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Kieran

Feeling Bloated

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Hello all,

I have been eatint paleo for four weeks now and its going great; I have lost a total of 21 pounds!

I am keeping track of my measurements and my weight/BMI however yesterday when I came to measure up I felt extremely bloated and my stomach actually looked the same size as before I lost the 21 pounds! I am again feeling bloated today.

A typical day eating wise for me is;

Breakfast - Banana

Dinner/Lunch - Fresh Salmon or other type of fish with either salad or vegetables (lettuce, tomato, cucumber or peas, sweetcorn, broccoli and cauliflower)

Tea - Chicken/Meat with vegetables.

I am trying to avoid snacks such as fruits and nuts due to weight loss.

Is there a reason I am so bloated? Its the first time in the 4 weeks but feel like a balloon!

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What weight were you when you started? Losing 4lb a week is pretty steep weight loss.

You may well just be dealing with the sharp change in your diet and it'll go down soon. If it's still bloated in a few days, consider seeing a doctor.

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Thanks for your reply;

I am 5'10 inch tall and weighed 18 stone 1 pound two weeks in I dropped down to 17.3 and continuing on two weeks later I am now 16.9.

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I will also add I am swimming at least an hour for three times a week plus walking every day with my dog.

That might be why I am losing so quickly.

Non the less, despite currently being bloated, I have never felt healthier and full of energy compared to before.

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If you are continuing to lose weight at c.5lb a week after the initial couple of weeks then your body is running at a 2500 calorie a day deficit and you're likely to be losing a goodly amount of muscle mass. 

 

Yes, you might get to your goal weight more quickly but you will probably look "skinny fat" when you get there (and most people don't really want that). 

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Hey Kieran! SpecialSundae up there grabbed me to come loan some Science (notice the capital :tongue: ) to what she was saying. Given im a med student, I've got some info you might find interesting:

 

5lbs a week is huge, man. Like, way beyond healthy limits. Think of it like this - 5lbs of body fat contains roughly 3555 (citation) * 5 = 17775 calories. Yes, thats right - seventeen thousand, seven hundred and seventy five calories.

 

Cutting that much energy from your body every week is very dangerous. Given theres 8560 per pound of milk chocolate , that means you're cutting roughly 17775/8560 = approx 2.4lbs of chocolate a week, or on another scale, 17.4lbs of prime, chuck eye steak a week.

 

That's a lot of cow being cut. And remember, thats just fat. Theres even more calories in the muscle you'd lose.

 

So yeah. Perhaps focus on converting that fat into rock hard, useful muscle, following a diet plan and such. And you can't make muscle without taking in food. Not just losing weight :)

 

Good luck, and welcome to NF!

 

 

 

Lupus

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Thanks for your advice however please note I am no longer losing as quick as I was. Most of my weight was lost within the first three weeks. The last week I have lost 3 pounds.

If you could see my lifestyle prior to this change you would understand why I am losing so much.

You have a very small snapshot of what I ate and how I excersize and even what age I am.

I know you are all trying to help and look out for me however I would rather make big losses and keep my motivation and become a healthy weight rather than lose very little and slip back to my old lifestyle again.

Losing muscle mass is not of a concern to me. I have to hit 30 BMI or less within a short time period. Once this is achieved I will then look to working on muscles.

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Losing muscle mass should always be a concern, because it's a bitch to build it and much easier to preserve it. A sufficient protein-intake (1g per lbs of lean bodymass, i. E. bodyweight minus bodyfat) and heavy lifting is pretty much all that's required to maintain a good amount of the muscle you currently have. If you are not strength training: 1) a sufficient protein intake is just as if not more important, 2) you really should do some form of strength training.

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Unfortunately a life changing goal (not health related) is more important to me than muscle mass.

My weight and weight loss aside does anybody actually have any advice about what I was originally seeking?

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Is that goal some sort of test (work/career related) that you need to be under a BMI of 30 for in order to pass/qualify? If so, there's a lot more you could do to help with that.

 

Broccoli and Cauliflower (as well as kale, cabbage, legumes in general) tend to cause gas, sometimes a whole lot of it, so it might contribute to bloating as well, but usually, bloating is associated either with dairy (digestive issues) or a very carb-heavy diet (digestive issues, water retention) as well as sodium heavy diets (even more water retention), all of which shouldn't play a big role if you are paleo. Eating too fast could be a reason if that applies, artificial sweeteners and chewing too much gum can also create bloating.

 

I'd just switch around some vegetables and see whether you react better or worse to some. I for instance have big problems with white onions, but much less of a problem with spring onions, garlic and sometimes red onions. My stomach hates chickpeas, lentils and broccoli, but deals with eggs, moderate amounts of dairy and wheat just fine. Everybody's different.

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When I did paleo, I ate a large amount of protein. With a lower carb/higher protein diet, you'll lose water at a pretty ridiculous rate (So many here seem to forget that and will chastise you for "losing too much, too fast") My guess is that you haven't been replacing the water you lose. When eating higher protein, you're going to need more water or the meat will sit on your stomach, undigested. Throw some high fiber veggies on top of that and you have a recipe for bloat. The same can be happening if you aren't eating enough, period. Your body could go through extra water trying to catabolize your own muscles and fat.

 

I'd suggest trying to eat closer to maintenance and burn extra calories through activity. That will spare muscle and you should lose mostly fat.

Eat some nuts and fruits for the minerals that you're losing with all that water.

Also, just drink more water. I believe that alone will help with the bloat.

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Kieran - fair enough, as long as you don't slip into that "ermagerd must lose weight!!!1!!11" mindset that infect others :tongue: Well done for the losing, and keep up with it!

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Thank you for your advice it really is appreciated. I noted that during the time I was bloated I was eating a lot of broccoli.

After around two days it died down and I feel much better. Once again thanks for the advice.

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If you are continuing to lose weight at c.5lb a week after the initial couple of weeks then your body is running at a 2500 calorie a day deficit and you're likely to be losing a goodly amount of muscle mass. 

 

Yes, you might get to your goal weight more quickly but you will probably look "skinny fat" when you get there (and most people don't really want that). 

This is pretty much what I was fearing..there is another big issue with this sort of weight loss..it wreaks havoc on your organs.  Honestly, a 500 calorie/day deficit is probably the most ideal goal you should shoot for, you will still see good weight loss without putting undue strain on other parts of your body.

When you put your body into "starvation mode" by eating so little, it compensates (as noted in the above quote) by consuming muscle tissue first..it holds on to the fatty tissues for later.  If you want an idea of an extreme version of this, look at pictures of children in the more desolate parts of Africa..almost no muscle on their bodies, and bloated bellies to boot.

I'd definitely get your caloric intake back up a bit, try to eat more than 3 meals a day (6 small ones are ideal) and increase your water intake (these will both help speed up your metabolism a bit).

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As someone who deals with bloat and digestive issues, here are a few things that do help, and even prevent the bloat from getting any worse.

 

Starting off, water. If you have lost a ton of weight, you are going to need some water to keep from getting dehydrated. Water also helps to move things along in the digestive tract as well as act as a 'freeway' of sorts for nutrients to hop onto and travel throughout the body. So make sure you are drinking enough for YOUR body!

Second, how are you, digestive wise? I know this is an icky subject, and while there is no need to get into details, you may need to see if you are possibly consuming that is triggering your reaction. As you are a paleo-eating individual, I would assume that you may possibly be eating nuts or coconuts? Also, there is a theory of food combination. I don't have the time to provide enough info, and some people see no difference when it comes to these rules, but you may want to give it a shot just to see how it works. Also, adding in some good, natural fermented foods might help (salt/preservative free, please; the refrigerated section sells them, or you can search for a recipe online), as well as coconut kefir and apple cider vinegar. Warm cooked foods are easiest to digest. 

Another possibility is fiber. You are either consuming too little for 'push' things along down there, or, are consuming too much for your body to handle. Vegetables contain cellulose, which the human body cannot digest (not to say we shouldn't eat them, but because of cellulose, our body works even harder to break it down; too much can overwork your body). So you may want to cut back on fiber (DON'T eliminate) and maybe add in either more water or animal proteins.

Also, are you eating until you are stuffed? Another possibility is that you are overeating, and once again taxing your digestion. Eating to the capacity of about 75-80% fullness is often the general recommendation, and the Japanese even have a saying for this. So maybe you could try focusing on each bite (another possibility- are you chewing enough?) and eating until the aforementioned percentages. Give it a test, and remember it takes about 20 minutes for your body to signal that it is full.

The last recommendation, which is a bit tricky, as we are getting into the supplementation area here, is to take digestive enzymes and/or probiotics. With probiotics, I am more inclined to say be cautious with selecting a probiotic that works best for YOU. Because there are so many different brands out there, it is possible that the ratios of specific bacteria that could help your system or not the right fit for YOU. Also, if you are lactose intolerant, you need to be careful where you source the different strains from. Next, make sure the ingredients DO NOT contain magnesium stearate or any funky substances. Honestly, I am still looking for a probiotic that won't upset my system, so I cannot provide a clear recommendation; I am sure some paleo bloggers might be able to step in and help you out with that. Now, onto enzymes. Again, that is really tricky. Ideally, they should be used as a maintenance, until your digestion is strong enough to handle the load of food you provide it on its own without any strain. Some people transition to a cleaner diet with weak digestive fire, and need some extra help to restoke it while they continue to eat better. There are different types of enzymes, each with a specific purpose in regards to the macronutrients you ingest. Again, be wary of ingredients when selecting an enzyme. My personal recommendation would be ANY of the enzymes that are produced by The Body Ecology- I only take them at dinner, which is my heaviest meal, at the end of the day, and have noticed a decrease in bloat and irritation when taking them. Again, these should only be used temporarily or in times of emergency or travel. 

Okay, and here's the bonus thing I want to mention, because this is what has brought down the severity of my bloating (due to IBS) by a significant degree- your mind. Check in with yourself always. Your moods have a direct impact on your overall digestion, and if you are anxious, depressed, or irritable, your gut is going to stop producing enough bacteria (probiotics/enzymes) to help break down your food. Consider meditation or personal time to yourself. Learn to cut back on the stress and tension and open up enough space for growth. See what happens from there.

I wish you the best of luck on your paleo journey! Congrats on making the change and keep us up to date on any changes!

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Hey Kieran! SpecialSundae up there grabbed me to come loan some Science (notice the capital :tongue: ) to what she was saying. Given im a med student, I've got some info you might find interesting:

 

5lbs a week is huge, man. Like, way beyond healthy limits. Think of it like this - 5lbs of body fat contains roughly 3555 (citation) * 5 = 17775 calories. Yes, thats right - seventeen thousand, seven hundred and seventy five calories.

 

Cutting that much energy from your body every week is very dangerous. Given theres 8560 per pound of milk chocolate , that means you're cutting roughly 17775/8560 = approx 2.4lbs of chocolate a week, or on another scale, 17.4lbs of prime, chuck eye steak a week.

 

That's a lot of cow being cut. And remember, thats just fat. Theres even more calories in the muscle you'd lose.

 

So yeah. Perhaps focus on converting that fat into rock hard, useful muscle, following a diet plan and such. And you can't make muscle without taking in food. Not just losing weight :)

 

Good luck, and welcome to NF!

 

 

 

Lupus

Lupus, I am very much intrigued by your response and occupation. If possible, is there a chance you could lend some of your expertise over on a post I made regarding bloating/diet etc? I would very much appreciate some input by one such as yourself. 

Thanks!

 Former Vegan Considering Paleo 

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