When Lowering Carbs Causes Weight Gain

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The Missing Chapter of This Story: I gained weight.

 

I owe every reader of this blog an apology.

 

I have tried to share my story in a very open and honest way, but I admit that I purposefully left out one chapter. It was the chapter in which I switched from a low-carb diet to a NO carb diet and started GAINING weight. (And not just a few pounds, either.)

 

After losing about 130 pounds by following a very low carb diet for five years, I found that I had to restrict calories (basically causing me to be hungry ALL day long), exercise for two hours each day, and continuously deal with horrible carb-cravings.  All of that was to just maintain my weight loss.  I was hungry, foggy-headed, and exhausted.  I was also QUITE skinny and unhealthy looking.

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These pictures were both taken shortly before I began a zero carb diet. At 5’9”, I weighed about 135 pounds

 

At that point, my husband and I decided to start a family, but I wasn’t able to get pregnant (go figure!).  And in the Fall of 2009, I started taking infertility drugs (including Clomid), which are known to cause weight gain in women.  I didn’t get pregnant, but I definitely did get a little “fluffy.”  So, then I was childless AND felt fat, despite the fact that I had only actually gained about 10 pounds at that point.  (Obsessed much?)

 

All of that happened in fall of 2009, which is also when I started reading about a “zero carb diet”.   I found an online forum of people who had removed all carbs from their diet and reported that they no longer had carb-cravings, no longer had to workout out to lose weight, and no longer had to starve or count calories.  They simply ate from the animal kingdom and removed all “sweet” from their diets.  So, I decided to try it their way.

 

I stopped going to the gym and started eating as much high-fat meat as I wanted.  And boy, oh boy, DID I EVER EAT!!!  I had gone hungry for so long that I was STARVING.  Meat (and especially fat) tasted delicious and I just couldn’t get enough!  Looking back, I was probably eating about 4,000 calories per day.  NO LIMITS.  Just as much high-fat meat as I wanted to eat.

 

I felt amazing!  I no longer had “brain fog” and finally felt very clear-headed and alert.  My moods were even and happy.  I felt so…Zen! Giddy even!

 

After a few days of this bliss, I stepped on the scales.

 

#@$*#$&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

What???  I thought these people said I was supposed to LOSE weight!

 

I was angry.  I was just sure that I was doing something wrong.  SO, I became an active participant on their forum and began asking a LOT of questions about why this was happening to me and how I could fix it.

 

Their answer angered me even more.  They said to just keep eating meat, let my body adjust, and to be patient.

 

Clearly, they didn’t understand just how traumatic this was! I mean, my most favorite jeans no longer fit!  Panic ensued.

 

 

Learning to trust what my body said it needs…

Charles Washington, creator and moderator of the Zero Carb Forum, kept reminding me that I would not “get fat” by eating meat.  He, along with other zero-carbers repeatedly encouraged me to be patient and to continue eating until satisfied.  He seemed confident that my body would eventually respond with good health and would end up being the size that it should be.

 

Meanwhile, the scale continued to go up.

 

The zero carb community reminded me that my health was most important.  And that my “size”, shape, cravings, energy, and moods were all more meaningful than a number on a scale.  They even encouraged me to stop weighing every day. (I ignored allof this advice, of course, and continued obsessing about my weight. Old habits die hard.)

 

As I watched the scale’s numbers rise, I wanted to revert back to my former calorie-restricting, low-carb, gym-inhabiting ways!  And yet….meat tasted so good and I felt SO amazing that I continued on.

 

And, though my weight wasn’t what I wanted it to be, there were so many other benefits!  My cravings for carbs were gone! I had NO more sweet tooth.  NONE.  I had great energy and just felt GOOD.  My former low-carb plagues (leg cramps, acne, gaunt look, cravings) were completely eradicated. Plus, It was quite nice to not smelling like a gym sock every day.

 

For SIX MONTHS, I couldn’t get enough to eat.  And for SIX MONTHS, I slowly gained weight.  (Go ahead and let that sink in.  I ate NOTHING but high-fat meat and drank NOTHING but water for SIX MONTHS and still gained weight.)  According to my scales, I gained about 20 pounds.

 

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This picture was taken after I had gained weight eating a zero carb diet. I remember feeling so FAT, because the scale said I had gained about 20 pounds. Looking back, I may have been a little over-dramatic. I looked fine.

 

I almost quit.

 

I almost quit SEVERAL times, actually.

 

And then, the magic happened.

 

My out-of-control, raging appetite finally reduced.  It was like my body felt “fed,” took a sigh of relief, and then relaxed. Ahhhh…

 

I continued eating meat and drinking water until I was full, but suddenly I no longer needed 4,000 calories to feel full.  I only needed about half as much.  I still felt full and had great energy, but didn’t feel like I was starving.

 

And within about 2-3 months, the weight I had gained was completely gone!!!

 

But this time, I lost the weight without working out or starving myself.   I was quickly back to my original (pre-zero carb) weight, but didn’t look sickly or skinny any more.  I looked healthy, rested, and fit.

 

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Photo was taken in May of 2010. This was seven months after starting a zero-carb diet. I gained for the first six months and then *bam*, the weight came off!

 

Instead of spending my time counting carbs, counting calories, counting minutes on an elliptical machine, I could JUST EAT.  Peacefully, naturally, happily EAT.  No carbs, no cravings, no craziness.  Just food being used as fuel.

 

So, if you are coming to a low/no carb diet after a lifetime of restricting calories or over-exercising, yes, it is possible that your body will initially react by gaining weight.  In every case that I’ve seen over the years, this is a very temporary gain and is fixed only by continuing to eat meat until full.

 

I do ask that you forgive me for leaving this chapter out originally.  I had good reasons:  For one, I honestly don’t know if I gained weight because of the infertility drugs or because of the zero-carb diet.  I also know that I was under-weight to start with and probably NEEDED to gain some weight.  And I truly didn’t want to scare people away from this type of diet, because MOST people (by far) immediately start losing weight when they reduce their carbohydrate intake.  It just didn’t happen for me…at first.

 

Those are all good reasons to not want to share my initial struggles, but being completely honest should out-weigh them all.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

Here’s hoping he was right.

 

57 Responses

  1. Kelly, thank you for your honesty. I’m new to this blog, so lack of telling the whole story is no skin off my nose. LOL

    You are a shining example, for a ZC newbie like me. I appreciate it greatly! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the post! Very inspiring.

  3. Thanks for your honesty. I think it is very important for people starting this diet to be aware of all the possibilities. I do have one question: How long were you on the fertility drug and was your weight loss at all correlated with you discontinuing the fertility drug? Or, were you still on the fertility drug when you lost the weight? I am going to post a link to this post on my blog in your interview. http://eatmeatdrinkwater.wordpress.com

    • Hi I have just started a zero carb diet about a week ago and it too made me gain weight and made my blood sugar go up into the 100’s from where it was which was in the 80-90’s. I had been doing a ketogenic diet prior to that and losing weight while restricting calories and carbs and feeling pretty good. The zero carb makes me a bit tired though and I was wondering if the weight gain would stop, the blood sugar to regulate and my energy to return. Any help would be most appreciated. I would also like advice on which Facebook group to join. Thank you so much. 🙂

      • jamesdhogan

        Kelly’s husband James here–I’d say it’s common for any change of diet to cause blood sugar fluctuations. Consult your doctor all along the way. My personal experience is that blood sugar and energy will eventually self-regulate. Again, I’d say ask your doctor. Our facebook group is linked at the bottom and on the right column of the website! //jh

  4. We are all “crack babies” from man made and “enhanced” carbohydrates our mothers were inadvertently addicted to without knowing it. Often in addition to caffeine and nicotine and alcohol. All powerful stimulant drugs. High fat, high lactose milk got us going after we were born and shortly thereafter we began to consume man made sugars and carbohydrates ourselves. Typical of almost everybody else these last hundred years or so and more. Our stimulant addictions carrying on in full force. Some of us got fat and some of us remained thin or average or skinny but all of us are and were totally addicted. — Because of these addictions when we try to go low carb it can be very difficult, to say the least.

    It’s like a heroin addict or tobacco addict or alcohol addict trying to just “reduce” their addiction rather than quitting and going cold turkey.

    Addictions want more and more and fight us onto this roller coaster of emotions and constant cravings and withdrawals.

    Because of our addictions to these man made stimulant drugs i.e. sugar and hybrid carbohydrates, when we go cold turkey and get all the way off from them rather than “chipping” and the roller coaster ride, after detoxing fully and going fully through our withdrawals, our craving leave and we feel full and satisfied with our meat and lots of fat and water only to drink.

    Zero carbohydrates.

    It takes awhile but our true nature will then, while getting us back in balance so that we can breed and fight and run if we need to or want to, it will add or take off weight and get us back to optimum 100% health and weight and everything else like it wants us to be.

    It could not do this when we kept bombarding ourselves with these massive and continuous doses of man made sugars and carbohydrates.

    Optimal weight and health so that we can breed and fight and run and care for our young and ourselves and families.

    Natures perfection for all species.

    Only man has altered these perfections.

    So we got to fix it by realizing our addictions and breaking them.

    Cold turkey..

  5. Girl, that took guts. Your story is so moving, and the fact that you ate this way through your pregnancies was what really and truly sold me on this. I’m waaay past having any more kids, but I know what the Mom worry can do, and if you trusted it enough to make babies eating nothing but meat? Wow. Thanks for telling your story.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve been jumping on and off the low carb wagon for years, always quitting because I always gain weight due to letting my over exercised, starved body eat everything in sight. If someone had told me earlier that not everyone drops weight immediately, I might have had the patience see things through and focus on healing my body instead. Now I’m six weeks into a low carb diet, slowly heading more towards zero carb because it seems that my body wants meat and fat over vegetables and nuts. I’ve neither gained nor lost weight, but I don’t care. For the first time in my life I truly want to become healthy and give my body what it actually wants and needs, instead of focusing on weight. If I end up losing weight, that’s fine, but being free of cravings, mood swings etc is worth so much more. Thank you for your blog.

  7. You must be heaven sent. After several weeks on LCHF, I could hear the siren call of the sugar bowl. I tried to concoct a sugar free snack or dessert that was edible, much less tasty. I had finally come to the conclusion that anything even remotely sweet was a trap. Just hours after coming to a realization I needed to be rid of all “sweets” and nearly every carb I somehow found your blog. I’m all in and I hope after a lifetime of failure this time I’ll make it. Thanks for being there. God bless.

  8. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this site daily, this website is actually nice
    and the viewers are really sharing nice thoughts.

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  10. Wonderful post however ,I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?

    I’d be veryy thankful iif you could elaborate a little bit further.Cheers!

  11. Great read, thanks for sharing. I was getting a little worried there at the start, glad your story finished up ok.

  12. I’m not surprised you would gain weight on 4,000 calories a day. I worried I might gain weight at first, (because I had read other blogs of people saying they gained), but then I realized I was nowhere near the mindset of eating “anything” until I was stuffed. I have never liked feeling “full”. I just like to feel “not hungry” and then get on with it. Glad you found your sweet spot.

  13. […] less food to feel satisfied, and the extra body fat melted away.(Please see Kelly’s post When Lowering Carbs Causes Weight Gain where she explains this in detail.) So, I trusted her and kept […]

  14. When we first come down from carbs our cravings are running rampant for awhile through withdrawal.. after some time everything settles down and nature begins to take it’s course..

  15. Annemarie

    Hi..thank you so much for your journals..you are an inspiration! Could identify so much with you on your journey towards health and fitness. So grateful to have found Zero carbs on FB and it is people like you sharing your story that has taken away the fear. Only on day 4 no carbs …already amazing things are happening…Cannot thank people like you enough for sharing your life. You look wonderful and your children look adorable.
    Am looking forward to exercising less to maintain my weight….how I laughed when I read about your gym days…sounded like me!

  16. I’m so thrilled to have found this post. I have experienced the same thing over the past year. I was underweight doing LCHF (I am naturally thin) and began experiencing many side effects. Last march I gave in and let myself eat as much meat as my body wanted (averaging a pound a day) and noticed all my energy has come back since – the scale has gone up 15lbs and I was very concerned but I too find that the cravings have levelled out lately. It just took a whole year. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I’m beyond-words-excited to have come across this page!! I’ve been LC for over 3 years and lost a little over 100lbs. I became extremely ill in the Fall, however, with acute bronchitis for over 3 months–7 rounds of different antibiotics–2 kinds of inhalers–2 rounds of high dose prednisone—and ended up putting on FORTY pounds in just THREE WEEKS!! I’ve been struggling since to get back in control of my body and weight. Your experience and willingness to share feels like a lifeline today—thank you!! One question: my hair has been falling out by the handfulls, scary-falling-out—and hairloss was even a problem when I was on LC. Did you have any issues with hair loss or know of others? Has there been any difference on ZC??

    • I didn’t struggle with hairloss (On LC nor ZC), but from most people I’ve heard, any hairloss is very temporary and the hair comes right back. If it’s a concern for you, you may want to speak to your doctor. Thank you for reading! I’m excited for you! Please keep me posted!

  18. […] read Kellys article on how she gained weight on zerocarb first, before the weight come off – (here) so I am prepared that my body might does “crazy” things at first as […]

  19. I wonder why some folks like myself aren’t gorging, just eating Zero Carb to being satisfied/full and the scale isn’t coming down. I’ve read comments on the FB sites about folks only gaining or not losing despite following ZC perfectly and it worries me that I will be the same. I come from a Paleo/Low Carb background and I do feel better on ZC, but the scale has decided to inch up slowly instead of drop. I have at least 50 pounds to lose but would be happy with 20.

  20. OH MY GOODNESS Kelly, YOU have truly inspired me to go all meat now and NO carb eating..I have been struggling to lose weight and what weight I have lost is at such a slow pace and then the scale goes back up a lb and then back down..and I love this way of eating but starting today I am ALL meat , some dairy and see what happens..I think you look fantastic and when I said I got severely sick back in the 90’s I got so shaky and heart palpatations and nauseated and I thought it was from not enough CARBS and here as I look back I think like you it was DETOXING from all the sugar…wow who would have thought…I thank God I have met you and will continue to read your blog and I even got all this read before I left for my Dr appt this morning.. I am so pumped up to go all meat now and I hope I will continue to lose and get thin again so that I too can feel good about myself and that my daughter will be proud of me…I have about 50 more lbs to lose and I pray it will come off now…thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story….your story just may have saved my sanity and my life…hugs my friend…

  21. I lost 20 lbs doing LC the first time and now I am getting back to it after falling off and gaining almost all of it back 🙁 I am super interested in the NC way. I was wondering if you allow spices and herbs to flavor your meat. Or even garlic? I am not sure but I have heard there are carbs in spices like garlic powder. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • jamesdhogan

      Kelly’s husband James here… Kel has used salt and pepper to season beef before, but nothing much beyond that. Lots of off-the-shelf seasoning blends contain sugar. Be sure to read the labels! //jh

  22. I think the same thing is happening to me. I eat very low carb ketogenic. I’m going to trust you that the weight finally does come off 🙂

  23. Oh, boy. It took your body six months to level out, huh? To achieve my weight loss, then, I think I have a really tough hill to climb. Here’s why. After I read all of your posts (THANK YOU!) last week, I proposed to my husband the idea of me going ZC. His reaction? He balked, got angry actually. He recited the usual: you need variety in your diet; you’ll ruin your heart; you need NEED vegetables; you’ll just get bigger; how can you say you enjoy the Italian lifestyle if you go all-meat? It’s the land of la dolce vita, gelato, pasta, pizza, for heaven’s sake! (We dream of eventually retiring there.) We have a loving, harmonious life, but my weight-loss efforts sometimes gets in the way. I already had a hard time telling him about paleo a couple of years ago, but ZC is beyond the pale for him. He just wants me to be happy with the way I am as he is with me.

    So, we came up with a workable solution. I told him that I would go ZC Monday through Friday. On the weekends, we will drink beer or wine together, and eat plant matter (READ: vegetables), bread, pasta, what have you. He thought this was a better way. Because you just need variety! We’ll have to research some low-carb vegetables, and go easy on the breads and pastas.

    See my tough hill to climb? Because I’m doing ZC 5:2, I’m reading through lots more blogs and websites about how to achieve meaningful weight-loss in this manner. Had you ever read about anyone doing it this way and losing weight? I guess ZC at 5:2 isn’t really ZC.

    • OK, so a BIG “never mind” on researching low-carb vegetables! Lol. All because I just re-read your FAQ, I linked to the Pocket Atkins website, along with the Irish website. I should have remembered all of this from my prior readings on paleo. Duh. My husband will be happy! Harmony reigns once more! Hallelujah! 🙂

      And to answer my own question, I guess what I’m following can be termed LC.

  24. I am going to bet it was the clomid — I did 6 cycles of clomid years back and went from 130 to over 180 in that time — nothing else changed in my diet or life —

    • I feel pretty certain that the Clomid was a contributing factor to the weight-gain as well. Very frustrating!

      Kelly

  25. […] Kelly actually gained 20 lbs. during her first six months on Zero Carb. Please read her blog post When Lowering Carbs Causes Weight Gain for more […]

  26. Did she eat any cheese on her meat (hamburger, etc) or strictly just meat with salt and pepper?

    • jamesdhogan

      Kel’s husband James here–it depends. These days, Kel usually just eats burgers occasionally seasoned with salt and pepper.

  27. Alice Harrell

    I think I have just read this article for the 5th or 6th time. I am almost 4 months ZC 113 days to be exact and have not had a whole lot of success with weight loss. Right about 8 pounds is all I have lost and I am a pretty big girl. I am now 203.4 lbs. and am 5 ft 6 in. tall. My largest weight is 250ish. ( I refused to get on the scale and only did after low carbing for a few weeks. When I did I was 247) I was low carb for most of the next 5-6 years and lost 60 lbs in the 1st year. I did do some rounds of HCG losing 30-35 lbs each time I did a round but never keeping it off. So the lowest I have been since the summer of 2008 was 157. I did not keep that weight off but did get close to that weight each time I would do another round of HCG. I was on a roller coaster and didn’t know what else to do to not let myself get out of control again. I was even 2 weeks into another round of HCG when I saw your story on Facebook. It was mid-March and I again had gotten up to 226 lbs so I thought HCG was my only hope. I started ZC weighing 211 withing a week of reading your information and finding the zeroinginonhealth facebook page. So back to my fear. I am almost 4 months into ZC and the scale is not really moving. To be fair the tape measure has been really good to me. I have lost 6.5 in. in my waist alone and I measure again on day 120. I know I am rambling just a tad, but I worry that I am doing something wrong. Am I eating the right amount of food? How can I tell if I’m full? I gave up cheese this last 23 days to see if that would help the scale move and so far not at all. I do keep up with you on Facebook and you occasionally reply to things I write on there and I very much appreciate it. But, I get a lot of greif from my husband(47), son(19) and my father (73) and I really would like to be able to shut them up. 🙂 Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! – Alice

  28. Dave Andrews

    Glad I just saw this…. dropped to zero carbs for two months, stuck at 215 pounds… right where I started. …. odd though, weight not changed, yet clothes fitting better, and belt in a few notches….
    Will continue.
    Thanks to the Hogans for sharing their experience here.

  29. Thanks for your honestly! 😃 YES!! I accidentally found your article and am so glad I did! I’ve been no carb for about 3 months. Fell off for a day 3 times. (During a trip, easter, & a b-day). I lost about 6 lbs in the beginning (water weight). But have been stuck there. The 3 times I had carbs, it was a decision and not because of craving. I’ve been feeling great! No cravings, Not hungry! But still no real weight loss. Everything I read says to reduce carbs! I’m already eating No carbs! I had a 40lb loss in previous years with a “low” carb, high protien diet. 12 lbs loss in the first 5 days!! And so naturally I was thinking of trying that again, but I find it very difficult to only eat the exact amount of carbs without crossing the line and having cravings so I’m reluctant. The “NO carb” is just so much easier for me. You’ve convinced me to hold on. And no more treats on special occasions! You’ve gained a follower! 😃👍

  30. Can someone explain the science behind why you gain weight initially?? It’s freaking me out. Kelly your article took the words are it of my mouth!

  31. Hey Kelly,

    Wonderful success story. Have you read about the Minnesota Starvation experiment in which young men in WWII era were calorically underfed for 6 months? Upon refeeding they gained lots of weight, and had an insatiable appetite and hunger that took many months to resolve and caused otherwise normal young men to overshoot their original pre-weight loss bodyweights. Maybe your lifetime battle with weight also led to a similar state in which you had to eat alot initially to heal some metabolic deficit incurred through the stress of over-exercising and calorie counting. I made the connection mentally because your story and theirs were similar.

    Dan

  32. Do you ever miss vegetables or nice cold juicy fruits? Apples, oranges , watermelon, do you indulge in those ever?

    • jamesdhogan

      Kel’s husband James here–given that she hasn’t indulged in nearly a decade, I’d say not. 🙂

  33. Don’t you worry about gout?

    • jamesdhogan

      Kel’s husband James here–I do, but I’m not on a zero-carb diet. As for Kel, there haven’t been any issues thus far.

  34. Personal, mostly unimformed opinion: science is now learning about the role of gut bacteria in digestion. Humans normally have several species of bacteria according to what they usually eat; when a radical diet change, medication or surgery, or other life event (fasting for too long, pregnancy or other body changes) come along, it changes this selection of bacteria species very radically. And it can take time for the body to grow species of bacteria that will digest a different diet, or to regrow the bacteria populations that existed before. The wrong species combo will result in indigestion, gas, and other bad outcomes.

    We don’t digest our food; the gut bacteria do. This is how termites digest wood. Many “probiotic” pills claim to be helpful in enhancing “good” bacteria, but be aware that it is actually pretty difficult to enhance gut bacteria with a pill. Some species don’t regrow very well from freeze-dried status, and if the bacteria needs to be “alive”, it will need to be refrigerated before you take it, and then you have to think about whether the pill-makers actually know how many hundred thousand bacteria will be needed to establish a healthy population in the gut – or what species you in particular might need. Very tricky.

    In my personal experience, I was driven to check into this by the digestive system troubles I had when I ate waaaay too much artificial sweetener on a diet plan that encourages low-calorie eating – I think my year and a half on that killed off my normal gut bacteria, and they still haven’t recovered, even though I went to NO sweeteners, little sugar, but some complex carbs. Artificial sweeteners are the devil.

    Somewhere Dr. Charles Atkins is cheering. He wasn’t a researcher, but did a lot in the Seventies to popularize the concept that eating meat, even fatty meat, and going to less/no carbs could be a good thing for the body. I have lost weight several times on a low-carb regime, but regained it through seduction by the carb-laden culture we live in. I seldom had the strength of mind to do zero-carb for long; now I’m inspired to give it a try again!! Thank you for admitting all and speaking frankly!!!!

    • Dr Atkins name was Robert…. He wrote another book in ’99 and updated it in 2002, with a more liberal plan than his ’72 doctrine. I lost 101 lbs in 6 months using the newer plan, and my daughter lost 85 lbs in the same time frame. He is truly our hero, and we are sorry that we didn’t learn about this WOE long before we did. Better late than never, right? 🙂

  35. Thanks for this…I had the same experience after a month (loved my energy though) and will try it again! 😉

  36. Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! I came across your blog when reading different articles about fitness and lifestyle changes. I was never overweight. My inner struggle is always trying to go back to my pre-pregnancy weight and toned body I once had. At the same time, after reading your story, I have realized that I am a sugar addict! Well I kind of knew it, but didn’t want to face the fact…

    I cut all carbs from my diet on Monday. This is my 4th day and I have lost 4 pounds! I do exercise on a regular basis (I love my spinning classes at the gym!) so I don’t know if this contributed on the sudden weight loss. The changes I am experiencing so far are all positive. I have never had black coffee (with no sugar!) in my life! At first, I hated it, but I love coffee so I drank it anyway. On day two, my coffee tasted much better and now I am loving my black coffee! The amazing fact that if you don’t give sugar to your body you don’t crave it is mind blowing. I just couldn’t believe it until now. I have been eating eggs, cheese and meat (beef, chicken, turkey and pork) I am a meat and dairy lover, so I had no hesitation when starting my no carbs diet. I feel that by eliminating all the other foods I can taste the meats and dairy products (the ones with zero carbs of course) much better. That’s all I crave when I feel my body running out of fuel!

    So unlike you, I did not gain weight… I am losing weight and I feel like my body is toning up again! Another thing I am experiencing is that I am full of energy. I also drink a lot of water and it taste soo good!

    Again, thank you for sharing your story with the world. We are all shaped in different ways and sizes, but I feel that the struggle is the same for everyone. We all want to be the better version of ourselves. Your story definitely inspired me and is working for me!

  37. Did your favourite jeans fit again after losing the initially gained weight?

    I come from a similar background (calorie restricting, overexercising) am 2 months in, also gained 20 lbs and am pretty frustrated because all my nice clothes don’t fit anymore :(.

  38. Did you really eat ~4000 cal a day in the beginning or that number was just an hyperbole?

  39. This is my life right now. I’m in the middle of month #5. I’ve stayed away from the scale knowing that I would “gain”. But then I went to the doctor last week and weighed in at 12 pounds heavier than I last recorded pre-zero carb. Ugh.
    I agree that my mood, overall health is most important but I disagree that my size or weight doesn’t matter as much. Let’s stop believing that lie and telling that others the same. Our size, body comp and weight does matter and is a part of our overall health. I can’t imaging anyone making big changes and purposely being mindful for diet/exercise and being okay if the number on the scale doesn’t change. I’ve noticed a small decrease in my waist & upper body, but that’s about it. I’m holding out for another couple of months, decreasing protein intake and praying for breakthrough soon!

  40. I am in my eighties. I started on HFLC way of eating. I had IBS-D for years. I was afraid to go out of the house, for fear of an accident. After two weeks of eating high fat and protein, I had a normal digestive tract, like a young person. It is a miracle. This morning I weighed myself. I had gained five pounds. Bummer! It is because I have been eating too much fruit and artificial sweeteners. Now I will bite the bullet, and give up those carbs and sweeteners, tears come at the thought. I do have the sweet tooth.
    I feel so much better, have so much more energy, that I don’t mind the weight gain. I feel ten years younger.
    I am a person that does not really like meat that much, but baby I am getting more meat today.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  41. I have to come back and read your “weight gain” tread every few weeks. I also follow all the Losses & Gains plus the advise given on the FB page: Zeroing in on Health. It’s hard being one of those that gained; however, I know that being a dieter for so much of my life & the fact that the last diet I did was Medifast…my body has much healing to do first. Doesn’t change the fact that these extra pounds make me very self conscious even though the rest of me feels relieved to be nourished. Thank you for your blog as you & many of the other Vets have helped a 4 monther like myself.

  42. Hi Kelly, I have read and reread your story I don’t know how many times and thanks a lot for sharing. I am writing because I have started zero carb 7 months ago for 2 main reasons -lose weight and get my period back. I had been lchf for 2 years before and managed to get to 15%body fat however without constantly restricting calories I was not able to maintain it. During that time I was also on the pill because I was diagnosed with PCOS. Once I tried to get off the pill, my hormones got out of whack, not only I was gaining but I also didn’t get my period. So after 3 months waiting for it, they finally put me back on the pill. That’s when I started ZC in a search of a way to balance my hormones. Now 7 months in, i stopped taking the pills and got my first period without any medicine which is great!!! I couldn’t believe it to be honest because I had been struggling with that issue for so long. I hope this month I get it again so that I can rest assured that this issue has been solved. However, I am worried because I started gaining weight. I am up 2 sizes and I feel really bad. I often think about restricting calories but am too afraid this will impact my period. I am a short one and each kg is so visible. Most of my clothes do not fit anymore. It is really frustrating and I was wondering if this is going to continue. It has been 7 months already and I see in your case it was just 6 , not to mention that it could have been medicine induced. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong….. I do eat beef, pork, chicken, eggs, sea food and fish from time to time, rarely have cheese, coffee, water and once in a blue moon a drink ( plain gin with club soda). I am scared this weight gain will continue and I am feeling really confused and scared. Do you have any explanation to what is happening?

  43. TheManFromTaco

    The number on the scale is essentially meaningless, especially if you are engaged in strength training as any healthy adult should be doing. Muscle is quite dense.

    Pay more attention to how you actually look and how your clothes fit.

  44. Maria Fe

    Hi can you pls give me a sample of “the list” I needed to really lose weight for my wedding on November!

  45. […] Weight? – Weight generally goes down, unless people are underweight or coming from fasting and/or restricting diets. The restrictors can gain for months before the body decides to turn around and start shedding fat.  Kelly, a long time ZC vet, posted about this here. […]

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