1

votes

Incessant weight gain. I need your help.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Hello all!

Last I posted I asked about keto. I tried it for 4 Weeks and ended up gaining 5 pounds, despite my tracking of macros, calories and whatnot. I decided keto was not for me because of my Crossfit. I have moved on to try IF and have been IF-ing for about 3 weeks now...and have continued to gain weight.

Eight weeks ago I was about 152...I currently sit at 162. While I am sure a good bit of this is muscle, I have yet to drop an ounce of body fat. I am getting to the point where no matter what I do I cannot seem to drop body fat. What would you recommend I try?

I started Paleo at about 150 in May of last year. My goal is to get my body fat to around 20% (I'm about 28% now). I am 20 years old. Female. Crossfit 5ish days a week. Walk 2 miles about 5 days out of the week with my dog. Ride horses and have an active job. I can't continue to get any bigger, this is getting out of hand. I really need help.

I eat lots of protein, have adequate levels of fat, and good sources of carbohydrates. I do not eat dairy often, however I do use kerrygold butter weekly.I drink lots of water, and alcohol is usually a glass of wine or two once or twice a week...if that (occasionally I'll partake in the stereotypical college nights...but not often)

What would any of you recommend I try? Should I get my blood work done? Hormone levels tested? Any suggestions?!

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I came off the birth control last March and started eating Primally back in May...started fussing with everything (IF, LC...whatever) in September after gaining 5 lbs. I've recently moved back to eating fruit, dairy, and less fat (mimicking how I ate before birth control and Primal/Paleo when i was 138) to see if eating how I was raised (sanz grains) will help. Ive also decided to take the month off of Crossfit (hurt my back) and swim and do a short lifting session 4 days a week. Maybe this lower intensity work will help?

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Okay, I can see how that *would* be frustrating at this point. Have you tried plain ol' paleo/primal, without the "bells and whistles"? No ketosis, IF, etc--just paleo or primal with dietary supplements if needed? It could be that your body needs healing and rebalancing from that birth control. And if purposely trying to lose has been causing you to gain, maybe eating healthily without worrying about it can stabilize things again. (This goes back to the more food, less exercise, body hoarding weight idea. And note that I'm assuming you're off the birth control. If not, all bets are off!)

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on April 01, 2012
at 06:30 PM

i dont believe it is wrecked...but im getting to the point where im about to give up. i started paleo to lose the weight i gained from birth control (i went from 138 to 150) and have only gone up since i started. ive gained a good bit of muscle, but my body fat has only gone down 1%...im starting to look too big because i have so much muscle under the fat and no matter what i do i only gain weight. im frustrated as hell and look nowhere near as in shape as i really am.

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Thanks, Jenny; good point about the fat/muscle and BMI charts. Michelle, depending on your frame and which chart you use, you may be overweight by as little as three pounds! http://www.healthchecksystems.com/heightweightchart.htm It may be more like 12, and you may indeed need to lose a little. But please don't decide your health is wrecked because of 12 pounds.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 31, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Jen has a good point (and a good name)- focus less on the weight, and know that you are in a good range for your BF. I would focus on gaining muscle if you want to look different, which will probably result in weight gain. Don't look at the BMI charts EVER if you exercise, they count muscle and fat as the same thing and will result in super distorted categorizations the better shape you are in.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 31, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Hey Jen! Thanks for your input....I'm 5'6" so 162 is considered overweight I believe.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Once a month I may go "out", stay up later, and have a few more drinks than usual (wine or vodka/soda water)....I am a full time student, I have a part time job, I sleep generally well. Usually 7 or 8 hours at the minimum. I was on birth control from Sept 2010 - March 2011 and my first stint of weight gain happened here (138 to 150)...so I want to say that may have originally messed up my hormones.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:06 PM

@MeepsIsWellfed thanks for those references! i didnt know there was a paleo physicians network

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on March 30, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Have you talked to a nutritionist? There are some really nice folks on the Robb Wolf site that can probably help you. Or check the Paleo Physicians network. I think Paleo dieticians and nutritionists are listed there as well as MDs. Best of luck Michelle.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 30, 2012
at 06:05 PM

And lastly, I would make sure you get AT LEAST 8 hrs of sleep if your schedule allows it. Give that a solid try for a couple weeks and see how it goes. Maybe only have the wine on rest days?

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 30, 2012
at 06:05 PM

I wanna say that isn't enough calories in general (simply eyeballing here, don't know your specific cal intake) let alone with that workout schedule. Speaking form my own experience, were I in your position, I would limit Crossfit to 2-3x per week, dial back the fats and up the carbs on those days. Then, on the other days, emphasize meats, veggies, and get some quality fats, but gauge it based on how you are feleing. Get some good walks in on those days.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:58 PM

I usually cook veggies and eggs with some butter or coconut oil...

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:57 PM

Usually I'll have 3 or 4 eggs, some sliced tomato, 1/2 an avocado, and some sausage or bacon for breakfast around noon. I may or may not have a small snack in between...it may be fruit with some nut butter (apples + walnut or banana + macadamia) if I'm working out shortly thereafter. Dinner is usually a large piece of meat, green veggies or a sweet potato if I've worked out.

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6 Answers

5
6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

on March 30, 2012
at 05:44 PM

'Crossfit 5ish days a week. Walk 2 miles about 5 days out of the week with my dog. Ride horses and have an active job.'

Cortisol could be the problem. If you are over training and/or stressed, that would do it. I know if I had your program I'd be cooked!

2
328ad87928e0f5f8f9b18fc4aa46e77c

on March 31, 2012
at 10:15 AM

I have no qualification to make any recommendation but I have a different position to Todd. I agree wholeheartedly with his advocacy of 8 hours sleep, and with other comments here saying that you are doing too much exercise, but I think you may be eating too much protein too! I suggest you reduce your protein intake, especially in your last meal of the day. Excess protein converts to Insulin too so you would still be creating a high blood insulin level on that diet. I was doing this for a while when I plateau'd. I figured this out and have started to drop again now. Hope this might help.

1
76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

on March 31, 2012
at 11:00 AM

I agree with the advice to get less exercise and/or more food. If the body doesn't think it's getting enough nutrition for the amount of work it's doing, it will go into survival mode and start hoarding weight instead of letting it go.

I'd also like to point out that 25% - 28% body fat is a normal range for women of childbearing age. (Scroll about halfway down the article.) So you're not "fat," you're normal. Granted, many female athletes get down to under 20% body fat--and some get down to 10%--but many also experience loss of menstruation and other interesting health developments when they do. (Not all do, mind you; the body's amazingly complicated that way.)

Also, trying a diet for three - four weeks and then giving up is another form of yo-yo dieting, which doesn't do your body much good. You've done that at least twice now (first with the keto, and now with the IF.) While the diets you've picked so far may not have been a good fit for your activity levels, I hope you'll do a little more research on what you really need, then pick something, stick with it, and "tweak" it until it works for you.

And finally, you never mention your height? Can't tell if your current weight is really such a disaster, or if it's the high end of normal, like that body fat.

I understand that you certainly don't want to go on gaining forever; of course that would be unhealthy! And I believe some of the suggestions here will help with that. But I also hope you'll take a good long look at what "normal" is, and listen to your body to discover what it really needs.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 31, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Hey Jen! Thanks for your input....I'm 5'6" so 162 is considered overweight I believe.

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Thanks, Jenny; good point about the fat/muscle and BMI charts. Michelle, depending on your frame and which chart you use, you may be overweight by as little as three pounds! http://www.healthchecksystems.com/heightweightchart.htm It may be more like 12, and you may indeed need to lose a little. But please don't decide your health is wrecked because of 12 pounds.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 31, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Jen has a good point (and a good name)- focus less on the weight, and know that you are in a good range for your BF. I would focus on gaining muscle if you want to look different, which will probably result in weight gain. Don't look at the BMI charts EVER if you exercise, they count muscle and fat as the same thing and will result in super distorted categorizations the better shape you are in.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on April 01, 2012
at 06:30 PM

i dont believe it is wrecked...but im getting to the point where im about to give up. i started paleo to lose the weight i gained from birth control (i went from 138 to 150) and have only gone up since i started. ive gained a good bit of muscle, but my body fat has only gone down 1%...im starting to look too big because i have so much muscle under the fat and no matter what i do i only gain weight. im frustrated as hell and look nowhere near as in shape as i really am.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I came off the birth control last March and started eating Primally back in May...started fussing with everything (IF, LC...whatever) in September after gaining 5 lbs. I've recently moved back to eating fruit, dairy, and less fat (mimicking how I ate before birth control and Primal/Paleo when i was 138) to see if eating how I was raised (sanz grains) will help. Ive also decided to take the month off of Crossfit (hurt my back) and swim and do a short lifting session 4 days a week. Maybe this lower intensity work will help?

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Okay, I can see how that *would* be frustrating at this point. Have you tried plain ol' paleo/primal, without the "bells and whistles"? No ketosis, IF, etc--just paleo or primal with dietary supplements if needed? It could be that your body needs healing and rebalancing from that birth control. And if purposely trying to lose has been causing you to gain, maybe eating healthily without worrying about it can stabilize things again. (This goes back to the more food, less exercise, body hoarding weight idea. And note that I'm assuming you're off the birth control. If not, all bets are off!)

1
4815ce60a36f08fb6878bb458c249034

on March 30, 2012
at 06:07 PM

"college nights", are you also a student? Full time, part time? Sleep? You mentioned hormones, are you on any? If so, how long? My guess is that cortisol could slow your progress, but probably isn't causing the problem. Somewhat of a last option, but maybe try a food diary and count calories. It sounds like it might be time for testing as you suggested.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Once a month I may go "out", stay up later, and have a few more drinks than usual (wine or vodka/soda water)....I am a full time student, I have a part time job, I sleep generally well. Usually 7 or 8 hours at the minimum. I was on birth control from Sept 2010 - March 2011 and my first stint of weight gain happened here (138 to 150)...so I want to say that may have originally messed up my hormones.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 30, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Try and get to 2-3 meals a day. Lift 2-3 days a week. Sleep 8 hours per day. Walk as much as you want. Take 1-2 days off exercise per week.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:48 PM

Right away, it sounds like too much exercise. CrossFit 5x a week, plus an active job and horseback riding is a lot. Without carbs and with that workout schedule you're likely doing youreself a disservice.

What do your daily meals look like?

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:58 PM

I usually cook veggies and eggs with some butter or coconut oil...

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 30, 2012
at 06:05 PM

I wanna say that isn't enough calories in general (simply eyeballing here, don't know your specific cal intake) let alone with that workout schedule. Speaking form my own experience, were I in your position, I would limit Crossfit to 2-3x per week, dial back the fats and up the carbs on those days. Then, on the other days, emphasize meats, veggies, and get some quality fats, but gauge it based on how you are feleing. Get some good walks in on those days.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 30, 2012
at 06:05 PM

And lastly, I would make sure you get AT LEAST 8 hrs of sleep if your schedule allows it. Give that a solid try for a couple weeks and see how it goes. Maybe only have the wine on rest days?

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:57 PM

Usually I'll have 3 or 4 eggs, some sliced tomato, 1/2 an avocado, and some sausage or bacon for breakfast around noon. I may or may not have a small snack in between...it may be fruit with some nut butter (apples + walnut or banana + macadamia) if I'm working out shortly thereafter. Dinner is usually a large piece of meat, green veggies or a sweet potato if I've worked out.

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