as the body's pesky preference to store fat as bodyfat over carbs and protein (anything in excess will get stored regardless of which macro it is).

Just FYI, 185 grams of carbs/day represents ~ 8 medium sweet potatoes (this would suck) according to fitday, or 6 large bananas, or 9 medium apples... and the list goes on.
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