Weight loss stall after Whole30

Recommended Posts

I did my first Whole30 in March and lost 11 pounds… then promptly gained it all back when I got married and went on my fabulous European honeymoon. Totally worth it? Yes. But. I soon found myself back to Whole30 in July and for the second round I lost 10 pounds again and gained a ton more perspective this time around about what is worth it and what is not. 


Well now it's been two weeks and I haven't reintroduced much. Non-gluten alcohol, a little sugar (mostly honey to sweeten paleo-fied scones), and dairy (which didn't go well, so I'm probably not going to include that in my diet from now on). But I feel like I'm doing all of that in moderation—a glass or two of red wine (not every night), a scone with almond flour and blueberries, etc… it's not like I'm going all out like I did after round 1. 


But I just stepped on the scale yesterday and I've lost a pound, MAYBE two since round 2 ended. I've been doing yoga 5 times a week, jogging 3 and sometimes 4 days a week… what am I doing wrong? Is it really that one glass of red wine or that single grain free dairy free scone that makes the difference between losing weight effortlessly and not losing any at all? If so that's kind of depressing. 


For what it's worth, I *do* need to lose weight too, so I don't think this is some kind of "natural plateau" my body is hitting where this is the size it wants to be at. I've put on 20-30 pounds since college and none of it in any good places (and none of it is muscle). This is the first time in my adult life that I've really been eating well and attempting to be fit and I'm a little troubled that it looks like a single glass of red wine with friends is gonna be the thing that does me in.


Anybody have any advice on this? Do I just need to go back on Whole30 and stay there until I meet my goals?

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I struggle with this "balance" all the time. After I backed off the strict W30 by even a smidge-weight loss stalled or even I gained. I am sure you will get plenty of opinions but for me, I seem to be even more sensitive to anything not W30-like a glass of wine, and heaven forbid if I eat anything processed at all. Where as before W30, I would expect to stall linearly with the addition of the added calories, the weight gain now is certainly not in porportion to the calories. Now-everyone here will say a calorie is not a calorie. I get that. But the change in toleration of processed calories in any form certainly has got me frustrated. So, after several months seriously compliant, I am trying to find a balance with what is the real world, and what is important for me and my health.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

I never lost more than 2 pounds per month when I began Whole30-style eating. I lost 2 pounds every month for 15 months in a row and dropped from 30 percent body fat to 10 percent body fat. I gained a fair amount of muscle/strength over those 15 months, so I lost more than 30 pounds of fat, I just don't know how much. 


It is easy to lose 10 pounds when you begin a process if you are in bad enough shape. The first month is the easy month. After that, change is more gradual. You need to accept that and anticipate that you may keep shedding fat for more than a year. 


After 15 months, I was down to 184 pounds - I am 6'2". Now 5.5 years later, I weigh 184 pounds. Whole30-style eating works. I am strict about eating only Whole30-compliant meals at home. When I go to restaurants, I eat dairy in sauces, rice, and even a pizza from a really nice place occasionally. Yesterday I had a mango lassi (yogurt drink) with my lunch. I am still able to stay at 184. And here is the cool thing. I don't have a scale at home and never weigh except in my doctor's office. I saw the doctor a month ago and that is when I learned that I weigh the same as I did in 2011. 


Hang in there!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Weight stability is where the rubber meets the road.  Monthly losses of 10 lbs/month and a rebound the next month puts us further in the hole.  With each weight cycling of +10 and -10, more lean muscle mass is lost.

Rebound weight comes back in the form of fat.  Over many years of this weight cycling, the belly inches stack on.   


If someone weight cycles several/many times during a lifetime...it becomes a cortisol nightmare.  It's never a trade UP with lean muscle mass.  It takes many months to recoup that muscle mass with each phase of weight gain/weight loss.   


Weight stability takes true grit.  It requires a commitment to creating your own positive food management plan or maintenance plan that will prevent this weight cycling nightmare which can bring on diabetes if it continues.   Insulin primes the pump of weight gain in the form of fat.   


It's so important to break these cycles.   You're young.  The sooner you can make that promise to yourself the better off you'll be waaay into your future.   I've been working on it for 15 months.   I want to stick that landing.


A reintro..Testing and experimenting with your foods will help you create your own plan.


You'll know your triggers and foods that you should limit.   Paleo snacks with alternative flours can have just the same amount of effect on blood sugar/cortisol as regular snacks.   Watch out for those.


Wishing you success with this reintro phase.  It's completely doable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, let's take a deep breath and remember that the scale does not tell the entire story when it comes to changes in your body composition. Weight loss is not a linear journey--our bodies aren't that simple. You've lost ten pounds within a month which is a fairly rapid loss. It's not realistic to expect that same degree of loss all the way until you reach your goal. There will be times when the weight loss slows and even plateaus. That's part of your body trying to maintain homeostasis.


Are you food journaling? I think that's going to be an important practice so that you can see exactly how much you're adding back in. I doubt that it's just a single scone and singe glass of wine that's been added back during this timeframe. Almond flour scones are still junk food, even if made with paleo ingredients. Almond flour is a HUGE source of calories and you're likely consuming a great deal of it with every single scone. (The last recipe that I saw had 2 cups of almond flour for 8 scones. That's 1/4 cup of flour per scone.) That doesn't mean that you can never, ever eat another scone, but you do need to be mindful about your choices and make the judgment call as to whether or not they're worth the impact to your goals.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

What I got from this is that while sticking to a mainly Whole30 template, you were able to introduce some indulgences that bring enjoyment to your life (scones, wine etc) and you still lost two pounds in two weeks?  That's 1#/week, that's excellent!  That is EXACTLY where you want to be.  Projecting ahead, if you continue on like this, remembering that weight loss is not linear, your body will keep being nourished and it will keep tweaking the perfect balance of hormones and releasing weight all while you are enjoying life and not feeling restricted.  At an average (and extremely healthy, I might add) rate of 1# per week you are looking at losing a pretty good amount of your excess weight over the next 3-5 months.  


Shift your perspective, friend, as far as I can see this is great news!


Edited to add:  PS.......it is our money driven, woman disrespecting diet culture that has you believing that you should be aspiring to anything other than this!  Don't fall into that trap!  

Link to post
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.