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  • Getting fatter-help!

    I've posted before about my situation but have more info to add so am posting again as per Mark's suggestion yesterday. Hoping you generous PBers have ideas!

    I'm a 47 yr old perimenopausal woman who started the PB in April. I have steadily gained weight- went from 154 to 168lbs! Only gained 1 lb muscle per recent body comp. I was vegetarian for 20 yrs (but started eating fish 10 yrs ago). I went off bc pills 3 yrs ago. I have hypothyroidism (finally diagnosed but do NOT have Hashi's/Celiac/low coristisol/adrenal fatigue. In fact, recent labs indicate excellent health. My prob: weight gain (fat) and very low testosterone (despite my routine outlined below).

    My supplements & meds: have an ND & holistic MD who have me on natural desiccated thyroid (Armour) for 2 mos for the hypo. Am slowly increasing the dose (know all about the shortage & FDA debacle; am able to get mine thru Canada) My ND has me on Designs for Health supplements- zinc, fish oil, raw milk whey protein, metabolic synergy, vit d, thyroid synergy, DIM, and now DHEA in hopes that will help with the weight & testosterone though I'm doubtful (nothing seems to help!) I have a Buddha belly, which is typical of being estrogen dominant & insulin resistant which I am.

    My diet: all food is whole, local, seasonal, organic where possible. I shop at Farmers Markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's etc

    Typical day:

    bfast is 2 eggs or 1 egg & 2 whites, sautéed zucchini, 6oz lean turkey sausage, salsa, 1 TBS goat cheese, handful of almonds, assam tea w/ splash of half & half. Cooked in EVCoco oil.

    lunch is: 6 oz protein (poached chix, grilled salmon, etc) on greens w/ toms, cukes, avo w/EVOO & lemon juice followed by herbal tea.

    dinner: same as lunch, but will add steamed/sautéed veggies too (low carb). After dinner sometimes a square of dk choco, or handful of nuts.

    snacks: before workout, a Designs for Health Paelo Bar or 1/2 of a hi protein Greens + Protein bar (not exactly primal but I eat bfast at 7am & lunch at 3pm so I need at snack around 11 am). I workout at 12:30-1:30pm usally. After my workout I have a homemade whey protein smoothie (no fat) as per my doc.

    My workout: I have a personal trainer who customizes a 6 week routine. He's a Paleo/PB fan- so there's lots of bodybuilding & compound moves. Weights= 3x week (M,W,F). Cardio is tabata sprints 2x week, recovery run 1x week (T,TH,S) . Yoga on Sunday. Workouts 45 mins or less. Yoga= 2 hrs. Have been exercising regularly since the 80s. Until recently, did spin 3-4 x week plus classes- boot camp, pilates, body conditioning etc at my local gym.

    Any suggestions to help me lose weight welcome. I've done body comp tests & my resting metabolic expenditure is 1500 cals! I also have a very hearty appetite, which has been quelled somewhat by eating lots o' protein. But still...eating less, exercising primally has not made much difference. Help before I give up & revert back to eating rice & bean burritos, bread, oatmeal & tofu!

  • #2

    I don't see enough fat in your diet. More to the point, I see a lot of "no fat" this and "lean" that. Add fat to your diet and cut out the "no fat" stuff. Buy fattier meats. Use cream, not half and half. Etc. This will help you with your appetite as well. Your ratios should be about 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs (if that).

    Eating too much protein at the expense of eating fat will make you hungry just like carbs will. The body converts excess protein into carbs - it's inefficient, but it does do it, and that increases the carbs floating around in your system.

    Best of luck!

    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

    Ditch the scale!:

    My Success Story:


    • #3

      I would cut back on the nuts...they always make me gain.

      yes and like giff said some more fat

      the protien bar might be a problem too if you search here their are homemade ones that are probally a much better alternative.

      you might want to keep track of your carbs as well on fitday or something just for a couple of days to see if you in the 100 range or under which Mark calls "The Sweet Spot" be patient and keep going

      sometimes it takes the body awhile to adjust! xoxo Darlene


      • #4

        Griff, that was my first thought too. I can't even eat a salad at a restaurant without adding enough fat(I usually bring my own dressing) or I'm hungry again an hour later. Or 5 minutes later. If I have to eat out with others for work, and I don't have any good fat options, I just have to make sure I eat something fatty as soon as I can afterwards to balance out the protein.

        Your hearty appetite is normal I'm sure, I'm only 5'2" and can definitely out eat many larger than me, but as long as I get 70-ish% fat and less than 10% carbs (the remainder being protein, whether it's 20-30%) I actually only eat around 1600 calories without feeling deprived in the least. Some days will be closer to 2,000, but I only look at my macros anymore and eat until I'm satisfied.

        You also work out a lot! There are plenty of others on here that do P90X and crossfit as well, so they have rigorous workout schedules like yours, but for the most part you'll get the "work out less" recommendation around here. It absolutely works for me. I used to work out a ton, both cardio and lifting, and it made me hungry all the time and I started gaining fat weight. Look up Mark's page for primal workouts, it'll tell you to "move slowly, play, or rest" 3 times per week, lift heavy only twice, and sprint and HIIT once each. 3 days of walking or resting would be a big change to your schedule it seems!

        Summary: eat more fat and "make your easy workouts longer and easier, hard workouts shorter and harder" and rest sometimes

        You are what you eat,
        and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


        • #5

          Griff and Hanna are exactly right, friend. Your coach may say he's onto PB but it's obvious he isn't.

          WAY too much exercise for weight loss. See my recent post:

          I don't know what is in a Paleo bar, but unless it is pemmican, I'd ditch it/them. Try a hard boiled egg or a piece of cheese.


          • #6

            Marci, I recall you started the thyroid thread way back a few months ago. Did you had any adrenal testing done? have you had iron levels checked? If you have weak adrenals its especially important not to stress them, and keep the hr lower, maybe an hour walk instead, as you probably know by now the adrenals are intertwined with thyroid function. yoga is good as your breathing deeply and rhythmically, and its calming to the nervous system so will help with your adrenals if they are coming into play with your issues. I have similar things going on so I empathise, its very frustrating. looks like though from your post that your diet is high protein ,rather than high fat, moderate protein, low carb. would ditch the dairy and nuts and the whey protein powder, eat more coconut oil, replace the evoo with coco oil even.


            • #7

              I can't offer any new advice beyond what's already been suggested. Eat fat, love fat! I just want to say that I am deeply grieved whenever anyone throws away a perfectly good egg yolk

              You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


              • #8

                Too right. The yolk is the best part! I have no shame in licking it off the plate.

                Upping the fat intake really does help. I notice I tend to stall out when I don't eat enough fat.


                • #9

                  hi marci - fist, i completely agree with everyone about not enough fat in your diet. i just convinced my best friend into the primal way of eating and although she understands the premise of more fat and its amazing affects on one's physique, energy levels and overall health, she is still having a hard time eating enough because she's been trained to think fat = bad. so take that for all its worth and just try to add more to each meal so you don't feel overwhelmed, atleast until you can re-train your thoughts to think "fat = good!" second, if your body isn't able to absorb the nutrients you are giving it, then none of the supplements you are taking are doing you any good. i have A LOT of experience with this and although it sounds kind of out there, i really think you should look into NAET treatments - they have literally turned my life around. that's all i'll say, as i hate pushing stuff down people's throats, especially the unconventional ones, but if you want to know more you can go to this site hope you find relief soon


                  • #10

                    WOW! big ehugs to you all- Griff, PG, Hannah, OTB,PC,62Shelby,Diana,KB...I was near tears of frustration when I first posted and you all made my day (and made me laugh too!)

                    I thought I ate enough fat (forgot to mention my spoonfuls of EV coco oil daily)...but will try to increase it, ditch the nuts & dairy (except for heavy cream in tea), commercial paleo bars etc for a few weeks to see what happens...will track on fitday (fyi paleo bars are made with ev coco oil, almond butter, coconut etc- all natual- but homemade is better!!)

                    oh dear, I love nuts. This will be very hard.

                    I also love eggs-even like them Rocky -style. I hated tossing gorgeous orange yolks. No mas!

                    I asked my trainer about working out that much & he says it's essential in order for me to build muscle & lose weight (my workouts last 30 mins only, w/ 15 minutes foam rolling & stretching). I am addicted to working out--not sure I can skip it. I'll see what I can do & read the links you all recommended.

                    It's odd--I felt fine as a vegetarian, and when I told people I was going PB they said I'd gain weight. Guess they were right. I hate to think I'm the glaring exception to the wisdom of the PB. I promote this site & book to so many people- and they all tell me how much weight they've lost & how they love it! Is that fair?! Argh...

                    62Shelby- I am hypo but recent labs reveal I do NOT have Adrenal fatigue, low cortisol, Hashi's, etc (yay!) Iron is excellent, blood pressure fine, cholestrol perfect. My testosterone is just too low and so is my thyroid function. Am supplementing for both. So we'll see what happens!

                    I will report back in a month or so with results-hopefully positive.

                    BTW I'm 5'8", forgot to mention that, and am at 30% body fat. Should be around 23-25%.


                    • #11

                      marci, hang in there. I too gained weight after going primal. Not too much. Somewhere around 5 lb. The guys here gave me exact same advice they gave you, so I'm planning taking them all (advices, that is) on a test-drive.

                      P.S. Last night we grilled grass-fed T-bone steaks and I saw my boyfriend cutting a strip of fat off and giving to our dog. I almost started crying. Doesn't he know that I have first dibs on that kind of stuff?


                      • #12

                        yep nuts gets me in trouble every time

                        some can be pretty high in carbs and you just start popping in your mouth like me that can be a problem so I just have them now and again and I measure them out! I know it took awhile for my thyroid meds to kick in and for things to regulate! but please don't give up! this is the way to eat! Keep on keeping on and hide that scale for a bit and the nuts lol

                        make sure you take a good kelp supplement too for your thyroid. I cut out dairy and just use a tad of cheese now and then and I put full fat coconut milk in my coffee or tea and it is wonderful!!! you may want to try that too! don't use any soy esp with thyroid problems! xoxo Darlene


                        • #13

                          Oh Chocolatechip I might have cried over that...especially on a T-bone, that strip of fat is so delicious!

                          Marci, I've noticed the most satiation (is that a word?) from animal fats rather than olive oil, coconut oil (I've eaten that one by the spoonful too), and butter. While I like those three, I definitely feel better after eating fatty beef or pork, bacon or bacon grease (LOVE cooking my eggs in bacon grease), whole chicken, or wild salmon.

                          I second nixing the nuts, they were a big crutch for me for about 2 months, and I actually was able to phase them out quite a bit. I still love my almond butter, but that's much easier for me to ration

                          You are what you eat,
                          and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


                          • #14

                            coconut oil has benefits for those with thyroid issues, which is why I mentioned it.


                            • #15

                              Excellent advice- I will take it all!

                              To be honest I've been drinking a bit more wine than normal (summertime & the rose is easy to quaff!) I like 3-4 glasses a weekend but will cut way back. After this weekend at the beach I will implement all of these suggestions. Hell, why wait- I'll start tonite!

                              I have some bacon fat saved, will cook my eggs in it. And eat my bacon. And I do stay away from soy-but have been partial to tempeh now & then.

                              And Hannah- yes nut butter is easier to ration-good call (nuts are my kryptonite!)

                              Darlene & Shelby mmm coco milk in coffee- never tried it but sounds divine. I heart all things coconut. And I had heard the oil is good for thyroid issues (and a great moisturizer for hair & skin)

                              thanks CC6, Darlene, Hannah, Shelby--with yr support my inner Grokette will reveal herself. I'm just tired of feeling bad about my weight gain & thinking "this is the solution!" then the reverse happens.

                              Your collective advice may very well lead me -and other gals going thru this- to my PB sweet spot for effortless weight loss.