Why are my pants getting tighter?


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Hello everyone,

 

I am on day 19 of my 2nd Whole 30. During my first, I ate tons of fruit and never exercised, but I lost 10 pounds (Whoo!). This time, my goals have changed from strict weight loss to weight loss plus lots of muscle gain. I have plenty of fat to lose: I am 5'7" and weigh 175 pounds. I am well into this Whole 30 and yet my pants are tighter! What gives? 

 

Currently, I lift (heavy) weights about 6x a week and do minimal cardio. 

 

I would like to preface this food portion by stating that because I am trying to gain muscle, I eat 5 smaller meals a day. A typical day of food looks like this:

 

7:00 AM: Eggs, bacon, sautéed greens. Coffee with ghee.

 

9:00 AM: 4oz Chicken breast, some sort of veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, or asparagus, and 1oz of nuts

 

12:00 PM: 3oz Pork, sauteed spinach, 1oz pineapple, and 1oz nuts

 

3:00 PM: 1 apple with 2 TBLS almond butter (generally as a pre-workout, but not always).

 

6:00 PM: Beef stew with tomatoes, green chilies, and lots of carrots. (Sometimes I add half of a white potato if I did a lifting day for legs or back). 

 

Any feedback would be awesome! Thanks!

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The thing that jumps out the most for me is that you are including a lot of nuts which can cause bloating for some people.

 

Our recommendations for all on a Whole30 is 3 template meals a day + pre & post workout meals where pre workout is protein and fat (NO fruit or starchy vegetable) and post workout is protein and starchy vegetable. 

 

I'm not a PT or a weight lifter, but my trainer personally advised me towards lower fat and higher carb. Within the confines of the template this means having more starchy vegetables and going on the lower end of the fat recommendations at meals. I'm still working on getting there in my post Whole30 template but I know several other ladies on this forum doing just that and having stellar results.

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A better pre-WO meal is fat and/or protein. Fruit/carbohydrate is not recommended, see the Meal Template for details.

 

Something to consider (in very simplified non-scientific terms, see It Starts With Food for a more in-depth explanation): If you don't space your meals by 4 hours or thereabouts, your pancreas will not release the hormone glucagon and it won't go to your liver to convert that stored energy to glucose.

 

You may want to experiment with making your main three meals larger and skipping your mid-morning meal. If you are lifting a lot, I second the suggestion to make sure you are eating enough carb-dense veggies.

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Without knowing your specific routine, lifting 6x per week is ALOT!  If you are truly *lifting heavy* you may want to limited your sessions to no more than 4x per week.  Sounds like you are new to weightlifting?  If so, you will experience water retention in your muscles (translation: tighter clothing) as they repair themselves and until they get used to your new routine.

 

A good routine would be full body with the 'big 3' compound lifts (Squat, Deadlift and Bench) and I would add pull/chin - ups and maybe OH press  OR an upper/lower split, if you are a more experienced lifter, that takes no more than 4 days per week.

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There is nothing about eating frequently that improves muscle growth. If there were any basis in fact for that approach, the Whole30/Whole9 would offer a special meal planning template for strength athletes. :) There are, however, special problems introduced by interrupting hormonal rhythms by eating frequently as ultrarunnergirl mentioned. 

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