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Hack my whole30, PCOS, not-losing weight self :)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 18, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Okay here goes.

24 year old female, 5'4 and around 135. I have been living a very "healthy" lifestyle for over 4 years. Tried so many different stupid, not healthy diets - Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, clean eating 6 meals a day, all that. Would lose for a bit, but then it would stop and stall. Although I am not overweight, I still have about 10 lbs I want to lose.

I also have a bunch of other "issues". Finally, diagnosed with PCOS about 6 weeks ago after assuming I had it for so long. Yes - all the stupid PCOS systems - I have them. Hard time losing weight, facial hair, abnormal cycles, acne.

Reading up on PCOS, I decided to try Whole30 and paleo. I was a bit hesitant, but if it could help with my insulin resistance, then why not. I was scared of not eating 6 meals a day (I am a grazer/snacker like no ones business)!!

Ending the Whole30 this week, and honestly, it has been great. I eat with my hunger now, stop tracking every darn calorie, sleep like a baby, and finally as of two days ago, feel like my body is running on fat efficiently! I am clear minded, wake up without my alarm, have sustained energy all day. Except one thing. My weight. I don't weigh myself anymore, but I go by how my clothes fit. And they are tighter. WHY!?! I am so frustrated...I wanted this to work for my weight too, hoping it would help with my insulin. (Also keep in mind, I did have an IUD put in during my first week of whole30.) Why did I see all the other results and not weight loss?

Here is what a normal day looks like for me:

Breakfast: 2 eggs on a hash of a 1/3 sweet potato, brussel sprouts, and a lamb sausage (sugar free from a local farmer!), all cooked in 1 tbsp of coconut oil; on the side, a green smoothie with 1/4 avocado, a small handful of berries (only have a small one serving a day of fruit), 1 cup homemade almond milk, and lots of spinach/kale

Lunch: Big salad of veggies, with homemade guacamole and homemade slow-cooker pulled pork

Sometimes have a snack if its a long day and wont get dinner till 9 - have a paleokit of just jerky and some coconut flakes

Pre-workout: 1 egg, 1/2 oz of macadamias (my only nuts are pre-workout)

Workouts comprise of: 30 minutes running (usually with HIIT sprints), 30 minutes heavy weight lifting (everyday a different body part) - I workout 5-6 days a week

Post workout: 1/2 cup butternut squash or some type of squash, chicken breast

Dinner: spaghetti squash with ground beef and homemade sugar free tomato sauce OR chicken with a coconut curry sauce - fats during this meal are usually 1 tbsp cooking oil, 1/4 cup coconut milk, even avocado


Anything I should change? Change timing of carbs because of my insulin resistance? Lower fats/up fats? Cut out fruit completely? Maybe my hormones are all over the place for a bit because of my new IUD AND paleo at the same time? I am so lost...

Thanks in advance :)

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Do you know for sure that you have insulin issues? Some PCOS patients don't. There are some gals with PCOS who are very overweight due to insulin resistance, but others are actually *underweight* because of extreme stress (starvation diets, overtraining, mental/emotional stress.) See the work of Stefani Ruper (Paleo for Women) for more.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Never mind...just reread your post and saw you're looking to lose 10.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 07:29 PM

5'4" and 135 isn't exactly obese, y'know. How much weight are you trying to lose? usually the closer you are to your "goal weight," the harder it is to get there. The last 5-10 pounds always seem to be the toughest, so if that's all you really want to lose, it's probably going to be tougher than someone who's looking to lose 50-100.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 18, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Every time I've gone on hormonal birth control, no matter how low the dose, I've gained 10-15 lbs.

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 09:17 PM

NO!!! I got the Mirena because my progesterone is so low - lots to do with my PCOS....

35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:49 PM

yes, I definitely know what you mean! I workout every morning around 5am (it fits the best with my schedule) so I just go on an empty stomach and then my post workout food is just breakfast. This works really well for me. I am really not able to workout before dinner because I am starving. If you need that snack then definitely keep it and you could try to cut somewhere else, even just 100 calories each meal or something so that you can keep your schedule. I am also a snacker and even though lots of people have a problem with it, it works best for me too.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Mirena has a significant association with weight gain. Did you go with a copper IUD?

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Britt, do you ever feel like you need a pre workout if you're working out in the late afternoon? I feel like I need a boost!

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:11 PM

Thanks, Sigrid. Maybe I wasn't clear on portions, but I really don't think its 2300 calories! I just entered what I am eating today (excluding the pre and post workout) and ended up right around 1700. Maybe I should have been more clear in my post! I will take all your advice though and not have that snack if i am also doing the pre-post workout. The days i dont workout after work I really do sometimes need a snack because I am pretty hungry by 5 pm (5 hours after lunch) and wont get to eat dinner until 8:30 or so (late night at work!). Thanks for the advice!

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Thanks, all. Just following the whole30 they require you to have a pre and post workout, so maybe I will skip the snack when working out in the afternoon. As far as breakfast goes, it really isn't that much. Its a lot of veggies, a little sweet potato, 2 eggs/sausage, and then my fats I need for energy (coconut oil and avocado). Maybe I will make a small smoothie with less avocado but it really gives me a lot of energy!! Maybe I will just do 1 egg too. Thanks!

8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:18 PM

Or perhaps eat a smaller breakfast and "save" some of that food for later? A post workout sausage and smoothie sounds good.

8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:06 PM

We all have different needs, but I agree that it looks like quite a lot of food. I'd suggest that if your workouts are so draining that you need both the snacks you might want to dial back the intensity or frequency of excercise. NOT turn into a starving sedentary blob.......but find a little more balance.

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Thanks, Britt. I follow the whole30 way of measuring basically - so a hand size of protein (for meat, fish etc), oil - 1 thumb (basically a tbsp). I have tracked before and my macros turned out to be around 10-15% carbs, 60-70% fat, and 30-35% protein and around 1800 calories. The pre-workout really does help me through a tough workout, I guess I don't need the post?

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7 Answers

3
35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 18, 2012
at 06:07 PM

I know you are not tracking calories now, but did you for a couple days days when you started? Any idea how much you are eating? I am 5'8, 125-130ish pounds, and my workout schedule is just about identical to yours. Without seeing exact portion sizes and all though, it looks like you eat quite a bit more than I do (especially when trying to lose weight). In my experience, once you are at a healthy weight (which I think we both are), eating until feeling satisfied will maintain weight and to lose, I do have to let myself feel a bit hungry.

I would recommend cutting out the pre and post workout snack and keep everything else the same. Obviously if you are too hungry that you cannot deal with it, then add one of them back, but that might help you lose a bit of weight.

35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:49 PM

yes, I definitely know what you mean! I workout every morning around 5am (it fits the best with my schedule) so I just go on an empty stomach and then my post workout food is just breakfast. This works really well for me. I am really not able to workout before dinner because I am starving. If you need that snack then definitely keep it and you could try to cut somewhere else, even just 100 calories each meal or something so that you can keep your schedule. I am also a snacker and even though lots of people have a problem with it, it works best for me too.

8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:06 PM

We all have different needs, but I agree that it looks like quite a lot of food. I'd suggest that if your workouts are so draining that you need both the snacks you might want to dial back the intensity or frequency of excercise. NOT turn into a starving sedentary blob.......but find a little more balance.

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Thanks, all. Just following the whole30 they require you to have a pre and post workout, so maybe I will skip the snack when working out in the afternoon. As far as breakfast goes, it really isn't that much. Its a lot of veggies, a little sweet potato, 2 eggs/sausage, and then my fats I need for energy (coconut oil and avocado). Maybe I will make a small smoothie with less avocado but it really gives me a lot of energy!! Maybe I will just do 1 egg too. Thanks!

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Britt, do you ever feel like you need a pre workout if you're working out in the late afternoon? I feel like I need a boost!

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Thanks, Britt. I follow the whole30 way of measuring basically - so a hand size of protein (for meat, fish etc), oil - 1 thumb (basically a tbsp). I have tracked before and my macros turned out to be around 10-15% carbs, 60-70% fat, and 30-35% protein and around 1800 calories. The pre-workout really does help me through a tough workout, I guess I don't need the post?

8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on December 18, 2012
at 07:18 PM

Or perhaps eat a smaller breakfast and "save" some of that food for later? A post workout sausage and smoothie sounds good.

2
8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on December 18, 2012
at 09:21 PM

"Also keep in mind, I did have an IUD put in during my first week of whole30" <- uh oh!

Is it a hormonal IUD? If it's copper that's fine, but if it's a hormonal IUD, that's your problem right there. I can change not ONE thing about my diet, workouts, or life, and if I go on any hormonal birth control at all, I'll put on 10lbs of fat FAST. That I cannot get rid of unless I literally starve myself. I have sworn off all hormonal birth control because of that and other side effects. I know not everyone can do that, but it could be something to think about.

Also, it looks like you're eating a fair amount. I'm 5'5" with a similar workout schedule, weigh about 118lbs, and don't eat anywhere near that much. I'd put on like mad if I ate that much food in a day, and would feel full all the time. But, everyone's needs are different. Are you genuinely hungry for all those meals and snacks? I have a poor appetite/am not hungry much so I'm not the best barometer of normal eating. I'd nix the almond milk in the AM, nix the smoothies and the snacks, and if you feel under on your calories have the snack items with your meals/increase meal size so you don't need to snack.

1
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on December 18, 2012
at 10:35 PM

Whenever I eat sweet potatoes and butternut squash, I gain weight. I work out 2-3x per week, probably same BMI as you. Maybe try cutting those out.

1
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:01 PM

The example of a typical day that you provided comes out at 2300 or so, which might not be enough to create the caloric deficit required for losing weight. That being said it's an absolutely healthy weight and a lot of people would be happy to stay right where you are, especially since you are probably quite strong.

For comparison, I am a bit taller than you and weigh a bit less, and I consume between 1800 and 1900 a day, and work out about four hours a week (and walk a ton).

I agree with the other posters that you could either cut down on the snacks. You might also just want to track your calories for a few days (calories consumed and calories expended) to get an idea of where you stand.

E82619165fc5aa39f777b5e547bd2226

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 08:11 PM

Thanks, Sigrid. Maybe I wasn't clear on portions, but I really don't think its 2300 calories! I just entered what I am eating today (excluding the pre and post workout) and ended up right around 1700. Maybe I should have been more clear in my post! I will take all your advice though and not have that snack if i am also doing the pre-post workout. The days i dont workout after work I really do sometimes need a snack because I am pretty hungry by 5 pm (5 hours after lunch) and wont get to eat dinner until 8:30 or so (late night at work!). Thanks for the advice!

0
2b72fba0a08c7a9f48a224c2ad5b317c

on January 15, 2013
at 03:35 AM

I'm 29 years old and have PCOS and started after thanksgiving with a gf diet and went paleo on January 2. I'm 5'3 and weigh slightly more than you. The only major difference from you is that i also have type 1 diabetes. All that to say, I've learned a lot the last few months. First, since i have diabetes, i track my blood sugars (I've been severely insulin resistant the last 1.5 years) and I've found that sweet potatoes don't have a huge affect on my blood sugar, but fruit does. I have decided to cut fruit from my diet unless needed for blood sugar crashes (which rarely happens, at least at this point). Second, how Is your sleep? Mine Is terrible and my dietitian (paleo and also type 1 diabetic) said that has a huge affect on your insulin resistance. Try to go to bed at a decent time to where your body naturally wakes up when you need it to. Finally, I found that my cortisol levels are out of whack (read the paleo solution by robb wolf) and my dietitian said that for now I need to stick with "low-stress" exercises like yoga, walking, etc. When you stress your body out with exercise, it makes your body even more insulin resistant and therefore holds into extra weight. Anyway, I'm just a newbie at all of this but thought I would share what I've been learning in hopes it might help.

0
E57c7c65c3eaab51f9ffe613fd87475f

(80)

on January 15, 2013
at 01:49 AM

I eat about 4 meals a day, all including meat, veggie, then eat fats inbetween (nuts) 3oz servings of any meat 1-2 cups veggies 9 total of nuts: almonds, maca nuts, pecans, walnuts etc. (One snack inbetween breaky and lunch)

If I eat more then that, Ill usually gain some weight. Just keep your portions smaller. Eat every 4 hours!

0
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on December 19, 2012
at 08:45 AM

I would exercise less, no more than 3-4 times a week, and skip the snacks.

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