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  • Not losing fat, but actually GAINING fat

    Hi all, first a little background. I've been gaining weight and waist in the past few years and last March I finally decided I must do something about it. Back then my waist size was about 87 cm and this is alarmingly big. I started going to the gym about 2-3x a week where I do circuit training with a trainer and avoid chronic cardio. People started to notice that my body is getting bigger, but that's not actually my goal, which is to lose my waist. So starting in July I started to change my lifestyle into a Primal one (or is it a Ketogenic one? I can't really tell the difference). I cut out almost any carb from my diet, which was mainly white rice, and I started to eat a lot of meat, vegetables, greek yogurt with blueberry and chia seeds, and more eggs as well as a bit of fruits.

    Fast forward to September I lost 3-4 kg, from about 65 kg to about 60-61 kg, and 4-5 cm off my waist from 86-87cm to 81-82 cm. Obviously I was quite happy to fit into my old jeans. My ultimate goal is to have as flat a tummy as possible and I estimate that to be around 78-79cm.

    Fast forward to today, I have not lost any weight nor waist in the last couple of months, and in fact I have GAINED about 0.5 kg, and about 1.5 cm! This is really discouraging and confusing to me since I have not changed my lifestyle recently. Starting in August I even added cardio boxing once a week into my schedule, which is now 2x weight lifting and 1x cardio boxing every week. I recently started carb refeeding and intermittent fasting every few weeks.

    One note is that I do not count any carbs or calories. I tried using myfitnesspal, but it's really difficult considering my culture's food is hardly represented in it. It was just frustrating for me and I quit it after 1 day. Another note is I have a bad habit of measuring myself almost everyday. This used to be a source of encouragement because I can see myself losing my waist right before my eyes and the metering tape would confirm it. Now it's backfiring on me.

    So I think I've done everything right, but have not seen any imrpovements in the past couple of months. Is this normal or did I do something wrong? What do you suggest I do? I'm feeling discouraged right now so your suggestions would be much appreciated.

    I don't know if this will help, but just in case this is my latest bloodwork and compared to last year's:

    7 April 2015

    Fasting glucose: 110 mg/dl
    Total cholesterol: 207 mg/dl
    HDL: 40 mg/dl
    Triglyceride: 119 mg/dl
    LDL: 141 mg/dl

    14 Oktober 2016

    Fasting glucose: 101 mg/dl
    Total cholesterol: 250 mg/dl
    HDL: 45 mg/dl
    Triglyceride: 84 mg/dl
    LDL: 188 mg/dl

    I am male, 165 cm, around 61-62 kg at the moment, waist circumference about 83 cm measured just under the belly button at the biggest point. My Tanita scale says my body fat is around 19-20% but we all know those are consistently inaccurate.

    I did a DEXA test on July 27, 2016, and gave me this:
    Total body fat %: 29.3 (diagnosis is "slightly high in fat mass")
    Fat mass/heigh: 6.47
    Android/gynoid ratio: 1.02
    % fat trunk/ %fat legs: 0.98
    Trunk/ limb fat mass ratio: 1.05
    Lean/height: 14.9 (apparently this means I am "very low on muscle mass")
    Appen. Lean/height: 6.59

    Physical measurements:
    R leg: 39.6cm
    L leg: 39.5 cm
    R arm: 31.4 cm
    L arm: 31.0 cm
    Waist at the smallest point: 80.8 cm
    Waist at the largest point: 85 cm (between this measurement and the above you can imagine my belly is rather round, though a bit smaller today)
    Hip: 87 cm


    Thank you very much!
    Last edited by Rabbid; 10-16-2016, 04:55 PM.

  • #2
    It might be helpful to do your best to track what you're eating, just to get a sense if things have changed. Many times when I hunker down and track things, I'm surprised at how much I'm actually eating, and that clues me in to scale things down a bit.

    Are you doing any regular walking?

    Any changes in your stress? Or big changes in life?

    How is your sleep?
    bjjcaveman.com

    theketorash.com

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    • #3
      In imperial units, you weigh 134 lbs and have a 32-inch waist. I don't know how tall you are, but it seems likely that you are normal weight or only slightly overweight. The people who see huge losses on any program are the obese, who may start with 100+ pounds (45+ kg) to lose. Trying to go from normal to slim/sexy/buff/whatever is a new level of difficulty. If you are eating a lot of protein and working your muscles hard, it's no surprise that you're gaining.
      I moved to primalforums.com to escape the spam.

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      • #4
        Yah...I missed the M/F? And height?

        This is rather important.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bjjcaveman View Post
          It might be helpful to do your best to track what you're eating, just to get a sense if things have changed. Many times when I hunker down and track things, I'm surprised at how much I'm actually eating, and that clues me in to scale things down a bit.

          Are you doing any regular walking?

          Any changes in your stress? Or big changes in life?

          How is your sleep?
          Thanks bjjcaveman. Many months ago I did try to track my diet using myfitnesspal, but Indonesian food is not well represented in it and it became a source of stress trying to track them.

          No I am not doing any regular walking. Should I? I thought my 2x weight lifting and 1x cardio boxing is enough. Want to give myself plenty of rest and not over exercise.

          The only source of stress right now is my waist getting bigger. It is discouraging after I have worked hard getting rid of it, only to have it come back again.

          Sleep is mostly OK. My sleep is usually pretty deep. Quantity varies anywhere between 6-9 hours.

          I read a bit about how being on ultra low carb for too long can screw some hormones like leptin and thryoid. Do you think they are playing a role here? Shiuld I eat more carbs? Thank you


          Sent from my iPad using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sharperhawk View Post
            In imperial units, you weigh 134 lbs and have a 32-inch waist. I don't know how tall you are, but it seems likely that you are normal weight or only slightly overweight. The people who see huge losses on any program are the obese, who may start with 100+ pounds (45+ kg) to lose. Trying to go from normal to slim/sexy/buff/whatever is a new level of difficulty. If you are eating a lot of protein and working your muscles hard, it's no surprise that you're gaining.
            Thanks sharperhawk. I added a lot more details in my original post. You mean its not a surprise that I am actually gaining waist circumference? I thought if I had more muscle I would be leaner, not fatter...


            Sent from my iPad using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
              Yah...I missed the M/F? And height?

              This is rather important.
              Thanks Neckhammer, I have added a lot more detail in the original post.


              Sent from my iPad using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rabbid View Post
                Thanks sharperhawk. I added a lot more details in my original post. You mean its not a surprise that I am actually gaining waist circumference? I thought if I had more muscle I would be leaner, not fatter...
                When you gain or lose, you will gain/lose both muscle and fat. Doing resistance exercise will improve the ratio in favor of becoming more muscular. You are gaining because you are eating more than you need for energy.
                I moved to primalforums.com to escape the spam.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sharperhawk View Post
                  When you gain or lose, you will gain/lose both muscle and fat. Doing resistance exercise will improve the ratio in favor of becoming more muscular. You are gaining because you are eating more than you need for energy.
                  OK, but it's difficult for me to eat less I think because even with the amount I eat now I still get hungry from time to time and need a snack. I eat less than 50g of carbs a day, and the rest I estimate more protein than fat.

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                  • #10
                    Hard to comment on your thyroid without actually checking... But it can definitely be a source of problems.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum
                    bjjcaveman.com

                    theketorash.com

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                    • #11
                      "I started to eat a lot of meat, vegetables, greek yogurt with blueberry and chia seeds, and more eggs as well as a bit of fruits."

                      you're a small person and primal and/or low-carb doesn't mean unlimited foods. 2-4 eggs a day, + 6-8 oz of meat is MORE than enough protein for you. many have trouble losing with dairy in the diet, so maybe try dropping the yogurt?
                      As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                      – Ernest Hemingway

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                      • #12
                        It could, or I wager it simply is a matter of just eating the same foods you're eating now, but just eating less. Eat just enough that your satisfied, but not anymore than that. Perhaps trying incorporating intermittent fasting and eating only between say 12pm-8pm.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
                          "I started to eat a lot of meat, vegetables, greek yogurt with blueberry and chia seeds, and more eggs as well as a bit of fruits."

                          you're a small person and primal and/or low-carb doesn't mean unlimited foods. 2-4 eggs a day, + 6-8 oz of meat is MORE than enough protein for you. many have trouble losing with dairy in the diet, so maybe try dropping the yogurt?
                          Thank you noodletoy. Yeah I eat 3 eggs every other day, not everyday. I don't count what I eat so I'm not really sure exactly how much meat I'm eating, but thank you for the advice. Dairy is pretty seldom for me, at most twice a week, but I'll keep it in mind.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WestCoastFire View Post
                            It could, or I wager it simply is a matter of just eating the same foods you're eating now, but just eating less. Eat just enough that your satisfied, but not anymore than that. Perhaps trying incorporating intermittent fasting and eating only between say 12pm-8pm.
                            Thanks for the advice WestCoastFire. Yes I'll eat just until I'm satisfied. I do IF about every 2-3 weeks or so, not sure if that's often enough or not. Is there even a guideline on how often IF should be done?

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                            • #15
                              MyFitnessPal is terrible. I've had the best success with looking up foods at caloriecount.com and plugging those numbers into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

                              I agree with West Coast Fire that you're probably simply eating the right foods, but too much of them. A food tracker will really help. Don't use how satisfied you are as a guideline as to when to stop eating. Theoretically, satiety should work, but it usually doesn't. It's must better to use a tracker for a month or so to get a good idea of what you should be eating.

                              For intermittent fasting: the original guideline is "if you're too busy to eat, skip a meal." Mark Sisson came up with IF to contrast with conventional wisdom eaters who were told to eat six small meals a day. But if you want to IF more often, you can either skip breakfast or skip dinner a couple times a week. Just note that you really have to *skip* that meal. Coffee with butter is NOT intermittent fasting!
                              5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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