T Nation

Maintain/Gain Weight On Low Carb


So this is odd, when I tried out a low-carb diet I found that after 2 weeks my weight had actually gone up a couple of pounds.

Yes, I did alter my calorie level to be far below maintenance. The interesting part is that then I switched to a 40/30/30 macro plan, raised my calories by 200, and the weight started dropping.

This contradicts everything I've read about low carb diets. I dropped my carbs to 5% of my calories, and I had no "quick water loss" or anything of the sort. According to bodyfat caliper tests done before and after, I actually gained a bit of muscle with it despite being hypocaloric. So can anyone tell me what's up with my experience?

The body is a funny thing.


If you went "far below maintenance" you were likely starving yourself. This does tend to induce weight gain, oddly enough. Once you raised your calories you were likely in the right zone to actually lose fat.

I'm not sure any of it had to to do with your macros.


Not really that far below, I maintain at 4k, and I dropped to 3100.


I'm really curious about this too. Especially now with all the AD hype when I start to feel that I'm gaining fat I tend to try to cut back carbs. I'm sitting at about 10% bf and that is up from before. I have been trying to gain lean mass.

I just eat 1 scoop of Surge and 1 serving of raspberries and lots of veggies each training day, other days just the raspberries and veggies. I took out the oats I used to have. Yet recently I've been eating less - about 2-300 less each day and STILL gaining MUCH faster than I used to be. I almost wonder if my metabolism is slowing from not enough carbs?

Anyone else have experiences with this?


2 weeks on the AD is not nearly long enough to even begin to determine what effect it's having on you beyond the transitory.


10% is very low for a female. Trying to pick up some muscle in that neighborhood may be rough.


Well, I seem to be picking up fat and muscle. Do you think this is just reality? I keep feeling like it's my fault for not doing enough or for eating the wrong macros, the wrong time, SOMETHING.


No, I do not think you are doing anything wrong. We can at least discuss whether SOME men can gain at 10%. For women just getting to 10% is a wrestling match, trying to build some curves from there is a recipe for the loony bin. You'll drive yourself nuts. If you want to fill yourself out you're going to soften up at least some.


Thanks. I need to hear that sometimes so I don't drive myself nuts. Still hard to accept though.


Are you eating enough fats?


I tend to get about 40-60g. a day. All my fats are generally from 6oz. of salmon, 1/4 avacado, chicken breasts (adds a few grams), eggs (1-2), 4 Flameout, and then about 10 grams from random things like adding a bit of oil to veggies, etc etc.