LA28

3rd whole 30 and STILL not losing weight - what am I doing wrong?

65 posts in this topic

This is my 3rd whole 30 and I am currently on day 8. I TOTALLY understand the magic, that you're not supposed to focus on scale, etc. I promise I get all that. I have seen the magic, the clear skin, etc and I love it. But what about the people who just genuinely need and want to lose weight and who just aren't seeing it? If it's not whole30 that will get me there, then do I need to try weight watchers?? I mean I get the point of whole30- but at some point, I would like to get rid of this tire around my mid section and it's just not budging and I am getting extremely frustrated:(

Here are the stats:

I crossfit about 3-5 times a week (I would say its usually 4-5 but occasionally with work I drop to 3 days in which case I'll try to make up with a run):

Did my first whole30 in June 2012 - ate way too much fruit and didn't lose a pound but lost about 1 inch around my waist. felt great, looked great,etc and saw the magic.

Did my 2nd whole 30 in October- cut out fruit and sweet potato for 10 days where I finally managed to lose 5 pounds, and by day 30 I was a total of 5 pounds down and an additional 2 inches down on my waist. I extended whole 30 for an additional 10 days (minus a glass or two of wine) and somehow lost another 5 in those 10 days. my body fat went from 26% to 23% during this whole 30.

Over the holidays (nov-dec), went through some serious emotional stuff and ate my heart out unfortunately and put back on the 5 additional pounds I had lost in those last 10 days. So at this point was only down the first 5 I lost.

My gym was doing a whole 30 in January, so I started my 3rd one Jan 2nd and I haven't lost a pound since. Not budged on my waist either. I decided I'll cut out fruit and sweet potatoes, again to see if that will help and it hasnt. I'm just at the point where I understand this isnt about weight loss- but what if you really just want to lose some?! And everyone around you is dropping it on whole30,except you!? My boyfriend without working out at all has managed to lose 19 pounds just by eating what I cook

We log our meals at my gym, so I included a sample:

Breakfast: 3 eggs, cucumber

lunch: bowl of chili and 2 oz chicken breast, bunch of grape tomatoes

snack (pre-WOD): 2 eggs

dinner: about 4-6oz chicken breast with 1 avocado, bell pepper and onion wrapped in a few pure wraps; bunch of asparagus and broccoli

Breakfast: 3 eggs

Lunch: 2oz chicken with 1/2 avocado in a pure wrap, 1 bowl of chili, 1 tsp almond butter

Snack: 3oz carrots

Dinner: chicken shawarma salad, pint of grape tomatoes, cucumber

Allisen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how do you know you haven't lost weight LA? Have you been weighing yourself during your whole30? You know that's against the rules, right?

I would suggest you relax about that number (and quit weighing!). Lots of things effect your daily weight, and second guessing your hunger based on it is absolutely the wrong way to go.

Kirsteen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did weigh. I know you are not supposed to but after that first whole30 where on my last day, I weighed and hadn't lost a pound I just didn't really want to see that again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your issue may not be food. Good sleep and good recovery practices are critical to many people losing weight. Are you sleeping 8 or more hours every night? Are you recovering from workouts or are you chronically sore and tired?

kb0426, Rojo and Rebecca30 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need to get rid of your scale or give it away to someone to "hold" for you while you are on the Whole30. The stress of "will I lose weight or won't I?" will wreak SERIOUS havoc on your results. Also, how are you sleeping? Stress and lack of sleep are huge factors as well in this whole process and should not be discounted. Follow the plan, move your body, get good high quality sleep, and the weight WILL come off in time.

kb0426, Renee Lee, Bridget and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely try to pay attention to the sleep and make sure I get usually about 9 hours a night (minimum 8). I feel sore occasionally from workouts but I take off if I need to when I'm too sore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're doing too much intense activity, not eating enough carbohydrates, and stressing too much about your weight. It's a recipe for disaster...truly

Have your lifts/times on your workouts improved? Have you lost inches? YOU ARE LOSING FAT AND MAKING PROGRESS, even if you don't see those results on the scales.

What are your stats? i.e. how much weight do you feel you have to lose? If it's "not much" and it's more of a body comp thing for you, your results on the scale are going to be even less than you might like, unfortunately.

BUT THE SCALE DOESN"T MATTER! :)

gatork, Andria, Bridget and 7 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my workouts and lifts are actually not getting better. I want to bring back in sweet potato and fruit but am worried I won't drop any fat/weight if I do that. We did our max's this week and they have either stayed the same or gotten worse. I'm 5 '11' and 162 - I carry my weight all in my midsection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also feel like sweet potato and fruit definitely bring out the sugar dragon. I will try to not stress about the weight part as much and see if that works?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my workouts and lifts are actually not getting better. I want to bring back in sweet potato and fruit but am worried I won't drop any fat/weight if I do that. We did our max's this week and they have either stayed the same or gotten worse. I'm 5 '11' and 162 - I carry my weight all in my midsection.

Well there you go. Answer found.

You're already at a really healthy weight for your height, (it actually may be a smidge low, depending on genetics), but you're just carrying it in the wrong place/body comp. It's unrealistic to expect/want that number to drop very much. I'd really be more concerned with lifting heavy and changing your body comp.

Fat that's localized in the midsection is indicative of adrenal fatigue/overtraining. The fact that your lifts have NOT gone up is another check mark in that column.

Crossfitting as many times as you are in a week is a LOT of stress on its own; not giving your body an adequate amt of glucose/starch to help you recover from that is an added stressor. Then add in the stress of worrying about your weight, and your average "life/work" stress. It's a LOT. We can only handle so much before our body starts fighting back. The fact that you get 8-9 hours of sleep/night is AWESOME, but it's not enough.

Personally, I would add the sweet potato back in, just EAT more, and drop CF and activity to 2-3x/week. If you're worried about the sugar dragon, then just drop the activity level even further back.

I know it's scary and goes against everything we've ever been taught (i.e. this chick is telling me that to lose fat, i have to eat MORE and workout LESS?), but after 2 whole30s, your status quo isn't producing the results you want, right? If it doesn't work, you know how to get back to where you were.

AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE SCALE!

kb0426, TrayS, TaneyR and 14 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow thanks Renee! So just so I understand right, you're saying I should eat more sweet potato or eat more of the protein/fat I've been eating? Do you recommend adding back in fruit? And as far as dropping back the crossfit to 3 times a week...should I add in a day of just pure cardio on another day? I will try to wrap my head around exercising less but I would think that would just make me feel lazy? Nonetheless, i've tried everything so I might as well try this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not over weight but yes ALL of my weight is centered just in my mid section which just looks awful. I'm just curious but why would scaling back the work outs help with slaying the sugar dragon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not over weight but yes ALL of my weight is centered just in my mid section which just looks awful. I'm just curious but why would scaling back the work outs help with slaying the sugar dragon?

Sorry. It wouldn't necessarily. I just meant if you were very nervous about adding sweet potatoes and triggering the sugar dragon, then you could alternatively only scale back the workouts, which would give your body a rest and require fewer carbs to fuel your efforts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wow thanks Renee! So just so I understand right, you're saying I should eat more sweet potato or eat more of the protein/fat I've been eating? Do you recommend adding back in fruit? And as far as dropping back the crossfit to 3 times a week...should I add in a day of just pure cardio on another day? I will try to wrap my head around exercising less but I would think that would just make me feel lazy? Nonetheless, i've tried everything so I might as well try this!

You DEFINITELY need more starchy carbs. You probably need more food overall, though. I would never have guessed from your food log that you were 5'11", 165. I expected 5'5, 140 or smaller.

By "2-3x/wk," I mean intense exercise sessions, period. Replacing a day of CF with running doesn't change your activity level much.

Go for a walk/hike, do some gentle yoga like Tom suggested, take a bubble bath. Do whatever, just don't get sweaty. ;)

jennycash likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you should totally give renee's recommendation a try. I was doing intense exercise 5x's a week for months while restricting calories. I lost a little weight but was miserable. I took 2 weeks off and dropped weight. Then I did a whole30 and did not exercise ONCE the entire month. I lost substantial weight. I was shocked. I'm not recommending stopping all of your physical activity. I think crossfit/high-intensity is great, but it is SO easy to overdo it.

Good luck! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jenny, that's actually great to hear, gives me some hope! I will definitely give it a try. So I will start scaling my crossfit workouts back to 2-3 times a week and eat carbs maybe just on those days? or not at all? I will also do something to try to ease more stress like yoga maybe once or twice a week. I will let you guys know how it goes! Thank you for your advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eat post workout carbs, woman!!

Jenny, that's actually great to hear, gives me some hope! I will definitely give it a try. So I will start scaling my crossfit workouts back to 2-3 times a week and eat carbs maybe just on those days? or not at all? I will also do something to try to ease more stress like yoga maybe once or twice a week. I will let you guys know how it goes! Thank you for your advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to go back to this. I just am trying to wrap my brain around how this theory works. I understand that people have said they lost weight by reducing their exercise, but I would think the weight loss would probably just be muscle weight, wouldn't it? From a purely calories in and calories out perspective, it wouldnt make sense,right? How could you lose weight (burn more calories) when you are not burning more calories? Maybe you know more background that can make me understand how reducing exercise would help you lose the extra fat in the midsection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cortisol has a TON to do with weight loss (or lack thereof), and you know what makes cortisol skyrocket? Stress. Over-training puts a huge amount of stress on your body. And it's really not as simple as calories in, calories out. Someone else in one of the different forums said it perfectly: calories in/out doesn't take your hormones into consideration, and that is ultimately what determines how those calories are burned. If you're stressed and keep on stressing, your hormones will continue to be whacked out.

You're doing everything you can nutrition-wise (once you add in those oh-so-important carbs). I would highly suggest giving yourself this whole30 to try a different approach. Relax and give yourself permission to experiment. If it doesn't work, you'll know, and then you have that much more information and help along your way.

I can tell you're super anxious about this, and I really understand. But stressing about it and not giving yourself the freedom to try a new way is potentially sabotaging your efforts. It will take some getting used to, but you can totally do it!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jenny, that's actually great to hear, gives me some hope! I will definitely give it a try. So I will start scaling my crossfit workouts back to 2-3 times a week and eat carbs maybe just on those days? or not at all? I will also do something to try to ease more stress like yoga maybe once or twice a week. I will let you guys know how it goes! Thank you for your advice.

Just wanted to chime in :)

I completed my first Whole30 back in October after 2 years of NO BUDGING on the scale even counting every single calorie and working out HARD 5-6 times a week with yoga thrown in for good measure. I decided to do the Whole30 to see what could happen since obviously what I was doing only got me so far (15lbs lost but plateau for 9ish months)

I worked out 2x a week but with much less intensity (more yoga) and followed the meal plan to a T. Guess what? I lost 8lbs!!!! AND I dropped two pants sizes, looked WAY more toned and felt better than I ever had in my life.

Guess who went paleo, quit cardio-obsessing, and is back for another Whole45? This girl.

I promise it works, but you have to stop obsessing about your weight, the scale, and give it 30 days of maybe not working out at all to see what can happen. The worst thing is you lose 16 crossfit sessions... right?

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to go back to this. I just am trying to wrap my brain around how this theory works. I understand that people have said they lost weight by reducing their exercise, but I would think the weight loss would probably just be muscle weight, wouldn't it? From a purely calories in and calories out perspective, it wouldnt make sense,right? How could you lose weight (burn more calories) when you are not burning more calories? Maybe you know more background that can make me understand how reducing exercise would help you lose the extra fat in the midsection.

You're still sort of thinking about it incorrectly. Like you said above, you don't have a lot of WEIGHT to lose. You just have some abdominal fat that you'd like to get rid of. This means that "calories in, calories out" doesn't REALLY apply to you. The more important thing is setting yourself up hormonally to access the right resources an shed the fat that you're holding onto.

Not overtraining/giving your body the opportunity to rest/relax is going to signal your body that it doesn't have to worry about impending disaster, so it doesn't need the protective fat that it's been hanging onto because it's been so stressed, and will focus its efforts on something else, like making testosterone/DHEA and other great steroid hormones, which will help you with your performance as well, instead of making cortisol.

(that's not EXACTLY how it works...but it's the gist)

cpb, Rachael2288, Bridget and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you push your limits physically, your body tends to go into conservation mode, which means you hold onto fat (in case you need it in the future). When you relax, your metabolism may actually increase, which means you burn more fat.

LA28 and cpb like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friend, I'm completely new around here and to the Whole30 and Whole9 lifestyle. I'm only in Day 3 of my very first Whole30. What I am not new to is the fitness, health and weight loss scene. If I may, I'd like to add a couple of things to the discussion. Please take what I say with a grain of salt, and know that this comes from my experience and observation.

1. Exercise should be "loving movement" that we do to care for our bodies. It should not be used as punishment because we are unhappy with our appearance, and neither should it be done out of fear for what our bodies may look like. I definitely fall into the first category, and my husband is solidly in the second. It sounds like he has the exact same body type; athletic and a healthy weight for his height, with a little bit extra around his tummy. He will run his body into the ground because he is terrified of gaining any amount of weight. Perhaps a shift in your motives for excersising, and how you view exercise, can help alleviate some of the stress related to letting some of your workouts go in favor of rest and recovery.

2. In both of the cases I mentioned above (punishment and/or fear), the underlying force that fuels the impulse to exercise is an inability to accept our bodies as they are, right this very minute. I can say that because that's where I was. I exercised twice a day, six days a week because I could not accept how my body looks right now, rubbing-thighs and muffintop and everything else. If we cannot accept ourselves right now, and make the choice to use exercise as a tool to love our bodies, then forward progress is slow, if it comes at all.

Both of these things can keep you trapped, taking away the freedom you need to find what works for your body. Several people have said it, and I'm going to say it again. Relax. Consider all of the information you have been given, slow down your thoughts and relax into a routine that fits your lifestyle and your body. Remember to approach this from a wholisitic place - the health of your mind is just as important as the health of your body. Take some time to consider why it is you push yourself so hard, and use that knowledge to build new habits that are good for you all over.

hollyfk, Mich, Shelly B and 14 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am overwhelmed with all the responses:) thank you so much! I am an analytical thinker and just needed to understand I guess, the sciency version of how it could be possible to slow down - yet still lose. What you have explained makes sense and I will definitely tone things down and try to incorporate all your suggestions and above all stress less! It is afterall, the one thing I haven't tried yet:)

Callan and Mariah Baseman like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now