3

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Feeling like my own worst enemy - hack my eating please?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 19, 2011 at 9:20 PM

After a year of successful paleo eating, living, breathing, etc. I have run into a bit of a issue: increased weight gain. Pre-paleo I was 115-125 lbs, and post paleo-plunge I was down to 100-107. I am 5'1, female, and pretty active. During the summer I am an ocean lifeguard and surf more than I sleep on most days. During the off season I do a p90x/insanity/cross fit type workout class and walk everywhere. During the summer I was down to about 96 lbs but at 100-101 I felt like I was at my best. I currently weigh in at 105 but want to get back to 100-95 just to get return to that feeling of being at my all time physical health.

I'm not concerned about my physical activity as I am about my eating habits because with IF, I feel like I am doing more harm than good to my body. I am bloated as heck, and generally uncomfortable with this weight gain despite eating the way I've continuously been eating since becoming paleo. Also, my body fat % has gone up despite my eating habits remaining the same. If anyone could help me in perhaps setting up an idea of how/when/what I should be eating that would be much appreciated.

  • 7.5-8 hours of sleep walk to class/workout

  • lunch is really my only meal of the day and is the biggest: 2.5/3 lbs of chicken breast/bison meat/protein etc. with a big salad of kale, romaine, cabbage. occasionally I will steam broccoli

  • -drinking a ton of water -no alcohol/sweets
    -I avoid all gluten, dairy, legumes, really unsatisfactory cuts of meat, take an occasional Cod liver supplement if I eat questionable sources of protein -Extremely disciplined without sweets..except for a bad sugar-free gum habit

5680f5060a62bb3790478473a5643afe

(290)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:58 PM

First and foremost, thank you for your kind input. My stomach is flat, toned and muscular with a good amount of definition. It is my legs, however that have put on some size and not the sort of size that comes with the territory of newly acquired muscle. I've also noticed that my face has gotten 'puffier' and my cheeks are a lot softer in pictures than in comparison to the rest of my body. In regards to hormones, I can't pinpoint an exact emotional trigger but I haven't had a period since December.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 04:16 PM

sigh. well, in any case, aspartame and friends sure as hell ain't 'paleo', and i reckon they're poison. utterly indefensible as food. anyway, chewing gum, like smoking, is for teenagers. i stand by the second half of my answer.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:12 PM

According to Sisson's review of the studies, this isn't so... http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners-insulin/

5680f5060a62bb3790478473a5643afe

(290)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:31 PM

interesting. I don't know if its the IF scheduling because similar to you, I don't try at all with it. IF came naturally for me to the point where I am used to functioning on 1 meal a day regardless of 24-40 hours in between meals.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Totally watching this one. As of late I've been having some funky weight stuff. I'm also in the same height/weight range but running heavier as I put on some significant muscle. To clarify: Are you having problems with IF? IF just came naturally - I don't try. Anyway, wondering if that could be my problem. (Though I suspect mine is extreme stress)

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9 Answers

4
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 19, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Your body needs to rest and recover from your intense workouts. You are in effect doing chronic exercise and it is playing havoc with your cortisol and digestive systems.

Also, do you track your daily food intake on http://www.fitday.com ? It sounds like you are eating too much protein and not enough fat. Protein does trigger an insulin response and you are packing that energy from the protein being converted to sugar, into your cells.

Many of us eat 75-80% fat, 15-20% protein, & less than 5% carbs.

Your body is essentially telling you that due to your level of activity, it is going to create some stored energy. And it is also telling you that if there should come a drought in food supply, you will have some stored energy as a backup. Our ancestors faced a winter drought every year, so the body stored up energy during the summer and fall to head into winter for survival. You have put your body into a constant state of summer and fall when the activity of our ancestors were the highest and it "knows" that winter can't be far off. Thus you put on pounds.

Slow down and rest your body and it will give up the excess pounds you think you need to lose.

I know SherpaMelissa here has said that she has slowed down her activity...which is short 5k runs...and she now performs much better...faster times. More exercise and training is not better.

3
2c3a4e438d71775f45e98d1334b4e8d4

(495)

on April 19, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Random thoughts:

Most likely? Feeling great and lean in the summer, putting on weight and feeling more blah in the winter... if it happens again this year, you might think about light therapy and/or vitamin D supplementation in the winter.

I wonder if that 95-100 was actually lower than your genetic "ideal weight"? Is your body trying to get you in what it thinks will be a healthier range, long-term? Have you noticed the fat settling around your midsection in particular, or is it just something you've noticed by checking the numbers?

Touchy subject, but... Could something have triggered a hormone change? Pregnancy, menopause, changed birth control, started babysitting or hanging around babies and/or pregnant women, recently fallen in love, had a breakup, anything that might trigger a zany hormone change? (And/or... was there a hormonal difference in the summer that held you in that "I feel great" ideal state?)

5680f5060a62bb3790478473a5643afe

(290)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:58 PM

First and foremost, thank you for your kind input. My stomach is flat, toned and muscular with a good amount of definition. It is my legs, however that have put on some size and not the sort of size that comes with the territory of newly acquired muscle. I've also noticed that my face has gotten 'puffier' and my cheeks are a lot softer in pictures than in comparison to the rest of my body. In regards to hormones, I can't pinpoint an exact emotional trigger but I haven't had a period since December.

3
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:36 PM

That sounds like an awful lot of physical activity. Your cortisol level may be too high as a result to drop any more fat. Have you tried reducing your amount of physical activity a bit?

Also, I would get bloated if I exercised a lot for a week or two and didn't increase my carb intake accordingly to replenish glycogen. Have you tried eating more starchy carbs like potatoes or sweet potatoes after workouts?

2
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on April 19, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Firstly you are an active young woman who is now pretty slim for you height at 105.

You need to eat something other than chicken breast or bison and salad if you want to feel better.

My suggestions based on the details you give would be:

  • Eat more meals. For example try eating smaller meals three times a day. If IF is working for you great, if it not then try something else even if you have to make yourself eat at other times.

  • Less meat. You are eating a huge amount of protein in a single meal.

  • More carbohydrate. Seriously, eat some carbs from any source, root vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, fruit etc. Give them a try.

  • More food with some fat in it. Chicken breast and bison meat tend to be quite lean sources of protein. Add some olive to your food oil or eat some coconut.

  • More variety. Maybe some eggs, oily fish, organ meats, a few nuts.

  • Eat some vegetables other than salad more often: broccoli, kale, carrots, there are lots to choose from.

  • Salad is fine with other food but does not really make a meal on its own.

  • Do you still need to be so strict about your food now? You are young and active, make you most of it.

1
C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on April 19, 2011
at 10:33 PM

I had bloating issues for awhile that turned out to be caused by too much protein, and dang chica you are eating a lot of protein! That would be my prime suspect if it were me. I cut my protein back and added in some carbs and my bloating disappeared. I know we're all different, but might be something to consider.

1
A0e3b5eeb45b7d6e5689847fbc79959a

on April 19, 2011
at 10:19 PM

chicken has a less than optimal fatty acid profile. maybe you are getting too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3.
i also agree that you are probably not getting enough fat. get some lard and maybe some virgin coconut oil and add some fat into your diet and see if that helps.

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on April 20, 2011
at 02:30 AM

One meal a day containing 2-3 POUNDS of meat, combined with tons of exercise, doesn't sound like a healthy lifestyle to me. The fat gain and other symptoms you're having is not a good sign and I bet it's related to what you eat. On the other hand, I don't think you need to focus on losing weight or staying at 101 lbs as opposed to 105. 4 lbs shouldn't be something weighing on your mind, yk? I know you're very short and 4 lbs is more like 10 on someone taller, but still. You need to focus on caring for your body and feeling a performing at your physical best. I think you could have that at 100 lbs or 115.

If I could even manage to eat what you do, I know my digestion would be in turmoil. Kale and cabbage SALAD? Raw? It's no wonder you're bloated!

Where is the fat in your diet? Only in the meat you eat? Chicken breast without skin?

I am a similar size to you and have the same activity level. I've been paleo for about a year and a half, I've found I feel and look my best eating at least 2 meals per day, 150g or so carbs, 70-100g protein, and 250g+ fat.

More variety, more fat, more carbs, less lean protein, and cook your cruciferous veggies are my recommendations. Live a little and don't push your body to the brink. You're fit and beautiful enough I am sure.

0
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:29 AM

I'm a 5'11" 175 lb male and couldn't tell you the last time I ate 3 lbs of meat in one sitting. That's not a lot, it's a freaking sh*t ton of meat. I'm not sure you are bloated, just really really full. I like three meals, but two could certainly work. One huge one might not be ideal for you.

On a completely different note, it sounds like at 5'1" and 105 you really have things together. Your diet is clean and you are active. Enjoy yourself. Relax and don't "over hack."

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:10 AM

Give up the gum, if nothing else. Even artificial sweetners cause an insulin response. Plus with all that chewing your body thinks it's meal time -- you may not be getting the full benefits of IF (a digestive break).

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:12 PM

According to Sisson's review of the studies, this isn't so... http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners-insulin/

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 04:16 PM

sigh. well, in any case, aspartame and friends sure as hell ain't 'paleo', and i reckon they're poison. utterly indefensible as food. anyway, chewing gum, like smoking, is for teenagers. i stand by the second half of my answer.

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