8

votes

Gaining weight...how to lose it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 08, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I have been reading everything I can on this forum trying to find the answer to this question, but I'm still struggling. I was hoping someone here can help me. I am 25 years old and weigh about 165 (probably a little more but I'm scared to weigh myself because my clothes are so tight). I am 5'7" and feel really good at about 140-145 pounds. I am a former division 1 athlete, but when I quit I got up to 185. I started running a couple years ago and got down to 155 last April, but when I started marathon training, I got back up to 165. My waist measurement has increased from 29" to 31" in this time. Since the marathon in November, I switched to Crossfit 3 times a week and maybe one more sprinting or strength workout on my own.

I started Paleo in November 2011 but not 100%. I cut all dairy and gluten products completely though and haven't cheated on them since. In my first month of Paleo I abused fruits, nuts, and lara bars. I have a history of binge eating problems and the license to have these things was really dangerous for me. In the past month, I have been strict paleo while also restricting fruits and nuts (maybe one serving of each, once a week) and I don't even keep them in the house anymore. I also have a sweet potato once every couple weeks. When I do track my food, I am always under 70 grams of carbs, and usually closer to about 35g.

I feel like I've tried everything at this point- I've experimented with intermittent fasting (not eating between dinner and lunch the next day) and going very low carb. I have tried increasing my fat intake by adding ghee, animal fat, and coconut oil.

No matter what I do, I feel like I'm getting bigger (and my clothes are getting tighter-not in a good way) My body fat has definitely increased although I haven't measured it.

I'm considering trying to count calories, since I have had some success with that in the past while I was running, but I'm not sure what to shoot for. I never go over 2000 calories now and I'm gaining weight like crazy. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated- it seems the people on this site have helped a ton of people- especially the ones that get specific.

A sample day of eating:

breakfast (If I have it): cup of egg whites with 2 slices of bacon, spinach, avocado lunch: turkey chili (no beans, obviously), small green salad with olive oil and balsamic snack before cross fit: baby carrots or lunchmeat turkey dinner: flank steak, big serving of roasted brussel sprouts and mushrooms dessert: 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, occasionally with a glass of unsweetened almond milk

I have 3 glasses of dry red wine once a week (twice at the very most)

gave up coffee because I couldn't do black- just drink a couple cups of green tea daily instead

If you need any more information please ask! I really appreciate the help

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:08 PM

Every answer is trolling for the same website...

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:24 PM

-1, sorry. I don't think spam is paleo.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:08 AM

1200 is way too low! 1650-1800 is reasonable but if you're leptin sensitive then calories will adjust themselves. You may find this thread helpful http://paleohacks.com/questions/78385/where-do-the-calories-go/78418#78418

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 09, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Nope, no calorie-counting these days; now that I eat enough carbs, my body regulates just fine as long as I'm not inadvertently glutened. I do go low-ish carb on days I don't work out at all, and NEVER eat low-carb after a workout, as it deregulates my hunger for the next day or so.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 03:19 AM

That's why I like the zig-zig calories idea. For your height I think 1500 is a good place to start. Jennifer, Mark's Daily Apple success story was eating about 1500 calories and if I recall she is same height. "Based on my resting metabolism and % body fat at the time, and calculating for a 7.66/lb per month caloric deficit (which I think is the example Mark gave in the book) I was eating about 1500 calories a day. I aimed for 75 grams carbs, 75 grams protein and 100 grams fat. This worked well for me. Today, now that I am doing a lot more strength training, I eat a lot more protein." http:/

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 09, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I think you're too active to go down to 1200 a day, especially since you don't have a lot of weight to lose. Somewhere in the 1500-1800 is definitely more reasonable.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I did VLC for a little while, and gained almost 10 lbs... and fast. I do NOT do well on VLC and thrive at between 100g and 150g/day. I went to a moderate fat diet, kept the protein up, and increased carbs to fuel my exercise (lifting heavy + some running). 5 lbs of that off so far.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Just did thyroid, although my doctor would only run one panel- came back normal. Home pregnancy says negative (good thing!) Thanks for this resource- I keep getting numbers like 1200 but I'm scared that's way too low. 1650 -1800 sounds reasonable

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:35 AM

see thats the thing. no one knows what will work for you. all i know is what doesn't work for me :) still working on what does. i started by just settling into the food eliminations. then i was using FitDay for carb monitoring. it wasn't successful till i started weighing my food. the first wow response i had was implimenting the high protein early morning breakfast. although i didn't loose weight, i got a waist. i am now doing LC/IF, but i've yet to resolve sleep issues with rotating shifts and i doubt i will get great results from anything else till this style of living is changed.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:33 AM

You could try this calculator and then click the 7 days zig-zag calories: http://www.shapefit.com/calorie-intake-calculator.html# Also, get your thyroid checked and pregnancy test perhaps! P.S. I'm not at goal weight so just suggestions from me.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Blair, try those calculators. It depends as so individual. Even if the calculator says so much it may not be the right amount for you. So you are 165 pounds x 10 for fast weight loss is 1650 calories. maybe don't go higher than 1800 calories. You could also eat higher calories a couple of times per week and then Lowe the other times to end up with the same weekly calorie amount rather than eating the exact same calories each day.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Also-I'm just concerned because the way my clothes fit has dramatically changed- and if my weight can change that fast, then I need to do something about it fast. Thank you for your honest opinions, it's really helpful

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Christmas I had a little corn but stayed gluten and dairy free. Also a little bit of added sugar and GF flour and white potatoes (only on Christmas day) I think you're right about counting calories- but I'm not sure how many I should aim for, do you have any advice?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:55 PM

after looking at your site, it looks like you had a similar experience (ahh where did these love handles come from??) But it looks like you fixed it- just curious, do you track calories?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:52 PM

For the turkey, I do applegate organics- so processed but nothing crazy added to it

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I'll usually cook the veggies for my omelet in the bacon grease, and I always cook veggies for dinner in ghee or coconut oil. I think that's where the majority of my fat comes from

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:34 PM

i'm surprised you say you reach between 50-70% fat given the day of food you outlined above --- it seems like it would be much less than that.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Personally, I keep my protein stable around 100g a day, so with higher carb, I lower fat (by which I don't mean low-fat...I use plenty of butter or oil to cook and finish dishes with, just not eating coconut oil directly off the spoon)

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:00 PM

good sleep and dietary tweaks are the best place to start. Green tea and vitamin c may reduce cortisol. Also, I've been using pregnenolone supplementation, available over the counter but it is a hormone so I'd try the other things first.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:58 PM

thanks- it's great to hear from girls who have played around with carbs. I think I might try more carbs, especially on workout days. Do you think this means reducing fat/protein a bit?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:56 PM

haha of course you can! If you had to pick one experiment to start with, what would you suggest? I'll try anything for 2 weeks. Do you use fit day for calories? I don't know where I should be with that since I've heard everything from 1200-2500 for females my size.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Hmm. Now that you say that I'm not sure I'm as high as 50% fat with the above menu. Probably 30-40%.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I only do the egg whites because I actually like the taste (and eating lots of them!) I've tried adding 1-2 whole eggs and whites too to compromise recently after reading some suggestions on this site. Is there any kind of supplementation to help with cortisol?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:35 PM

I fell into that low fat trap forever so getting over low fat was tough for me. I started with easing into Paleo but I kept fat low and protein high. I just started adding fat in in the last month but it hasn't done anything to change my weight. My daily intake is between 50 and 70 percent fat usually. Weight loss in the past was on SAD while counting calories and accounting for exercise calories. When I have had success in the past, I was somewhere around 60% carbs, 30% protein, 10% fat eating all kinds of whole grains and things like tortilla chips and diet soda.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:28 PM

female- that was super important, oops!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:11 PM

male or female?

  • 927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

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10 Answers

5
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:23 PM

There will be a multitude of answers, here's my take...

  • With 3-4 high intensity workouts/week, I'd definitely increase carbs. Try one good sized serving of sweet potatoes or white rice after your workouts. The weight gain is very possibly related to excess cortisol, and going too low carb will not help things.

  • Also, you're possibly leptin resistant, at least to some degree. I'd definitely try Quilt's leptin reset. Basically eat a high protein/fat breakfast soon after rising, don't snack, and don't eat after dinner.

  • I would avoid the leangains protocol for now, the weight gain during marathon training is a sign of cortisol stuff, and the IFing is a big stress on your body.

  • And eat the whole eggs!

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I only do the egg whites because I actually like the taste (and eating lots of them!) I've tried adding 1-2 whole eggs and whites too to compromise recently after reading some suggestions on this site. Is there any kind of supplementation to help with cortisol?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:00 PM

good sleep and dietary tweaks are the best place to start. Green tea and vitamin c may reduce cortisol. Also, I've been using pregnenolone supplementation, available over the counter but it is a hormone so I'd try the other things first.

4
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:47 PM

You've tried IF, you've tried increasing fats, you've tried decreasing carbs, but have you tried increasing carbs to 100-200 g per day? Young, fit, active types both tolerate more carbs and seem to do better on a few more carbs. Continue to stay away from gluten and legumes and corn, but experiment with more sweet potatoes, tapioca, moderate fruit, and possibly potatoes and rice. I was gaining about 1/2 a pound a week when I was 30-70 g carbs per day. I feel best with a higher level of carbs almost every day (although I'll have a day each ten or so where I just naturally don't want as many carbs), but if that makes you nervous, just try one higher carb day every four and see if that doesn't help things.

Can't hurt to try for a week, and you should know by then if it's a better version of paleo for you.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Personally, I keep my protein stable around 100g a day, so with higher carb, I lower fat (by which I don't mean low-fat...I use plenty of butter or oil to cook and finish dishes with, just not eating coconut oil directly off the spoon)

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 09, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Nope, no calorie-counting these days; now that I eat enough carbs, my body regulates just fine as long as I'm not inadvertently glutened. I do go low-ish carb on days I don't work out at all, and NEVER eat low-carb after a workout, as it deregulates my hunger for the next day or so.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:58 PM

thanks- it's great to hear from girls who have played around with carbs. I think I might try more carbs, especially on workout days. Do you think this means reducing fat/protein a bit?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:55 PM

after looking at your site, it looks like you had a similar experience (ahh where did these love handles come from??) But it looks like you fixed it- just curious, do you track calories?

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I did VLC for a little while, and gained almost 10 lbs... and fast. I do NOT do well on VLC and thrive at between 100g and 150g/day. I went to a moderate fat diet, kept the protein up, and increased carbs to fuel my exercise (lifting heavy + some running). 5 lbs of that off so far.

4
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:46 PM

there are a couple of stand out points here for me. a female your age is prime for reproduction and your body will fight and quick fix weight-loss strategy because you are not excessively over-weight.

two months is not long enough to see changes; again because you are not excessively over-weight.

you will have to tweak to find what is best for you, but i would suggest a two week trial of any change. i found dietary changes easiest to monitor with FitDay and a food scale. a journal will be helpful too so you can go back and see what truly changed.

it won't be magic, but it will eventually happen. just keep it healthy.

one last question; can i have your yokes? :)

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:56 PM

haha of course you can! If you had to pick one experiment to start with, what would you suggest? I'll try anything for 2 weeks. Do you use fit day for calories? I don't know where I should be with that since I've heard everything from 1200-2500 for females my size.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:35 AM

see thats the thing. no one knows what will work for you. all i know is what doesn't work for me :) still working on what does. i started by just settling into the food eliminations. then i was using FitDay for carb monitoring. it wasn't successful till i started weighing my food. the first wow response i had was implimenting the high protein early morning breakfast. although i didn't loose weight, i got a waist. i am now doing LC/IF, but i've yet to resolve sleep issues with rotating shifts and i doubt i will get great results from anything else till this style of living is changed.

3
C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:12 AM

You started paleo Nov 2011 and experimented with so many different things in such a short time - so it was obviously not long enough to see if it actually works. What about Christmas were you 100% paleo during that time? Its only early January 2012.

Count your calories is the obvious thing for you to do.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Christmas I had a little corn but stayed gluten and dairy free. Also a little bit of added sugar and GF flour and white potatoes (only on Christmas day) I think you're right about counting calories- but I'm not sure how many I should aim for, do you have any advice?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Also-I'm just concerned because the way my clothes fit has dramatically changed- and if my weight can change that fast, then I need to do something about it fast. Thank you for your honest opinions, it's really helpful

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 09, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I think you're too active to go down to 1200 a day, especially since you don't have a lot of weight to lose. Somewhere in the 1500-1800 is definitely more reasonable.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:08 AM

1200 is way too low! 1650-1800 is reasonable but if you're leptin sensitive then calories will adjust themselves. You may find this thread helpful http://paleohacks.com/questions/78385/where-do-the-calories-go/78418#78418

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Blair, try those calculators. It depends as so individual. Even if the calculator says so much it may not be the right amount for you. So you are 165 pounds x 10 for fast weight loss is 1650 calories. maybe don't go higher than 1800 calories. You could also eat higher calories a couple of times per week and then Lowe the other times to end up with the same weekly calorie amount rather than eating the exact same calories each day.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Just did thyroid, although my doctor would only run one panel- came back normal. Home pregnancy says negative (good thing!) Thanks for this resource- I keep getting numbers like 1200 but I'm scared that's way too low. 1650 -1800 sounds reasonable

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:33 AM

You could try this calculator and then click the 7 days zig-zag calories: http://www.shapefit.com/calorie-intake-calculator.html# Also, get your thyroid checked and pregnancy test perhaps! P.S. I'm not at goal weight so just suggestions from me.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on January 09, 2012
at 03:19 AM

That's why I like the zig-zig calories idea. For your height I think 1500 is a good place to start. Jennifer, Mark's Daily Apple success story was eating about 1500 calories and if I recall she is same height. "Based on my resting metabolism and % body fat at the time, and calculating for a 7.66/lb per month caloric deficit (which I think is the example Mark gave in the book) I was eating about 1500 calories a day. I aimed for 75 grams carbs, 75 grams protein and 100 grams fat. This worked well for me. Today, now that I am doing a lot more strength training, I eat a lot more protein." http:/

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:24 PM

If you could walk and lift weights that might work better for you. Also sleep at least 7.5 hours each night.

Sounds like you are doing well on the eating. You might eat the yolks in the morning. Also more meat for lunch.

1
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on January 08, 2012
at 11:39 PM

Protein Protein and a bit more protein me thinks - esp if you are doing cross fit - try to hit 80 - 100 gms a day and make is really good quality meat - Lunch meat turkey - is that processed?? go for real cuts of meat - any reason you are not eating all the egg?? Protein should be the main part of every meal and snack - not veg ( that is if you are trying to lose weight)

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:52 PM

For the turkey, I do applegate organics- so processed but nothing crazy added to it

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:13 PM

I'm a few years older than you, but I'm 5'7" and weighed 186 at my heaviest, and I feel I look good around 140-145 or so too. I got down to 165 with just paleo eating, and shot down to 136 doing paleo + leangains in a few months. Then I did a season of triathlons training and have slowly crept up to 150 or so, but I've stayed about as lean (so I think the weight is primarily muscle, I've been lifting weights pretty regularly too).

I guess what I'm getting at is: keep at it, lift some weights, try more intermittent fasting a la http://leangains.com/

Btw I count all my calories at loseit.com.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 11, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Eat whole eggs, not egg whites. Eat poultry with the skin. Ditch the coconut flakes and almond milk. If you like coconut, buy a coconut.
Discarding yolks, drying out coconuts to make flakes and turning almonds into liquid are all processes that make foods less paleo and may be making your attempt at weightloss more difficult.

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:20 PM

If you haven't already done so, I'd experiment with changing things around every few days to see if any of the variations seem to kick-start feeling light and in fat-loss mode (based on how you feel in the fasted state each am): eat different amounts every few days--more starch, less starch; skip the avocado, eat the avocado; try eating a piece of fatty beef for breakfast just to see if it's worse or better. Etc.

I'm not a doctor or scientist so this is just an amateur hypothesis, but I agree with those who say your breakfast has a lot to do with weight loss. Where I tend to disagree with others is that I don't think it matters how long you're awake before you break your fast unless you're doing Dr Kruse's leptin reset. Then you'd follow his prescription. My "breakfast" is between 10 and noon and my other, main, meal is between 2 and 5 pm.

It can be horribly frustrating to seek the mix of foods that will encourage your body to release stored body fat. You say you've been reading on PH so you probably know that the first things to think about are sleep and stress. I'll assume you're well rested and, while frustrated with your weight, are not overloaded with stress overall because if you are you should worry about that and not about what you're eating.

Just as a base for comparison, I drink 2 mugs of coffee in the morning each of which has heavy cream and 1 tsp honey. Breakfast is 1/2 c extra-fat yogurt with fruit. My main meal is typically a whole grapefruit, a large leaf-lettuce/celery/cuke salad, then either 6-10 oz beef/chicken or about 3 cups of a bone broth stew that is very thick with meats and vegetables. I still have more body fat to lose than you, but I'm losing an inch off my waist every 3-4 weeks at that level of eating.

It might be helpful if you share some of your experiments. You're restricting heavily right now, but what other things did you try?

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:35 PM

I fell into that low fat trap forever so getting over low fat was tough for me. I started with easing into Paleo but I kept fat low and protein high. I just started adding fat in in the last month but it hasn't done anything to change my weight. My daily intake is between 50 and 70 percent fat usually. Weight loss in the past was on SAD while counting calories and accounting for exercise calories. When I have had success in the past, I was somewhere around 60% carbs, 30% protein, 10% fat eating all kinds of whole grains and things like tortilla chips and diet soda.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:34 PM

i'm surprised you say you reach between 50-70% fat given the day of food you outlined above --- it seems like it would be much less than that.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Hmm. Now that you say that I'm not sure I'm as high as 50% fat with the above menu. Probably 30-40%.

927996361c0aea551cae99e9b61bd479

(40)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I'll usually cook the veggies for my omelet in the bacon grease, and I always cook veggies for dinner in ghee or coconut oil. I think that's where the majority of my fat comes from

-1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:16 AM

as you are following Paleo diet just give it a time. stick to the plan and it will work for you. though many people consider it a tough diet to follow but if you can manage the starting period everything will be alright. eat quick healthy meals and maintain a regular life.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:24 PM

-1, sorry. I don't think spam is paleo.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:08 PM

Every answer is trolling for the same website...

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Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!