losing weight but gaining fat

I have focused on eating nutritionally rich food and have been trying to balance my nutrients as laid out in cronometer, and meet nutritional goals. I have not been focusing on calories. I have been very successful in losing weight with this formula. I use a withing scale and have noted today that my fat is increasing as my weight is decreasing. So what should I be paying attention to nutritionally? I do not care about losing any more weight but do care about gaining fat.

Any advice would be appreciated. Cedar


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    With weight loss, there is inevitable muscle loss. I suspect that you aren't so much as gaining fat as losing skeletal muscle (i.e. a shift in muscle composition).

    The best way to counter this is through strength training. The goal should be to build muscle tissue, so the weights should be heavy enough to achieve this.

    Best of luck!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    I second the strength training, but I would add that you should adjust your macros to include more protein and perhaps reduce carbs if you haven't already.

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    thank you both for these responses they are helpful.

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    @CedarStreet I also have a body composition scale, but my focus has been opposite to yours…I don’t care about weight (much), but I am laser focused on losing (or not gaining) fat.

    From reading about fat oxidation, it appears to me so many metabolic factors (everything from insulin response to oxygen utilization) are involved that we may differ considerably as individuals.

    Nevertheless, since I have cobbled together a 14 point plan that allows me to consistently lose 3lbs of fat a week (less in total weight on my small frame) for as long as 6 weeks, I will share what I consider the main points contributing to fat loss.

    1. Of course I do need a caloric deficit. Mine varies from 200-1000 kcal off my TEE of 2200 kcal/day (this includes 50% from exercise)
    2. Daily fast of 16 hrs; breakfast and early dinner makes this easy. (Many people, probably including me, have a more exaggerated insulin response in the evening compared to morning; little or no fat is burned while insulin is elevated, so better for me to eat early in the day so insulin is low for longer.)
    3. Weekly fast of 23 hours; for me, breakfast to breakfast.
    4. Ample fiber and protein; 20-30 grams of protein before or immediately after exercise.
    5. Time resistance exercise 1-3 hours after meals to take advantage of anabolic effect of elevated insulin. (I normally do about an hour and a half of aerobic exercise, which burns calories but doesn’t do much to burn fat or build muscle. However people with higher VO2max do burn more fat, so my past aerobics is good for that)
    6. Get plenty of sleep…I use amber goggles, melatonin, GABA, glycine, 5HTP, theanine.

    These are the main elements. With a body composition scale, you should be able to see within a few days whether these elements are bringing about fat loss. For me the effect is noticeable and consistent, but your mileage may vary.

    Good luck, and for anyone trying this, let us know how this worked or you.

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    I'm weight training and vegan. It is a challenge...I've reviewed all of the vegan bodybuilders on You Tube and have become more conscious of macros at each meal. It is difficult to reach protein goals without high fat on a vegan lifestyle.

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    At 54. my metabolism is already glacially slow (~1200 cal/day) Strength training is essential in any extended weight loss campaign.

    I'm the world's biggest procrastinator, so getting to a gym on a regular basis is about as likely for me as winning back to back mega-millions lottery drawings...

    I've found a few things that help keep me on track:
    1. walk! I live in a condo perched on a hillside. getting up each morning a few minutes early, I can get in a 30 minute walk that includes about 16 flights of stairs (walking up and down the hill between parking levels) 3500 steps and almost 2 miles of distance. As a bonus almost the entire walk is in 'fat burn' / moderate heart rate or higher, and nearly half of it is actually in 'cardio' / vigorous heart rate according to my fitbit. (where else can you meet half your step count for the day, burn fat, get your daily cardio, and even qualify as a HIIT workout all in one exercise?)
    2. Get some Resistance Bands. I spent <$30 on a set of resistance bands on Amazon (plus another $45 for some heavy wall anchors, as none of my doorways are aligned appropriately for using the included door anchors that came with my bands) With resistance bands you can do just about any workout you'd be able to do with any free weight or cable exercise machine at the gym from the comfort of your own home! I'd recommend the Caliber app for strength training. The free version has great support for body weight and resistance band exercises (and lots of other equipment as well)
    3. My third Go-To activity is our pool. I like to do some 'resistance' type exercises in the pool at least 4-5 days a week. pool exercise is much less straining on the body, but you can burn as much energy as you want just by pushing your arms and legs harder/faster. doing mobility exercises, like resting squats, is much easier in the water (I can go for minutes in the pool, whereas I tap out after a few seconds out of the water)

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