I've been eating primally since mid-April. This is the second time I'm trying this. I went primal for a couple months during the summer of 2010, but I stopped after a while because, after losing two pounds initially, I started to gain weight instead. But back then I wasn't super strict and didn't fast.
This time around, I'm a lot more strict (though not perfect--I do cheat a little occasionally), but my cheating is pretty in control, I think. Every once in a while I'll have a bit of rice when I'm at a Thai restaurant or have injera at an Ethiopian restaurant. (Thai and Ethiopian are my favorite cuisines so it would be a bit brutal to expect me to never eat them again). My only really bad cheat days were four days at the end of June when I went out of town for a friend's wedding. It was a reunion of sorts, and several of my college friends are primal. But we decided that we won't diet during this reunion. We're all foodies and routinely gorged ourselves on obscene amounts of food when we were in college. Anyway, let's just say that we ate a lot during those four days.
So I'm a 30-year-old female, 5'4", and weighed 132 lbs when I started. When I first started, I just cut out most carbs (still ate fruit and yogurt in moderation). I lost some weight (probably mostly water weight) almost right away. I did that for a while, but then the weight started creeping back. Then I started IFing--16 hours at first--and started losing again. Then the weight started to come back again. I started doing 24-hour fasts twice a week. The weight went down again. The lowest I got to was 126. Then it started creeping back up again, and I thought that it might be because I tended to "fall off the wagon" after 24-hour fasts because I get mad carb cravings at the end of those and psychologically, it's hard for me to resist because I also think that I've been so good, having just fasted for 24 hours, so surely I can have a few bites of [insert really bad carb item].
So recently I've been doing 16-to-20-hour fasts a couple times a week instead of the 24-hour ones twice a week. I just weighed myself this morning, and I'm 133! Yikes! (By the way, I use weight as a shorthand, but I don't rely solely on the scale--I also measure my waist circumference since my waist/ab area is my problem area and that's where the fat usually comes off from/goes onto when I lose/gain. And I can tell too, just by how well certain dresses fit, whether I've lost or gained.)
So now I'm officially fatter than I was when I went primal in mid-April. I'm really annoyed and am seriously about to get off the diet again because I can maintain my current weight pretty easily on a conventional diet where I'm at least allowed to eat delicious, delicious carbs.
I'm also physically active--I lift weights twice a week, do sprint intervals once a week, and do one short run and one long run a week. Only the long run can really be considered "chronic cardio," and it's not even that long (7-8 miles only) so please don't tell me that my one long run a week is making me fat. (Quite the opposite, I'm almost certain that I'd be even fatter if I hadn't been running.) I'm a runner and am not about to give up something I love because some other people think it's bad for you. Running is also the one reliable thing that has ever helped me lose weight and keep it off. I used to run a lot more but decided to reduce my weekly mileage after completing a 10-miler in May because of this whole primal thing. And now I'm wondering if that's why I'm gaining. I thought the whole point of primal is that you could work out less by eating better.
I don't really know what to do at this point so if anyone has any insight, I'd really appreciate it.
(Sorry if I sound bitter--I'm feeling a bit bitter right now.)