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Paleo weight gain... : - (


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Hi, Just saw my doctor. After one year of paleo, doing crossfit now 5 X times a week - I have GAINED almost 10 pounds. My clothes are tighter, my feet hurt from carrying the extra weight.

Clearly, I am not one of those people who lose weight eating paleo. It's very discouraging.

I am 57, post menopausal. My doctor told me that in order to lose I would have to count calories (a calorie is a calorie is a calorie). The reason I started eating paleo was for health benefits, of course, and so I wouldn't have to count calories anymore because I got rid of all those carbs in grains, sugar, and everywhere else.

My thyroid tests normal, though we are testing again a year later.

Is Paleo and weight loss only for the young? I would be grateful to hear from any older gals like me who have struggled with these issues and what they tried that worked for them.


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I'm not post menopausal but I do have a sordid relationship with dieting and there are somethings I've noticed.

Paleo works for me great when I'm very "on" with it and have starchy paleo carbs (sweet potatoes and tubers). If I start going off the rails and letting sugar sneak in or alcohol or going too low carb - Paleo starts to look like any other diet and calories mater a lot.

If I were doing 5 days of crossfit I would need to be eating plenty of carbs for sure otherwise I would be squishy and I'd drag to boot.

Paleo can be very calorie dense - no accusation since your diet is a completely unknown variable to me - just be careful that you are assessing your diet accurately. It is paleo but is it also appropriate for your and supporting you activity level.

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Thanks for your responses.

I've been doing CrossFit for a year, have worked up to a 5 day a week pattern. I hope part of the weight gain is muscle, but my belly is still as big as it was when I started. Currently, I'm doing a whole 30 that I started on 8/1. So, it's tight and 100% right now.

My Paleo has been more 80/20 primal in the past- hardly any grain, but some sugar, minimal alcohol. I think a lot of this is age.

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Is there any chance you're sensitive to something else that typically isn't eliminated with paleo? Unless I eliminate everything that affects me, I still have the bloat and can't drop a pound. Another thing to consider is digestion. Do you take digestive enzymes or probiotics? Your mention of still having a belly makes me think it's food.

On another note, have you had your hormones tested? Are you on any medications that could be contributing?

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I wouldn't think about this as a bad thing....I mean you are doing crossfit 5 times a week so you're building a ton of muscle. Then you're eating paleo style with lots of protein (muscle) and fat to support your exercise. If you're building muscle in the gym, and fueling your body with lots of protein to build this muscle, really, do you expect a different result other than gain? It sounds like your body is doing exactly what it should be doing given your activity and intake. Muscle gain is good! :)

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Honestly, if you've only been 80/20 until now, that may be your problem. I know that I live at about 85/15 and maybe even 90/10 and I only maintain my weight even when very active (tri training, in my case). I'm still perimenopausal, but still...I have to be strict to see fat loss.

I did manage to lose 9 lbs on my Whole30, so fat loss is definitely possible but in my case, only when very strict. I would suggest that you keep up the Whole30 and then see where you are before you start trying to evaluate the minor details.

Good luck!

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I agree that what you probably need to start with is to go very strict instead of 80/20, so that's great that you're doing a Whole30. Other than that, I *kind of* agree with your doctor...at some point, calories DO matter. Unfortunately. Maybe try food journaling along with your Whole30 (what/how much you're eating, along with how you're feeling afterwards)? Then you can figure out where you truly are, calorie-wise, and also figure out how foods are affecting you. Like someone above said - there are foods included in the Whole30 that may not sit well with you. Personally, I can't digest nightshades - I get super-bloated and feel really sick. I found that out by food journaling...I don't think I would have put two and two together if I didn't have that log that I could look back on to see how I felt after everything I ate.

Maybe it's something with your workouts? Too much, not enough rest? I don't know a ton about that, and I really know nothing about Crossfit, but maybe that's something to think about. I've heard others say they've had issues losing weight when they weren't getting sufficient recovery time.

If that doesn't help...maybe after journaling for the remainder of your Whole30 you might want to get a consultation with Dallas or Melissa? Maybe you just need a fresh set of eyes to look at everything.

Good luck!

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