What does it mean when diet ISN'T the silver bullet?
Now, don't get me wrong, I am a diehard Primal/Paleo girl, been happily eating this way for two years now, and for energy/sleep/taste/overall health reasons, I'll never go back to SAD. I've converted family members and even vegetarians to Primal and I sing its praises on a constant basis. BUT:
I have never been able to make significant body comp changes on this diet. I can eat clean as a whistle or I can splurge on cheat meals during vacation and it doesn't make a difference in what I weigh and how I look. If I eat SAD, I gain weight, but if I'm eating Primal, my weight just stays at a setpoint of about 155-160, and I have a flabby belly, no matter what I do. I've tried VLC, whole30, calorie and carb cycling, elimination diets, etc--basically every iteration of Primal that floats around on these boards. No change. Which, it could be worse--I could be a gainer, and I'm not. My body seems to want to stay at this weight and BF% no matter what I eat. I read posts all the time from people who lost weight purely through adopting this diet, and probably fifty posts a day quote "80% of how you look is diet" or "abs are made in the kitchen". Well, that just seems not to be true for me.
Because: the only time I see significant body comp changes is when I work out a LOT. Exercise is the silver bullet for me. If I'm not working out, my body comp will not budge a speck. If I'm working out PBF-style, I see some slight slimming/leaning. If I'm working out like a beast (i.e right now, doing Crossfit 3x/week and a lifting class 2x/week), THAT'S when I see actual changes in body comp. My eating in all these modes is the same (with caloric intake relative to amount of exercise).
So my question is: anyone have any idea why? Why does diet make no difference for me, and the only thing that makes any real difference is lots and LOTS of working out? (Before anyone starts screeching about overtraining, I'm not, I feel great, I kill my WODs and am making steady strength gains, and my sleep/energy is fantastic. And anyhow, whether or not I'm overtraining is a different conversation). Is there something hormonal going on that seems to be suggested by the above?
I'm really just curious. I don't feel bitter or overburdened or anything--I love working out and am focused far more on fitness than body comp anyway--but I just have no idea why the rule that seems to work for everyone else doesn't work for me.