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At what point does the weight gain STOP??

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism At what point does the weight gain STOP??

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    I’ve been eating the food, eating for heat, refeeding, whateveryawannacallit, for 3 1/2 months now. To give some perspective, I started at 5’3″, 122 lbs, and I’m now just over 140 lbs (2-3 clothing sizes larger). For the past month or so, my temps have stayed above 98, usually hovering right around 98.6. I’ve had plenty of other improvements, too, including having the energy to exercise again (the first 6 weeks I felt like a total sloth…no…energy…at…all). I’m doing some yoga, weight lifting twice a week, some walking or cycling once or twice a week (my temps stay high with the amt of exercise I’m doing). But, my weight keeps creeping up. I thought it had stopped, but many of the larger clothes I purchased last month are already too tight. I am down to, literally, one pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, and one pair of black capris that fit my ever-expanding butt and waist (and those have all been purchased recently). Even my workout clothes and underwear are too small and I’ve had to replace them. I don’t have the money to keep buying clothes that I’m going to grow out of!! I’m mentally okay with my body right now, because I FEEL so much better and the eating freedom (not having to worry whether or not there will be anything I “can” eat outside of my home) makes it all worth it! I whole-heartedly believe I’m doing what is best for my body. I’m just wondering…at what point does the weight gain stop? If I’m going to keep gaining, there’s no need to go buy a bunch of clothes in my current size, ya know?? But, I have NO CHOICE except to buy some things soon, especially as the weather changes here in the southern US!


    As much as I believe in Matt Stone’s approach to aid metabolism in reaching its peak, this isn’t a free ticket to gorging on junk food for eternity. It is a short term, temporary approach, a ‘boost’.

    Are you suffering from any of the same health issues prior to refedeeing? It sounds like you’ve reached your optimal peak. The weight gain will continue.

    Now that your metabolism is restored, I’d advise eating a cleaner diet. For example, something realistic and ideal would be to eliminate PUFAs, additives, chemicals, trans fats (all the stuff found in junk) etc. I’d personally eliminate refined sugar, gluten and soy.

    Another approach would be to restrict your fat intake and focus on carbs. This is easy. Don’t go too low fat and always consume saturated fats, high starch foods and fruits. It’s more of a whole, clean diet. Focus on quality and nutrients.

    Your last resort should be calorie restriction… If you are eating under your maintenance levels this will reverse your progress. Don’t panic and embark on another diet.

    The long term affects of obesity are unpleasant, dangerous and wreck your body, along with the prolonged consumption of additives, refined sugar, trans fats and other unnatural ingredients.

    I recommend you read Diet Recovery I.


    @cindy01, thank you for your response. With all due respect, I’m not gorging on junk food, nor do I believe that anyone should!! I do eat a relatively clean diet (much cleaner than the average American). I buy organic when possible, packaged foods with the least amount of additives/preservatives and trans fat (no Oreos, Doritos, “junk” ice cream, etc), no soy, very little refined sugar, but I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT eliminate gluten again. It took me long enough to re-introduce it without feeling like I was going to commit suicide by doing so, and I feel MUCH better eating wheat/gluten again after being gluten-free for almost 3 years! I do eat lower fat than I had been during the first couple months of re-feeding, though not “low fat” as defined by low-fat diet people. I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m comfortably full (not nearly stuffed), and focus on nutritious foods. I eat whole foods the majority of the time and I eat from all food groups now (I used to be gluten-/grain-free and very little dairy). I feel MUCH better eating this way!

    I’m not necessarily wanting to lose weight right now. I’m not mentally ready to count calories or macro nutrients…it would throw me back into a dieting mind-set, and I don’t know that I EVER want to go there again! Too many years of being a neurotic orthorexic!! I just wonder whether I’m still gaining because I’m not fully recovered yet or what. I don’t feel like I’m over-eating, I’m not over-exercising, I’m sleeping well…


    I think there’s a big difference between increasing your metabolism and losing fat.

    You can raise your metabolism and gain fat real fast.

    Raising your metabolism with increased calories, and trying to lose fat (not saying you’re trying to) is like trying to burn all the wood you have in a fire, then realizing adding more wood makes the fire bigger. So you keep adding more wood.

    Then you’re like… why does this wood pile keep getting bigger?

    I don’t think that the weight gain stops until you gain so much weight that you match the calories you’re eating then you stabilize. Or until you reduce calories.

    I think if you want to avoid rapid weight gain, the best strategy is probably to increase calories methodically and slowly over time. Instead of just switching gears and increasing calories by hundreds of calories literally overnight.

    mighty m

    Kristi, I”ve been reading your posts and think you’ve come SOOOO far in gaining health! Huge congrats!!!! I’d also add that your current weight is nothing “bad,” though I do understand the clothes inconvenience.

    My understanding is that weight will level off and maybe even drop slightly AFTER the body perceives that there’s absolutely no more risk of shortage AND any internal repair/rebalancing caused by the shortage is fixed. You get to that point by following hunger, even if the calorie amounts are temporarily very high. My understanding comes from what’s been written about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.


    Thank you, @mighty m! Yes, I have made good progress. And, that’s why I’m not really BOTHERED by the weight gain. Especially since I’m not “obese” at all…a size 6-8 is not unhealthy! I just seriously don’t have the funds to keep buying clothes that aren’t going to fit 2 weeks later. :-)

    Thanks for the reminders about your understanding of when weight gain will stop. I do remember reading about that now that you mention it. I had forgotten. I keep thinking I’ll go back and re-read some things since it’s been a few months and I was in a MUCH different place the first time I read Matt’s books (and others…), but I’m currently reading 3 other books that have nothing at all to do with food or health. So, finding time to re-read those things isn’t happening right now! I hope you’re also doing well, @mighty m! I see your posts often, too.


    Hi Kristi, Not sure what your background is but thought I’d share my story with you. I started refeeding in March this year after 3 years of low carb dieting made me really ill. I am 5ft4 and started at 124 lbs. My weight crept up and up and up. I found myself in the same situation as you, every couple of months the few new t-shirts, shorts, trousers I’d bought no longer fit. I don’t have the funds for many new things either so just kept purchasing the bare minimum. 6 months on and my weight has finally settled at 185 lbs (eeek!). I would imagine not everyone gains as much as I have but then again I was in a total mess. My weight gain is compounded by edema (water retention) whilst my body still tries to fix things. I believe I made things worse and added more weight a few months into refeeding as I started to feel better and got busy with my weights! Uh oh! My body did not like it at all and I became very tired and achey again. There are very good articles that explain why your body gains fat, why it’s important to eat at least 2500 (prob 3000) calories per day and why the edema happens on site. I have found the explanations really useful and help me deal with being a lot bigger than I’ve ever been. I’ve also read Matt’s diet recovery book at least 6 times and every time I read it I get something new from it or remember something that I had forgotten! I eat at least 3000 cals per day to try to repair all the damage that I did when I was in negative energy. When the body is repaired then, and only then, will the swelling (from water retention) and the weight start to go down… or so I believe. Apparently the average time for this is 18 months, so I have a way to go yet. I am just not relishing the swollen stomach that makes me look pregnant and makes it difficult for me to tie my shoe laces! Lol! Or to get clothes to fit :-( I currently have 2 jumpers, 4 t-shirts and 3 pairs of stretchy pants! Not good! Take care ;-)


    I posted about my weight gain from refeeding. Apparently the “can I get too fat” post/forum no longer exists. Am I one of the only ones that started refeeding at 220 pounds? and almost up to 300 pounds? Almost six years ago I lost 100 pounds, from 350 to 250. In my frustration of not losing beyond the 250, I went extreme low carb and found my self anxious, depressed while getting down to 220. Again I ask am I the only one that reads and or posts that was already over 220 and once was 350? Last time I posted my story it was deleted, maybe that’s a clue.


    @conchess, I read the post you’re referring to a while back. I read your post and every single response (it seemed that you had a lot of responses!), despite the fact that I’ve never weighed nearly 200 pounds (remember, I’m a petite 5’3″ female). I doubt it was intentionally deleted. I would imagine that posts only stay on the forum for a certain amount of time, then automatically delete. I dunno. You should post again since it’s been awhile and there are likely folks new to 180 here now!


    @ Kristi, I remember your reply. I’ll repost and see what comes of it. I pre-apologize for the length.

    Can I get too Fat? I’ve already been too fat. As a 36 yr old male who’s been above a 37 BMI, and a reader of 180 for less than 4 months, I’ve struggled to find similar stories to mine on 180. Maybe I haven’t found similar stories bc the vastness of the info on the site. Or maybe there aren’t a lot of stories like mine, dunno.

    My heaviest was 350 pounds in 2008. After witnessing my younger sisters weight loss, I was truly inspired to do the same. We?re mostly a heavy set family. W/ my new found inspiration I began to eat smaller portions, substituted all drinks with water and started walking nightly. Weight loss was easy then. I didn’t stop eating ?bad/junk? food, I just ate yummy foods in smaller amounts. Reached 280 pounds and plateaued. Stayed that weight for a few months before eating normally; then the weight came back with a vengeance. I couldn’t let that happen, so I joined a weight loss program w/ my bro. Upon completion of the program my weight was 250 pounds. Badass! Unfortunately, I was at least 30 pounds away from my ideal superhero weight. 220 pounds are Bruce Wayne’s and Clark Kent’s weight. That’s my superhero weight goal, corny I know, whatever.

    Juice fasts, vegetarianism, and finally low carb/anti candida diet were the diets I tried. While losing more weight something unexpected happened, I gained anxiety/panic attacks, OCD, all with a touch of depression. A clinic’s visit ended up with a diagnosis of labrynthitis, which caused vertigo in 2011, sometime after my first juice fast. Surely that’s just a correlation and not causation, right? Dunno…

    2012 passed uneventful, no weight loss, no diet, no ER visits. Took a year off from dieting; good year. However, 2013 would be the year I would finally hit my superhero weight! Plan of action: juice fast jump start and dive into a super low calorie, coupled with strength training, cardio, and even more H2O.

    Just three days into my juice fast, major headaches, vertigo type symptoms, stomachaches hit me like kryptonite affects Supes. Healing reactions? Retracing? Doc diagnosed me with OME. After hours researching books, studies, and some of the overwhelming info on the web, candida was self diagnosed… An anti-candida diet/strict ketogenic diet was the solution along w/ a mega dose of supplements. Or so I thought. Started feeling better, but only in pockets, two days here, three days there. I finally reached 225 pounds, pretty close!! yay! Almost there!! But the anxiety/panic attacks ruined my joy. Coupled with agoraphobia type symptoms, antisocial behavior (very unlike me), intrusive thoughts of all sorts. Funny how the more I pursued getting healthy, the worse I got. This was just bass ackwards.

    Read Eat for heat, Diet Recovery 2 and started refeeding slowly. I swore that my first piece of bread was going to kill me. It didn’t. My first slice of pizza would surely do it, the candida was going to love torturing me. Nothing. A bite of ice cream… Nada. I continued slowly over the first week, checking my low morning temps 95-96.2 consistently. None of my ?fear foods? were even giving me discomfort at all, infact I felt good that I could eat them again. Regulating my fluid intake is still a challenge, but I?v eaten with no fears and like a champ, eating whatever I crave and then some.

    Many people from what I’ve gathered have gained weight doing this, me too, and I’m ok with that. Well somewhat. I read about those who’ve gained and then it ?fell off?, that’s encouraging. However, I am not okay with gaining that entire hundred pounds back. Considering that while following Matt’s & YE’s advice, my anxiety/panic attacks have virtually disappeared, OCD and headaches are almost completely gone.

    Thank you sincerely for your work Matt; I never thought that yellowness or lack thereof, of my urine was so important, apparently it is.

    However, should I expect to gain all my weight back plus interest? Is it possible that I have a lower weight set point bc I forced the weight off? If so, maybe I won’t gain all the weight back. Has anyone else been as big as I was, refed, gained all their weight back and then it ?fell off?? Tapping is great tool which I use often and, I don’t mind being bigger, I’m already back at 280. Matt replied to Catie (on a thread which no longer exists on 180) saying ? really can’t imagine that you are far from peaking? Where’s my ?peak? point? I know that’s an impossible question to answer. But I’ll gladly trade anxiety/panic attacks with being bigger, but if I have to get back to 350 plus, well that’s too fat for me but maybe that’s my path, dunno.


    Someone correct me if I am wrong but here are some general principles that I learned reading Matt’s Books and Blog.

    1. You will gain weight eating to appetite until you reach your body’s setpoint.
    2. Once you reach your setpoint, your weight will be stable if you eat to appetite no matter how much food your appetite calls for.
    3. You cannot be fully healthy if you are below your setpoint while eating below your appetite because your body will make adaptations to conserve energy. Some of these adaptations reduce energy to systems in your body that are necessary for good physical, mental, and sexual health.
    4. Some people who reach their setpoint and continue eating to appetite for a long period of time will eventually start to spontaneously lose weight because their setpoint spontaneously lowers.
    5. Other people who reach their setpoint and continue eating to appetite for a long period of time will not lose weight and will forever be at that weight. But it is healthier to be at your setpoint and live with the extra weight than it is to suffer through your body’s adaptations to conserve energy while dieting the rest of your life.
    6. The only healthy way to lose weight is to lower your setpoint. Unfortunately no one on earth knows a way to lower the setpoint for a large number of people. The human body is complicated and science still has a lot to learn about how setpoint works.

    The real question that this thread addresses is what do people who have an excessively high setpoint do?


    @NYC1234, thanks for taking the time to condense the major points of Matt’s books regarding weight loss. I appreciate the reminder.

    , thanks for sharing your story here. I hope some folks read it and relate to it and you all can help each other through this good-for-health, yet scary-with-the-unknowns journey. I’m so glad to hear you’re not doing all the crazy diet stuff anymore (even though I don’t know you…I just hate hearing aobut people going to such extremes and damaging their health)!

    I *think* my weight gain has stopped. It sure would be nice if we could KNOW what our set point is! I didn’t expect mine to be this high, being that the only time I’ve weighed this much was pregnant!! That’s what was freaking me out for a while. I like hearing other peoples’ experiences…it makes me feel like I’m not alone and gives me hope. It seems like reading the forums here that people stop posting or commenting or even coming to 180DH once they’ve made progress.

    I have spent a lot of time over at GoKaleo lately and joined her “Eating the Food” Facebook page. I finally (using links she provides to calculators she feels are most accurate) calculated my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) recently and have been tracking my calories to make sure I’m eating ENOUGH. I’ve HATED tracking calories in the past when I’ve been limited to 1800 or 1400 or some other absurd number. But, I’ve found it helpful now that I know I need much more than that. I don’t know if I’ve lost lbs on the scale because I haven’t set foot on it for a couple weeks, but I FEEL like I’m trimming down some and recovering from exercise well.

    , maybe check out the Eating the Food FB page and see if there are people over there who can relate to your story. Once on the page, you can post and people start commenting almost immediately. Many of them follow Matt’s work, Go Kaleo, and YourEatopia (which I haven’t looked into).


    For what I understood, after the weight gain stops at set point, there are high possibilities weight loss begins. Then, following your own instinct I guess that with high and stable metabolism we begin to eat the right amount of food and to move more, and naturally the weight loss begins. Then the craving for certain food (like heavy or very caloric food) decrease and naturally we tend to have a more large spectrum of foods.

    Human Torch

    I’m 10 weeks into RRARF and have gained 19 lbs, (from 188-209). I’m a 6’0 male. I haven’t been able to work out too much because my adrenals were too weak and long workouts cause my temps to drop. I’ve been doing 15 minute workouts, lifting sub-failure, (to spare adrenals) with medium weights. With the anabolic nature of RRARF put 1″ on my arms and 2″ on my thighs. I’d guess that more than half of my weight gain is muscle. This is the easiest muscle I’ve ever gained! What I’m getting at is I think it’s important during the refeed to gain as much muscle as possible while monitoring your temps to make sure you’re training the right amount for your recovery ability as you heal. I’ve read each pound of muscle needs approx 25 calories a day just to maintain it’s existence. I’ve also read that the body uses stored fat to repair muscle damage from workouts. Personally I don’t really want to be over 200 lbs but if I have to go there then it’s going to be as muscular as possible.


    I was around a 32 BMI at my heaviest weight, which was obese by medical standards, and now I around 28, and still losing. I gained weight because of eating too much–simple as that–and I am now losing weight because of diet and exercise.

    I felt better for a while I was overfeeding, having had health problems for the last decade or so, but I also developed new problems, such as shortness of breath, increased blood pressure, and lethargy. I also started to look fat. I wouldn’t have stood out in a crowd of my peers (American, 33), but the fact remains that my “beer belly” was not sexy.

    At first I tried to lose weight by manipulating macros, but neither a low-fat nor a low-carb diet was successful, since each left me with cravings. I also didn’t lose much weight on the low fat diet, and I felt sick and fatigued on the low calorie diet.

    I decided to try a more conventional approach. I simply cut calories while increasing exercise. I aim for a decent amount of protein a day (at least 100 grams), and then eat any combination of fat and carbs I desire to complete my calorie goal. I’m not exact, but I generally aim for a daily deficit of 500-1000 (based on a BMR of just over 2,500). I also run and lift weights, and allot 500 extra calories for a run, but no extra calories for weights. This encourages me to run on those nights that I want pizza for dinner!

    Predictably, all the problems I picked up being overweight are disappearing. My blood pressure has dropped, I have more energy, and I’m breathing better. Even my chronic problems are being helped, which I attribute to the regular cardiovascular exercise. My stamina is increasing, and I’m also gaining strength on my lifts, even while I am losing weight. I still have to be careful not to push myself too hard physically, because I occasionally overdo it and have to take a day or two off, but aside from the occasional day of overtraining, I am not wearing myself down by cutting calories and increasing activity. In general, I am sensitive to stress, and this program is not physically stressful for me.

    For the most apart, it seems the conventional approach to weight loss and physical fitness is accurate. I do not believe it is possible to reach a goal weight (and achieve a desired physique), except through diet and exercise. Calories in, calories out. I know this is anathema to many posters here, but I really don’t think there is much more to it. I have over-thought the issue in the past, trying all sorts of gimmicks to improve my health, but nothing has been more successful than what I am doing now.

    Where I still agree with the 180 philosophy is that I don’t think it matters what you eat to achieve your caloric goal–and I prefer refined foods to “health” foods. As long as I get a least 100 grams of protein a day, I’m perfectly happy to eat pasta and white bread, drink soda and beer, or even eat a McDonald’s extra value meal. I just count the calories and make sure I meet my daily goal: a 500-1000 calorie deficit. That might seem extreme to some people, but it’s working out for me.

    I’d much rather eat more everyday, so I hope to continue building my aerobic endurance until I can run long enough to burn 1,000 calories a day (basically an hour run). I’m not there yet, but in just a few months I’ve made amazing progress. When I started, I would lose my breath running a quarter mile, and my knees were constantly in pain, but yesterday I ran a 5k in less than 30 minutes. I have accomplished this, while losing weight, gaining strength, and having better energy through the day, by adopting a simple calories in, calories out mentality.

    In response to the OP, I also had problems with clothes not fitting after I gained weight. I didn’t want to spend much money, so I went out and bought one pair of jeans and a bunch of t-shirts, and I wore basically nothing else until I had lost enough to start fitting into my old clothes. I still can’t fit into everything, but every couple of weeks it seems like I can add something back into my wardrobe (which is good, because I didn’t want to rely on nothing but t-shirts all winter!).

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