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Gained 6 pounds in Week 2--HELP! :(

I started the SCD a week and half ago. I was 100% compliant for the first five days and weighed in at 110.2 lbs before my first Cheat Day. I didn't weigh myself the day after my Cheat Day (too many numbers scare me!) and also because Cheat Day was the day before my period started, so I was aware that I might be holding onto water weight as well. Well, it's in the middle of my second week, my period has ended, and I decided to step on the scale randomly and my eyes bugged out at the whopping 116.6 lbs that it read!! I don't think it's even possible for all of that to be menstrual-related water weight, so the SCD must be making me gain weight for some reason! I'm a serial dieter and was really hoping that SCD would work, but I'm feeling so discouraged right now and ready to throw in the towel and go back to my normal calorie-counting ways... which I really don't want to do, because that was definitely setting me up for an eating disorder!

Normal Day's Food:

Breakfast: two or three egg whites with 1/2 cup beans, protein from turkey sausage/smoked salmon/canned tuna, 1/2 cup cottage cheese with stevia and cinnamon if I'm still short on the 30g protein

Lunch: in the school dining hall, so I usually just pile on a plate of cooked or raw vegetables with two pieces of grilled chicken or whatever other meat is there (I read the ingredients to make sure that there is no sugar or forbidden ingredients in them, too!)

Dinner: pretty much same as lunch

Snack: organic peanut butter or cottage cheese with stevia and cinnamon, some hard-boiled eggs or beans if I've stolen some from the dining hall beforehand

Before the SCD, I was actually feeling pretty okay with my body, but right now I feel bloated, fat, disgusting, fatigued, and overall terrible. What am I doing wrong? Or is the SCD just not going to work for me? I'm so discouraged right now--any insight or advice would be really appreciated.


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After each cheat day, I gain between 8 and 10 pounds, and the weight doesn't come off until the day before or the day of my next cheat day (and I'm a guy). Fluctuations like that are normal.

The "in-moderation" foods would not have made you gain weight if you're otherwise following the diet, but they certainly wouldn't help you lose any weight. Personally, I dumped all the in-moderation foods to lose fat as fast as I can.

In addition to the food and water weight from cheat day, you might also have gained muscle, which is a very good thing; it's possible that this is another factor.

I know what weight-loss-panic mode is like, and it's not a fun place. Remember not to let the scale be the judge of how you feel. There are other ways (better ways) to track progress (total inches, body fat percentage, clothes feeling less tight).

  • Starlily commented Oct 22nd 2011:

    Thank you so much! I feel a bit more calm now after my initial weight-gain-scale-panic mode and will keep on doing the diet religiously (throwing away moderation foods, too) for a few more weeks and keep track of my measurements before I reach a conclusion. I've never had such major Cheat Days, so I guess I'm not used to such major weight fluctuations. But I'll keep at it! :)

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I echo what others have said about the 'in moderation' foods. I find that they really slow my weight loss and can even stall it. But..... take measurements!! It really helped me to see the inches going down when it seemed like the weight was coming off so slowly. And stay with it -- this is not a fast-drop method, like others I have tried. But it can be a for-good method, which is a whole lot more important to me.

By the way..... get sleep! That's when most of the fat burn happens, and not getting enough will shut it down fast. I may be a lot of years past my college days, but I can clearly remember doing a lot of short-nighters/all-nighters....

  • Starlily commented Nov 1st 2011:

    Hahah, thanks. I'm just so used to crash-dieting, and it's really frustrating not seeing instant changes, but I'll try to keep up with it. Enough sleep will obviously be good, but that's a bit harder to do with a busy college schedule...

  • Bugzy commented Nov 1st 2011:

    Crash diets just turn on the body's "starvation mode", and it will literally slow your metabolism down to a crawl and suck every spare calorie into fat storage. The minute you stop the starvation, it will shove everything into fat which is why people usually gain it all back AND MORE. Over time it blows out our leptin (and insulin) sensitivity, and puts the body into chronic starvation mode. Lack of sleep helps to create this scenario and keep it going. Just so you know.....


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Sigh, I'm in the same boat as you. I lost 2lbs after Week 2 and now two days after my cheat day in Week 3 I've put it back on. I have to remind myself that my period is due any day now, but I still feel massively discouraged because I still have 18lbs to go and now I'm paranoid I'm not getting enough protein at breakfast. Ugh. I think my fluctuating hormones (and the fact I haven't been to bed yet because I pulled an all-nighter studying...) are making me delirious with panic, but I'm going to go with the thought that it is water weight or just muscle. I've noticed the tiniest bit of difference on my arms and legs and my bra is looser, so, fingers crossed (for both of us) that it's just crappy TOTM fluctuations.


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I think one of the missing links for a lot of people/women particularly, is what our habits are going into SCD and letting your body readjust.

I was eating fairly clean coming in (now in week 9) and HAD been restricting calorie intake pretty severely (800-1200 calories per day since January) coming into SCD. However, clearly calories in-calories out had stopped working for me as I was still slowly gaining weight (up 14 lbs since this time last year). I was also having a lot of digestion issues overall.

In week 9 I've only lost 7 lbs, but have also lost 6.75". I'm currently in the clothes I wore at my original "target" weight and have learned a ton about how my body reacts to different foods and lifestyle choices.

First - no digestion issues anymore (since cutting grains even from "cheat meals" - I had previously tried cutting grains for a few weeks here and there without seeing any real results - SCD has me logging my food, my weight, my measurements and I can see the real difference in how my body reacts now). Grains add "puff" to me that can easily turn to muffin top.

Second - sleep is hugely important. My acupuncturist has been telling me all year that cortisol was likely the culprit for the unexplained weight gain with calorie cutting, but monitoring my sleep next to me weight and measurements has given me the "proof" I needed. Crazy.

Water - I have always hated drinking water, but the advice in the book, no matter how much you are drinking, drink more - especially if you are retaining water for any reason (hormonal or other) makes a huge difference.

Track your TI next to your weight and graph it. I've noticed that when I've plateaued or even gained weight (I travel a lot for work and haven't quite gotten the hang of how not to retain water when going to hot/humid Caribbean destinations - week 5 I actually went UP OVER my starting weight), the total inches continue to creep down.

Fat - don't forget to consume adequate amounts of fat in your diet. As counter-intuitive as it seemed to me, regular avocados, unsweetened coconut milk, flax seed oil, olive oil and even butter (can't remember the last time I ate butter before this diet) seems to have a very positive effect for me.

Give your body time to readjust to your new lifestyle of eating. It took my body a while to get entrenched in its old ways, so I am giving it time to readjust to the new ways. One thing is that I can't remember the last time I ate this much and it is very easy for me to fall into my old ways of thinking of just skipping meals or cutting my caloric intake to make things move. It just doesn't work (as evidenced by my last year of "starving" myself and gaining weight).

If I was going by weight alone, I'd have given up about 5 weeks ago but even though my weight has only gone down a pound over the past week or so, suddenly everyone at work is noticing how thin I look. My inches haven't even changed much over the past few weeks but my clothes are definitely fitting differently. I am trying to let go of my previous scale "measures of success" and really pay attention to my body, how much better it is looking, how much better it is feeling, etc. Also, I just feel so much better. My body likes eating a lot of protein and veggies.

Did I mention, drink TONS of water? LOL Best thing for water retention after cheat days, hormonal changes, etc.

Hang in there!


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don't feel discouraged!!! First of all- the menstruation thing can deinitely be a bummer... i gain anywhere from 2-5 lbs. on my period ( it sucks!!!) but it's water weight and it's sometimes hard to convince ourselves of that!!

Here are my thoughts 1) you said it is the middle of the second week, so perhaps you haven't taken the cheat day weight off yet- i know some people are down the next day or 48 hrs after...but if i have a hog-WILD day, it can take up to 5 days perhaps.....

2) still retaining water from your period?? it may be possible

3) As others have mentioned on here before and as HARD as it is to accept, stevia could be problematic for sure.....also the cottage cheese- definitely not ideal..... try taking out the dairy and sweetners for the next week and re-evaluate??? i know when it comes to nut butters i feel as though i need a teaspoon full or 2 every day to keep me from going bonkers, so i GET that!! lol

4) are you doing exercise?? CARDO?!?! try lowering the cardio and upping the weights! u will look more defined as well!

5) supplements??? have you tried them?I did and like them but didn't find it worth it to shell out 150$ a month or so for pills :( i can't afford that! but wish i could!! i take fish oil pills daily, and green tea pills as well..... try adding PAGG stack or at least just the fish oil and green tea???

hope some of this is helpful!!

remember you ARE beautiful, this is just a diet....people will love you no matter what your size! LOL

  • Starlily commented Oct 21st 2011:

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! It could be a combination of period water retainment and my cheat day effects, that's true... it was my first Cheat Day a couple days ago, so I literally ate until I felt SICK at night (probably not the best way to go, but I missed carbs so much during those first five days!). I also just sucked it up and threw away the almond butter that I had, because that definitely is a domino food for me... I'll try cutting down on dairy and sweeteners this coming week and seeing how it goes.

    For exercise, I'm a dancer, so I dance and do cardio/Pilates on other days. I've never really understood weight training--like free weights and kettlebells?

    And I totally wish I had the $$ for supplements, but I'm a broke college student. :(

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