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Losing weight but gaining fat?! (female aged 29)

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  • Losing weight but gaining fat?! (female aged 29)

    Hi, would really appreciate some advice.

    I've been gradually cutting my carbs from about 200g to 70-150g. I'm not eating grains anymore and have been as primal as I can. I used to eat a lot of bread and have gradually cut down over the last 6 weeks. I started losing weight when my carb intake was still above 150g, which I thought was a good thing, but the scales told me I'd lost 8lb of weight but gained 4lb of fat! I've lost another 3lb but haven't got to check my fat mass again yet. I feel so much better and have escaped the sick, intense hunger pangs I used to suffer but am concerned that I might be loosing muscle not fat-which is what a sporty friend with a great figure (who advocates plenty of carbs) suggested.

    I've never been very over-weight, I'm 6"1 and weighed 11stone 5 for years whilst eating what I wanted (lots of carbs and sugar I'm sorry to say). I put two stone on over 2 years when taking lithium, which also caused an under active thyroid. Technically I wasn't overweight (but about 2lb from being so) but I had a fat stomach and thighs and my bf was at 31.7% I came off the lithium and lost 12 pounds over 8 months from working out and accidentally when I got a stomach upset on holiday. My body fat was decreasing gradually with the weight loss and my thyroid started working again.

    I was at 12 stone 7 pounds with 27% body fat when I started cutting carbs and upping protein and fat. Over 6 weeks I lost 8lb but apparently gained fat and am now back up to 30%! I've only been off grains and under 150g carbs for about 5 days but now I don't know whether to carry on as I am, up the carbs and lower the fat or lower the carbs even more. I'm now 11stone10 pounds. I think I look slimmer but it might just be that my stomach seems smaller as it's not so bloated.

    Exercise wise I walk lots and do a work out with weights and 20mins of cardio 2-3 times a week.

  • #2
    Don't trust those scales and their guess on your fat. There is no way that you lost 8 pounds but gained 4 pounds of fat. As long as your protein is adequate, which it almost always is on primal, you will be losing mostly fat.

    And carbs and fat don't really have much of an impact on retaining muscle...its pretty much all protein.
    Last edited by jimhensen; 07-05-2012, 02:45 PM.

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    • #3
      Follow the primal blueprint lifestyle ( diet and fitness) for 6 months...then see.

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      • #4
        Scales are inaccurate for fat measurement. Even changes in hydration could change the reading.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bionicsamm View Post
          Scales are inaccurate for fat measurement. Even changes in hydration could change the reading.
          I have to agree with this. My scale reads percentages anywhere from 26% to 35% at any given time right now (even readings that are mere seconds apart). Calipers, measurements and calculators put me between 15 and 17%.
          I going to guess that you lost quite a bit of bloat from cutting carbs as well as fat. Carbs require more water retention to process, so that wouldn't surprise me at all.
          Last edited by Kakes; 07-05-2012, 02:56 PM.
          You don't have to be sick to get better.
          Female, 31 years old, 5'8"
          Primal start: 1/2/2012
          My Primal Journal
          Living, loving and learning.

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          • #6
            Yeah, don't trust the scale as far as Body Fat measurements go. They have a very wide error margin. I'd go ahead and take measurements, input those into an online Body Fat calculator of your choice, and go by that... but even those have an error margin of 3-5%.

            Your best bet is to go by how clothes fit, how you feel, and how you look. If those things are looking good for you than don't worry about the scale's number. I'd even go so far as to recommend ditching the scale for the first few months if you feel it has too tight a grip on you-I was never able to do it myself but I've heard rave reviews from people who say that it worked great for them.

            Also, congrats on the 8lb loss Your Primal journey has just started and it's only gonna get better.
            Went Primal July 25th, 2011.

            Current Age: 25

            Total Loss: 126 lbs

            Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9

            Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2

            Current Goals: Get a stronger core through Pilates and continue being as Primal as I can be.

            My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!

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            • #7
              I have found this calculator to be very close to my caliper measurements if I take very snug measurements: Army Body Fat Calculator
              You don't have to be sick to get better.
              Female, 31 years old, 5'8"
              Primal start: 1/2/2012
              My Primal Journal
              Living, loving and learning.

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              • #8
                I can't believe how many people allow themselves to be filled with so much stress and misery over stupid numbers on their scale. Remember, some software engineer programmed that thing based on a whole bunch of assumptions. I've seen the quality control on mission-critical software and it's not that great so you can imagine how much QA they do on something like a bathroom scale.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone. You were right, I tried the same fat machine today and it said I had 8lb less fat than it said last time! I've lost 13lb in about 6 weeks and I'm wondering if that's too much, too fast. Staying away from the scales probably is a good idea, I just can't do it! I'm getting bored of salads and vegetables now too, not sure I can stick with this lifestyle

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CoconutLover View Post
                    Thanks everyone. You were right, I tried the same fat machine today and it said I had 8lb less fat than it said last time! I've lost 13lb in about 6 weeks and I'm wondering if that's too much, too fast. Staying away from the scales probably is a good idea, I just can't do it! I'm getting bored of salads and vegetables now too, not sure I can stick with this lifestyle
                    Make sure you're getting plenty of variety. You don't have to eat salad every day. I like using romaine lettuce in place of a bun for burgers. Gets the leafy greens into me without eating a salad and I don't have to use a fork! Make scrambled eggs and put lots of veggies in them, you won't taste them as much. Used sliced peppers/mushrooms to dip into sunny side up eggs. Make meatballs with green peppers in them, and put them into a tomato sauce. Serve over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. The possibilities really are endless!

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, I can eat omlettes but I don't think I like eggs in other forms. I like the meatball idea, just don't get how to make spaghetti squash. I know this probably sounds thick but do you buy it as a spaghetti or buy a whole squash and somehow turn it into spaghetti yourself?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CoconutLover View Post
                        Thanks everyone. You were right, I tried the same fat machine today and it said I had 8lb less fat than it said last time! I've lost 13lb in about 6 weeks and I'm wondering if that's too much, too fast. Staying away from the scales probably is a good idea, I just can't do it! I'm getting bored of salads and vegetables now too, not sure I can stick with this lifestyle
                        Toss that scale or at the very least ignore the fat measurement part of it. I suggest doing measurements instead.

                        I've lost 23 lbs and 16 inches in 60 days. Fast? I think so, but I feel amazing and things seem to be going just fine, so no stress.

                        Agree with teach, mix it up if you're getting tired of what your eating. I have a food journal (see link below) with photo's if you're interested in seeing what I eat ...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CoconutLover View Post
                          Thanks, I can eat omlettes but I don't think I like eggs in other forms. I like the meatball idea, just don't get how to make spaghetti squash. I know this probably sounds thick but do you buy it as a spaghetti or buy a whole squash and somehow turn it into spaghetti yourself?
                          My go-to breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with fresh diced bell peppers, onions & minced garlic sauteed in bacon grease, with 3 strips of bacon (or 1 minimally processed chicken sausage, everything fried in coconut oil). Sneak those veggies into your omelets. You'll love the taste and never look back.

                          Spaghetti squash: Take 1 spaghetti squash and cut it the long way into two halves. (Butcher's knife works well for me for halving it.) Scoop out the guts. Put one half onto a microwave-safe dish and nuke on high for 8 - 10 min, depending on the size. Remove carefully - plate will be hot. Take a fork and scoop out the flesh -- which will be stringy, like spaghetti. Thus the name. Add sauce and eat!

                          I'm making meatballs tonight. Going to add grated cauliflower into the mixture and see how that comes out. Usually, it's 1 lb grass-fed beef, 1 egg, spices (lots of garlic powder, onion flakes, basil, red pepper, oregano) all mixed, shaped into balls, dumped into a pot with a bottom layer of organic marinara sauce (I love Bove's), cover, cook on med-low for 40+ min, stirring at 20 min, then every 5 after that.
                          F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                          **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                          **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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