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Rapid Temporary Weight Gain From Complex Carb Inflammation?

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  • Rapid Temporary Weight Gain From Complex Carb Inflammation?

    Hello everyone,

    I eat 100% primal for very long stretches of time. However, when I do eat complex carbohydrates like bread, I immediately shoot up 3-4 lb. in body weight the following day. Within 1-2 days, that weight completely disappears. I've also noticed feeling groggy and looking practically hungover. Is this from inflammation? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  • #2
    likely not inflammation, but water retention from teh uptake of liver and muscle glycogen. maybe a bit of inflammation from the gluten in the bread, but this sounds like water weight.

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    • #3
      No, its inflammation. I don't get it from just carbs. Its the bread. Eating a pile of white rice results in little to no gain, maybe a pound or so. Eating lots of bread means 6 pounds up.

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      • #4
        I am the king of what you are describing. This past weekend, I ate about 4 handfuls of popcorn and a couple pieces of milk chocolate--up 5 lbs. Last month, I had some eggrolls and fried, breaded starters at a restaurant--up 6lbs. I always lose this kind of weight in a couple days, but it is real. It's just water weight and nothing to be concerned with. I think this phenomenon is exactly why so many tell you to throw your scale away.

        It seems that people who are extremely lean and fit use this to their advantage with carb refeeds.

        For me, it just makes me feel fat and groggy.

        FWIW - I think this type of water weight IS inflammation. It seems like all of my fat cells become engorged with water. My waist circumference will easily be 1-2" larger when I experience this. This seems more common in men who started out with big bellies and still struggle with that 'stubborn belly fat'.
        Last edited by otzi; 12-22-2011, 12:09 PM.

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        • #5
          Ha! Well, I guess I'm not the only one noticing weight fluctuation tied with sporadic grain consumption. I never noticed this trend before eliminating grains from my regular diet. The first time it was after eating a some of baguette. Last night it was Southern Indian cuisine, which has plenty of flat bread. Now that I think of it, I do get very thirsty after eating grains. I don't drink at all, but since alcohol consumption has a similar effect, I wonder if the mechanics are the same?
          Last edited by johnnyrandom; 12-22-2011, 01:23 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johnnyrandom View Post
            Hello everyone,

            I eat 100% primal for very long stretches of time. However, when I do eat complex carbohydrates like bread, I immediately shoot up 3-4 lb. in body weight the following day. Within 1-2 days, that weight completely disappears. I've also noticed feeling groggy and looking practically hungover. Is this from inflammation? Has anyone else had a similar experience?
            It's water and glycogen storage. Each gram of glycogen you store stores 3-4g of water. If you store 100g of glycogen, you're gaining 400-500g of weight that has nothing to do with an fat gain whatsoever. My 1,000g carb-ups would typically gain me around 10 pounds, all of which would be gone in 72 hours and usually a little more.
            Originally posted by Paleobirdy View Post
            No, its inflammation. I don't get it from just carbs. Its the bread. Eating a pile of white rice results in little to no gain, maybe a pound or so. Eating lots of bread means 6 pounds up.
            What he is speaking about is water retention, not inflammation. Inflammation doesn't cause weight gain. You see less weight gain eating white rice because it completely and totally lacks fiber, unlike most other grains. It won't result in the amount of water retention. The most extreme bloating will come from lots of fibrous carbohydrate.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              So is a "carb-up" is a technique to store more water or glycogen for an athletic event? I workout like an animal, but I don't compete, so maybe this is why I've never heard of this.

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              • #8
                From what i understand is the carb up is to replenish your glycogen stores from lifting or sprinting and so forth. Also it jacks your insulin level up for a breif bit to shuttle all the glucose + protein into your muscles for recovery. Recovery is much slower when you are counting on gluconeogenesis for full glycogen recovery. Also with the insulin it also jacks your leptin levels up to help burn more fat.

                Chocotaco did I sum that up reasonably? I know you are the king of this.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Glockin Grok View Post
                  From what i understand is the carb up is to replenish your glycogen stores from lifting or sprinting and so forth. Also it jacks your insulin level up for a breif bit to shuttle all the glucose + protein into your muscles for recovery. Recovery is much slower when you are counting on gluconeogenesis for full glycogen recovery. Also with the insulin it also jacks your leptin levels up to help burn more fat.

                  Chocotaco did I sum that up reasonably? I know you are the king of this.
                  Yes, basically.

                  Your body holds around 2,000 calories of glycogen, so that's around 500 grams. With that, you store 1500-2000 grams of water, so you're storing 2,000-2,500 grams of water and glycogen weight. People on low carb diets are chronically glycogen depleted, so it's false weight loss. Having a large carb-up can easily result in a 5 lb weight gain. If you're going from completely depleted to completely compensated, you can easily, easily gain 10-15 lbs of just water and glycogen.

                  But wait, there's more.

                  If you combine it with fiber as well, you gain even more.

                  If you combine it with fat as well, you gain even more.

                  You'll retain the least amount of water eating white rice because it's fat free and fiber free. If you use sweet potatoes, they're full of fiber so you'll blow up more. If you use oats, they're full of fiber and fat so you'll bloat even more. If you mix meat and potatoes, you'll really, really bloat. The least amount of bloat that I've seen comes from white rice and skim milk to refill your glycogen stores and keeping fat and fiber as close to zero as possible. I usually use sweet potatoes, and on massive carb-ups I'll eat fermented cornbread, but the water weight gain gets very high, very fast. It's false weight, so who cares?

                  Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I would eat around 1,400g of carbs. Come Monday when I'd do my depletion workout (which would take around 2 hours), I wouldn't drink anything beforehand and I'd have to pee for a full minute after, plus sweat. I'd dump around 3 pounds of water from the lactic acid burn. Then, I'd do my lower body for 2 hours on Tuesday and dump another 2-3 lbs. By Thursday, I'd dump all the water weight and usually around half a pound of body fat.
                  Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 12-22-2011, 02:42 PM.
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                  • #10
                    I would trust chocotaco on this as he probably knows more about this issue than anyone else on this forum.

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                    • #11
                      That's some really interesting information. I eat plenty of fruit and berries every day, so I doubt I'm chronically glycogen depleted. I certainly lose anywhere from 2-3 lb. of water after my 30-45 min. morning workout too.

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                      • #12
                        You guys still own scales?

                        Choco nailed the science on this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnnyrandom View Post
                          That's some really interesting information. I eat plenty of fruit and berries every day, so I doubt I'm chronically glycogen depleted. I certainly lose anywhere from 2-3 lb. of water after my 30-45 min. morning workout too.
                          Like 300g of carbs worth a day? Because that's what the average American is eating a day to stay fully compensated, and they're getting it mostly from sugar and starch, plus they're sedentary. If you're eating 150g of fruit and fibrous vegetables a day, that may seem high in terms of the Primal Blueprint, but that's a very low carb diet vs the SAD. PLUS, if you're active and exercising Primally - lifting heavy things and doing low level cardio - you are constantly burning through your glycogen. I'm assuming you're not sitting on the couch all day eating potatoes and bananas.
                          Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                          • #14
                            I had two pear ciders the other day and shot up about half a kilo on the scales the next day. The following day the scales were a kilo lower (so I still lost weight overall, but that retained that water/bloating was really noticable)
                            Believe and achieve.

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                            • #15
                              I've never added up the grams of carbs I eat... On any given day I eat (roughly) 1 cup of blueberries, a banana, 2 apples, 1/2 cup raspberries, 4 kiwi, sometimes and orange or two. I'm mixing these up in a bowl with lots of walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc. I'm probably burning right through all of this since I do a lot of mountain biking, rock climbing, tree climbing, trail running, lifting heavy things, pull-ups, push-ups... I almost never worry about what I'm eating as long as it's organic and none of it is man-made. I get plenty of good fats, eat mostly meat and salads followed by fruits and nuts. On the starting question, I was initially baffled by the temporary weight shift caused by bread. I probably never noticed this before going primal since it was a staple food in my past. Thanks to everyone for being so thorough answering my questions!

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