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Weight gain, no change in size

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 I have been on Paleo for 5 weeks and whole 30 for a month now.

Finally, I got on the scale....

The first week I lost 2.5 lbs then I stopped weighing myself. After whole 30, I gained it all back +1.5 lbs.

My clothe still fits the same.

My measurements are the same so I don't know if fat loss/ muscle gain had happened.

It doesn't seem that way and I am quite discouraged.

What could be wrong here?


Even though I have always had a clean diet (with grains involved) I had never had a healthy relationship with food. I have always struggled with weight.

I am a fairly active person and used to work out a lot harder until I had a knee injury an year ago.

After I stopped working out, I realized it really doesn't do much for weight gain/loss as I didn't gain weight as I stopped workout out. My weight always stayed the same. No matter what I did. FOR YEARS!

My calorie intake was always kept around 1400-1500.

I even added in IF for two months. Weight loss still didn't happen.

So I tested my thyroid. The result came out normal. 


Then I read about Paleo and decided to give it a shot.

First, I really loved that I wasn't hungry anymore. The first week of Paleo (before starting whole 30) I counted calories, and it was hard to make full 1200 kcal even though I was eating full fat. I didn't dream or think of food as I used to. 


As for workouts these days, I am doing Focus T 25 from beach body.

I considered cross fit after I went Paleo but couldn't bring myself to shell out extra $200/ month so decided to stick with DVD workouts and running.


What am I doing wrong here??????


One thing that I can think of is I began to eat more nuts than ever.

Mostly macadamia and cashew. I think I eat a little less than a half cup a day. More like snacking 2-3 pieces every time I see it. But really, could that one habit tip the scale off?

I just don't want to have another unhealthy obsession with food. I just wish this all can happen naturally.


I have looked some other Paleo blogs and they do still mention a lot about limiting calories for weight loss while the forums here say not to.

Somebody suggested to go even lower on Carb. Cutting it down to lower than 20g/ day.

Not a single fruit allowed? Now, that seems like another form of food obsession to me...



After a month I am puzzled. What do I do to lose weight?

Do I go on another whole 30? But I do miss my latte. I don't have sugar cravings but that one I do miss. :(  (Will raw goat milk be okay by any chance?)





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Eating nuts at all is not consistent with wanting to lose weight. Snacking on them is contradictory with your goals. Stopping nuts entirely may help.


Going low carb can be counterproductive because it may make you sluggish and leave you with lower energy levels.


Weight loss is not always about how much food you eat. The reason the Whole30 helps so many people lose weight is because they eliminate what needs to be eliminated and they eat enough fat to be healthy. Restricting calories often has the side-effect of lowering your metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult.


Losing weight involves much more than how much you eat. You have to live a healthy lifestyle long enough for your hormones to become properly regulated. Sometimes, that takes several months. If you start making adjustments to force weight loss, you may force your hormones into worse rhythms and defeat yourself before you start.


A critical part of losing weight is often getting adequate sleep. If you are not sleeping 8 hours per night, you need to work on sleep issues before you worry that something is wrong with your food. 


Okay, enough thoughts for now...

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How are you sleeping?  As  Tom mentioned above sleep is very important to weight loss.  For the past 2 weeks my sleep schedule has been less than phenomenal.  I have been eating the same as I did before.  As a result - I think I've gained a bit of weight.  So time to focus on some good sleep...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 

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My opinion  - and only mine -


drop the nuts and fruit more than 2 servings a day

focus on weights and weight  bearing exercise not cardio - plenty free on youtube, but I like Chalene Extreme if you like beachbody - this will reshape the 'notable fat'.

sleep and de-stress


but most of all...


accept that you have body image issues - more damaging then 'food issues'.  You are within a healthy range for BMI.  Wearing a size 6 means you can wear almost anything beautifully.  Models have parts of their bodies they dislike and / or dress to minimize.  My guess is that you have no idea that you are thin and beautiful... especially if you've been battling to get below this weight for some time.  


No number on the scale is going to make you healthy or happy, no food combination is going to make you feel the kind of perfect you are striving to be.  You will fluctuate 5 lbs within a day.   If you want to compete as a fitness model or wear a size 0/2, you may need a different routine to lower your body fat down further - but that means serious exercise with weights and possibly a train ticket to crazy eating disorder town.


So let me say this with as much love as I can muster - throw away the scale, stop counting calories, listen to your body, reach for strong and sleek, not less 'weight', build a bridge and get over it.  Take all that energy you use over thinking food and weight and use it on something more productive that is full of self LOVE.  

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My sleep schedule has been the same. Better actually since I started whole 30. Past three days have not been ideal thou since my fiance came back from a two month long business trip and we have a different sleep schedule. It's going to take a bit to adjust to it I guess.

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Question on nuts...

So is nut fat different from coconut milk fat/ or avocado fat?

I am confused here. The other day someone asked a question in a forum that she was having 3 servings of nuts and a spoonful of nut butter in a meal and asking if it was too much. Most said it's not too much. She also mentioned she wants to lose weight and someone replied, when in doubt, eating more fat will help to lose weight.


What is right way to do?


Also, as for body image issue... I just want to lose flabs that I know it's there. Of course as we get older, we won't look like what we used to be in our ear;y 20s but I am not trying to be skinny mini anorexic model or a fitness model.

I don't necessarily think that's a body image issue. I don't lose sleep over the way I look or get depressed.

It's just hard not to notice after all these years of effort, this is all I am getting.

I used to have trainers, lifted weights, ran marathons until it all came to a halt an year ago due to a knee injury.

I have never worked out or ate right in my life until 6 years ago, when I turned 29.

Wouldn't you be frustrated too if non working out, eating whatever I wanted still kept me at 125lbs 15 years ago, what did go wrong here?


Along the way, with trainers, and all the diet expertise, my eating habit got lost. I was eating too little, too much, not often enough, cut back this and that. I want things to come together naturally as it used to be long long time ago.

Honestly, growing up with grains my entire life, Paleo is a new concept to me. 

I am still learning and yet confused as my result is different from others that I read or heard about.

After all, isn't it natural for me wonder if am I just hooked to another diet fads? 


Sorry for the rant but having a bit of downside today after a month of being 'good'

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You're right, and I shouldn't have been so presumptuous.  I'm sorry I sounded critical.  That sounds very frustrating and I would be over all of the conflicting advice too.  My real intention was to say that maybe the more you worry about it / work on it, the harder it is for things to fall 'naturally' into place.  It is a huge bummer to work so hard and see no obvious reward for your effort.

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Also -- I am 60 years old. When I look at pictures of me in my 30's 40s and 50s I can't believe how gorgeous I am -- but at the time I felt fat. Always comparing myself to the me from my 20s -- always. Never happy with what I had -- I was wonderful and I had no idea.

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You mentioned having your thyroid tested, but it might be worth revisiting that. If the obvious weight loss techniques (food, sleep, and exercise) are not working, your thyroid could very well be a factor.  I know people who had to visit 3 or 4 doctors before their thyroid was tested properly and the results interpreted accurately to pinpoint the correct diagnosis.  And many have gone years being told by general practitioners that their levels were normal or there was no diagnosis for their mystery ailments.  Every one of them had difficulty managing body weight in the usual ways.  If your instinct tells you this might be a hormonal issue (and at age 48, I'm getting slammed with this, too) then you might consider pursuing that line a little farther.

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Strangely, I'm starting to think that the older you get, the more you weigh, even if your shape hasn't changed.  I'm at a size 10 now, for the first time since 1991, but I weigh probably 20-30 pounds more than I did then.  I don't know, maybe we get denser as we age. ;)  And all that loose stuff hanging unattractively (okay, speaking of myself here...) may not even be fat that can be removed.  It could also be partly skin that has loosened and isn't keeping everything as nicely tucked in as you'd like.  I don't have any ideas on how to fix that, unfortunately.


That being said, I would kill to be a size 6. :P

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I've had the same question as you about why it's advised to eat more fat if you're not losing weight, and then I hear to really limit your nuts if you want to lose weight. Doesn't make sense to me either!


Eating more fat is recommended because it keeps you full longer and because it is more satisfying to your body which will keep your blood sugar and hormones more even.


Limiting nuts is recommended for several reasons - they tend to be a food with no brakes (I personally can eat a whole bag if I'm not paying attention), they have the anti-nutrients in them that make them more irritating to the stomach unless properly prepared, and they are not ideal from an omega3/6 ratio stand point. Does that help? When I googled to reinforce I was remembering that last fact correctly I came across this: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/#axzz2ceTRd25f

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A week later, gained 2 more lbs. Okay, I am weighing myself since I have finished whole 30 and even though I am sticking with paleo, I just can't ignore the fact that I am ballooning. Even my workout tights are tighter and hurting my calf. I did cut back on nuts and fruits (even fruits, I would have an apple or half cup of cherries a day).


I had two blood tests done for my thyroid. One back in November last year, and one in June this year.

The result was fine. 


My calorie intake now is around 1300 or less. carb is below 40g/day. What the heck? IS it possible that paleo may just not for me?

Losing faith...

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I thought I was following to the T. But some suggested cutting out the nuts all together. 

I am not over exercising for sure. I do T25 which is 25 minute Hiit type workout which is a lot less than what I am used to.

(I used to workout 1-2 hours a day with a long run on Weekends)

I was consciously restricting stuff I am not supposed to eat. Do you mean portions?

the first time I tried Paleo, I had a hard time eating all I was supposed to eat but now I can eat at least what's suggested on the template. But I feel quite stuffed before I finish everything that is on my plate.However, I do sometimes feel a hunger arousing within an hour of finishing the meal and yet  I just can't over fill my stomach to prevent that hunger from happening.

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I can give you a sample from yesterday


Breakfast - 3 eggs/ half avocado/ 2/3 cup mixed sprouts and cucumber slices


Lunch - Palm size ground beef stir fried with half onion, two roma tomatoes and 6 cashews


Dinner - 1 lb mussel in coconut cream curry broth/ oven roasted sweet potato (medium size half potato) and a little over a cup of Cauliflower in the same broth.

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(novel incoming)


Have you tried digestive enzymes? Especially since you say sometimes you get hungry again after an hour, perhaps you have some food "absorption" issues.


Also, while I'm certainly no expert, your sample meals seem like they're skimping on veggies and are small in general, especially since you work out (although it's less than you're used to, it's still an expenditure of energy). 


Your dinner looks pretty good, but the breakfast looks like it could use a lot more veggies, and lunch seems a little small on the veg and protein. 


I would expect you should be hitting something like 1800 calories a day, give or take. So your 1300 calories, taking some out for exercising, seems insufficient, and I would guess you're gaining because your body has flipped into starvation mode. 


What I did some time ago (and it worked fantastically, until other health stuff interfered) is increase my calories by 100 cals a week, until you hit somewhere around 1800-2000. Your body needs fuel to work, and it will let go of its stores once it realizes food is plentiful and you're not starving. 


Do you truly feel full when you are done eating? 




Reading through your original post, you say that your normal calorie intake was 1400-1500. And you've always struggled with your weight. Perhaps you've been in starvation mode for a very, very long time (as have I). If you drastically increased or decreased your calories with going paleo/whole30, perhaps it was enough of a shock to your body that your body started gaining weight. *I* think it's reversible, but I think there's going to be a lot of work for you, mentally. Maybe try nailing down your difficulties with your relationship with food. From your current 1300 cals, start increasing 100 cals a week, until you get to 1800 cals or so. If you've been undereating for so long, you won't know when you're full, when you're hungry (okay, I don't), so make a meal plan and stick to it. Plan the hell out of everything. Plan out menus for the next month, with the calorie increases included. And then eat that food. If you can't finish all of breakfast (you feel full), have first and second breakfast (breakfast and "snack", but it's a mini meal), do the same with lunch if you must. Have a good dinner, 2-3 hours before bed. Try digestive enzymes... they should help you eat bigger meals to support your body better. Especially if you've been undereating for so long, you probably have both digestive and possibly metabolic challenges. 

Buy new workout tights if you need to. You're doing things a lot differently in this last month, your body is shifting. I have no doubt that you can get back to your goal weight, but you've got to do it in a way that respects your body. 


Maybe start journalling - food and moods. Maybe there's one food you're eating a lot more of now that you weren't before, that you're sensitive to. Although paleo and whole30 pull out a lot of typically reactive foods, maybe there's something that just isn't agreeing with you. Actually... I know that when I eat something that doesn't agree with me (pre-whole30) like lots of sugar, dairy, or corn, I will easily pack on 2-6 lbs of water weight over night, due to inflammation. From reading your posts, you're up 7 lbs, which for me, is entirely within the realm of food-based inflammation. Journal your food, your mood (plus any body aches or weird things), and your weight. Do this for... two weeks. You don't have to calorie count, just the food and amounts (a cup of this, half an avocado, etc). After your two weeks, correlate the data. Did you gain or lose weight within day or two of eating a particular food, or did you notice body aches (which could signal inflammation and water weight), does stress lead to gain/loss? Bodies are amazing things, but they can be a bugger to figure out sometimes.


I'm sorry for the novel, but while you're quite a bit smaller than me, I see a lot of similarities and wanted to share what I know. I fully admit that I'm new to whole30, but I've been doing various restrictive diets for 10 years, been trying to figure out my own stubborn weight issues (and honestly, the only time I've successfully lost in any amount is when I increased my calories). Please take what is useful for you, and let the rest go. :)


ETA - And mods, if I have things wrong, esp if it's specifically whole30, please let me know, as I'm eager to learn.

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Thank you for the insightful response.

My veggie portions are a lot bigger usually. I go through prepackaged salad and a bunch of kale a day. But yesterday I just wasn't in the mood for eating. May be because of the scale.


Interesting thing was, when I first started paleo, like others I had constipation issues but strange enough, I didn't feel bloated.

That's in a way what convinced me to be serious about going Paleo. 

May be I did have inflammation issues with grains, I thought.

By the end of week 3, my bowl movement was back to normal, actually, better than ever.


I will try what you have recommended and see what happens. May be my metabolic system really is a lot more messes up than I  think.  :(

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Calorie counting really is a double-edged sword. It really is hard to look at the data so you can improve, but not judge yourself. Eat more, eat less, eat this, eat that. It's not easy. 


I'm a week into my whole30 and I've had no bloating, because I'm cutting out exactly the things that caused my bloating. The amount comes and goes (I can tell how puffy I am or not by how my rings fit my fingers), but my belly isn't all puffy like it was. When I first cut out wheat/sugar/alcohol/dairy, I was doing a candida cleanse and the die off was... not pleasant. So in comparison, this is just a little different.


When your metabolism is tanked, I could see how more calorie restriction could set off a weight gain. Seems like an easy way to get more calories is to add more meat/fat. So slowly, maybe add a portion more meat, or 50 cals meat, 50 cals fat so it doesn't seem like much. I honestly don't like the micromanaging of that kind of calories, but it seems like your internal sensors for food are borked, and I honestly don't know how to get around that without calorie counting. :/


I get my digestive enzymes from Integrative Therapeutics (originally prescribed by my acupuncturist). The Similase broad spectrum ones, http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Therapeutics-Similase-Vcaps-90-Count/dp/B00110241Q/ref=sr_1_5?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1377552453&sr=1-5&keywords=similase. They seem to help me, let me eat more food, and with less belly unhappiness. 


Random thought - are you drinking enough water? 

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