Weight Gain


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I have been doing strict Whole30 for around 70 days (after my first 30 I tried other foods for 2 days, but have been perfectly strict other than that.) The first 30 days were rough, and I struggled through not feeling great most of the time, but by the end I had fallen in love with the food and wanted to continue. However, I barely lost any weight. I am 5'9" and fluctuate right around 170 lb. I probably lost around 5 lbs or so.
I am 42 and am currently nursing my 11th baby. In an effort to trim up and lose weight I started exercising with my second round -- fast walking and some weight training (lunges, squats, push-ups, sit-ups.) I have exercised 5 or 6 days every week for 5 weeks now. I also decided to cut down on carbs a bit to see if that would help (my overweight friend has been having great success with keto, so I am incorporating a bit of both.)
Well, for a while I started losing weight quickly, but only a few pounds and then I would gain it back. The same thing happened again, but this time I gained a bit more and am now back up to 170. I have trimmed up a bit, which is nice, but my clothes are not getting any looser on me and I have definitely not lost a size. I'm enjoying eating this way and have so far not cheated (even when it's been hard) but it is hard to justify the exceptional amount of time it takes when I'm not seeing the results I had really hoped for. I cannot understand how when I am not eating sugar and exercising, I am not losing weight. I have not increased my weight training so the increased weight is not simply muscle -- and if it were my size would at least be changing.
I follow the template and the only thing I really struggle with is eating within an hour of waking. I first exercise and then the kids are all up when I get back and it's off to the races and I usually don't eat myself (other than a quick post-workout snack) until they are all fed and ready. 
I also notice that sometimes I am SO HUNGRY! I feel like I eat more than the template at some meals and am still not fully satisfied -- which is perhaps why I then gain weight? I just don't know why this happens and what I should do about it...
Typical meals:
Pre workout, small handful of macadamias
Post workout, small slice of turkey breast and a few bites of plain sweet potato
Meal 1, Super veggie frittata with a full avocado -- usually TONS of vegetables and between 4 and 5 eggs
Meal 2, Green Tuna Salad -- Albacore mixed with mayo and avocado and spices mixed in a large veggie salad with oil and vinegar and tons of greens.
Meal 3, Paleo Chile -- large bowl, with a cup of with my own whole30 unsweetened hot chocolate (cocoa powder mixed with coconut oil stirred into a cup of cashew milk)

2nd example:
Pre workout, 1 fried egg 
Post workout, turkey breast and plain sweet potato
Meal 1, Whole30 approved sausage with tons of kim chi and a cup of hot chocolate (it serves as an occasional fat source -- I'm not a coffee drinker)
Meal 2, Taco Salad -- tons of greens and veggies with oil and vinegar, taco meat, and guacamole
Meal 3, Coconut Lime Chicken served over Cauliflower Rice (cooked in oil) with grilled asparagus/mushrooms/tomatoes and a large scoop of coconut flakes.

As I said, I often eat a full second portion. I have no idea why I sometimes feel so insatiable! I am eating only good foods, but perhaps I am eating too much? But why? Why am I sometimes SO HUNGRY? And why can I not seem to lose weight without it coming right back?
Thank you for your help!

Edited to add: I forgot to mention one other big problem. For the last two weeks or so I have been struggling with pretty major swelling and pain in my knees! And also my hips. I am certain it is from power walking and the squats and lunges, but I really, really want to be able to exercise! I cannot figure out how I am having so much trouble when there should really be no inflammatory foods in my diet! I am worried that if it keeps getting worse (despite my use of magnesium, turmeric, and various essential oils) I will need to stop exercising -- which I desperately don't want to do!
So I'd love any insight into why this is happening and what I can do about it!
Thank you!
 

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I went back through and read previous conversations around your experience on the program as I remembered you from having 11 kids.  I see that you're not eating four meals a day (or three and two mini meals) as was suggested to you given the fact that you're breastfeeding.  Is there a reason why you're not doing this?  It would definitely explain your hunger as you're using your body to keep another human alive.

Weight loss is not guaranteed in this program but nursing and not eating enough are going to be contributing factors to your body not letting go of weight... that's just a survival mechanism... your body is smart - nursing a human, not enough food, it's going to hold on to everything you give it because it NEEDS the nutrients. Your meal 3 on the first sample day would not be enough food... unless you ate a vat of chili, you need to work it out to get the 1-2 palms of protein PLUS the equivalent of a plate full of veggies and I somehow doubt you ate a mixing bowl full of chili... Your meal 1 from the nxt day is also not sufficient, especially for a person who is nursing.  Remembering that nutrition is cumulative and you'll be hungrier from nursing, you really need to eat more and I would ditch that hot chocolate... it would not be appropriate for Whole30, even if you have extended further than 30 days.

As far as the pain from exercising, it's possible that it's not from food and is just muscle/joint pain from exercising.  Not everything is related to food and just not eating inflammatory foods is not going to protect your body from activity driven pain or soreness.

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Thank you SugarCube. Funny to be so memorable LOL!
And thank you for your continued help! 
I should explain a little more clearly. I actually am not really struggling with hunger between meals, more that when I am eating I want to eat a LOT! For example, I do eat probably two giant bowls, or three regular bowls of chili when I'm feeling that hungry. It is pretty much all meat and tons of veggies so I estimated that it was likely a bit more than a palm size serving I was eating. When I'm running and hungry I might snack on some olives or some cashews or something if I don't have time for a meal yet, but usually when I'm hungry I eat a meal, and then I want to eat until I am full. And if I do I don't feel hungry until the next meal. I could try cutting down my meal size and adding some snacks, if that might help? Would that be preferable?
And quick question about the hot chocolate. I assumed it was fine since it was not sweetened in any way. I started making it as a sort of copy of the keto coffee that some have mentioned, but I didn't do it as a meal replacement. At first I added chili powder and similar spices to make it a spicy/savory hot chocolate. Then, for ease, I found that it tasted great to me just with plain unsweetened cocoa and coconut oil and unsweetened Whole30 compliant cashew milk. It hasn't been a means of making me crave sweets at all! In fact, just last week as I was struggling to resist my FAVORITE chocolate cake that one of my children requested that I make for his birthday, the hot chocolate was a life saver. It isn't sweet, but made the after taste is chocolate and made it possible for me to have that darn cake in the my kitchen for two days (walking past it continually) without taking a single bite -- although I admit I came close once or twice LOL. So I'm wanting to understand if there are specific reasons I should avoid it if possible. I get the SWYPO principle, but I personally haven't seen a downside and this is one way that I have found to make continuing Whole30 eating indefinitely much more enjoyable/possible. Totally not wanting to argue -- just wanting to really understand. 
Thanks again for all your help!

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So you SHOULD eat until you're full... I might be missing the point but I'm not sure why 'usually when I'm hungry I eat a meal, and then want to eat until I"m full' is a problem?  We do not recommend eating smaller meals more frequently - it's better for your digestion (unless you have a special medical context) to eat full meals spaced 4-5 hours apart.  For YOUR context, you would want to ADD in a meal or two halves of a meal in between to accommodate for nursing.

As far as the hot chocolate, it's definitely SWYPO and there is no real allowance for whether individuals personally see a downside of the item or not... Cocoa is only allowed as an add to savory recipes (chocolate chili, cocoa rubbed steak) and not for recreating 'sweet treats', even if they're not additionally sweetened, sorry.

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