My primary goals for Paleo are to increase my energy levels and to improve my blood sugar/insulin regulation, so I'm not too focused on my weight. But I notice that I've gained maybe ten pounds of fat in three months and I'm worried that I might be doing something that's damaging to my health. I read the Postpartum Weight Loss on Paleo while Breastfeeding thread which has some great answers. From those suggestions, I'm planning to start consolidating my daytime eating to 4 solid meals. But I thought I'd post separately because I'm looking for thoughts and suggestions about weight gain.
Unfortunately, I don't have detailed data on what my weight has been and what I've been doing for the past three months. I started this morning tracking my weight and making a few notes in a journal, but this is what I have from recollection (sorry if it's too long; I'm trying to follow the "Please provide details" instruction):
July 11 my baby was born. I wasn't doing Paleo but was generally conscious about my blood sugar levels. Snacking all the time because of breastfeeding
August 25 I started Paleoish eating. Cut out dairy and all grains except brown rice. Lasted about two days but couldn't manage all the cooking with the baby and being so hungry. My friend sent me Melissa Joulwan's book Well Fed and I tried again.
Approx Sept 1 cut out all grains and dairy, eating Joulwan's "hot plates" about four times a day. Energy was great for how little sleep I was getting, but I was starving all the time and had consistent diarrhea.
A week or so later started "cheating" eating scones and things. Energy levels dropped. Went strict again, but energy didn't get back to previous levels.
Posted here about being hungry and the digestive problems. Got some great advice to cut back on the fibrous veggies & nuts, to increase fat consumption, to add back in dairy, and to go ahead and eat starches like potatoes and sweet potatoes. It worked wonders for the hunger and the diarrhea. But maybe I was eating too much fat? I just tried to eat as much as I could.
Last weekend I traveled to a wedding and ate horribly (fast food, wedding cake, pasta). Developed a serious tummy ache. Got home and went back to Paleo eating and tummy is fine again. On Tuesday I added in some dark chocolate almonds because I was craving sweets and thought it would help.
Throughout I've been snacking through the night when I breastfeed (lately it's been hunks of meat and 2-3 cups of blueberries). I didn't do that one night when I was doing a fasting blood glucose test and the next day I was really, really tired.
I've also been putting coconut nectar in my tea all along. It's low glycemic, but a serving has about as much carb as a piece of fruit. On days when I'm feeling low or really tired, I drink as many as 3 or 4 cups of tea.
I'm not sure exactly when the weight gain happened, but I'm pretty sure it was earlier than my "off Paleo" weekend and before the chocolate almonds.
In addition to any suggestions or ideas that occur to you, I'd love some specific help in figuring out how to experiment with all these variables. It's a little overwhelming when I think about trying to pinpoint what's going on when there are so many things--dairy? too many carbs? not enough sleep? too much fat? Eeek! I don't feel like I can do something like Whole3 and start with a clean slate because, with breastfeeding, I have such high calorie needs and so little free time.
asked byEvaFolsom (270)
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on October 12, 2012
at 12:25 AM
Sounds like you are seriously gluten intolerant, so I would highly recommend eliminating any gluten cheats so you can heal your gut. You need good gut health to absorb your food and I suspect that most of your hunger problem is that you aren't absorbing sufficient micronutrients, so your body is telling you to eat more food than you really need.
Add in kefir & other fermented foods to help balance your gut flora.
Protein is generally more satiating than fat (for most folk), so make sure you are getting at least 80-100 gm of protein a day.
Are you drinking enough? It is easy to think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Your fluid intake should be pretty high while nursing, so keep a bottle of water with you. Try to drink a lot between meals and much less with meals to help with digestion. Don't drink your calories, though!
Take a Magnesium Glycinate supplement before bed to help with sleep & carb cravings. 400-600 mg works for most.
Get your Vitamin D3 level tested & sun/supplement to 60-80 ng/ml. Will help your hormones balance, which will help mood & fat loss.