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Old 08-17-2018, 11:46 AM   #1  
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Hello lovelies!

I usually lurk, but I think for this one I need a hive mind, and the support here is unbelievable. I'm at my wits' end!


TL;DR: How on earth am I GAINING weight?


High Level: About four months ago, a work rafting trip made me get my butt back into the gym. About six weeks ago, our company closed and I began a full-time job search, also giving me lots of time to work out. I was bouncing between 273 and 280 when I started, usually sitting at 276ish. I'm not new to fitness kicks -- I've been heavy my entire life, with periods of gym focus and not. However, I am diligent about monitoring what I eat regardless of exercise. Even if I'm not in tracking mode (I can get a little intense), I sit at around 1500-1550 a day (BLT inclusive). Workouts started at 2x weekly 50 minute kickboxing in May, went to 3x in June, and have been 3-4x since July. Now, the scale is bouncing between . . . 273 and 282! (I weigh daily, once in the morning.) My measurements have not changed.


Medium Level: I know that when I start tracking food I get super intense. I also know that historically I ONLY see weight loss when I'm below 1,000 calories a day. I didn't want to do that this time--it makes my entire life revolve around food and takes me to a crazy control place that can be mentally unhealthy. I DON'T eat back or log my calories burned. A series of foot and ankle injuries means that I can't do the jumping or running portion of kickboxing (have to kick from a planted foot, cannot do mountain climbers or bear crawls, etc), so my workout is LOT easier that most of my compadres. It's still intense, though--I come home from every workout completely soaked in sweat and 100% drained.


Granular Level: I feel stronger--I hit HARD and I like that--and the food I eat is both healthy and healthfully prepared. I eat pretty clean. My macros are solid; I hit my targets for protein and sugar, am most often over around 3-5g on fat and under 70-100g on carbs. My water intake is my biggest struggle. I don't drink soda, but unless I stay very water driven I'll be around 36-48 oz a day, and my goal is 150. My digestion isn't an issue.


I've incorporated some strength training since July--not as much as I'd like. Working on basic strengthing and mobility in my hip flexors, so mostly body weight and resistance band-type stuff, and a general upper body dumbbell routine with 5/8/12lb weights. Nothing fancy--two exercises per muscle group in the 3x15 or 3x20 range.


My first thought was to blame the stupid scale--a philosophy that I'm still willing to get behind. It WILL change if I weigh myself multiple times, but when I check it with known(ish) weights--my dumbbells, etc--it's accurate. My 12lb dumbbell came in at 12.1; both together came in at 24.3. Other reason for thinking it's the scale is that I visited my parents two weeks ago. Before I left I was consistently 273/274/272. Weighed in on Mom's scale on arriving: 272.9. Weighed in two weeks later, the morning I left: 272.9. Woke up at home the next morning: 280. Except for one 273 day, it's been 280/280.2/281/282 in the two weeks since.


I know the scale isn't everything, but if I've gained 10lbs without knowing, I'm doing something very wrong. My daily intake just doesn't have that kind of variance, and I don't think I'm slacking on my workouts, but years of doctor's visits and endocrine checks have told me that I'm not a unicorn--my chemicals test fine. (I'm dubious, but who isn't?) I had some lovely measurement changes from Week 1 to Week 2, but they've stayed the same since then.


The almighty internet search mostly yields weight swing advice from early in or if there's a major salt or dietary change. That's not really where I am. If I search "4 months" I get a lot of people who have lost 20 lbs.


Please let me know your thoughts! I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong or why I'm trying to break the laws of physics. At the very least, please tell me I'm not crazy.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:37 PM   #2  
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I wish I had some answers for you! I stayed at the same weight for a year then slowly gained 10lbs the following year even though I eat pretty clean I would say 75% of the time. I watch my sugar, carbs and calories. I work out 2-5 days a week cardio 30 min and then weights 30 min with each session. So I understand your frustration. Maybe someone will post some insights?
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:39 PM   #3  
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I have heard of this happening occasionally. Our bodies do not want us to lose weight. Since you're doing some heavy exercise, you are increasing muscle. It just might take a while longer for your body to realize that you're serious about this and release some of the weight. Nothing that you're doing is unhealthy, so I'm not going to tell you to stop doing it. If nothing else, you are increasing your lean body mass and getting healthy nutrients. The most I would do is switch things around a bit. Your body might be so used to what you're doing that it is just "ho hum!" I think/hope you will soon start to see some losses.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:08 PM   #4  
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The most important part of losing weight is diet. Maybe your diet isn't as healthy as you think. What are you eating?

3-5g fat per day is way too little, and not safe. Is that a typo? Do you mean 35g?
Are you eating vegetables?
You say you hit your targets for protein and sugar, but what are your targets?
36-48 oz water per day isn't enough.

What types of strength training exercises do you do?
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:06 AM   #5  
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1,000 cals is not enough for a person to sustain especially when doing strenuous exercise. Really you should be eating more like 1,500, and never below 1,200.

Ditch the scale and judge based on how your pants fit, or tape measure.

Evaluate your medications if you take any, I take Zoloft and it definitely makes things harder. Much harder.

Keep going. 😁👍

I soooo relate to your frustration though, I've been busting my butt for 9 months and I'm beginning to lose hope. ☹ Few years back I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I'm doing all the same things I did before to lose and it's not working this time. I can only assume it's my medication.

Last edited by novangel; 08-18-2018 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:55 AM   #6  
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It's extremely unlikely that you're gaining muscle. Female bodybuilders with 14% body fat struggle mightily to put on a few pounds of muscle per year, and that's with insane dieting, cardio, and lifting routines. Our genetics and hormone levels mitigate very, very strongly against it.

However, lifting has massive benefits for fat loss. You need to lift heavier and more often. I count bodyweight work as part of this if you're too weak to squat with weight just yet (or too weak to squat at all, as I was when I started). Don't muck around with 5-lb weights, and get off the 8-lb ones as soon as you can. Drop the reps so you can increase the weight you lift. Compound movements are best - squats, lunges, chest press, overhead press, all of which can be done with dumbbells. (Deadlifts are supposed to be good too, but I don't do them because they tweak my back.) I don't know what kind of gym access you have, but pulldowns are great as well. After your compound stuff is done, add some isolation work - biceps, triceps, calves.

I would also cut way, way back on the cardio, as it can actually prevent you from losing fat. Too much cardio triggers the stress hormone cortisol, and once your body feels that it will fight like **** to keep the weight on. Walking is fine, though, because it doesn't put the stress on your body that higher-intensity stuff does. Lack of sleep is another thing that triggers cortisol release, so you may want to look at that too.

Lastly, how's your food timing? I don't follow a strict intermittent fasting plan, but it can help not to eat after 7 pm or so.

Edited to add: The point above about changing your routine is an excellent one. I have to change what I do about every month or six weeks, especially as my conditioning and fitness levels improve. The body does adapt more quickly than you'd think - it wants to be strong, wants to be challenged. I'd definitely suggest mixing things up.

Last edited by Noxqsleft; 08-28-2018 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:47 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noxqsleft View Post
It's extremely unlikely that you're gaining muscle. Female bodybuilders with 14% body fat struggle mightily to put on a few pounds of muscle per year, and that's with insane dieting, cardio, and lifting routines. Our genetics and hormone levels mitigate very, very strongly against it.
The more muscle you have, the harder it is to gain muscle. People who are new to weightlifting can gain muscle more quickly.

Last edited by mjf; 08-29-2018 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:52 PM   #8  
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Quote:
People who are new to weightlifting can gain muscle more quickly.
True, but given the lightness of the weights she uses, the infrequency of the lifting, and all the other factors she mentioned, I find it hard to believe that's the case here. If she were gaining muscle, she would have seen some additional change - through scale drops, smaller sizes, or both - in the four months she's been at it.

Last edited by Noxqsleft; 08-29-2018 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:49 PM   #9  
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If your food goals were not a typo, your fat intake is way too low to lose weight and your carbs are fairly high. You need to eat good fats to lose fat. I would concentrate on whet you are eating and cut back on the cardio.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:16 PM   #10  
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They mean that they are 3-5g over their target for fat, don't worry.

My guess is that you may be getting tht calories wrong. Are you weighing and measuring wveryhign you eat? 1000 cal does sound too low for you, and bodies can do weird things in that situation.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:32 AM   #11  
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Hey, your story caught my eye I related so much to this post its crazy but I was in the same shoes and I even suffered from joint pains so its not like I can do any kind of cardio either but I found ways on how to lose weight without running.
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:45 PM   #12  
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Hi KTG, I have been struggling with my weight all my life. I go on a diet and my husband who eats twice as much as I do loses weight. Meanwhile, I am still struggling while he is emaciated.
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