Reasons You’re Gaining Weight on a Paleo Diet
by Court under Diet
1. You’re Eating Too Many Nuts or Too Much Nut Butter
Nuts are extremely high in calories and even though they are perfectly acceptable on a paleo diet, they can most definitely contribute to weight gain. I have had very few periods while on a paleo diet where I have gained weight, and during all of those periods I have eaten way too many nuts.
My over-indulging nut of choice is the almond. I can eat so many almonds it’s absolutely ridiculous. Unfortunately for me (and for you), one cup of almonds contains about 827 calories. A Bic Mac contains…wait for it… 540 calories. A Wendy’s Double w/ Cheese contains around 800 calories. At this point in my fitness journey I rarely eat a fatty burger but I will shamefully admit that I have eaten at least a cup of almonds about a million times.
Other nuts of course are similar in caloric density. You can definitely eat nuts on paleo, but you have to be very careful. I personally tend to lose weight more quickly if I lay off the nuts or really limit them. Nuts are better for me if I’m in a maintenance phase.
2. You’re Trying to Shove Your Unhealthy Food Choices Into Your New Paleo Lifestyle
If you really want to get the benefits of eating paleo, you shouldn’t be eating paleo pancakes for breakfast every morning. If you are, it’s evident that you’re still hanging on to your old lifestyle. On top of that, you’re losing most of the benefits you could be getting by eating omega-3 eggs and half of a grapefruit for breakfast.
Your staple meal while on a paleo diet should be meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. For example, a piece of salmon, some broccoli, some sliced fresh tomato, and a few strawberries. There’s a huge difference between that and eating paleo pizza, paleo pancakes, paleo waffles, and paleo lasagna.
All of those meals are perfectly acceptable while on paleo, but you shouldn’t act like eating them for every meal won’t make a difference. It will.
3. You’re Inhaling Sweet Potatoes and Bananas
Sweet potatoes are definitely allowed on a paleo diet. However, they are starchier than most other foods that are allowed on the diet. In other words, you shouldn’t be eating 7 bananas a day if you are eating paleo. You also shouldn’t be eating a monster plate of sweet potato fries every night. If you are, it will at best stall your weight loss and at worse, contribute to weight gain.
4. You Love Paleo Treats
Like a lot of the other foods on this list, paleo treats should be the exception. It seems that a lot of the people I talk to who have gained weight on a paleo diet are eating a lot of paleo treats. This is of course just another way of trying to shove your poor food choices into your new paleo lifestyle.
While paleo treats are a much better version of the treats you used to enjoy, they can definitely get out of hand. The frequency with which you indulge on paleo treats will make a huge difference on your body composition. On top of that, it will make a difference in your mental strength and endurance. Saying no to treats will help you to be stronger – it will create positive momentum. A part of you knows that regular-paleo-treating isn’t the best idea.
The biggest reason I would stay away from paleo treats is that they can really affect your appetite control. You can’t control your appetite if it’s in control of you.
5. You Aren’t Challenging Your Body
Your body will most often change because of stimulus or lack of stimulus. If you used to do CrossFit or Insanity four times a week and that stops, your body will change for the worse. You will lose muscle and may gain fat. The net gain/loss of weight may not go your way.
Our bodies need to be challenged. Really getting after some intense exercise stimulates hormones that help us to build muscle and incinerate fat.
Some exercises are better than others for losing weight. I would opt for high intensity options if you’re trying to lose or control your weight. The harder you train, the better your results will be.
It’s absolutely possible to gain fat on a paleo diet. But, it’s also pretty easy to lose fat while on a paleo diet as long as you avoid the pitfalls in this article. If you have any questions about your diet, feel free to drop a comment. I would love to help out however I can.
- How to Gain Weight on a Paleo Diet
- How Many Nuts are too Many on the Paleo Diet?
- Can I Get Skinny on the Paleo Diet?
- How To Increase Calories Without Gaining Weight
- Can You Eat Strawberries on a Paleo Diet?
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