Can you lose fat while gaining weight? Catabolism and Inflammation.

People dieting often get really obsessive about the scale and get very frustrated or discouraged when they see even the smallest increases rather than a steady down trend. I had someone recently complaining that they have been doing this for a whole 2 weeks and they have gained 2 ounces! Well that is the end of the world now isn’t it. This is extreme obsessiveness and will only result in failure long term. You cannot be so obsessed about every little incremental change. There are reasons why these swings happen and so long as you are sticking to the plan it is very unlikely that any gain you see is fat. Here is a bit of an explanation as to what is actually happening.

 I have been speaking to my clients alot lately about the effect of inflammation on fat loss and how this shows as upticks in the scale but usually precedes a drop in weight. 

Fat loss is catabolism (breaking down of tissue). Catabolism is inflammatory. It usually comes with retention of fluid as part of the inflammatory process. When you catabolize fat it may result in the retention or buildup in fluid. This is necessary for the body to deal with the breakdown process and healing.

For some this shows up as stalled weight loss. For others it may present as a small gain in weight. The thing about physiologically normal catabolism driven inflammation is that it will go away when the process is complete and the body deems it safe to allow it to reduce. When it does, this results in a drop in scale weight.

 This is often what people are referring to when they talk about the magical “whoosh” effect. You are capable of losing fat while not losing weight and even while showing increases in weight. 

Here is an example of this from one of my actual clients:

Here are some actual notes from the Tracking app:

August 1st

“I was very swollen last night. Ankles and feet were huge. My hands feel swollen this morning. Ankles and feet less swollen today. I’m not sure why I’m retaining so much fluid this week. I didn’t change anything regarding my diet.”

August 2nd

“Still swollen”

August 3rd

“Heading off to a week long family vacation. Sucks I’m so swollen heading into this week.”

August 4th

“Peed all night. Go figure 

Weighed again at 6 pm….171.8. Been peeing all day.”

You can see the rollercoaster of emotion happening day by day but just like I explained above the “whoosh” came. It is very predictable almost. Not to the exact day it will happen but it does happen almost every time.

It is very important to keep in mind that this is not a linear process. It will never be a straight down journey. It will have ups and downs when you look at the minutia but over the long term it will be nothing but net down. Just follow the process and it will come.

Keto ON,

Coach Jack

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