1

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Help! I keep gaining weight!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Not sure what I'm doing wrong: I keep gaining weight!

Female, age 25, 5'8" and when i started cross fit/paleo i was 174. Now 2 months later I'm at 180.

I keep count of my calories (old habits die hard) and I average between 1200 and 1500 everyday. (i go up in cals on the days i do CF)

I started crossfit as a total couch potato and have since worked up to 3 days a week. My measurements havent changed at all since I've started--which is disappointing--the only thing thats changed is my weight going up and up and up.

a basic day of food is this, and yes, I measure my food's weight.

breakfast: Iced coffee w soy, almond, or coconut milk (no added sugar) one splenda. KIND bar

Lunch: 3-4 ounces of a small piece of meat (yesterday was 4 ounces of filet mignon) 2 cups Arugula salad with 3 ounces watermelon, 4 cherry tomato, 5 kalamata olives. Lemon juice dressing (1 tablespoon mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of high quality olive oil). I drink water

Occasional Snack 1/2 kind bar, more water

Dinner: 4-5 ounces protein (usually beef or fish) grilled vegetables--leeks, eggplant, zucchini. OR the same salad as lunch. And then I drink more water (sometimes with lemon if im feeling frisky)

I just cant cut down any more on quantity...Do i just need to workout more? Add running or something? (I was told to add CF workout days on slowly since i was totally sedentary before starting)

Medium avatar

(100)

on April 20, 2013
at 08:05 PM

Some Larabars are just fruit and nuts... However, they're full of sugar (from the smooshed up dates) and aren't a meal replacement. They won't help you lose weight... Premaking stuff like those muffins above is really the best option. Get friendly with your kitchen!

65333605eb0e62ccdb9ffaac00727bc6

(150)

on September 13, 2012
at 01:24 AM

You could make a batch of mini egg muffins (just veg/meat in a greased muffin tin, add scrambled eggs, cook until set) and grab and go :-) They're even good cold ;-)

45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on September 12, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Hard boiled eggs are a good grab & go meal. Seriously, I'd consider getting up 10 minutes earlier to eat a real breakfast or fixing it the night before so you can either heat it up quickly. I prepare everything the night before if I am going to the gym before work since I leave my house at 6 a.m. so I can just grab it and get out the door.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 12, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Gaining weight that is muscle is only "bad" when you step on the scale :-P

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:47 PM

so basically, im screwed. hahahaha aww...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:32 PM

CNS = central nervous system. You can get those supplements almost anywhere. Whole Foods Market will have all three. If not, you can just search online for them. You can get pure Yombine in tincture, capsule, or powder form...also it is contained in many fat-burning supplement elixirs, but I would personally stay away from those products. I've never had a kind bar before, but they do look like they taste good. But I generally try to stay away from dried fruit because of the concentrated fructose load.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 12, 2012
at 06:23 PM

ah, i think your body is just trying to recover from bad diet and adapt to your new crosfitting ways. There are lots of fat marathoners and weight lifters fyi.

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:20 PM

diet before was pretty pathetic. basically No breakfast. Usually skip lunch, or eat about a cup of left over past No snacks Dinner was whatever I could find cheaply: ramen, pasta, casserole. it wasnt pretty.

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:16 PM

thanks! I'll try cutting out/down the Kind bars. They're an awesome grab-and-go breakfast in the morning since I am always running late... Where can i get the supplements you suggested? and um, whats a CNS??

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:13 PM

kind bars have added glucose syrup and I think rice puffs...they are a tasty carb bomb :)

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:11 PM

I totally agree with this...it actually looks like you might need more calories, especially some good fats...also, it can help control your appetite

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:10 PM

also, soy might be causing you some inflammation which could cause you to retain water...yeah, cut the soy and consider adding heavy cream to your coffee...I know some don't consider it paleo, but neither are kind bars or soy so maybe you can compromise if dairy doesn't bother you :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Bad advice. If your measurements are not changing, you are not improving your body composition. A cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat, so if your weight is increasing and your clothes are not fitting better, then it is surely fat mass that you're gaining and muscle mass that you're losing.

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:02 PM

I agree with this. You are most likely gaining muscle. 1200-1500 calories a day for a woman of your height seems very low. Maybe try upping that amount, but do it in clean fat, not more "bars".

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Please please drop all soy products. Plant estrogens in soy are terrible for you. Soy is not food.

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13 Answers

8
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Ditch the Kind bars. Too much sugar and sometimes they have things like crisp rice, quinoa, and millet in 'em. GET RID of 'em.

More fat and more protein. REAL FOOD, and MORE OF IT.

It's hard to see where you're getting 1200-1500 calories from based on the foods and quantities you listed. That doesn't sound like much at all! A few ounces of meat, some vegetables, 1.5 kind bars and coffee? Are you trying to punish yourself for something? ;-)

Start your day off with a real breakfast. Eggs and bacon are great, but don't forget that breakfast is really just a meal, and you can have whatever you want -- leftover chicken & veg, steak - anything! Soy milk and a Kind bar is NOT breakfast. Drop the soy milk altogether and stick with the unsweetened almond or coconut you mentioned. Depending on your tolerance of dairy, plenty of people use heavy whipping cream in coffee.

Doesn't sound like you're eating anywhere near enough fat. Don't be afraid to EAT, girl! It doesn't seem like you have to cut down on quantity as you fear. You have to embrace more real foods.

5
C8f74d79f56eb5a52a05807bca92090f

on September 12, 2012
at 05:35 PM

I agree with ditching the 'non-real' foods like the KIND bars, soy products and artificial sweeteners. You might consider ditching the watermelon as well -- it contains about 10 grams of sugar.

I also agree that you need to add more fats. It sounds to me as if your body hasn't learned to get its energy from fat yet -- and it won't as long as you're feeding it carbs/sugars.

I know how hard it is to 'get' the concept of eating more of things we've been programmed to stay away from over the years, but trust me -- having been your weight when I started, I can attest to over 30 pounds of weight loss eating fats, meat, veggies, nuts and berries. I eat until I'm full and I don't count a single calorie or gram of anything.

Good luck! Keep striving toward eating clean and the weight loss will come!

5
2403d227b12f654e84ea0ca6111ad054

(141)

on September 12, 2012
at 04:49 PM

My measurements havent changed at all since I've started--which is disappointing--the only thing thats changed is my weight going up and up and up.

You are gaining muscle mass and loosing body fat. Maybe you should eat more? Your Basal Metabolic Rate must be around 1600 kcal/day, this is the energy your body needs if you are lying in bed for 24h. Try to eat more for a few weeks and see what happens.

link text

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:11 PM

I totally agree with this...it actually looks like you might need more calories, especially some good fats...also, it can help control your appetite

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:02 PM

I agree with this. You are most likely gaining muscle. 1200-1500 calories a day for a woman of your height seems very low. Maybe try upping that amount, but do it in clean fat, not more "bars".

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Bad advice. If your measurements are not changing, you are not improving your body composition. A cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat, so if your weight is increasing and your clothes are not fitting better, then it is surely fat mass that you're gaining and muscle mass that you're losing.

5
C8c986aa5054e3ad6c9e66164fbdbe8f

on September 12, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Cut the Kind bars. Filled with sugar/carbs. Keep it real food.

5
B3de48c5f099ec6d7c3435a16efaaaa5

(138)

on September 12, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Where are the remainder of your fats? You should be eating around 60% fats from olive oil (oxidization when cooking), bacon grease, natural nuts and nut butters, coconut oil, avocados, etc.

Kind bars, soy and splenda are not Paleo. You're doing it wrong. I suggest you do some more research on Paleo.

2
4d55d941c0f2f47d951b6887b25d7d89

(20)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Cut the bars for sure. I can't eat any fake food and lose. No bars, no shakes. Watermelon is pure sugar. And maybe tomatoes until the weight heads the other direction. Soy milk is definitely not Paleo either. Splenda is another bad thing. Get Stevia packets or learn to do without sweetener

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on September 12, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Diet Suggestions I would cut out the watermelon, soy milk, coconut milk, and kind bars. Do you eat dairy? I would substitute Greek yogurt with a handful of almonds and no more than a small handful of berries for the kind bars. If you can find Friendship * 1% no salt added* cottage cheese, that would make a good substitute for Greek yogurt to mix it up. This is the only brand of cottage cheese I would eat though, as it has a yet unbeatable protein/carb ratio. 16 grams of protein per 4g carbs per 113g (0.5 cup) serving.

You can increase your protein if you'd like as well to 6oz if you need more calories. I would personally set up a day like this.

  • AM: coffee with unsweetened almond milk or half n' half/cream

  • breakfast: Greek yogurt with handful of blueberries -or- almonds (choose berries if post workout)

  • lunch: mixed greens salad (add whatever, just keep it to fresh, raw vegetables like purple cabbage, red onions, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, etc...I like to add a small amount of goat or sheeps milk cheese to my salads) topped with one of the following; 1 can of tuna packed in olive oil OR sliced chicken breast and a drizzle of EVOO over salad

  • dinner: mixed greens salad + 1 steamed vegetable (like asparagus or green beans) drizzled with olive oil + 1 protein source (chicken breast, pork, shellfish, lamb, etc)

* anytime snack: any combination of cottage cheese/Greek yogurt/berries/almonds (personally, if it is directly before bed, I like 1/2-1C cottage cheese with <= 1oz almonds because I feel this meal, being high in MUFA and slower release protein, helps keep me anabolic though the night and optimizers hormones, even if in a calorie deficit).

That's just what I can recommend. You do not want to under eat too much, or else you'll trigger a hormonal cascade that includes increased cortisol, lower testosterone, and higher shbg (none of which are beneficial to fat loss and improving your body composition and overall sense of well-being).

Supplement suggestions You may also want to look into supplementation to assist in fat loss. Here are some suggestions:

  1. yohimbe- I take this every so often directly before workouts. However, be cautious with this supplement, as I know a lot of girls can have negative experiences with this, like agitation and possibly hormonal disturbances. This supplement assists in targeting fat burning around the midsection specifically. On days you do not take this pre-workout or if you experience negative side-effects,then drinking green tea would be an alternative. However, do not take green tea extractive supplements.

  2. l-carnitine: before any workouts assists in the mobilization of fat for energy (also has other benefits, like improved cognitive function and emotional resilience)

  3. r-ALA: with any meal containing fruit or starch. water soluble antioxidant which assist in proper insulin function and utilization and transport of nutrients

workout suggestions Personally I do not think cross fit is a wise choice if fat loss is your goal. While in a calorie deficit necessary for weight loss (and fat loss for most people, especially females), then you're placing extraordinarily high demands on your CNS, which could leave you worn out with adverse hormonal patters. Being somewhat depleted, you run a higher risk of injury during your workouts as well (many of which include STRENGTH low-rep movements done for high reps instead and in superset fashion). Instead I would strength train 3x per week alternating upper body and lower body days. In addition, I'd do HIIT (sprint repeats) 2x per week for 10-12 intervals. Finally, of course add low intensity cardio daily (preferably before breakfast or after strength workouts) to assist momentary fat burning.

For upper body workouts, choose two push movements and 2 pull movements with 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps. For lower body workouts, choose 3-4 exercises with 6-12 reps from any of the following (squats, walking lunges, leg press, hamstring curls, stiff leg deadlifts). I would concentrate on stiff leg deadlifts and lunges since you are a girl

other suggestions I hope that helps set you on the right track. Once you lost the first 10lbs, then you could probably look into adding some more carbs into your diet (like adding a faux crutons in the form of baby potato into your salad post workout...just as one example).

Also, ditch the scale. Take measurements and go by how your clothes are fitting, what you see in the mirror, and the opinions of others.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:32 PM

CNS = central nervous system. You can get those supplements almost anywhere. Whole Foods Market will have all three. If not, you can just search online for them. You can get pure Yombine in tincture, capsule, or powder form...also it is contained in many fat-burning supplement elixirs, but I would personally stay away from those products. I've never had a kind bar before, but they do look like they taste good. But I generally try to stay away from dried fruit because of the concentrated fructose load.

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:16 PM

thanks! I'll try cutting out/down the Kind bars. They're an awesome grab-and-go breakfast in the morning since I am always running late... Where can i get the supplements you suggested? and um, whats a CNS??

1
Afb53ff1f0a042146e5a8ef5390c300c

on September 12, 2012
at 05:01 PM

I'm pretty new at both Paleo and crossfit myself, but I would ditch the KIND bars altogether- have 2 eggs and even a slice or two of bacon (non-nitrate, uncured). Instead of always grilling your veggies, saut?? some of them in coconut oil. Have an apple with some almond butter . . . add in some natural snacks that bump up the natural fats during the day. It will keep you feeling full and keep your body from thinking you're not eating enough. I do agree that you will lose fat/gain muscle, and the scale isn't going to be your best friend during the process. If measurements aren't changing, though, I definitely think it's smart to take a second look at your diet. At first glance, though, it looks like not enough food.

1
98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

on September 12, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Cut the soy and definitely cut the watermelon. It's evil for weight loss. What's a kind bar? Maybe that's the problem?

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on September 12, 2012
at 05:13 PM

kind bars have added glucose syrup and I think rice puffs...they are a tasty carb bomb :)

0
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on September 12, 2012
at 07:00 PM

The sample diet is very deficient in many basic nutrients. The addition of organ meat (1/4 lb liver every week, kidney and brain every other week) will help a lot as will some targeted supplementation.

Consider reading Paul Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet:

0
7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

on September 12, 2012
at 06:30 PM

Sorry I should clarify: I can't have dairy--sometimes it makes me super super sick and other times I'm fine. So I just stay away as much as I can. Not many coffee shops carry almond or coconut milk, so I guess I'll just start drinking coffee black (yuck). I guess the KIND bars will have to go...they've been such an awesome grab-and-go breakfast/emergency food. Is there a better paleo option? (scrambled eggs/bacon dont survive well at the bottom of a purse ! ha)

I'll try adding more protein and working out non-CF more.
Thanks everyone!

65333605eb0e62ccdb9ffaac00727bc6

(150)

on September 13, 2012
at 01:24 AM

You could make a batch of mini egg muffins (just veg/meat in a greased muffin tin, add scrambled eggs, cook until set) and grab and go :-) They're even good cold ;-)

45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on September 12, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Hard boiled eggs are a good grab & go meal. Seriously, I'd consider getting up 10 minutes earlier to eat a real breakfast or fixing it the night before so you can either heat it up quickly. I prepare everything the night before if I am going to the gym before work since I leave my house at 6 a.m. so I can just grab it and get out the door.

Medium avatar

(100)

on April 20, 2013
at 08:05 PM

Some Larabars are just fruit and nuts... However, they're full of sugar (from the smooshed up dates) and aren't a meal replacement. They won't help you lose weight... Premaking stuff like those muffins above is really the best option. Get friendly with your kitchen!

0
7002d23c632d6b3dc0c5b2a6cf1ac3c0

on September 12, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Ditch the soy, Kind bars, fruit and splenda.

Check out the Perfect Health Diet (you may be nutrient deficient) and also check out Intermittent Fasting.

Good luck.

0
Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 12, 2012
at 05:02 PM

I'd say, don't worry about it. Your body is reacting to all the exorcise your doing and building muscle. Some times it also takes people, especially women, up to a month to notice any size change.

One thing I'm curious about is what your diet was like before you started your new way of eating. If it was something that had less than about 30g protein per meal, your body could be trying to "fix" lost muscle mass, and wont get around to the fat till that's done.

weight loss is all about what you eat, exorcise is good for you in an independent way. I would not suggest upping your exorcise as a way to increase fat loss, it may actually cause you to gain muscle faster!

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:20 PM

diet before was pretty pathetic. basically No breakfast. Usually skip lunch, or eat about a cup of left over past No snacks Dinner was whatever I could find cheaply: ramen, pasta, casserole. it wasnt pretty.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 12, 2012
at 06:23 PM

ah, i think your body is just trying to recover from bad diet and adapt to your new crosfitting ways. There are lots of fat marathoners and weight lifters fyi.

7766dc7ce986f132946ad38d21b2753f

(15)

on September 12, 2012
at 06:47 PM

so basically, im screwed. hahahaha aww...

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 12, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Gaining weight that is muscle is only "bad" when you step on the scale :-P

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