Losing too much weight


Wholey Moley

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When I started on the Whole 30 with my wife, it wasn't a huge stretch. I had eliminated lots of foods intermittently since being misdiagnosed as hypoglycemic at age 15. For most of my life, (I'm 61) I regarded some foods as responsible for a range of chronic undiagnosed symptoms and others as a solution to others. So when we started looking at whole 30 as a way to finally solve persistent gut issues, it wasn't a tough sell for me, and I managed to navigate the 30 days pretty well.

My wife has reintroduced more foods than I have, but our shared meals are compliant, or close to it.  I eat a veggie hash with egg and/or meat and avocado in the morning, a large everything-possible salad at lunch (including meat) and a good evening meal of a meat dish, lots of veggies, good fats and often some fruit.  During the day I have one or two cups of coffee with either coconut cream or 1/2 and 1/2, several cups of water, a couple Larabars and a good size snack of pistachios, almonds or cashews. 

I also swim 2-3 times a week and ride a stationary bike 2-3 times a week. This is not new. They are not rigorous workouts, but about 20-30 minutes each time. I've carried 10-15 lbs above my goal weight for the last several years.  Three months after my Whole 30, I was not only at my goal weight, but continuing past it. I had been more consistent with my work outs, so that certainly was a factor.  But when I started dipping below my goal weight, I started feeling a bit concerned.

Very little added sugar in my diet now. (This comes after many years of ice cream or cookies being my culinary secret vice of choice. Some full-on wheat and dairy items, but more often gluten free -sugar heavy cookies or dairy free -sugar heavy frozen desserts.) Now I have restricted those items to less than once every couple weeks.

When my annual check-up labs came back this Fall with borderline cholesterol concerns, I told my doc I wanted to try introducing steel cut oats each morning before considering any medical intervention.  After six weeks of adding (not substituting) a small helping of oatmeal with berries and banana, my cholesterol recheck showed a 20% improvement. So I'm eating a lot of breakfast, a large saladbar with meat lunch and a full dinner, but barely keeping from dropping more weight.

What can I add to keep me from dropping more weight?  

 

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Adding some data points could help others give a more fully-informed opinion:
height
goal weight
weight at which you started noticing the change, weight you are at now, and time frame of this change? i.e. what has the rate of weight loss been

 

Ice cream and cookies are quite calorically dense, but then again, so are the Larabars and nuts you are eating now.  Depends on how much of that other stuff you really were eating before.

But really, the answer to gain weight = eat more.  Upping salad dressings, mayo, avocado, olives, etc. can increase your intake without adding a lot of volume in your stomach.

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Data points:

Height - 5'10"

Goal weight - Originally, 155 - 160 lbs.  

Weight at start of Whole 30: 172 lbs.

About four months after starting on the Whole 30 path, I had dropped 10 lbs. At that point, rather than losing 2.5 lbs a month, I started losing a pound a week. When I got to 157, it seemed to be coming off a bit too quickly, so I started intentionally eating more.

 

Regarding amount of cookies and ice cream - I love the SO Delicious Salted Caramel Cluster Cashew Milk.  I could easily eat a whole pint at a time. It was my go-to evening dessert.  Cookies - I made salted caramel chip cookies with Pam's gluten free flour. I ate 2-4 a day when I'd bake a batch.

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This is the article we typically direct people to about keeping weight on during a Whole30:   https://whole30.com/2013/12/keeping-weight-whole30/

On your salad, are you including dense vegetables as well as leafy greens? Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, other root vegetables like turnips, beets, rutabagas, or carrots, and winter squashes like butternut or acorn squash are going to have more calories than leafy greens will. Are you adding post-WO meals after you work out? Even if you think they're not very taxing, since you're having trouble keeping weight on, it might be worth adding something like chicken and sweet potato or some other combo of lean protein and starchy vegetable post workout, in addition to your other meals. 

Another thing you might consider doing -- track your food in a calorie counter (like My Fitness Pal or Spark People) for a few days. We don't normally recommend this during a Whole30, but do it for just a few days, and see where you really stand calorie wise. If you seem to be in a decent calorie range such that you shouldn't be losing weight, it might be something you need to talk to your doctor about, to rule out any kind of underlying problem that might be going on. And if you are actually low on calories, then really look at what you're eating and see where you can substitute in higher calorie items. 

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