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Discouraged by transient results


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I finished a Whole 30 at the end of December and kept it up for about another 4 weeks after that. I felt good, felt healthy, had consistent energy, and had control over my cravings. During the 30 days I lost about a pound (which I considered a success since my Whole 30 occurred over the holidays), but after the 30 days, even though I kept Whole 30-ing I gained weight--more than I lost. My pants quickly became tighter and I weighed more than I have weighed in almost 10 years. I was still Whole 30-ing. I got so discouraged and down and depressed, because I was trying SO HARD. I was eating protein, veggies, and healthy fats with occasional fruits and nuts. And the fruits and nuts were in moderation. I was exercising 4-5 times a week, cardio only and not too much. I was getting adequate sleep. The weight gain was not caused by the 'time of the month.' I can only fit into one pair of my jeans now, and am resigned to wear workout pants and flowy yoga pants around the house now because nothing else fits. I got so discouraged that I stopped Whole 30-ing for 6 1/2 days and ate whatever I wanted. This made me feel like crap physically so that was obviously not the solution. But I got so discouraged that I just got depressed and almost didn't feel like trying anymore. I have tried several different methods of healthy eating in the past and get discouraged when I don't see the results I think I should see from my serious efforts. I know that NSV's matter, but honestly when I weigh more than I have weighed in years, have only one pair of pants that fit now, and feel like a blob of fat, the NSV's go out the window.

I need help. I am looking into starting Crossfit (for strength and conditioning), and am currently doing another strict Whole 30 (on day 6 now) to try to get back on track. But I don't even know if this will help me. I am concerned that I am going to do this Whole 30 with similar results and get even more discouraged. After all, I did almost a Whole 60 and ended up fatter than ever. So, what makes me think this Whole 30 will help? Im not saying the Whole 30 causes weight gain, but it certainly doesn't prevent it either. I guess I'm eating too many calories? But I am really trying to listen to my signals, eat when hungry to satiety and stop. I am so discouraged and down and depressed. I hate that I can't fit into my pants and weigh more than I have weighed in 10 years. I don't know whether I should continue this Whole 30 right now or what I should do.

A typical day for me is this:


Protein--3 scrambled eggs cooked in 1 tsp. ghee

Veggie--some sort of roasted veggie like Brussels sprouts or broccoli or butternut squash or sweet potato

Fat--either 1/2 avocado or 2 pieces of sugar-free bacon


Protein--either canned tuna, a burger patty, 1-2 chicken thighs, or some baked fish

Veggie--salad greens, and lots of them

Fat--either olives or 1/2 avocado and olive oil and balsamic vinegar, occasionally a sprinkle of walnuts

During my December Whole 30 I followed the pre- and post-WO template a little closer but now if I workout I eat 1/2 hard-boiled egg beforehand and then 1/2 egg afterwards. I usually run 3-5 miles at a moderate pace 4-5 days per week. I have not been doing strength and this may be my problem, but I am planning to start Crossfit next week.


Protein--either 2 chicken drumsticks or 1 cup of chicken salad or some chocolate chili

Veggies--either some roasted broccoli or 1 baked sweet potato or a side salad

Fat--either oil used to roast chicken and veggies or mayo in chicken salad or 1 packet of coconut butter on the potato or a blob of mayo and some black olives with the chili

Usually herbal tea following M3, with an occasional piece of fruit and sometimes a packet of nut butter with the piece of fruit. I usually eat an ounce of nuts or 1 packet of nut butter 3-4 times a week.

I am so discouraged and depressed about the transient results right now. I put so much effort into this and want it to work so badly. It's just not. :-/

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I'm sorry you're not having great results. First, please try to relax. I know that's not what you want to hear, but truly, stressing about your weight isn't going to help you lose weight. 


Are you sure you need to lose weight? Is it at all possible that your body would be happier at a weight that your mind may not be quite as happy with? You say it's definitely not to do with that time of the month, but is there any chance maybe you're pregnant? Do you have any underlying health conditions that might be affecting your results (sometimes our bodies can seem to prioritize healing from past injuries or illnesses over losing weight)?  (Also note, you don't necessarily have to answer these here on the forum, just consider them, and if they might be affecting things, take that into account, and if there's nothing like that in your life, just skip it.)


Your meals mostly look good. If you have been eating a lot more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts and cauliflower, sometimes those cause bloating for people.  Some people can react to other foods in a similar way, like nightshades or FODMAPS or eggs or even coconut, so if you've been eating a whole lot more of one of those groups than usual, maybe cut back on those some and see what happens.


I do want to point out that when you start Crossfit, it's going to be even more important to make sure you have a good post-workout meal after your workouts. This article explains what and why to eat post-workout. You may also need to cut back on some of the cardio when you add in the Crossfit, to make sure you're allowing your body to truly recover (rest vs. recovery article). 

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great points from Shannon. It's hard to know from the forum if you are already at a healthy weight or if gaining a little might be a good thing. So many women have weight loss goals that are lower than optimal for health and hormone balance, etc.


Assuming that this weight gain is not of the healthy variety, though, you might also want to consider speaking with your doctor and getting some bloodwork done. I recently gained a bit of weight, which was super frustrating because I had continued to eat exactly the same way I had been (basically whole30, with occasional non-gluten grains added in). Eventually, we figured out that my thyroid had slowed down and my medication needed adjustment, but any manner of things might be impacting your balance. Even too much stress (cardio can add to stress) might slow weight loss or cause weight gain. Food is just one piece of the puzzle.


ps: your food looks fine. A little light, but otherwise good.  ;)

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I finished a W30 on January 30 and I have gained about 3 pounds. I was dealing with a fair amount of indigestion and constipation while on the program, As soon as I went off, my constipation went away. Things have definitely been better BUT I found myself 3 pounds heavier which has done a number on my psyche. Really don't care if I lost weight on the program but GAINING is not acceptable to me.


I have looked at some areas as to why this may be happening.


Due to a shoulder injury my workouts during the month of January were paired down and not nearly as intense. The break was good for me BUT I also ate a good amount of starchy vegetables (potatoes, squash, peas) on the program and that would contribute to more water weight.


I have gone through some recent thyroid med changes which could be affecting weight.


I have also considered a change in gut bacteria from forgoing sugar and alcohol that could result in the transient state of temporary weight gain. 


I have recently eliminated Nightshades and cut back on FODMAPS. Maybe it's too much all at once? 


Working to hang in there but YES, this does do a number on my mind. My jeans are tight. I am working to feel the emotions and allow them to pass through. I haven't heard many people speak of post W30 weight gain.

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  Thyroid issues do throw a wrench into the works. Sorry you are struggling with this. It can take time a trial and error to get your meds dialed in. Are you sticking pretty close to W30 now that you are finished?

My only reintros so far were one tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 days W30, then some non-compliant olives (sulfites). The rest has been 100% compliance. I would love to have a glass of wine. I am feeling kind of bummed that I am heavier with no alcohol for 5 weeks. Doesn't feel right. I know things will level off eventually. I can get pretty head casey about this stuff.

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