Unexplained Weight Gain ('Veteran' Carnivore)

(Katie) #1

I am looking for advice/suggestions. I have been carnivore for at least 2 years, and the past few months only beef and coffee. 95% of the time I eat OMAD at the end of my day, usually in a 2-3 hour window, breaking it up with a 20 minute mid-prandial walk. I am a female, late twenties, very active/fit (hours at the gym mixing up weight training, CrossFit, cardio). I do Redmond Sea Salt, Nu Salt for potassium, and sometimes magnesium.

The past 6-7 months I have gained an uncomfortable amount of weight. I do not weight myself, but I am guessing at least 15 pounds, especially in the belly, love handles, and thighs. Typically I eat 1-3 pounds of meat and suet/tallow. I try to follow satiety signals, and I end up consuming a lot. The past 1.5 months I have added in a longer fast once a week, at least 45 hours once every week (skipping one day’s meal), but I have gone up to 78 hours (skipping 3 OMADs). During the day more recently I have not felt as satiated, despite my higher intake, and fasting has been a little more difficult than previously.

The following is not a ‘grass is always greener’ statement, or a statement of jealousy, but something just seems very wrong. I spend so much time at the gym, eat good quality beef, practice intermittent fasting, but I still have had this weight gain; whereas others do relatively little exercise, eat 2 meals/day, and are lean with muscles showing. For all of the work I put in, I should be stronger than my lifting numbers are, I should be leaner, and I should not feel so poorly. It just seems like I work so hard and doing practices that should not yield these results.

Other symptoms: bloat, ear ringing (Dr. Berry said that is one indicator of possible hypothyroid?), constipation (sometimes 1/week), poor energy (although I need to sleep more), feeling overall puffy/inflamed. I have poor energy, but I am not feeling super drained that makes me think it is definitely a thyroid issue; but I am not sure.

(Elizabeth ) #2

It sounds like the fasting is stressing your metabolism so when you do eat it’s going to try to hold on to those calories and all the working out is making you hungrier.

(Bob M) #3

Strength is mainly a matter of genetics. If you have good genetics, you’ll be strong; if you don’t, you won’t.

For me, I worked my butt off in the gym and got stronger. But I was never “strong”.

Also, you could be over training. Back when I was a pseudo-bodybuilder, the most common thing that happened was over training. They always over trained. Read an article by a trainer and he said the first thing he did for new clients was to have them not exercise for a week.


I’ll second this all day long! Fasting and OMAD destroyed my metabolism in pretty short time. Not opinion, had metabolic testing to confirm. Are you eating enough for your increased activity level? If not rest assured your metabolism is slowing down to compensate. Took me almost a year of reverse dieting to fix mine. Do you track your intake?

(Bob M) #5

Plenty of people do fasting and OMAD without destroying their metabolism. Done lots of fasting and some OMAD (maybe 3 times this week) and my metabolism seems fine.

What Katie’s mistake might be is to combine those with an aggressive workout schedule. She only eats within a 2-3 hour window AND does a ton of exercise AND fasts for multiple days. Do one of those, and it could be fine. Do three of them, and that might not work out.

(Bob M) #6

An example: I will workout Tuesday (home lifting to failure, full body); Thursday (home lifting, one exercise per legs/chest/back, abs; then HIIT on a bike): Saturday (abs, slightly longer HIIT on a bike). But I eat 2MAD on those days, usually 2MAD on Sunday, and OMAD Monday, Wednesday; usually 2MAD on Friday, but I might see about OMAD on Friday.

To that, about the most I would add is a 36 hour fast on Monday instead of OMAD. I would exercise on Tuesday, then eat sometime after.

If I do a longer fast, I no longer do exercise during the fast.

What she’s doing is substantially beyond that.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7



Agreed, but plenty don’t make it out the other end ok as well. Like her, I’m in the gym a couple hours a day and demand a lot from my metabolism. I think it’s also very hard for many people to even realize they have an issue if they’re not tracking their intake and eating to satiety or only eating when hungry. I did, and if it wasn’t for that and if I’d been tracking then I would have seen that I was way under eating and that eating anywhere near normal amounts of food was causing weight gain, that heads up was missed because I trusted my hunger/satiety signals to guide me while trying to put on muscle and loose fat.

(Edith) #9

Are you getting enough iodine in your diet? Low iodine can cause hypothyroid symptoms.

(Katie) #10

Thank you, and thank you @Elizedge.

I for sure am eating enough, an embarrassing amount actually, but perhaps the key here is the fasting.

(Katie) #11

Thank you I will consider this too!

(Bunny) #12

Your eating too much meat?

4 oz. or less per meal is all you really need and are not diabetic (insulin works differently w/protein) if your trying to lose body fat, what your doing right now is doing the same thing your were doing with carbohydrates i.e. storing fat?

I personally would never-ever-over-eat protein if I was/were trying to lose the body fat; why would I want to store lipid droplets?

If what your doing is not working, try it?

Same thing goes if you over-eat dietary fat in combination with protein or carbohydrates.


[1] “…In these cells, under stimulation by insulin, fatty acids are made into fat molecules and stored as fat droplets. It is also possible for fat cells to take up glucose and amino acids, which have been absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal, and convert those into fat molecules. …” …More

A little Science if you will
(Elizabeth ) #13

I lose weight when I eat about three pounds a day, maintain at two pounds.

(Vic) #14

I Listen to your posts 100%, I see many people here and elsewhere reditt and others pump up fasting and yet have to fast just to hold up maintenance stage

I started to get into fasting a lot and I started to notice this more and more

Now I will to a 16/8 or possibly 18/6 but not beyond that anymore and make sure I have some 4 or 5 days full calories every 2 weeks or or so to keep metabolism up


(Jane) #16

This is SO ME since the COVID travel restrictions.

Previously I was schlepping luggage through airports every Monday and Friday. Now I sit at home in front of my computer in a online meetings while my muscles atrophy.


totally agree that fasting is ruining you point blank.

carnivore is not forced fasted. zero carb eaters do eat a steady, natural maintained pattern of food on a daily basis…and you being longer on plan you know that in 2 years you should be ‘on a kinda very normal’ eating plan for you but when you fast way longer, your body has to ‘eat alot’ to make up for the days you did not eat…like for 2 days, a 48 hr fast and you are doing alot of working out.

go back to normal zc eating. eat every day. only what you want, when you want, no matter how much you want, do not limit/restrict/or monkey with what your body is asking. It should not take too long at all for you to go back to a normal daily eating routine, your appetite will naturally regulate for you if you just allow it to do it and stop playing in the carnivore plan…by playing I mean adding in all the fasts per week etc.

some when on plan later down the road can and do like to fast a bit but when carnivore people fast, it can awaken many problems…just like you are experiencing. But some few do well on a bit of fasting and it ‘fits their body’, I don’t think this fasting and big working out at the gym is ‘fitting you’ at all.

go back to the basics. eat when hungry each and every day, do not eat when not hungry…I know some zc’ers told me to ‘just get out of my own way’ and let things happen naturally. I did that and it works so just backtrack and let it become natural each day again and leave it alone and I bet within a month or so you should be in better shape…you might start seeing some lbs. coming off again and you will put yourself on a right track.

best of luck!!

(Katie) #18

Wow, I read this correctly? You lose weight when you eat more calories?

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #19

Depends on what you’re eating. But yeah, when you eat food that doesn’t keep you in fat-storing mode all the time, it’s possible to eat quite a bit and still shed excess fat. It worked for me, anyway.

(Elizabeth ) #20