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Gaining, not losing! What gives!?

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  • Gaining, not losing! What gives!?

    Hi, all! I'm relatively new to primal eating (been at it two weeks), and though I'm pretty sure I'm doing the right things, I'm gaining weight rather than losing! Can anyone help me pinpoint what might be going wrong?

    Here's what I might eat on a typical day:

    Breakfast - eggs (with spinach, mushrooms, and onion) and turkey bacon OR apple, frozen blueberries and crushed walnuts with almond milk (and sometimes a little honey), coffee

    Lunch - big salad (often with chicken, avocado, and lots of veggies)

    Snack (depending on hunger) - handful of almonds (usually pre-workout) OR clementine OR carrots with primally-prepared zucchini hummus

    Dinner - meat (beef, chicken, fish), sauteed or steamed veggies, cauliflower rice OR sweet potato

    Along with that, I do crossfit three times a week (started in September '12) and walk just about everywhere.

    I figured I'd try eating primal after four months of crossfit with no weight loss (I'm a female with about 15lbs to lose). Now, I'm gaining weight (2lbs last week)! Needless to say, I'm feeling very frustrated and disheartened. Has anyone else had this experience? Am I doing something wrong?

  • #2
    Hi & welcome!
    Can you give us more information on your body type? Height/ weight/ GW? Most folks will jump on and say to cut out the nuts as they are calorie dense. That said, what do you portion sizes look like on your meals?

    Are you going for a lithe body type or do you want some decent muscle mass on your frame? CrossFit is great but it adds density to female frames when they are eating lots of protein & fat.


    • #3
      Thanks for your response! I am 5'5/141lbs currently, hoping to get down to 130 or so (I just realized I said I have 15lbs to lose in my original post - more like 10lbs!). Most of my portions are not particularly large, for instance for breakfast I might have half an apple with 1/4C of walnuts and almond milk. When I have eggs I'll usually stick to two or maybe three if I'm real hungry. When I have meat, its usually a single serving (1 chicken breast, fist sized-steak) plus a cup or so of veggies.

      As far as what I'm going for, I'd like to slim down, but I'm not too concerned about looking muscular. I have knee problems that I'm working with my trainer to target, so I'm pretty committed to sticking with CrossFit.

      Again, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate any thoughts/advice!


      • #4
        Your size/ weight is well within the normal range presently but I TOTALLY understand "Primal with a side of vanity." If you really want the # on the scale down, cut the nuts and fruit for a little while. Get your body to focus on fat burning but be sure to eat enough meat, veg, fat etc.

        I was a long time vegetarian with a heavy excercise load. When I picked up paleo, I actually gained weight because my protein intake had been too low for soo long. That said, it was lovely lean muscle weight, which looks (if I do say so myself) fantastic. Give your body a few more weeks to adjust. Also, try to ditch the scale for a bit and give yourself time. Your body will reconfigure eating this way and you will look & feel amazing!


        • #5
          Give it some time! It took me about a month before I really felt like I switched from "sugar burner" to "fat burner" and when I did, I didn't feel the need to snack anymore, and those snack-time nuts were slowing my weight loss...also, that's when I started doing the occasional IF, which seemed to help too. I'd say don't sweat it, keep doing what you're doing (diet and exercise sound great), and it will happen. BUT--you HAVE to get enough sleep. Especially if you exercise a lot, otherwise that cortisol can build up, and forget about weight loss.


          • #6
            Thank you for your thoughts! I so appreciate the input. Funny you mentioned sleep... I've been having a seriously tough time with it lately (not falling asleep so much as staying asleep - I've been waking up after about 4 hours and not being able to drift off again). Once I find a good/natural way to help that, hopefully the weight will start coming off, too! Thanks again.


            • #7
              Are you gaining fat or weight?
              Crohn's, doing SCD


              • #8
                Good question. I'm not sure?


                • #9
                  Its probably because I'm not anywhere near as active as you, but that seems like a ton of (delicious sounding) food! Have you tried IF?


                  • #10
                    I haven't yet, no. Still looking into whether it would be right for me. Thanks for the suggestion!


                    • #11
                      My first IF marked my transition to "fat burning beast" (I love Mark's term...); it was about 3 weeks in, but before that, I didn't feel like I could have done it comfortably. I remember being amazed that I didn't feel hunger like I thought I would--it was there, but not insistent--and that I was able to exercise in the fasted state. Such a feeling of liberation from the gotta-eat-every-3-hours routine I was so used to for so long. I think it can really help with fat loss, but to echo Mark's advice, don't try it if you're really stressed or not sleeping enough, because it will just add another stress on top of everything else.

                      On the fat loss question, keep checking the fit of your clothes--you'll know it when it starts to come off!