Scales going the wrong way

(Pennie Malone) #1

So I’ve learned a lot the last month or so about myself and my eating disorders. After a lot of reflection I started back on keto the day after Christmas and have managed to stick with it (all expect one day when stress of an emergency visit to the vets, required emergency chocolate)

I’ve been doing my best to add extra olive oil to foods and having a nut granola for breakfast to bump up my fats so I’m not under-eating. I was eating 900-1300 cal a day and struggling to stay on; now I’m eating 1500-1600 cal each day.

But to my horror the first time I weighed myself in 6 weeks I’ve put on 8lb and no change in body size.

When doing keto nearly 2 years ago I lost weight really well. 1-3lb most weeks but my intake was always up and down between 700-1600 cal a day as I was mostly winging things and eating to satiety which some days wasn’t very much.

Now I’m forcing the extra calories in than I feel I need to reach the 1500 per day (sometimes misjudging and going over to 1600) I’m putting on weight.

No sneaky carbs popping in, not too much dairy, tracking everything just two differences:

  • eating more calories
  • metformin

Should I eat to satisfaction, even if low calories, or try something else?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

It sounds like you lowered your RMR/BMR. When you do so, increasing your energy intake will almost always result in fat gain. Even eating keto. Since you’re consuming more energy than your metabolism requires, the excess gets stored. Plus, the lowered RMR/BMR messed up your hormones, so they need to recover as well. @lfod14 talks about ‘reverse dieting’ to deal with this. Maybe, he’ll show up to advise. My understanding is that you increase energy input a little, stop for awhile and let your metabolism readapt to the slight increase. So I presume you gain a little, stabilize for a while, rinse and repeat.

(Robin) #3

I have zero advice for you, just well wishes. But there are others one here who will come to the rescue. They have the knowledge. My only advice is to hang in there. I hear it takes some people much longer for keto results to kick in. But you’ll get there. Stay the course.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #4

So the horror comes from what, exactly? If your body hasn’t changed size, what is the problem?

I had been keto for about seven months in December 2017, and had lost 85 pounds at that point. I was given a pair of trousers that were just a bit too small to fit into. By December 2018, my weight was the same, but that same pair of trousers fit quite well. Obviously, I had lost even more fat, but my weight was still the same, because I had gained either more muscle or stronger bones.

I suspect that your body has probably taken advantage of the healthy diet you are now eating and either added some muscle or increased your bone density, both of which I would call very good things, regardless of the number on your scale.

Remember that we use the word ‘weight’ as a euphemism for ‘fat’, but that other things in our body besides fat have weight. Losing muscle or losing calcium out of our bones is not a good thing, even though it means losing weight. It is losing fat, that is the good thing.


Try something else! 1500-1600 is probably fine, but under 1200 no way. If you’re gaining at 1600 than clearly your metabolism isn’t keeping up, eating less only makes it worse. Are you active? Working out? When I was at my worst I had to come down to 1500 cals and pull the fat way down, I can’t loose fat if my fat is much over 85g or so. Doesn’t matter what the carbs or protein are. It takes a while and some playing around to learn what your body likes and what it doesn’t but if you have to put fat loss on hold temporarily to get your metabolic rate up… do it now! I waited too long to start repairing mine and I only made it worse for myself.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #6

I suddenly remembered a story that Dr. Phinney tells of a study he once conducted, in which a group of overweight women were put on a ketogenic diet, eaten to satiety. The average weight loss over two weeks was 14 pounds (as I recall, but the actual number is irrelevant to the story). However, one woman was frustrated and upset that she had lost only 7 pounds. So they did a scan of her body composition, and it turned out that this woman had indeed lost 14 pounds of fat, just like the others. But she had put on 7 pounds of muscle.

Dr. Phinney’s speculation, he says, was that she had probably starved herself on previous diets and had lost muscle as part of the weight loss. So her body, now given an ample amount of healthy food, had decided to rectify that problem. This illustrates why using the scale as our only marker of progress is a bad idea.

(Susan) #7

This is really interesting and I am glad that you posted it, Paul. This should be an encouragement to us all when the scale doesn’t move for a while. Thanks =).


Sounds like you are eating healthy. Wait it out.

(Jeff Gilbertson) #9

Quit adding fat.
Increase your protein.