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Completed R4 with disappointing results

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Hi everyone.  I did my first whole 30 in February 2016.  It was amazing and life-changing.  I felt great and lost about 15 lbs in the month!  I continued to eat mostly Whole30 for the next couple  months and did another Whole 30 in May of that year.  By June of 2016 I was down to about 140 lbs which was the lowest I have ever been.  I kept my eating and exercise pretty consistent for the next several months, and my weight went up to about 145, which was fine, I felt good and I thought I'd be able to keep that up.

In November, I changed jobs and we moved, so a lot of stress to say the least.  I got off plan, but still my weight stayed pretty level.  Then in January my weight really started going up, I was at about 155 and did another Whole30 (actually about a Whole 45) and increased my exercise a lot.  I ended up that 45 days at 152.  I thought, maybe I'm working out too hard, so in April, I started R4.  I had gone up to 158 and now I just finished, and I am at 156.  I'm feeling really discouraged and I don't know where I am going wrong.  My clothes are not fitting me and I feel gross.  

Of course, no whole30 is for nothing...my energy is up, I'm sleeping better, and I wake up easily in the morning.  Any advice would be really appreciated!  Thanks.


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It's pretty hard to give feedback when we don't know anything about what you ate, how you exercised, what your sleep was like, how you composed and timed your meals, what (if any) underlying health conditions you have, how much water you're drinking etc.  All you've really told us is how the scale has been changing. 

Are you in menopause? How are your periods?  How bezerk did you go on off-plan foods during your stressful time? Are you feeding yourself pre and post workout meals? What are you doing as workouts and how often?

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Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well.

The first thing I have to say is that Whole30 is not a weightloss diet, it's an elimination protocol aimed at figuring out how certain foods affect you personally.

We can give advice on your meal composition if you would ike; you would need to write down 2-3 days of your typical intake including portion sizes, specific veggies, protein, fat and fruits, water intake, workouts, pre and post workouts, medical conditions etc...

The one thing we won't do tho is give you tips on how to hack whole30 to force weight loss... 

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I think I've been eating basically the same meal plan for the past year, give or take but here's an example:

Breakfast - either 4-6 oz of beef or chicken, some green beans or broccoli, OR a frittata with sweet potatoes, zucchini, ground beef and eggs.

Lunch - chicken stir fry with veggies (snow peas, water chestnuts, onions, bamboo shoots), some ground cashews sprinkled on top (I would say about 2 cups of this)  OR chicken with onions, peppers and sweet potatoes and potatoes.

Dinner - roast chicken with green beans and a sweet potato, or ground beef cooked with onion and spaghetti squash.  

I drink a minimum of 64 oz of water per day, but usually more like 96 oz.  I don't snack, but I eat enough that I am not hungry.  

During my first whole 30, I was walking about 45 minutes a day, increased that to about 1 hour a day after that whole 30.  

During my 3rd whole 30, where I didn't lose much weight, I was doing Orange Theory (HIIT) about 4 times per week.

During this past whole 30, I have been walking about 30-40 minutes per day 3 days a week.  I have recently (the past 2 weeks) increased that to about 45 minutes a day 5 days a week.

I think my biggest problem is that I LOVE Whole 30, I love how it makes me feel, but I don't know how to get my body back to where it was even 6 months ago.  

I have no underlying medical conditions that I know of.  I am in my late 30s, everything else seems normal but my body is not responding to my change in diet the way I would have expected or hoped based on my past experiences.  I am going to continue to eat in this way, because I know it is how I feel best.  I just was really wondering if this is normal or if I am having an outlier experience?


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I'd say your experience is normal because Whole30 isn't a weight loss diet. You "feel gross" but you're sleeping well and have energy and enjoy your meals. That MAY suggest that the weight your body prefers and the weight you prefer are different. 

You could try the approach of changing your body shape and composition through strength training. 

Weight loss as a goal on its own is . . . complex. And, as you've noted, hard to sustain. If you significantly increase your activity level and don't increase your food intake you may be able to achieve a slow weight loss. (1-2 pounds a month).

Or you could accept the weight you're at and focus on getting stronger, more flexible, etc. 

And, as you've noted, stress can play havoc with lots of things including weight. 

No magic bullet from me. If I had one I'd be a gazillionaire. 

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