Whole30 is over and I....gained 3.5 pounds!!


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I know that whole30 isn't all about weight loss. But still I was hoping to lose at least the weight I put on over the holidays (when I stopped eating paleo and sort of went off the rails). To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I didn't take measurements so I'm not sure about that but this morning I woke up weighing 3.5 pounds more than when I started, 3.5 pounds more than over the holidays. 

 

I started whole30, got a fitbit, and started taking fitness group classes 4 times a week at the beginning of January and after a month of hard work, this is my result??? I feel so discouraged and hopeless. If this didn't work what is supposed to?

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How do you feel?

 

I'm sorry you are disappointed in your results, but I can't really say if these 3.5lbs are a real trend toward gaining weight, or if that trend is a bad thing, without knowing a lot more about your context.

 

Not knowing much, I'll just make a guess based on what you've mentioned here: lots of times when people start a new exercise program, their body will hold onto some inflammation that it did not have before--this is a normal part of how our bodies heal and grow new muscle, so this weight could be related to that.

 

Other possibilities: your monthly cycle (I'm assuming you are female?), hydration, digestion (were you constipated? that weighs something)...on and on.

 

It is also possible that your approach to whole30 eating was imbalanced in some way and you just weren't aware. If you would like to post a few days of meals and activity and give us some more context (ie. if you were close to a healthy weight, or quite overweight, if you are nursing a baby or pregnant or have a health condition, etc.) we would be happy to troubleshoot further.

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Given your summary in this thread, I wonder if your body is settling in to an optimal weight for you?  You could also be building muscle, which would account for the number going up on the scale.  How are your clothes fitting?

Since you last posted about your food in that thread, what changes have you made and how has your energy been?

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I feel OK, not great, not terrible. Im halfway through my cycle. And though I was exercising before, I have been doing new types of exercises so maybe that could contribute. Before whole30  i was doing 30 minute run/jog intervals or sometimes insanity. Now I am doing spinning once a week, boxing once a week, and some combination of pilates, barre, or strength training for the other two classes. My clothes still fit the same as they did before, not noticeably tighter or looser. 

 

In terms of hydration, I drink between 100-120 ounces of water a day, plus  a few cups of herbal tea. 

 

Here is some important context: I started a candida cleanse in January of last year. I quickly lost 8 pounds  (started at 126 lbs and then was at 118 lbs) because I was only eating protein and cooked vegetables. As I started making reintroductions I started gaining the weight back and by May was 126 lbs again. Over the course of the rest of the year I steadily continued to gain weight ; even though I never reintroduced gluten, refined sugar and only had honey on very rare occasions. I was basically paleo, but a bit stricter. By the end of the year I was weighing 135 lbs (I'm 5'2). Thats 17 pounds in a year! Even if you discount the 8 pounds I initially lost, that is still 9 pounds gained on a very healthy diet, with exercise at least 3 times a week.

 

So, I started to suspect hypothyroid (my grandmother is hypothyroid). I had my levels checked and my TSH is low and my t4 is borderline low and my t3 was below the normal lab range. My antibody tests were negative. My doctor put me on 5 mcg of Cytomel (T3) a day. At first I felt much better but it faded. 

 

I am wondering if my dosage is too low? Could this be affecting things?

 

As far as food this is a typical day:

 

Meal 1: A hash of some combination of roasted or raw veggies (2 cups), cooked in coconut oil or ghee (usually 1 tsp) with 2-3 eggs and sometimes shredded chicken. 1/4-1/2 avocado and sometimes (twice a week) 1/2 a grapefruit.

 

I never need a snack between Meal 1 and Meal 2

 

Meal 2: chicken and broccoli (around 1 chicken breast, 1-2 cups broccoli with chicken stock and olive oil), 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup berries, sometimes side of carrots.

OR turkey sweet potato kale chili with 1/2 avocado 

 

Pre-workout snack: shredded chicken, chicken sausage, proscuitto slices - or if I am working out first thing in the morning a handful of hazelnuts

 

Meal 3: last night I had 1/2 a butternut squash filled with grass fed ground beef, zucchini, eggplant, and spinach. Then a 1 tbsp of coconut butter. 

Other nights I have grilled salmon with a generous serving of roasted veggies OR beef stew with avocado OR turkey burger with sweet potato with coconut butter and some other veggies.

 

Sometimes after meal 3 I have some berries or other fruit (never more than 1 serving), or if I am still hungry I will have a little bit of almond butter.

 

If I feel like my meal is overall lacking fat I will have a few hazelnuts.

 

I was really good about not snacking for most of the whole30 but this past weekend I felt like I was eating things here and there all day (all compliant, but not in spirit I guess). Could that have also caused the weight gain?

 

Thank you so much for any input, I really appreciate the support!

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My energy level has been actually better since I last posted. I tried to add more veggies, added an egg to breakfast if there was no chicken involved, and haven't had a larabar since (though I only had 2 the first 24 days). I've also been eating less fruit. And I have been adding fat to meals if I am still hungry. I would love to think that it is muscle, but my clothes don't feel any looser. I took some before and after pictures, and my waist seems more defined and my stomach less bloated in the "after" pictures, but other than that I don't notice any other changes.

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So, I started to suspect hypothyroid (my grandmother is hypothyroid). I had my levels checked and my TSH is low and my t4 is borderline low and my t3 was below the normal lab range. My antibody tests were negative. My doctor put me on 5 mcg of Cytomel (T3) a day. At first I felt much better but it faded. 

 

From first-hand experience, I would suspect something is up here: often, when you start supplementing T3, your body may slow down production, SO, while the amount you were making before+the supplement was enough, now you just have the supplement and it is not enough. Does that make sense? It is a good idea to check levels 4-6 weeks after the initial supplementation and adjust. 

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Yea, that makes sense. However, I had my levels rechecked a month later and my free t3 had gone up from 1.8 to 2.3 which is the threshold for "normal" so my doctor said that this dose was right. But, I have been reading a lot about "normal" ranges vs "optimal" ranges. I don't know if that would make a change big enough to impact my weight/metabolism but maybe?

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Yea, that makes sense. However, I had my levels rechecked a month later and my free t3 had gone up from 1.8 to 2.3 which is the threshold for "normal" so my doctor said that this dose was right. But, I have been reading a lot about "normal" ranges vs "optimal" ranges. I don't know if that would make a change big enough to impact my weight/metabolism but maybe?

hmmm. yes, 2.3 is not terrible, and might be high enough for some people. I would keep an eye on all these levels, though.

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Will do. And I plan to call my doctor to discuss this also. Is there anything in my food diary that I should change or do differently? Anything else that could possibly account for the weight gain?

I don't see much wrong, perse--you meals look pretty good. I would try to drop snacking on coconut butter and/or almond butter, but it isn't clear how often you are doing that. Is there a reason you aren't eating red meat at all? More of that, and maybe more fat and protein at meals generally might be helpful.

 

EDIT: I just noticed the grass-fed beef. Still, I would have more of that (or lamb or bison) vs. chicken

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